Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Outmoded 1990s thinking retards U.S. telecom infrastructure modernization

Digitally Unconnected in the U.S.: Who’s Not Online and Why? | NTIA: But what about those Americans who do not use the Internet? Whether by circumstance or by choice, millions of U.S. households are not online, and thus unable to meaningfully participate in the digital economy. Data from NTIA's July 2015 Computer and Internet Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey confirm that the digital divide persists. In 2015, 33 million households (27 percent of all U.S. households) did not use the Internet at home, where families can more easily share Internet access and conduct sensitive online transactions privately. Significantly, 26 million households--one-fifth of all households--were offline entirely, lacking a single member who used the Internet from any location in 2015.
This report reflects the limited thinking that retards the direly needed modernization of telecommunications infrastructure in the United States. It adopts a one-dimensional view of modern telecommunications rooted in the later 1990s and early 2000s when internet protocol-based telecommunications solely meant going on line with a computer, using dialup or DSL where it was being rolled out.

Nearly two decades later, the internet isn't just about going online, particularly as legacy telephone companies look to retire their aged and obsolete copper cable plants and fiber to the premise (FTTP) obsoletes metallic cable and can support multiple telecom services. Internet protocol also supports voice service (Voice Over Internet Protocol) as well as video, both one way and interactive. It's a multi-modal telecommunications platform.

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