FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband

Marshall Eubanks tme at americafree.tv
Fri Aug 28 06:11:39 CDT 2009

On Aug 27, 2009, at 11:11 PM, Richard Bennett wrote:

> The background issue is whether satellite-based systems at around  
> 200 Kb/s and high latency can be defined as "broadband." Since  
> everyone in America - including the Alaskans - has access to  
> satellite services, defining that level of service as broadband  
> makes the rest of the exercise academic: everyone is "served."  
> There's no economic argument for government subsidies to multiple  
> firms in a market, of course.

It seems to me that there has to be an element of what can be the  
hardest thing to obtain in Government, judgement.

If I lived on Attu Island in the Aleutians, I would probably consider  
a 200 Kb/s satellite link as broadband.

Where I live in Northern Virginia, I would not.

If there isn't some form of judgement about what is suitable and  
possible in a given area, the results are not likely to be good.


> It's more interesting considering that DirecTV is about to launch a  
> new satellite with a couple orders of magnitude more capacity than  
> the existing ones offer. I seem to recall their claiming that the  
> service would then improved to some respectable number of megabits/ 
> sec. Satellite ISPs locate their ground stations in IXP-friendly  
> locations, so there aren't any worries about backhaul or fiber  
> access costs.
> But to your actual question, "under-served" is of course quite  
> subjective and cost is clearly part of it.
> RB
> Frank Bulk - iName.com wrote:
>> As one of the workshops discussed, does the definition of  
>> "underserved" and
>> "unserved" include the clause "for a reasonable price"?
>> If the price is unreasonable, do you think its government money  
>> well-spent
>> to subsidize bringing a competitor to a market that couldn't make  
>> it before?
>> Or are there perhaps other ways to deal with that pricing issue?
>> Frank
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: William Herrin [mailto:herrin-nanog at dirtside.com] Sent:  
>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:46 PM
>> To: Fred Baker
>> Cc: nanog at nanog.org
>> Subject: Re: FCCs RFC for the Definition of Broadband
>> <snip>
>> Really where they need the swift kick in the tail is in the product
>> tying where you can't buy a high speed connection to J. Random ISP,
>> you can only buy a high speed connection to monopoly provider's
>> in-house ISP. Which means you can only get commodity service since
>> monopoly provider isn't in the business of providing low-dollar  
>> custom
>> solutions. But it sounds like that's outside the scope of what
>> Congress has approved.
>> Regards,
>> Bill Herrin
> -- 
> Richard Bennett
> Research Fellow
> Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
> Washington, DC

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