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Broadband, a plan, dnabdaorb
March 16, 2010 2:27 PM   Subscribe

The FCC has announced its National Broadband Plan.
posted by pjern (28 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
This might need to go here.
posted by The Deej at 2:31 PM on March 16, 2010


17 Chapters huh? You need broadband to even read this.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:33 PM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Deej: "This might need to go here."

I thought about that, but this really is a separate topic from just speed testing.
posted by pjern at 2:37 PM on March 16, 2010


It's still downloading for me...


still downloading...


still...

...
posted by GuyZero at 2:37 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


gold star for the thread title, btw.
posted by shmegegge at 2:40 PM on March 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Sweet! Man, I love broads and look forward to increased access to them.
posted by Skot at 2:41 PM on March 16, 2010


Highlights: Broadband in >90% of households, 100Mbit/sec in >100million households.
You'll remember that $7bil for broadband infrastructure expansion was set aside in the stimulus, which will come into play here.

Now if only Canada had a broadband plan of any kind...
posted by mek at 2:41 PM on March 16, 2010


Ugh, I feel like this is mostly going to be an exercise in more government control, easier wiretapping and spying, etc. They're obviously not going to spend a lot of time talking about it in stuff like this, but PDF 16 talks about it a little:
Admiral Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence, said recently that “the United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing.”29 He noted that “to the extent that the sprawling U.S. economy inhabits a common physical space, it is in our communications networks.”30 The country needs a clear strategy for securing the vital communications networks upon which critical infrastructure and public safety communications rely. Within 180 days of the release of this plan, the FCC should issue, in coordination with the Executive Branch, a roadmap to address cybersecurity.
I think now that governments have a much better understanding of how the internet works, they will be able to get control of it much more easily. Just look at what China is able to do, for example.

Right from the start, the movie/flim and music industries have been complaining about this broadband plan. They want the network designed from the ground up to make it easy to control copyright and p2p systems.
posted by delmoi at 2:44 PM on March 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love broads and look forward to increased access to them.

Sadly, you're banned.
posted by quin at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2010


Is this going to be one of those deals where the telcos run off with this windfall and spend it on Gulfstream V's, bonuses, executive parties, and good-old-boy network investments?
posted by crapmatic at 2:46 PM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


No doubts that the telco lobby will fight any plan that dares to treat broadband as a public utility. Good luck.
posted by thisisdrew at 2:49 PM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this going to be one of those deals where the telcos run off with this windfall and spend it on Gulfstream V's, bonuses, executive parties, and good-old-boy network investments?

Telecom Access Recovery Plan?
posted by Big_B at 2:51 PM on March 16, 2010


It's obvious: We need to put an end to Too Big To Fail Download
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:54 PM on March 16, 2010


"Now if only Canada had a broadband plan of any kind..."

I'll trade you your universal health care for it.
posted by webhund at 3:11 PM on March 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


Unless this plan includes auditing telecom companies for all the money splashed their way in the last decade and a half, then it'll just be good money after bad.
posted by madajb at 3:15 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Too cheap to meter.
posted by fixedgear at 3:16 PM on March 16, 2010


Hmmmmm

I can't tell if they're doing it wrong or not.
posted by 7segment at 3:19 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this going to be one of those deals where the telcos run off with this windfall and spend it on Gulfstream V's, bonuses, executive parties, and good-old-boy network investments?

"Hellooo Mr.Frog" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:27 PM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this going to be one of those deals where the telcos run off with this windfall and spend it on Gulfstream V's, bonuses, executive parties, and good-old-boy network investments?

Again?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:33 PM on March 16, 2010


Hmmmmm...I can't tell if they're doing it wrong or not.

Don't give up on them yet?


On the other hand...
posted by rollbiz at 3:54 PM on March 16, 2010


Broadband, a plan, dnab. Da Orb!
posted by BeerFilter at 4:01 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


mek: "Highlights: Broadband in >90% of households"

In or available? I need to go through this later because I'm most concerned about availability in low density (rural) areas. Right now the only thing I can get is satellite or dial-up and I was sort of hoping for something like the rural electrification project of the 30s.
posted by Bonzai at 4:53 PM on March 16, 2010


About two-thirds of U.S. households have high-speed Internet access now. Many people in the remaining one-third could get broadband but choose not to because they think it's too expensive or because they don't see a need for it.

So I expect the FCC to follow this up with a "Laptop Plan," and eventually a "Embedded Microchip" plan. God knows that the people who don't see the need to pay for a 24-hr tracking device need help.
posted by FuManchu at 5:03 PM on March 16, 2010


About two-thirds of U.S. households have high-speed Internet access now. Many people in the remaining one-third could get broadband but choose not to because they think it's too expensive or because they don't see a need for it.

Does the FCC still consider ISDN high-speed? How about satellite? Either of those would really skew the numbers.

No, I haven't read it yet
posted by bh at 7:47 PM on March 16, 2010


Does ISDN even still exist? Can I even still get an ISDN line? Ideally I'd like one that's steam-powered.
posted by GuyZero at 8:18 PM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Broadband Adoption and Use in America, the source of that claim from the FCC.

For the purposes of this report, home broadband users are those who said they used any one of the following technologies to access the internet from home: cable modem, a DSL-enable phone line, fixed wireless, satellite, a mobile broadband wireless connection for your computer or cell phone, fiber optic, T-1. In other words, home broadband users opt in to that classification through a survey question not by adhering to definition of broadband by speed that might be read to them.

I haven't seen anything in the proposal that suggest these aren't the standards they are using for their goals. Increased satellite access is included in their proposal.

From that first paper, p5-6:

Thirty-five percent of Americans do not use broadband at home.

Of these non-adopters, 12 percent say they cannot get broaband where they live. This translates into a 4 percent share of Americans.

There are three primary reasons why the 35 percent of non-adopting Americans do not have broadband: ...
➤ 36 percent of non-adopters cite cost ...
    ➤ 15 percent say the price of the monthly bill is too much
for them.
    ➤ 10 percent say the cost of a computer is too much.
    ➤ 9 percent say they do not want a long-term service
contract or cannot afford the installation fee.
    ➤ 2 percent cite a combination of these reasons.
➤ 22 percent of non-adopters cite factors pointing to lack of digital literacy as the main reason they are not online. These include people who are not comfortable with computers ... people who cite digital literacy as barrier tend to be older (the median age is 62)
➤ 19 percent of non-adopters do not have broadband because they question its relevance to their lives.

Non-adopters concerned with cost would be willing to pay, on average, $25 per month for broadband.



This stupid effort is aimed at
* 8% of Americans who are afraid of the internet
* 7% of Americans who don't give a shit
* 5% of Americans who want to save $15 per month
* 4% of Americans who won't buy a computer
* 3% of Americans who won't commit to service
* 4% of Americans who genuinely don't have access

$4.7 billion for the 4% of Americans who will be helped at the margin.
posted by FuManchu at 8:44 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The real problem is the expansive definition of "broadband." The first thing they should have done is nail down exactly what 'broadband' means, in terms of what's needed to use current and next-generation killer applications like VoIP and video. My feeling is that it ought to be something like "3Mb down 1 Mb up with less than 250ms average latency" (measured against several of the major CONUS datacenters or peering points).

But a lot of satellite services are crap, barely better than dialup (and in some respects, like latency, actually worse). Same with some mobile broadband, although it's not quite as bad. And low-end DSL plans -- the ones that the telcos like to tout when they're talking about how low their prices start at -- are glorified dialup, not even much good for web browsing given the bloated page sizes we've gotten to.

The FCC could do a lot just by regulating the definition of what constitutes "broadband" or "high-speed" internet access. Create a suitably rigorous definition, and then prevent anyone whose products don't pass muster from advertising it that way. It would cost virtually nothing to implement (compared to many of the proposals under discussion) but would at least provide a kick in the pants to some of the shoddier services out there.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:44 AM on March 17, 2010


$4.7 billion for the 4% of Americans who will be helped at the margin.

I just did a talk at SXSW about the digital divide [notes here]. The big deal is that if you're, say, Coca-Cola you can say "fuck these people, we'll do without their business" If you're the US Government and you want to roll out services to people using economies of scale that online tools can offer, you have to have a plan for getting people online and getting people educated.

This is why we have the Americans with Disabilites Act and other social safety net sorts of things that assures that people with various problems [some real, some imagined possibly] can still get access to services that are their right as American citizens.

If you live somewhere, like I do, where broadband is only sort of available, there's a lot of misinformation about broadband, why it's useful and why you might want or need it. We've given private industry a long time to try to get people connected, or even to make service available. They have failed. So, what's the next plan? I'm still downloading the report but I will be reading it with keen interest on the way home.
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 AM on March 17, 2010


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