More impressive than raw numbers is the graph, which
shows aDSL growing rapidly from 2001 to 2003, after which
FTTH suddenly becomes the new growth broadband connection.
As of March 2007, merely 95% of all Japanese households had broadband,
and 84% had ultra-highspeed broadband.
Japanese government goals for 2010 are 100% and 90%, respectively.
Ultra-highspeed seems to be defined as both up and down over 30Mbps.
Until now, FTTH has been the mainstream in terms of ultra-highspeed
broadband, with upload and download speeds of over 30Mbps, but other wired
and wireless technologies are aiming for technologies that will match
if not overtake FTTH, and there will be a need for ongoing developments
in broadband technology in terms of higher speed and larger volume to
meet user needs.
This works for local electric companies; why not for ISPs:
Some ISPs simply discourage end users from offering WiFi connections to
neighbors; most explicitly rule it out in their terms of service. But
a small Canadian ISP called Wireless Nomad actually requires it.
Nomad does things a little differently. The company is subscriber-owned,
volunteer-run, and open-source friendly. It offers a neutral Internet
connection with no bandwidth caps or throttling, and it makes a point
of creating wireless access points at the end of each DSL connection
that can be used, for free, by the public. Bell Canada this is not.
Why wait for the auction when there’s another way?
AT&T announced today that it has purchased 12MHz of spectrum in the
prime 700MHz spectrum band from privately-held Aloha Partners for close
to $2.5 billion. Aloha purchased the spectrum in Federal Communications
Commission auctions held during 2001 and 2003, but hasn’t done much with
the licenses since the auctions ended.
The licenses to the spectrum cover around 196 million residents of
the US and 72 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, including the
ten largest markets in the US. AT&T isn’t divulging much in the
way of specifics for the bandwidth, other than saying that the company
will use it for voice, data, and video. “Aloha’s spectrum will enable
AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers
stay connected to their worlds,” said Forest Miller, AT&T’s group
resident for corporate strategy and development.
And since Aloha got this batch of 700Mhz spectrum in a previous auction with no open access strings attached, AT&T can thumb its nose at Google about that. For the particular geographical locations that Aloha covers.
Municipalities, cities, states, territories and regions are driving the
French municipal (wireless and wired) broadband uptake as newly authorized
by law. A new article of French “code général des communications”
passed in June 2004 (law ref code is L-1425-1) gives these public entities
the following rights :
build, subsidize and develop “passive” telecom infrastructure and provide/transfer them to carriers or independent local users.
build open networks on a given territory and provide/transfer them to a territorial carrier.
operate open telecommunications networks in respect of regulations.
The municipality does have to demonstrate that there isn’t already
a similar service, but given the “open networks” aspect, that shouldn’t
Could this have something to do with why France is ahead of the U.S.
in Internet connectivity and speed?
Nowadays there are over a hundred projects, small and big. One famous one
One famous one is the plan to do FttH in Hauts-de-Seine, the department
chaired by Mr Sarkozy until he became President.
Sarkozy was the man personally proprosing the FttH
roll out in Hauts de Seine.
He points out that picture FCC Commisioner Tate
and ARCEP Commissioner Gauthey have met, as in the picture.
Perhaps soon we’ll get a U.S. president who might be influenced
by French president Sarkozy on this subject.
Remember the story back in June about how AT&T had extremely quietly
started offering $10 DSL as was required in its deal to buy BellSouth? The
company was promoting many other, more expensive, DSL options, but the
only way you could get the required $10 version was if you specifically
knew to ask about it. Broadband Reports points to an interview from
an Atlanta newspaper with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson where he’s asked
about the $10 DSL. The interviewer points out that no story about AT&T
resulted in a more irate response from AT&T customers as its story about
the hidden offer for $10 DSL, suggesting that this was a huge issue for
AT&T customers. Stephenson’s response? First he denies that the company
made it hard to find, and then he says that they’re not promoting it
because customers don’t want it. This, despite the clear response from
customers to the very newspaper who was conducting the interview. Then,
he basically admits that the $10 DSL doesn’t work very well, saying that
they don’t promote it because they don’t want to give customers a product
that sucks. Of course, he says that as if it’s not his company that has
quite a bit of control over whether or not the product sucks.
This is even though the AJC reporter introduced the question with:
Of all the things the AJC has written about AT&T lately, none has
caused more reader irritation than AT&T’s $10 a month DSL offer,
which was required by the Federal Communications Commission when you
The techdirt writer goes on to point out that this is what SBC used to do
with naked broadband, too, i.e., dance around and do nothing.
After all, without regulation or competition, it’s good to be king!
I quoted a paper as saying competition would promote lower prices.
Here’s what the authors recommend to produce that competition:
Federal reform and additional state-specific reforms have focused on
reforming “video franchising” laws to reduce barriers to entry and
investment by new service providers. We commend such policies as likely
to contribute to investment and competition in broadband services.
Here’s what some affected parties think about that:
Two years ago we profiled the rural Massachusetts towns of Shutesbury
and Leverett, who have long been trying to get broadband from anyone —
but aren’t deemed profitable to serve by Comcast or Verizon. While towns
as close as 300 feet get service, these two towns are still waiting,
though some have concocted home brew solutions. Locals tell us they
were insulted when approached by Verizon to support “franchise reform,”
which all but seals their fate by eliminating build out requirements.
Seven years ago, the neighborhood’s homeowners association, set up by
the developer Van Metre Homes, inked an exclusive deal with OpenBand,
a small Dulles firm, to provide Internet, cable and phone service to
all 1,100 homes. Residents say they are now locked into an expensive,
decades-long contract for second-rate services.
Erika Hodell-Cotti, who lives on Sunstone Court, says she cannot work
from home because her Internet connection frequently fizzles out. The
teenagers who live next door play online Xbox games at friends’ houses
where speeds are faster. Dozens of neighbors have installed satellite
dishes on their roofs and backyard decks, fed up with cable channels
that sometimes dissolve into snowy static.
The problem appears to be that the provider used a single technology
and now has no incentive to upgrade.
I suppose this is another example of how what Internet participants
actually want is the Internet, not a specific delivery technology.
A better contract, requiring the provider to at least keep up with
prevailing standards, would have helped a lot.