Wednesday, April 23, 2014

As AT&T and Google push broadband adoption, the feds are non-players - CIO

As AT&T and Google push broadband adoption, the feds are non-players - CIO: Both Google and AT&T clearly see the economic incentives of bringing video and other new Web services to a wider audience over 1 Gbps connections.

Both companies also seem to want to use their fiber-optic programs to help bridge the nation's digital divide and to bring free, or nearly-free, broadband service to underserved low-income homes for those who want it.

The question remains whether their private efforts and other programs from an assortment of cable companies like Cox, Comcast, Time Warner and carriers such as Verizon and Sprint are enough to improve the number of homes in the U.S. on broadband without a big infusion of government money.

About 28% of U.S. homes still don't have broadband service, which is defined by federal officials as download speeds of least 4 Mbps.
This is indeed the overarching question as the United States reaches an inflection point on next generation, Internet-based telecommunications infrastructure. Private providers have reached the limits of their triple play business models and thus aren't likely to bring fiber connections to those 28 percent of homes that have remained unserved for going on more than a decade and reliant on dialup and satellite and where available, fixed terrestrial wireless service.

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