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Defining Broadband

Phil Harvey
7/1/2009

5:00 PM -- The Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the broadband portion of the Recovery Act was released today. In that 121-page document, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) -- the two agencies charged with doling out some $7.2 billion in broadband grants and loans -- have determined that basic broadband really doesn't have to be fast or very useful at all.

From the NOFA:

RUS and NTIA conclude that "broadband service" should be defined as the provision of two-way data transmission with advertised speeds of at least 768 kilobits per second (kbps) downstream and 200 kbps upstream to end users...

RUS and NTIA favor this broadband speed threshold because it leverages the FCC's 2280 expertise, utilizes an established standard, facilitates the use of many currently common 2281 broadband applications (e.g., web browsing, VOIP, and one-way video), allows for consideration of cost-effective solutions for difficult-to-serve areas, and is the most technology-neutral option (because it encompasses all major wired and wireless technologies).


It's amazing that they set the hurdle so low here. Most cable companies don't even sell Internet connections that slow.

The RUS and NTIA have opted to do what's easy to document and process, rather than what's good for consumers and what makes sense for the next decade. They seem to be making this Recovery Act nothing more than a process that prolongs the pain.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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olsen
olsen
12/5/2012 | 4:01:40 PM
re: Defining Broadband


... a big joke written by larger jerks. Sad.

DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 4:01:39 PM
re: Defining Broadband


Dear Recovery Act beneficiaries,


Good luck working remotely with 768k DSL.


Cheers,


ph

drewcwsj
drewcwsj
12/5/2012 | 4:01:39 PM
re: Defining Broadband


Makes me want to dig out my old ISDN adapter. 128K was awesome in 1992 and apparently it still is.


Oh and this is the same government that wants to take over our health care too.

paolo.franzoi
paolo.franzoi
12/5/2012 | 4:01:39 PM
re: Defining Broadband


 


Just remember it used to be 200K downstream.  That was the bar set in the SBC-BellSouth deal (remember 100% coverage/85% via wireline).  So, in a few years at this rate 1.5M might be the definition!


 


seven


 

bollocks187
bollocks187
12/5/2012 | 4:01:38 PM
re: Defining Broadband


If you have dealt with them you know they are not qualified to make such a definition - God help us this country telecom groups are run by morons in the  RUS and NTIA




olsen
olsen
12/5/2012 | 4:01:37 PM
re: Defining Broadband


... not made in the US?


I havent seen any comments on this:


http://www.lightreading.com/do...

kaps
kaps
12/5/2012 | 4:01:37 PM
re: Defining Broadband


Call me the contrarian, but let's remember the 768k is the *slowest* qualifying speed, and it appears that bids will be judged/weighted by how fast the proposed service will be.. so faster will, theoretically, have a better chance at getting the cash.


Though I can't claim knowledge of any of the proceedings, my guess at such a low level definition is so that funds will still be available to projects that are geographically challenged (bad terrain for wireless, long distances for DSL, etc) from providing the high speeds us urban dwellers know and love. Don't deny those on dial-up the "jump" to at least 768k.


And hey -- beats giving the money to bad banks or bad car companies, no? If you're going to spend it somewhere, why not where telco gear providers stand to make some dough?

kaps
kaps
12/5/2012 | 4:01:37 PM
re: Defining Broadband


Call me the contrarian, but let's remember the 768k is the *slowest* qualifying speed, and it appears that bids will be judged/weighted by how fast the proposed service will be.. so faster will, theoretically, have a better chance at getting the cash.


Though I can't claim knowledge of any of the proceedings, my guess at such a low level definition is so that funds will still be available to projects that are geographically challenged (bad terrain for wireless, long distances for DSL, etc) from providing the high speeds us urban dwellers know and love. Don't deny those on dial-up the "jump" to at least 768k.


And hey -- beats giving the money to bad banks or bad car companies, no? If you're going to spend it somewhere, why not where telco gear providers stand to make some dough?

rjmcmahon
rjmcmahon
12/5/2012 | 4:01:36 PM
re: Defining Broadband


I think anybody borrowing millions to build out 768K is pissing it away.  Rural folks deserve the real stuff like everybody else.

paolo.franzoi
paolo.franzoi
12/5/2012 | 4:01:35 PM
re: Defining Broadband


 


kaps,


 


Perhaps to make a case one could look at Valley Telephone in West Texas (Phil you should call them they are generally pretty friendly folk).  I think (and I am willing to be corrected) that they are the LEAST dense telephone company in the US with something like (and again corrections please) 6500 subs in 7500 square miles.  Valley Tel has a huge take rate of DSL and offers at least 1.5 Mb/s to all (you can buy lower speed services).


So, I come to the question - compared to Valley Tel - who is more remote and why would we not expect at least 1.5M to every person in the US?


seven


PS - Again, to me lets just make 5M (10M?) a universal service and double the rate every 5 years for the next 20 - 25 years.


 


 

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