Monday, October 28, 2013

Who needs a Gig at home? Half of U.S. businesses | Technology Futures

Who needs a Gig at home? Half of U.S. businesses | Technology Futures

Andrew Cohill makes the excellent point that with the emergence of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) telecommunications infrastructure, the past focus on Internet throughput speeds that was relevant to legacy telephone and cable companies is becoming increasingly less so. Since incumbent telephone and cable companies have to compress data to transport it over metal wire cable plant not originally designed to carry Internet protocol-based signals, from their perspective bandwidth is a limited commodity. This also limits their ability to serve all premises in their service areas. Even more so in the case of mobile wireless technology which provides far less capacity and range. Hence, their business and pricing models treat bandwidth like a metered utility such as water or electricity.

With FTTH, that entire paradigm of bandwidth as a finite commodity goes out the window and with it the incumbents' outmoded business models. This also has implications for now outdated government subsidy programs based on rules written nearly a decade ago when DSL deployed by telephone companies was state of the art Internet technology. Those programs now need to be updated to scrap obsolete references to the speed of available Internet technology and treat any area lacking FTTH infrastructure as eligible for subsidies if incumbent or other providers aren't constructing it or opt not to.

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