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DSL/vectoring/G.fast

Defining Broadband

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

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:25 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Public companies DO submit their results for external auditing every quarter. Did you not know that? You know you should read your own BS. Because you want to spend my money doing something....because you BELIEVE that is the right thing to do....you refuse to accept that the 2nd largest phone company in the nation is doing it without my money.


 seven


PS - Just remember your government does everything badly and those in  it are the worst form of scum.  There is no good politician or bureaucrat.  All they want is to spend your money. 

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:25 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Seven,


VZ stating something costs four cents a quarter is not proof of an ROI.  Let them publish a DCF for their projects with external auditing where if they lie somebody goes to jail.  Otherwise, it's just more Madoff-like crap.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:25 PM
re: Defining Broadband

The problem is that saying fiber is a future proof investment is propaganda.  The issue is building a sustainable system.  This post written over 7 years ago addressed the issue pretty well. 

olsen 12/5/2012 | 4:01:25 PM
re: Defining Broadband

rjmcmahon,


It's a future proof investment. What's your problem with that?

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:25 PM
re: Defining Broadband FiOS investment (as has been stated by Verizon) costs them about 4 cents per quarter. Which in the grand scheme of things given that they are getting very good take rates shows that it is a good investment.

All you have to do is read the quarterly reports.

Given that you have stated nothing more that BS, I call BS until you do your back of the envelope math here.

seven
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:26 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Nobody posting on these boards has proof about FiOS's profitability one way or the other.  I can do a few back of the envelope calculations and make a pretty good guess that it isn't.  I also can look at history and other more recent projects to make some educated guesses.   I also know that it's in almost everybody's interest on these boards to say that it is profitable (and to *believe* that it *must be.*)  It was also in Madoff's interests to say he could earn 1% a month without a need to worry about losing the client's investment.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:26 PM
re: Defining Broadband

 


So other than psychobabble do you have any proof, like Verizon's business case?


Or are you a Stand-up Philosopher? (Note the History of the World Part 1 reference)


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082517/quotes


The 3rd set of quotes down.


 


seven


 

olsen 12/5/2012 | 4:01:26 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Please ...

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:26 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Olsen,


I'd suggest studying up on the psychology of belief.


"The relationship between belief and knowledge is subtle. Believers in a claim typically say that they know that claim. For instance, those who believe that the Sun is a god will often report that they know that the Sun is a god."


"A false belief is not considered to be knowledge, even if it is sincere. A sincere believer in the flat earth theory does not know that the Earth is flat. Similarly, a truth that nobody believes is not knowledge, because in order to be knowledge, there must be some person who knows it."

olsen 12/5/2012 | 4:01:27 PM
re: Defining Broadband

That's utter BS.


VZ is replacing the hardware for the next x years. GPON, or noPON, they are replacing copper and that's future proof. ROI will follow no matter what.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:27 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Seven,


That's the point.  There is none.  Hence the it has to be a customer purchase.  Think of it like PC's or TVs or dishwashers or toasters.  Consumer purchases which have no ROI demands.  It's a bit trickier on the colo side but that can be done too.


Now the fiber and the labor to install the fiber is long lasting and worthy of federal subsidy.  But if somebody is making the argument that my technology is better because it miminizes the amount of fiber needed, that completely misses the boat.  Due to high labor costs as many strands as can be pulled per unit of labor should be pulled.  If the fiber lays fallow for a decade it's ok because it will be used eventually.


It's really not in VZs interest to do this properly hence the charade with FiOS.

olsen 12/5/2012 | 4:01:27 PM
re: Defining Broadband <div>rjmcmahon,</div>


"And the technology used is obsolete at install."


&nbsp;


.. and what technology would you suggest as not obsolete at the time of install?

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:27 PM
re: Defining Broadband

seven,


There are no facts that FiOS is profitable and it's much more likely it's a business that loses money.&nbsp; Pull it out separately and the business fails.&nbsp; And the technology used is obsolete at install.&nbsp; A c-grade student can figure this out.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:28 PM
re: Defining Broadband

rj,


My facts are that Verizon continues to deploy FiOS as quickly as possible and is highly profitable as a company.&nbsp; Your facts are that you have no idea what you are talking about.


seven


&nbsp;

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:28 PM
re: Defining Broadband Now that is funny. The model does not work and yet it is going, deployed and working. So, try again...it does work.

seven
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:28 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Saying FiOS works today is like saying Saturn saved GM or Jeep saved Chrysler.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:29 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Nope, the VZ Fios biz/eco model doesn't work.&nbsp; Look at cars/roads/oil for a&nbsp; model that does and to a certain extent electricity (with thing like TVA.)&nbsp;

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:30 PM
re: Defining Broadband

&nbsp;


So, what your saying is that you are the biggest fan of Verizon as it is the only massive fiber buildout in the states.&nbsp; With no government support at all.


seven


&nbsp;

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:31 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Seven,


The NECA defintions are equally bad when considering where federal investment money should be going if it is going to help the U.S. economy create real efficiencies and productivity improvements.&nbsp; Technolgy moves at Moore's law.&nbsp; The only OSP technology that supports that is fiber. &nbsp; I think of it like the early days of DC vs AC where the science/physics were obvious but the policy makers were decades behind (effectively captured.)&nbsp;


The countries that build out the real stuff will be placing their societies at huge advantage over those that give handouts to the status quo and call it a stimulus for recovery.&nbsp;&nbsp; Might as well give federal money to buggy and whip mfgs and call it needed for job creation.


&nbsp;

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:31 PM
re: Defining Broadband

&nbsp;


I guess that you missed the point of me posting the NECA tariffs.&nbsp; Most of the companies that will get stimulus money (at least the wireline ones) use the NECA tariffs to ensure they get NECA compensation.&nbsp; That is a huge issue for them in terms of their overall revenue.


Note:&nbsp; NECA does not support a tariff as low as the broadband definition that the NTIA and RUS are using.&nbsp; What this means is that the broadband definition from a wireline perspective is irrelevant.&nbsp; NECA money is annual revenue and that outweighs any need for capex dollars.


seven


&nbsp;

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:32 PM
re: Defining Broadband

re: "That said, it's clear that *somebody* lobbied the NTIA and FCC to keep the speed barrier lower for some reason."



This is pretty much a no brainer.&nbsp; Think of it this way.&nbsp; Imagine you are a college professor and the test results are in.&nbsp; A large group of students failed the class while only a few actually understood the material and passed.&nbsp; Now, you start getting word that some group is advocating that the failing grades be considered passing grades, i.e. the bar for performance should be lowered to meet the results (as opposed to holding the bar up and figuring out how to impart the knowledge.)&nbsp; It probably isn't the passing students that would advocate such a policy change but rather the ones that don't have the desire to do the work to make the grade.&nbsp;&nbsp;


Now with these loans it's not about grades but money.&nbsp; Lowering the bar rewards failed performances and maintains the status quo by giving them more money.&nbsp; One doesn't have to look too hard to see the long term outcomes when this becomes standard practice.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:01:32 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Rural areas are truly the litmus test for government policy in that long term monies should go into long term infrastructure.&nbsp; In that context the vast majority of money should go into fiber outside plant construction.&nbsp; The equipment purchases don't have long enough life spans to be funded with this long term money due to technology churn.&nbsp;&nbsp; The proven model that solves the churn issue is customer owned equipment.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:01:34 PM
re: Defining Broadband

re:&nbsp;Since the main idea for these funds is to&nbsp;bring broadband to where it ain't, perhaps 768K is just a first step


The main idea for these funds is to create jobs. I think setting the threshold higher would require telcos to do some hard(er) work. And hard work, in the outside plant, especially, would be welcome right about now.


re:&nbsp;&nbsp;Hard to understand why such a plan warrants instant criticism.


I don't think expecting our government to do better qualifies as unwarranted criticism. Giving regulators a pat on the back for trying is just not acceptable for those of us who feel the rural markets deserve a chance to at least catch up to the rest of the nation.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:01:34 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Just FYI, from the NECA tariffs:


&nbsp;


General (Cont&rsquo;d)
Where technically feasible, ADSL Access Service is
available as two service options, i.e., ADSL
Voice-Data and ADSL Data-Only.
(A) The ADSL Voice-Data option provides transmission
of data signals using the Telephone Company&rsquo;s
existing local exchange service line at peak data
transmission speeds of 512 kbps upstream/6 Mbps
downstream, 1 Mbps upstream/6 Mbps downstream, (T)
3 Mbps upstream/15 Mbps downstream or 5 Mbps (C)
upstream/50 Mbps downstream. The ADSL Voice-Data
option may be used for simultaneous voice and
data communications.
(B) The ADSL Data-Only option provides transmission
of data signals using the Telephone Company&rsquo;s
existing local exchange facilities at peak
transmission speeds of 512 kbps upstream/6 Mbps
downstream, 1 Mbps upstream/6 Mbps downstream, (T)
3 Mbps upstream/15 Mbps downstream or 5 Mbps (C)
upstream/50 Mbps downstream. The ADSL Data-Only
option does not provide the ability to transmit
voice communications.


seven


&nbsp;

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:01:34 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Seven,


My guess is that most of the bids will probably mirror developments like those you cite -- especially with WiMax, it seems like the cost of operations are coming down quickly enough to allow for real broadband speeds in just about every situation.


That said, it's clear that *somebody* lobbied the NTIA and FCC to keep the speed barrier lower for some reason -- haven't heard one yet but I do know there are other locales perhaps more mountainous or vegetated than Texas that present additional last-mile challenges. Like I said, hard to figure out until we see some actual proposals.


And -- if the folks from Texas can scale those operations elsewhere, they can theoretically beat out the low-speed bids. After watching the debacle over the "D" block auctions at 700 MHz -- where the FCC did an incredibly poor, maybe purposely poor, job of trying to "mandate" a public good and it blew up in their face -- I'd rather see the government set low hurdles and let the market compete to aim higher.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:01:34 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Seven,


My guess is that most of the bids will probably mirror developments like those you cite -- especially with WiMax, it seems like the cost of operations are coming down quickly enough to allow for real broadband speeds in just about every situation.


That said, it's clear that *somebody* lobbied the NTIA and FCC to keep the speed barrier lower for some reason -- haven't heard one yet but I do know there are other locales perhaps more mountainous or vegetated than Texas that present additional last-mile challenges. Like I said, hard to figure out until we see some actual proposals.


And -- if the folks from Texas can scale those operations elsewhere, they can theoretically beat out the low-speed bids. After watching the debacle over the "D" block auctions at 700 MHz -- where the FCC did an incredibly poor, maybe purposely poor, job of trying to "mandate" a public good and it blew up in their face -- I'd rather see the government set low hurdles and let the market compete to aim higher.

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

&nbsp;


kaps,


&nbsp;


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).&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; 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.


&nbsp;


&nbsp;

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:01:35 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Like I said, I was just wondering out loud about the fact that there might be places so remote or so geographically challenged that 768K is the best effort. Since the main idea for these funds is to bring broadband to where it ain't, perhaps 768K is just a first step. Hard to tell without seeing any actual proposals on the table. But should those projects be excluded just because they're not "fast enough" for outside "expert" observers who have no skin in the game?


I just don't see the criticism of low-speed qualifiers as valid without taking the entire program's objectives into account. If the minimum speeds were set too high, new providers might not even try to get any of the funds and then folks here would criticize the feds for setting the bar too high for economic sense. You can't win, so the best thing to do is just try.


Is anyone here complaining about low speeds offering better ideas on how to get faster speeds delivered more cheaply to challenging environments? Or just whining about the gubmint? Remember, the rules don't stop potential providers from offering faster speeds -- in fact they encourage it and theoretically will favor faster bids over slower. Hard to understand why such a plan warrants instant criticism.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:01:35 PM
re: Defining Broadband

Like I said, I was just wondering out loud about the fact that there might be places so remote or so geographically challenged that 768K is the best effort. Since the main idea for these funds is to bring broadband to where it ain't, perhaps 768K is just a first step. Hard to tell without seeing any actual proposals on the table. But should those projects be excluded just because they're not "fast enough" for outside "expert" observers who have no skin in the game?


I just don't see the criticism of low-speed qualifiers as valid without taking the entire program's objectives into account. If the minimum speeds were set too high, new providers might not even try to get any of the funds and then folks here would criticize the feds for setting the bar too high for economic sense. You can't win, so the best thing to do is just try.


Is anyone here complaining about low speeds offering better ideas on how to get faster speeds delivered more cheaply to challenging environments? Or just whining about the gubmint? Remember, the rules don't stop potential providers from offering faster speeds -- in fact they encourage it and theoretically will favor faster bids over slower. Hard to understand why such a plan warrants instant criticism.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:01:35 PM
re: Defining Broadband

You will.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:01:35 PM
re: Defining Broadband

re: Don't deny those on dial-up the "jump" to at least 768k.


I think settling for 768k denies the folks who need broadband the most a chance to realistically participate in the 'Net's massive and unstoppable shift to video-based communication.


These folks&nbsp;were&nbsp;left behind before the ARRA was signed into law.


They'll still be left behind when this so-called Recovery is complete.

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

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

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 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 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?

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&nbsp; RUS and NTIA




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

Dear Recovery Act&nbsp;beneficiaries,


Good luck working remotely with 768k DSL.


Cheers,


ph

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

&nbsp;


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


&nbsp;


seven


&nbsp;

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

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

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