Friday, April 02, 2010

The view from the UK: America's "lame" "costly" "third-world" telecom infrastructure

The Economist offers this critical perspective on America's "lame" "costly" "third-world" telecommunications infrastructure that combines the worst of all worlds with poor quality service at high cost compared to other advanced nations. But the dreary state of affairs isn't much better across the pond in the magazine's UK home base either. Just a few months ago, Prince Charles warned much of the British countryside is in danger of becoming a "broadband desert," hamstrung by an aging, latency copper wire infrastructure that can't deliver sufficient throughput to enough of the populace.

As Exhibit A of the U.S. broadband gap, the magazine pointed to the outpouring of supplications to Google urging the company to roll out its experimental 1 Gigabit fiber to the premises telecom infrastructure in their communities.

Much of the article goes on to repeat the same points made elsewhere about the flaws of the U.S. telecom paradigm and the sturm und drang industrialized nations are undergoing as they transition from legacy wireline single purpose systems designed to deliver voice and television signals to fiber optic infrastructures capable of providing multimedia and interactive applications using Internet protocol.

The article closes with a bit of wireless vaporware by suggesting Verizon is abandoning its FiOS fiber to the premises service in favor of Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless service that could deliver 150Mbs. Perhaps over Starfleet Command's quantum sub-space channel. But not in today's world where people are literally jumping into freezing lakes in hopes of getting Google to deploy real state of the art fiber technology to their homes and businesses.

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