FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Eric Brunner-Williams brunner at nic-naa.net
Thu Aug 27 07:48:36 CDT 2009


I picked Aroostook, Washington, and Lincoln counties for a 4g wireless
with backhaul infrastructure proposal. A wireline infrastructure
proposal for these counties (BIP) would, for some arbitrary amount of
capital expense, serve some of the population in towns, but leave the
non-in-town populations with no change in infrastructure. I thought
about adding a western (mountainous) county to the mix, but for a
proof-of-concept those three are representative of most of rural Maine.
All qualify as "rural remote", being more than 50 miles from a city of
20,000, or a suburban area of 50,000 (USDA RUS definition of "rural
remote"). Not many of either of those in Maine anyway.

As I wrote yesterday, "triple play" simply hasn't sold "broadband"
(source: USDA stats and Maine ISP experience), therefore uptake and
post-stimulus subscriber retention are wicked important. The BTOP
vehicle provides two additional non-infrastructure grant opportunities,
for "public computer centers" and for "sustainable broadband adoption",
so as I wrote those I attempted to make best use of link properties and
to-the-centers (not home, or curb) and whatever "sustainable" might mean
and the available statutory purposes and therefore services above link
to propose something innovative.

My guess (its in my proposal so I guess its my proposal writing money
bet) is that "rural broadband" means something other than IPv4 DHCP
provisioned, fat but flaky pipes allowing access to asymmetric content.
That works in the suburban and urban markets, but its failed, according
to the USDA and my Maine ISP competitors, in rural USA and Maine.

While I share (other hat, we signed our first zone last year and our
second zone will be signed this year) the "suggesting special favors for
deployment of DNSSEC" discussion with myself, I think this misses the
gambled mandatory-to-implement-feature (see "gamble", above) of
locality. {Packet|Connection} users in rural areas have some requirement
more pressing than parity of access to the service model that meets the
requirements of non-rural {Packet|Connection} users.


Fred Baker wrote:
> If it's about stimulus money, I'm in favor of saying that broadband 
> implies fiber to the home. That would provide all sorts of stimuli to 
> the economy - infrastructure, equipment sales, jobs digging ditches, 
> and so on. I could pretty quickly argue myself into suggesting special 
> favors for deployment of DNSSEC, multicast, and IPv6. As in, use the 
> stimulus money to propel a leap forward, not just waste it.
> On Aug 26, 2009, at 9:44 AM, Carlos Alcantar wrote:
>> I think the big push to get the fcc to define broadband is highly based
>> on the rus/ntia setting definitions of what broadband is.  If any anyone
>> has been fallowing the rus/ntia they are the one handing out all the
>> stimulus infrastructure grant loan money.  So there are a lot of
>> political reasons to make the definition of broadband a bit slower than
>> one would think.  I guess it doesn't hurt that the larger lec's with the
>> older infrastructure are shelling out the money to lobby to make sure
>> the definition stays as low as can be.  They don't want to see the gov
>> funding there competition.  Just my 2 cents.
>> -carlos
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ted Fischer [mailto:ted at fred.net]
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:50 AM
>> To: nanog at nanog.org
>> Subject: Re: FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband
>> Paul Timmins wrote:
>>> Fred Baker wrote:
>>>> On Aug 24, 2009, at 9:17 AM, Luke Marrott wrote:
>>>>> 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.
>>>> Historically, narrowband was circuit switched (ISDN etc) and
>> broadband
>>>> was packet switched. Narrowband was therefore tied to the digital
>>>> signaling hierarchy and was in some way a multiple of 64 KBPS. As the
>>>> term was used then, broadband delivery options of course included
>>>> virtual circuits bearing packets, like Frame Relay and ATM.
>>> of or relating to or being a communications network in which the
>>> bandwidth can be divided and shared by multiple simultaneous signals
>> (as
>>> for voice or data or video)
>>> That's my humble opinion. Let them use a new term, like "High Speed
>>> Internet".
>> Seconded

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