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

Daniel Senie dts at senie.com
Tue Mar 13 18:35:47 UTC 2007

At 02:15 PM 3/13/2007, Todd Vierling wrote:

>On 3/13/07, Roland Dobbins <rdobbins at cisco.com> wrote:
>> > There are other technologies better
>> > suited to rural deployment, such as satellite, powerline, some cable,
>> > or even re-use of the previous generation's ADSL gear once metro areas
>> > are upgraded.
>>Or something like WiMAX?
>Depends on how rural the area is.  Some parts of the US have
>problematic terrain and *very* sparse population; there, the cost
>would far outweigh the subscriber uptake.  Should someone want
>bandwidth in such an area, powerline or satellite are probably better

You've mentioned powerline a few times. Care to expand on the 
business case for BPL? One vendor has gear which does not blanket the 
RF spectrum with noise (Motorola) but requires equipment on the local 
feeder network, thus much equipment density. Other vendors also seem 
to need fairly high equipment density. The trials to date have been 
in areas with other carriers already present, and have caused 
widespread RF interference (the equipment vendors have spent much PR 
money trying to refute the interference evidence).

As for satellite, have you ever actually used a DirecPC or similar 
service? The latency makes such services useful mostly for casual web 
browsing and for email service. You can't use VPNs, VOIP, or most 
other more interesting services. And the companies necessarily have 
severe, enforced "fair use" throttling to ensure more than a few 
users can use the service.

>(I don't mention cell-based wireless technologies, because the
>providers in that market space haven't truly awakened to the
>possibility of fixed cell termination sites for broadband-type access.
>That is generally seen as a congestion threat, not an opportunity, by
>the carriers.)

Sprint seems to be doing an OK job in this regard, actually. Their 
"unlimited" contract seems to not have strings attached like Verizon 
Wireless (who think "unlimited" means "use it occasionally for email, 
but we really didn't mean "unlimited.").

If Sprint provided more cell coverage in the small towns of the 
Berkshires, then their EVDO service with a router and data card would 
be a reasonable, if a bit pricey, way to get broadband-like 
performance to many more people. Alas, there seems to be no economic 
incentive for them (or anyone else) to provide even voice wireless 
services in that area. Last year Verizon put up a cell site in Great 
Barrington, MA, resulting in an article about it in the Berkshire 
Eagle. First time many people had been able to use their cell phones 
in south Berkshire.

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