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

Daniel Senie dts at senie.com
Tue Mar 13 17:10:23 UTC 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.

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