Saturday, July 28, 2012

Verizon, AT&T Decline Broadband Connect America Funding

Verizon, AT&T Decline Broadband Connect America Funding: Two of those carriers – AT&T and Verizon – yesterday declined all of the funding they had been offered. In a letter to the FCC shared with Telecompetitor, AT&T — which was offered $47.8 million — said it is “optimistic” about its ability to get more broadband into rural areas, “particularly as the technology continues to advance.” But the company said it could not commit to participate in the program until it finalizes that strategy.

One year ago, the big incumbent telcos urged the FCC to reform the Universal Service Fund with standards that would effectively subsidize deployment of first generation DSL service introduced more than a decade ago.  Now that the USF has been reformed into the Connect America Fund along the lines of what they wanted, they're saying thanks but no thanks to the subsidies.  Most likely because the legacy DSL standards the telcos proposed last year were already outdated by a decade or more -- and now look even more obsolete and unable to keep up with burgeoning bandwidth needs.

The Man from Glad meets Ma Bell

The plastic helps muffle the dying cries of obsolete legacy copper POTS cable plant.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google Unveils Superfast Internet in Kansas City, Mo. -

Google Unveils Superfast Internet in Kansas City, Mo. - Milo Medin, the company’s vice president of access services, said the technology and technical capacity were available to create this product on a global scale, but economics, such as the cost of constructing the fiber network in communities, presented a barrier.

Google's demonstration project does nothing to alter the cost and business model constraints that require communities to build their own fiber networks rather than investor owned providers.  While everything may be up to date in Kansas City, unfortunately for much of the United States it is not when it comes to premises Internet access.

It also starkly illustrates the dismal state of Internet capable premises telecommunications infrastructure in America -- accurately described as "incomplete" by President Barack Obama in his January State of the Union address -- where many must still rely on obsolete dialup modem technology that was state of the art when Obama's predecessor Bill Clinton was starting his first term two decades ago.  One city does not a network make.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rural U.S. mired on Internet dirt road

The Calix U.S. Rural Broadband Report not surprisingly found rural United States remains a copper-paved dirt road of Internet access where it has remain mired for years: 

The rumored slow pace of life in rural America may be
giving way to faster broadband speeds, but rural areas
clearly started from farther behind. The most common
peak downstream broadband rate consumed by endpoints
in rural America was between 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps in
Q1 2012. During the quarter, 60% of rural broadband
subscribers received a maximum downstream broadband
speed of 3 Mbps or less – approximately one-eighth of the
U.S. peak downstream average published by Akamai in its
most recent published ”State of the Internet” report. In fact,
71% of rural subscribers received a downstream broadband
speed that was slower than the target for the Connect
America Fund (CAF) of 4 Mbps, and approximately 90%
fell below the CAF upstream target of 1 Mbps. Upstream
rates remained slow as well, with 95% receiving 1.5 Mbps
or less.
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