Broadband faces a fork in the road - Computerworld: Experts who worked on the National Broadband Plan approved in 2010 recently warned that there is still a great need for connecting unserved homes, libraries and schools with even basic broadband at less than 4 Mbps. Most of these unconnected homes are in poor inner city neighborhoods and rural areas.Not an unexpected outcome when a "plan" is essentially an aspirational expression rather than a concrete project plan to deploy Internet infrastructure. Also, it should be noted there are plenty of unconnected homes that aren't in inner city neighborhoods and rural areas. They can be found anywhere in the United States where residential density is non-contiguous, leaving gaps and pockets of homes redlined by incumbent telcos and cable companies.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Summers urges infrastructure construction to revitalize torpid economy. How about fiber to the premise?
The Perpetual Bubble Economy - NYTimes.com: “A strategy that relies on interest rates significantly below growth rates for long periods of time virtually guarantees the emergence of substantial bubbles and dangerous build-ups in leverage,” Mr. Summers wrote recently. “The idea that regulation can allow the growth benefits of easy credit to come without the costs is a chimera.”In addition to bridges and highways, water distribution systems and other public infrastructure, why not a public works project to bring fiber optic telecommunications service to every American home and business premise? Especially when 20 to 30 percent of them are left off the Internet grid?
A better route, Mr. Summers argued, would be to run deficits, perhaps indefinitely, even during economic good times. To help the economy right now, for instance, he argued for huge infrastructure spending, especially since money is cheap and so many construction workers are out of a job.
Posted by Fred Pilot at 8:40 PM
New Telehealth Program Aims To Increase Specialist Care in Northern California - California Healthline
New Telehealth Program Aims To Increase Specialist Care in Northern California - California Healthline
Adequate Internet infrastructure providing sufficient bandwidth is identified as a major challenge to the implementation of the program, which would alleviate the need for patients in rural areas to travel long distances to visit healthcare providers.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Colorado measure would bar Internet infrastructure subsidies to small towns served by satellite ISPs
Broadband act could expand service in Chaffee County - TheMountainMail.com: Free Content: As introduced, the bill’s language would define unserved areas as: areas outside a municipality or a city with less than 5,000 people in which a majority of households do not have access to at least one satellite and one non-satellite broadband provider.Summed up in two words: Useless and laughable. It basically tells Coloradans with no other premise Internet options to go suck a satellite and be happy with the crappy customer experience, bandwidth "fair access" caps and poor value. A bill only the incumbent preservatives could love. Indeed, they probably drafted it.
Event highlights scarcity of high-speed Internet in rural areas | The News Leader | newsleader.com: During a break, Korte explained how he, his wife, and their business, The Balance Group, switched to 4G cellular broadband service. However the data limits cellphone providers set make business more expensive, Korte said.
They’ve had to stick with it, though, and absorb the cost from exceeding data caps.
“I go to the (cellphone provider) and say, ‘Well, we need 300 gigabytes a month. That would probably do it.’” Korte said. “They laugh at it, and tell me to go to the cable company.”
Like many residents in Augusta County and those served by the two-dozen other rural, local government officials gathered for the workshop, cable service doesn’t extend to his home.
This pretty well sums up the sorry state of Internet infrastructure in much of the United States and trying to get by on mobile wireless.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Twentieth century, metal wire-based legacy incumbent telephone
and cable companies naturally don’t like it when progress inevitably emerges in
the form of 21st century fiber optic to the premise (FTTP) telecommunications
infrastructure offering the proverbial better (and faster) mousetrap as well as
protection against technological obsolescence. Particularly if they have opted
not to construct it and someone else is planning to do so. Especially if the
new fiber infrastructure benefits from government subsidies. No fair, incumbents
protest. That’s government subsidized competition that picks winners and losers
and we’ll lose.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
One clear indication of the role good Internet connectivity plays in the economy is starting to show up in job postings. This telecommute position with Aetna, for example, states the following job requirements:
Minimum internet requirements for a telecommuting position include:
· A separate wired Internet connection
· Minimum download speed of 6MB
· Minimum upload speed of 1MB
· Satellite and other wireless Internet are NOT supported
Monday, March 17, 2014
IVP Capital TMT Advisory - SpectralShifts Weekly
I'm skeptical of Son's assertion that wireless is the solution to the U.S. premises fiber Internet infrastructure deficit. What's surprising is the incumbent telcos have been trying to sell this canard to divert attention away from their own wireline premise shortfalls. That's hardly disruptive or visionary.
What would impress me is breakout, actionable thinking that offers a functional alternative business model that would enable rapid build out of universal fiber to the premise.
Telecom Giants Drag Their Feet on Broadband for the Whole Country - Newsweek
Of course they drag their feet; it's their fiduciary duty to shareholders to do so. This story spotlights the inherent conflict in relying on the private sector alone to construct telecommunications infrastructure needed by a much larger constituency: the American public.
Despite their claims of having invested billions in telecom infrastructure, investor-owned telcos simply don't have enough cash to finance the transition of their networks from the old, copper POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) cables to modern, fiber optic-based networks. Given that circumstance, they are leaving the old networks in place throughout most of their service territories. But since these networks are decades old and require a lot of costly maintenance, telcos are asking regulators to relieve them of the duty to maintain them to ensure every premise can get telephone service, sparking consumer push back.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Nebraska Broadband Study: Broadband Access Creates Jobs, Revenue | CivSource
It's about time for the cooper/coax cartel of the incumbent telco and cablecos to take their bootheels off the throat of the 21st century digital economy.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Iowa Poll: Aid for broadband gets Iowans' OK | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com: While adoption and satisfaction are relatively high, Gov. Terry Branstad’s Internet expansion initiative aims for 100 percent.This should be a goal for every state. But setting a goal without a realistic plan to reach it will only produce disappointment. Branstad's plan for getting there is based on providing tax incentives to spur the construction of necessary infrastructure. Problem is tax incentives alone cannot overcome market failure -- when there is insufficient economic incentive to invest in infrastructure reaching every home and business. To reach that goal, Iowa and other similarly situated states would have to form and fund state Internet infrastructure authorities to subsidize municipal networks and telecommunications consumer cooperatives.
“The governor’s bill is titled the ‘Connect Every Iowan’ bill, not ‘Connect Some Iowans’ or ‘Connect a majority of Iowans,’ ” said Adam Gregg, the governor’s lobbyist. “... We want to encourage ubiquitous access all throughout the state.”
Since states adjacent to Iowa tend to also suffer from market failure that leaves many of their residents off the Internet grid, Bradstad might also consider negotiating a compact with these states as he is currently doing for the health insurance exchange marketplace to form a regional Internet infrastructure authority. The very fact the Bradstad is acting on this issue in Iowa points up the deficiencies in U.S. federal government policy that leaves many Americans in Iowa and other states with less than universal premise Internet access.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Tennessee Legies Go Into Pro-Public Broadband Frenzy | Building the Gigabit City
Craig Settles reports on what appears to be the start of what I'm calling "Broadband Spring," powered by a decade of frustration and pent up demand to modernize telecommunications infrastructure to fiber to the premise architecture -- along with the realization that legacy incumbent telephone and cable companies are part of the problem and not part of the solution to getting that infrastructure in place.
This development could represent a tipping point where the public interest of modernizing the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure to fiber to the premise is outweighing the private interest of the legacy providers. It would be a welcome thaw after a 10-year-long winter of recession and failed public policy that has stood in the way of moving forward with this critical infrastructure.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Resolution Seeks High-Speed Internet For All Putney Residents | Vermont Public Radio: “The governor made us a promise at town meeting here last year that he would get everything wired 100 percent, no ifs, ands or buts,” Field says. “I’ve got the quote.”A couple of observations on this story:
Instead, area lawmakers got an earful from residents who say they’re tired of hearing that Putney already has Internet service.
"Close to 300 of us in Putney only have dial-up," says Field. "In my case I pay $80 a month to Hughes.net. Can’t Skype, can’t stream anything. My wife’s a pediatrician in town. She can’t do her electronic medical records."
Nancy Braus says people on her road are getting Internet from Comcast or Fairpoint. But not her house. Braus has a daughter who’s deaf.
- It's an example of the blow back politicians face after years of promises to address deficiencies in premises wireline Internet service with little or no tangible results.
- Ms. Braus's comment illustrates the highly granular nature of broadband redlining that renders government subsidy programs based on mapping and funding only "unserved" and "underserved" areas impractical. One address is offered service by incumbent wireline providers while another nearby premise is not.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
For nearly every American who has been alive since the end of
World War II, the availability of telephone service at a home or business
premise is taken for granted. Need a phone line or several lines? Contact the phone
company, order them and they’ll get hooked up.
With wireline premises Internet service, it’s been a very different story. According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission as of 2012, 19 million Americans couldn’t order an Internet connection because none was available for sale. Some of those Americans live in California’s Gold Country, located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. And they can’t understand why if people in Sacramento -- or in many cases just down the road -- can get wireline Internet service, why can’t they? Plus they hear messages like this one that only five percent or fewer premises are unserved and have a hard time believing their home or business is one of them, particularly when nearby premises do have service.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
This story illustrates the real world consequences of what happens when legacy incumbent wireline Internet providers control government subsidy programs designed to help cover the cost of deploying Internet infrastructure. They refuse to accept the subsidies themselves for high cost areas and lobby to influence the eligibility rules so that others can't easily qualify for funding.
These comments in the story from Cathy Emerson, manager of two consortia involved in expanding Internet access and Mitch Drake, head of the company that applied for subsidy funding from the California Public Utilities Commission, sum up the sorry situation:
“We're looking at a significant Catch-22,” Emerson said. “The federalIt's going to get even harder for non-incumbent providers and local governments to qualify for the CPUC's California Advanced Services Fund network construction subsidy dollars in this year's funding round under revised rules recently adopted by the CPUC. Steve Blum has the depressing details in this blog post.
and the state programs are trying very hard to make use of legislative
moneys that have been collected, intended to be used for broadband
deployment. And yet the very language of the legislation has been so
effectively edited to the favor of the incumbents that it's extremely
difficult to try to offer services to these rural-most pockets.”
“I call this the great stalemate,” said Drake. “There's a huge need in
Northern California, and we've got a program that was designed to take
care of the need, and we've got incumbent carriers who made this
financial decision, for one reason or another, not to serve these rural
communities. But at the same time they are the biggest opponents,
preventing anyone from doing anything about it.”
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Slow broadband wipes 20% off house prices - Telegraph: Slow broadband speeds can wipe as much as 20 per cent off the value of properties and lack of superfast connectivity in an area can be a dealbreaker in house sales, property experts have said.It's only a matter of time before we'll see this spread to the United States where plenty of residential properties nominally in the service areas of incumbent telephone and cable companies nevertheless lack Internet connections.
With growing numbers of people going online to perform tasks ranging from working to grocery shopping and streaming entertainment, good broadband has become critical.
Property search website Rightmove has now added a broadband speed checker to every one of its listings alongside factors such as quality of local schools and transport links.