Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mobile wireless service won't solve America's telecommunications infrastructure crisis

Congress Seeks to Bolster Nation’s Broadband: (TNS) -- A draft bill making the rounds among Senate lawmakers would require selling even more airwaves than initially agreed to in the recent budget deal.

The language is part of a proposal that would move forward several bipartisan efforts aimed at boosting high-speed Internet access nationwide. The wide-ranging discussion draft bill in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee comes after a series of hearings in recent weeks by the committee and its House counterpart where Republicans and Democrats have called for auctioning government-held airwaves to the private sector to increase the amount of wireless spectrum available to carry voice and data over the air. (Emphasis added)

"Boosting high-speed Internet access nationwide" isn't solely about mobile wireless as this story suggests. The biggest component of the United States' Internet access problem is landline-delivered premise -- and not mobile -- service. According to a U.S Federal Communications Commission estimate issued earlier this year, approximately 55 million Americans – about 17 percent of the population -- live in areas unserved for basic Internet service capable of supporting high-quality voice, data, graphics and video. Meeting this need requires fiber to the premise infrastructure. It can't be served by mobile wireless services alone because they can't offer adequate bandwidth to meet premise needs given the multiple connected devices used in the home.

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