Saturday, August 20, 2016

The false analogy of comparing analog telephone service to Internet

Clinton pushing broadband growth as big part of $275 billion infrastructure plan - Brent Skorup, who studies broadband issues for the Mercatus Center in Fairfax, Virginia, told Watchdog the goal of 100 percent broadband usage is unrealistic because some people — largely skewing older — have no interest in internet access.
“It’s been 100 years and there’s still not 100 percent penetration of the phone market,” he noted.

This furthers the falsehood propagated by the incumbent legacy telephone and cable companies that Internet protocol-based telecommunications is solely about getting a "broadband" connection to a desktop or laptop computer. If people don't use a computer much, the so-called "digital adoption" logic goes, then they don't need "broadband" and can get along fine with 1990s-era dialup or first generation ADSL. Ergo, they certainly don't require a fiber to the premise (FTTP) connection and the current infrastructure will suit them fine for the foreseeable.

This is nothing more than a concocted justification for not modernizing telecommunications infrastructure from the metallic cable put in place decades ago to carry phone calls and cable TV signals to FTTP. The telephone was the first form of telecommunications to serve people in their homes, businesses and institutions. It broke new ground and had longer path toward universal acceptance and daily use.

Nowadays, telecommunications technology is widely adopted and used by nearly every address. IP is a multimedia platform that supports not only data but also voice and video. IP over FTTP is an evolutionary shift and not a fundamentally revolutionary development as was the telephone. The analogy fails.

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