North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

RE: [funsec] Not so fast, broadband providers tell big users (fwd)

  • From: Daniel Senie
  • Date: Tue Mar 13 13:38:50 2007

At 12:15 PM 3/13/2007, Neil J. McRae wrote:

> Someone please tell me there's a valid reason
> why the
> download range couldn't be variable and negotiated

There are several valid reasons, but with newer modulations more
bandwidth upstream is more and more of a reality. Now if we could
just turn off ISDN and POTS (and other random crazy PTT legacy)
we'd have tons more! Copper has a long way to go bandwidth wise.

If we turn off POTS nationwide, then there's a lot of communities which would no longer have any telecommunications services.

Telephone service was extended throughout the country because of a public policy to do so. It involved subsidies (call it cost-shifting, whatever) to ensure everyone had a chance to have telephone service. The same thing COULD be done again with broadband service. But there appears to be no political will. The result is dialup over crappy POTS lines for those who don't live in cities or relatively densely populated towns.

I'll use by way of example most of Berkshire County in westernmost Massachusetts. Many of the towns have never had cable TV. There is no cell phone service. In some places, satellite TV is not even available (hills, forests).

Of course the FCC has been pushing a fiction that broadband over powerline will be deployed in these rural areas, but it's funny, all the trials for BPL seem to have been done in places where the housing density is high, and there's already another broadband carrier. Wireless, too, has been proposed, but in areas that still don't have cell phones, are we really to expect wireless broadband carriers to spring up?

As with the deployment of telephone service a century ago, the ubiquitious availability of broadband service will require government involvement in the form of fees on some and subsidies for others (might be a good use for the funds Massachusetts is trying to extract from Verizon for property tax on telephone poles, I suppose). Otherwise, we'll see the broadband providers continue to cherry pick the communities to service, and leave others in the digital dustbowl.