Broadband / Featured Blogs

Genachowski to Broadband: Reduce Prices, Increase Speeds, Increase Access, Embrace Competition

Broadband providers are not taking the recent move by the FCC to reclassify broadband under Title II; i.e., put broadband under its regulation arm along with the likes of telephone companies, very lightly and have come out swinging to stop that effort... Seemingly at issue; an appeal brought by Comcast with the D.C. Court of Appeals and the subsequent defeat of the FCC's perceived role as a broadband regulator, ruling the communication had no authority under current legislation to sanction Comcast over a 2008 Internet throttling incident. more

UTOPIA, Perfection or Fantasy: Partnering Public-Private Sectors With Broadband

Utopia: the definition brings about visions of an "ideal place or state", or "a system of political and social perfection." Thus became the name chosen for a consortium of sixteen Utah cities building their own broadband infrastructure with a fiber-to-the-premise architecture, while offering residents a clear and alternative choice to incumbent operators, including Quest and Comcast. Is it perfection or fantasy? more

Set-Top-Box Revisited: How Does the Gateway Solution Increase Competition?

The FCC seems determined in revisiting and repairing the current CableCard rules fiasco in which it chose to mandate a universal Set-Top-Box for Cable, Telco, and DBS providers. Where does a solution lie, and is the FCC going down another road of improbable acceptance? The problem with a CableCard solution, in an attempt to create more competition, was the opening of current provider STB's to access other venues, which turned out to be both technically and business concept unfriendly. more

Open Broadband Infrastructure… And Why There's No Business Case for FttH to Sell TV

Those advocates of a free market approach to fiber to the home (FttH), rather than a utilities-based one, often point to entertainment as the way to make that happen. And they then immediately point to the USA, where FttH rollouts have indeed been driven by competition between the cable TV companies... The telcos who were initially less enthusiastic about broadband (because it required them to abandon their lucrative ISDN services and replace them with the simpler and cheaper DSL technology) suddenly found themselves bested in the broadband market by the cable TV companies - a trend we also saw in some of the European markets - for instance, the Netherlands... more

Progress in US Telecoms Transformation

The impact of the changes set in motion by President Obama back in late 2008 in relation to the direction the telecommunications are slowly becoming apparent and are taking many Americans by surprise, even many of the experts and analysts in this industry. This has created a lot of noise and confusion, as people are trying to understand what is happening and how it will affect them. more

Spectrum Hot Real Estate

The fact that businesses around the world are knocking on the doors of their governments asking for spectrum is a clear indication that this telco real estate market is hotting up. The reason for this is not too hard to guess -- the enormous growth in the demand for mobile broadband. There is a large amount of pent-up demand as the mobile operators didn't want to open up this market while they were in the middle of adding new customers to their mobile voice services. more

Combining the ONT and Smart Meters

In my recent blog on utilities and the NBN I mentioned that the ultimate prize would be a combination of the ONT (Optical network terminal: the network interface device used in fibre-to-the-home applications, which operates as a demarcation point between the local loop of the carrier and the wiring in the user premises) and intelligent gateway the electricity company need for their smart meters and home energy networks. Perhaps I should expand on this a little... more

Using Electricity Infrastructure to Roll Out Broadband

The FCC proposal in its recently launched National Broadband Plan to share infrastructure is a very smart initiative indeed. Sharing infrastructure makes a lot of sense. Without it the business model for universal high-speed broadband will not stack up -- the costs of infrastructure is one of the most critical elements in any national broadband plan. Australia is following an identical course with the rollout of their National Broadband Network. In all six current rollout sites utilities are either already involved or are negotiating to become involved. more

Mobile Operators and the Broadband Boom

With $72 billion invested in mobile broadband it would be hard to argue that this market is suffering from a lack of investment. More than half of this is taking place in Asia. Over the last two years close to 300 mobile operators in 120 countries have launched mobile broadband networks (using the 3G HSPA technology) and some 70 of these are already planning the next upgrade of their networks using the LTE technology -- the first $5 billion of investment money has been committed to that technology. more

What's Wrong With the FCC's Consumer Broadband Test?

The FCC recently published some tools to let consumers measure some internet characteristics. The context is the FCC's "National Broadband Plan". I guess the FCC wants to gather data about the kind of internet users receive today so that the National Broadband Plan, whatever it may turn out to be, actually improves on the status quo. The motivation is nice but the FCC's methodology is technically weak. more