Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The reason: In many areas, both still are unable to deliver the Internet at speeds any faster than those that existed in the early to mid-1990s, speeds that are impractical for today’s Internet or even Web surfing. Or in the cable companies’ case, any Internet access whatsoever. Their call center sales representatives are likely getting tired of being asked repeatedly, “When can I get high speed Internet?” and having to tell disappointed would be customers they cannot sell it to them -- and don't know when it will be offered. Ditto repair crews out in the field who find they must double as customer service representatives as well as technicians when they are approached with the same insistent question.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The United States should offer all residents and businesses high speed connections of at least 2 mbs down and 1 mbs up by the end of 2007 year and 10 mbs down and 2 mbs uploads by 2010, a CWA policy paper states.
Speed Matters: Affordable High Speed Internet For All calls on the federal government to actively support the creation of public-private partnerships in each state to expand broadband access and a national broadband map to show parts of the nation that remain on the dark side of the digital divide.
All residential and business customers should be protected by basic consumer and service quality protections no matter where they live, which carrier they choose or what technology is used to provide their services. Telecommunications services should meet the highest
standards of quality, reliability, and safety. Quality service depends primarily on sufficient investment in telecommunications infrastructure and adequate staffing provided by trained, well-compensated career employees.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Read ars technica reporter Nate Anderson's story on the federal lawsuit. The telco and cable providers are circling the wagons -- most likely because the withheld data would shine a bright light on the dreadful state of poor wireline broadband access that exists across much of the U.S.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
“Our policy is ‘No House Left Behind,'” Weddell joked Thursday morning at a meeting of the Communications-Technology Committee of Vision In Progress.
Weddell said Cue Connex wants to set up networks to service all of a community's technology needs: high-speed Internet service, Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), videoconferencing, Internet-based television, and eventually video services over a wireless network, as well as many other services.
“We're talking about huge (fiber-optic) pipes coming in,” Weddell said, describing the scale of services the company plans for Indiana. Cue Connex is in the process of purchasing a fiber optic company, he said, but cannot release the company's name until the deal is completed.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
It's not telecommuting itself that's the issue but rather how the employer is structured. In recent years, some organizations have abandoned the traditional top down, centralized structure and moved to a horizontal structure organized around projects and teams of workers.
Monday, January 15, 2007
As growing numbers of Californians move from land line based phone service to cell phones, billions are being generated in state mandated fees charged cell phone users to subsidize land line service in high cost locations outside urban areas. The Associated Press reports that the High Cost Fund B surcharge has generated more than $1.2 billion for California's four largest telephone companies - AT&T Inc., Verizon California, SureWest Communications and Frontier Communications. It's one of five funds in California's Universal Service Fund program, which has received a total of $2.8 billion since 2003 to serve more than 7,600 designated high-cost areas, according to the AP. The state's 25 million cellular subscribers contributed 60 percent of the payments to the B Fund, the AP found, which noted those revenues are likely to increase given the growing number of consumers relying exclusively on wireless communication.The shift to wireless voice service is occurring at the same time demand for wireline-based broadband is growing. The Schwarzenegger administration should direct the state Public Utilities Commission to reform these funds to redirect subsidies to help speed the deployment of high speed Internet access in higher cost areas of the state.
Clearly, telcos need to take a hard look at revising pricing for broadband instead of leaving gaping broadband black holes in much of their service areas. I suspect many folks would be willing to pay $50 a month for a fast, reliable high speed Internet service rather than be stuck with sluggish and impractical dial up service.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The old AT&T as it existed before it was acquired by SBC one year ago abandoned the residential telephone market. It may not be long before the new AT&T does the same, starting in less populated portions of its 22-state service area including California.
Like other telcos, the company is hemorrhaging land lines as residential customers — particularly in more urban areas — give up their land lines and use cell phones as replacements. Last week after it closed its acquisition of BellSouth, AT&T signaled a possible shift away from its traditional residential land line business by indicating that wireless phone services along with revenue from wireless phone ads would be an important future revenue source. "We're about to become a company with wireless at its heart,'' AT&T Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre told The Wall Street Journal after the deal was approved by the FCC. The purchase gives AT&T full control of its Cingular wireless unit.
Apparently hoping to stem some of its land line losses, AT&T is now offering what’s termed “naked DSL” service that allows residential customers to sign up for DSL broadband service as a single product without having to pair it with a traditional land line. However, it remains to be seen if AT&T can profitably provide the service, which it’s reportedly planning to offer for as low as $12 a month for the slowest speed plan.
For so-called “naked DSL,” it’s doubly doubtful AT&T can recover its costs outside of urban areas where the cost of providing service is greater. Nor is AT&T likely spend billions to upgrade its aging infrastructure outside urban areas to support its IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) service currently being rolled in a few metro areas. Taken as a whole, these circumstances point to a questionable future for AT&T’s residential segment, particularly in non-urban regions of its service area. Unless AT&T is able to substantially raise its broadband prices to bring them more in line with delivery costs, it’s quite plausible that AT&T will pull out of the residential market in these locations, deeming them underperforming assets.