David Kirkpatrick

September 14, 2010

Broadband in the U.S. is overpriced

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:55 pm

Not too surprising given the near monopoly status of the industry.

From the link:

The reasons for the stagnation of U.S. broadband are multifactorial, but one of the authors, Shane Greenstein, argues that the 2003 decision allowing the broadband industry to regulate itself has caused much of the stagnation.

(For perspective, check out how much faster most of Europe and Asia is than the U.S., when it comes to broadband.)

Greenstein says that by now, broadband companies should have paid off almost all the costs associated with building out their infrastructure.

“We are approaching the end of the first buildout, so competitive pressures should have led to price drops by now, if there are any. Like many observers, I expected to see prices drop by now, and I am surprised they have not,”Greenstein told Kelogg Insight, a house organ for the university.

This means that broadband companies are now operating their broadband as almost “pure profit,” devoting only a small fraction of subscriber revenues to maintenance.

Without new entries on the market — most urban areas have at most two different broadband suppliers to choose from, the phone company and the cable company — Greenstein argues there is no incentive to lower prices.

March 4, 2010

National Broadband Plan seeks $25B

The United States lags in broadband access, plus infrastructure investment of this nature is an investment in the future of the nation. An example of good government spending.

From the link:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s coming National Broadband Plan will propose up to $25 billion in new federal spending for high-speed Internet lines and a wireless network for police and firefighters as part of a broader plan that appears to be a win for wireless companies.

September 21, 2009

The latest on net neutrality

Net neutrality is a good thing, and here’s the latest on the topic from D.C.

From the second link:

The top U.S. communications regulator plans to unveil proposals Monday for ensuring Web traffic is not slowed or blocked based on its content, sources familiar with the contents of the speech said on Friday.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce plans to ask his fellow commissioners to adopt as a rule net neutrality and four existing principles on Internet access issued by the agency in 2005, one of the sources said.

Net neutrality pits open Internet companies like Google Inc against broadband service providers like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp, which oppose new rules governing network management.

Advocates of net neutrality say Internet service providers must be barred from blocking or slowing traffic based on its content.

But service providers say the increasing volume of bandwidth-hogging services, like video sharing, requires active management of their networks and some argue that net neutrality could stifle innovation.

“He is going to announce rulemaking,” said one source familiar with the speech due to be delivered at the Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank.

The rule proposal will also try to seek greater clarity into what constitutes “reasonable” network management by Internet providers.

The FCC could formally propose the rule aimed at both wireless and landline Internet platforms at an open meeting in October.

August 5, 2009

There’s a new net neutrality bill

Don’t know how great this particular bill is, but net neutrality is a good thing and a solid law in defense of net neutrality would be welcomed.

From the link:

Two U.S. lawmakers have introduced a net neutrality bill that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or impairing Web content, but providers have largely refrained from commenting on the legislation.

Representatives Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act on Friday. The bill says it’s the duty of all Internet service providers to “not block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade the ability of any person to use an Internet access service to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer any lawful content, application, or service through the Internet.”

In addition, the legislation would prohibit broadband providers from charging Internet content, service or application providers to enable their products, beyond the normal end-user charges for Internet service. The bill would prohibit broadband providers from selling service that prioritizes some Internet traffic over other content, and it would require providers to offer Internet service to “any person upon reasonable request.”

Click here to find out more! USTelecom, a trade group representing broadband providers, called the legislation “disappointing.”

June 26, 2009

Broadband access news from New America Foundation

Hot from the inbox, here’s a set of links from the New America Foundation on spectrum scarcity (or lack thereof) and broadband access. Lots to ponder from a very useful think tank.

As the FCC begins its year-long process to recommend a National Broadband Plan, one starting point is to unlock publicly-owned spectrum assets that can facilitate ubiquitous, affordable broadband access.  Public policy seems stymied by the myth that spectrum is scarce. In reality, only government permission to access the airwaves (licenses) is scarce – spectrum capacity itself is barely used in most locations and at most times. This underutilized spectrum represents enormous, untapped,capacity for pervasive broadband connectivity.  

  

On Thursday, June 25th, New America’s Wireless Future Program released four new papers outlining several technology and policy reforms to enable dynamic, opportunistic access to these underutilized spectrum resources:

 

The End of Spectrum Scarcity: Building on the TV Bands Database to Access Unused Public Airwaves

By Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Program

 

This paper recommends that the Obama administration and the FCC make mapping and actively facilitating opportunistic access to unused and underutilized frequency bands a priority as part of any national broadband policy through: 1) A White House-led initiative to conduction an Inventory of the Airwaves that maps how our public spectrum resource is being utilized or underutilized in various bands, by both commercial and government users; 2) build on the TV Bands Database to include frequency bands not being used at particular locations or times;  and, 3) commence a set of inquiries into the technologies, incentives, institutional arrangements and “rules of the road” that can best facilitate a future of more open, intensive and opportunistic sharing of the nation’s spectrum resource.

  

You can read the paper here.

 

Revitalizing the Public Airwaves: Opportunistic Unlicensed Reuse of Government Spectrum

By Victor Pickard and Sascha D. Meinrath, Director, Open Technology Initiative  

 

The paper proposes a “third way” for the airwaves: opportunistic reuse of government spectrum on an open and unlicensed basis.  One-time auctions are no longer the best way to ensure the advancement of new technologies and expanded broadband access for underserved areas. The paper concludes with a series of policy recommendations for implementing opportunistic reuse of government spectrum. By exploring models for spectrum management that take advantage of technological innovations, the paper aims to initiate a policy debate on spectrum reforms with profound implications for the future of communications.  


You can read the paper here.

 

New Approaches to Private Sector Sharing of Federal Government Spectrum  

By Michael J. Marcus, Principal, Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC 

 

Although the military currently shares radar bands with users of low-power, unlicensed devices, it does so in a overly limited and entirely passive way. Advances in spectrum sharing technologies allow more intensive and efficient sharing of underutilized federal bands with the private sector — and among federal agencies — if only the government would adopt a more affirmative policy and upgrade its technologies and protocols.  Unfortunately, the current federal spectrum management system provides little incentive to allow sharing of existing federal spectrum.    


You can read the paper here.

 

A Potential Alliance for World-Wide Dynamic Spectrum Access: DSA as an Enabler of National Dynamic Spectrum Management

By Preston F. Marshall, Director, Information Sciences Institute, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC and Former Program Manager, DARPA‘s NeXt Generation Communications 

 

The paper describes how Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technologies can greatly benefit incumbent federal and non-federal spectrum users – and are a win-win for the military in particular. Marshall highlights four erroneous preconceptions about DSA that create unnecessary resistance among spectrum incumbents who could benefit from moving to a more dynamic and networked approach to spectrum access. In particular, while there is tension between the advocates and military authorities in considering sharing spectrum within the United States, there may be mutual interest in obtaining access for DSA devices internationally.  Marshall also urges advocates of dynamic spectrum access to  adopt a more nuanced approach that does not seek to supplant spectrum management nor incumbents.

 

You can read the paper here.

 

The Wireless Future Program also hosted a companion event, with a panel of experts including the above authors, along with Wharton School Professor Kevin Werbach, who co-led the Obama Administration’s FCC Transition review,  and Tom Stroup, CEO of Shared Spectrum Company.

 

You can download audio and video from the event here.

 

 

###


New America’s Wireless Future Program develops and advocates policy proposals aimed at achieving universal and affordable wireless broadband access, expanding public access to the airwaves and updating our nation’s communications infrastructure in the digital era. For more information, visit http://www.newamerica.net/programs/wireless_future.

About the New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

March 18, 2009

Optical communications expo set for March 22-26

Here’s the details:

OFC/NFOEC features breakthroughs in next-generation ethernet, metamaterials, networks

Major research conference to be held in San Diego, March 22-26

WASHINGTON, March 17—The world’s largest international conference on optical communications begins next week and continues from March 22-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) is the premier meeting where experts from industry and academia intersect and share their results, experiences, and insights on the future of electronic and wireless communication and the optical technologies that will enable it.

Journalists are invited to attend the meeting, where more than 15,000 attendees are expected. This year’s lineup will have many engaging talks and panels, including:

 

     

  • MARKET WATCH, a three-day series of presentations and panel discussions featuring esteemed guest speakers from the industrial, research, and investment communities on the applications and business of optical communications. See: http://www.ofcnfoec.org/conference_program/Market_Watch.aspx

     

  • PLENARY PRESENTATIONS: “The Changing Landscape in Optical Communications,” Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks; “Getting the Network the World Needs,” Lawrence Lessig, professor, Stanford Law School; “The Growth of Fiber Networks in India,” Shri Kuldeep Goyal, chairman and managing director, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. To access speaker bios and talk abstracts, see: http://www.ofcnfoec.org/conference_program/Plenary.aspx

     

  • SERVICE PROVIDER SUMMIT, a dynamic program with topics and speakers of interest to CTOs, network architects, network designers and technologists within the service provider and carrier sector. See: http://www.ofcnfoec.org/conference_program/Service_Provider_Summit.aspx

 

The OFC/NFOEC Web site is http://www.ofcnfoec.org. Also on the site is information on the trade show and exposition, where the latest in optical technology from more than 550 of the industry’s key companies will be on display.

Head below the fold for some conference highlights. (more…)

October 16, 2008

Selling the “white space” for broadband — pro and con

On the pro side of the argument is the Federal government. Here’s a Technology Review article on the subject.

From the link:

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday proposed opening up unused portions of the television airwaves known as “white spaces” to deliver wireless broadband service.

The proposal by FCC chief Kevin Martin appeals to public interest groups and many of the nation’s biggest technology companies, including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which hope it will bring affordable high-speed Internet connections to more Americans.

“No one should ever underestimate the potential that new technologies and innovations may bring to society,” Martin said in a statement.

That article contains a few contrarian views, such as these two:

His plan could run into opposition from the nation’s big television broadcasters, which have argued that the use of the fallow spectrum to deliver wireless Internet services could disrupt their over-the-air signals. The National Association of Broadcasters had no immediate comment.

Shure Inc., a manufacturer of wireless microphones, has also raised concerns about interference with audio systems at concerts and sporting events.

For even more detail on the con side of this issue, check out this New America Foundation paper. This link goes to the summary with a link to the full report in PDF format at the bottom of the page.

October 2, 2008

Presidential candidates on tech issues

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:46 am

This CIO.com article compares Obama and McCain on five technology issues — telecommunications, national security, privacy, IT jobs and innovation.

From the link:

Telecommunications

Net neutrality| Obama has long supported the passage of Net neutrality laws or rules. “A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history,” his tech paper says.

McCain opposes a Net neutrality law, saying broadband carriers need to recoup their investments. However, his tech-policy paper says he would focus on allowing broadband customers access to the Web content and applications of their choice. Instead of a law, the best way to guard against unfair practices is “an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices.”

Rural broadband deployment: Obama calls for policies to encourage next-generation broadband deployment, including rural areas and inner cities. He supports government programs to bring broadband to schools, libraries and hospitals, and called for public/private partnerships to help roll it out in areas without service. McCain would encourage private investment in broadband service. In 2005, he split from many other Republicans by authoring legislation that would prohibit states from outlawing municipal broadband projects.

Competition in the wireless spectrum| Obama has called for a review of existing uses of the wireless spectrum, and he wants government agencies to come up with “smarter, more efficient and more imaginative use” of the spectrum they control.

McCain has long advocated and voted for putting more spectrum in the hands of mobile phone carriers and broadband providers. In recent years, he pushed for a nationwide voice and data network for public safety agencies and was a leading voice in the Senate in the effort to get television stations to give up part of their analog spectrum for use by police and fire departments.

June 26, 2008

Broadband, the US and the future

The New America Foundation — a think tank self-described as investing in, “new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of critical challenges facing the United States” — hosted a forum on broadband in the US.

Here’s a quick description from an email I received from the group:

On Monday New America’s Wireless Future Program hosted a policy forum highlighting the critical need for developing an affirmative national broadband strategy to keep the U.S. prosperous in the 21st Century.  We also released a new Issue Brief, by NAF’s Benjamin Lennett, that explains how unlicensed access to TV band ‘white space’ will give a big boost to rural broadband.  

Here’s a link to a PDF of the report’s executive summary.

Update — this post was initially only going to cover the NAF forum, but here’s some interesting broadband news via KurzweilAI.net:

Time reversal allows wireless broadband under the sea
New Scientist news service, June 25, 2008

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and NATO Undersea Research Center have developed an “acoustic time reversal” technique that boosts underwater wireless broadband speed by up to three times, or extends the range up to 3500 km.

The system compensates for reduced signal/noise ratio due to phase-delay artifacts from surface and sea-bottom echoes. A receiver first transmits an acoustic carrier signal. The sender then time-reverses what they receive, and also modulates the signal to carry a message.

 
Read Original Article>>

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers