FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Robert Enger - NANOG nanog at enger.us
Wed Aug 26 17:16:17 CDT 2009

As tedious as the downstream can be, engineering the upstream path of a cable plant is worse.
A lot of older systems were never designed for upstream service.  Even if the amps are retrofitted, the plant is just not tight enough.
Desirably, fiber should be pushed deeper; the quantity of cascaded amps reduced, coax fittings and splitters replaced and so on.

On 8/26/2009 10:25 AM, Richard Bennett wrote:
> The trouble with broadband in rural America is the twisted pair loop lengths
> that average around 20,000 feet. To use VDSL, the loop length needs to down
> around 3000, so they're stuck with ADSL unless the ILEC wants to install a
> lot of repeaters. And VDSL is the enabler of triple play over twisted pair.
> And apparently a number of rural cablecos, who have a suitable copper co-ax
> plant, haven't seen fit to offer what they call "data service." It's ironic,
> since cable TV was actually invented to help the rural user.
> Apparently the purpose of the definition is to ensure that the subsidies
> don't do down the rathole of supporting easy upgrades, but as others have
> mentioned, one definition for "broadband" isn't very useful unless it's
> something like "10 times faster than what I had yesterday."
> I like to say first gen broadband is 10 times faster than a modem or 500
> Kb/s; second gen is 5 Mb/s, and third is 50 or faster.
> Richard Bennett
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Brunner-Williams [mailto:brunner at nic-naa.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 10:00 AM
> To: Luke Marrott
> Cc: nanog at nanog.org
> Subject: Re: FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband
> In the applications I wrote earlier this month for BIP (Rural Utilities
> Services, USDA) and BTOP (NTIA, non-rural) infrastructure, for Maine's 2nd,
> I was keenly aware that broadband hasn't taken off as a pervasive, if not
> universal service in rural areas of the US.
> I don't think the speed metric is the metric that will make non-adoption in
> sparce clustered demographics distinguishable from adoption in denser
> demographics. I suspect that issues like symmetry of state signaling,
> latency, jitter, ... metrics that resemble what I looked for from MPI runs
> when benchmarking parallel systems, will characterize applications that may
> be distinguishable from the adoption, market penetration, renewal criteria
> from the applications that for reasons I can only conjecture, the standard
> "triple play" killer apps, which simply aren't driving broadband (whatever
> that is) adoption in rural areas. And no, I don't know what those
> better-than-triple-play-killer-apps-in-suburbia are.
> My meta-point is that I suspect there are two "broadbands", one where
> triple-play sells recurring subscriber drops, and one where it doesn't, and
> for the later a better definition would be more useful than a definition
> that reads (in fine print) "not available here".
> Eric
> Luke Marrott wrote:
>> I read an article on DSL Reports the other day (
>> http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/FCC-Please-Define-Broadband-104056)
>> , in which the FCC has a document requesting feedback on the
>> definition of Broadband.
>> What are your thoughts on what the definition of Broadband should be
>> going forward? I would assume this will be the standard definition for
>> a number of years to come.
>> Thanks.

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