Broadband

Is distance learning a killer app?

Design Nine recently brought up a new 300 megabit wireless link that feeds a community center and a rural fiber to the home effort (100 residences). The fiber to the home work is still underway, but the community center went online a couple of weeks ago, with both wireless access and a lab with ten fully equipped computers. Local residents of this very rural community have been flocking to the center. Many are bringing their laptops and just using the wireless link to the Internet, and many others are using the computers in the lab.

Community news and projects:

There's just not enough capacity there

The always insightful Eldo Telecom points to a news item that quotes a telecom analyst who tried to use the much ballyhooed LTE for several months as his primary broadband connection. He gave up and went back to a landline, partly because of the cost and partly because of performance. The money quote is, "There's just not enough capacity there."

NY Times: "The New Digital Divide"

The New York Times has an excellent article on the now almost two decades old digital divide problem. Where the digital divide was once "who has dial up access and who doesn't," it is now "who has real high speed access and who doesn't?"

The article does a good job of outlining the challenges that face communities, including the citizens and businesses that find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. Of particular note is this:

Technology News:

Is the telecom lobby killing municipal and community broadband?

The Atlantic Cities has a very well researched article on the recent vote for muni broadband in Longmont, Colorado and the broader push by some of the incumbents to lobby for state laws that effectively outlaw community broadband projects and indirectly grant the incumbents a monopoly on telecom. Read the whole thing.

Community news and projects:

Muni Networks mailing list

Muni Networks has an excellent weekly email that summarizes their coverage of community broadband issues during the week. There is a link up on the right hand top of the home page to subscribe.

Technology News:

Longmont, Colorado votes YES on community broadband

The citizens and the City of Longmont, Colorado have been engaged in a long running battle with the incumbent providers over the right of the City to build its own broadband infrastructure. In a referendum held on Tuesday, it appears that by a two to one margin, the referendum has passed. Chris Mitchell at Muni Networks has an excellent summary of the effort.

Community news and projects:

Job growth demands business class broadband

If you look at the jobs report released today, it underscores what I have been saying for a decade: neighborhoods are the new business district. CNBC summarizes the September jobs data; the manufacturing sector LOST jobs, but if you go to the household survey, job creation was in the black (modestly).

What does this mean? It means more people are working from home, and that means they need business class broadband, not an "entertainment service," as my cable company quaintly calls our home Internet service.

Death of TV: Part XXXII -- "Okay"

True story. I discussed the possibility of eliminating our family cable TV subscription and just sticking with Internet. The response was, and I quote exactly, "Okay. Can we get Hulu Plus?" That's the state of cable TV today. It doesn't even merit a 30 second discussion of its value.

Why broadband still matters

Now that the broadband stimulus money has been distributed, and the Google fiber initiative has taken root in the two Kansas Cities, a lot of communities seem to have lost interest in broadband initiatives. The cable companies have done a fairly good job of keeping up with demand, and the telephone companies continue to cling to their share of the broadband market by competing on price rather than on bandwidth.

Technology News:

Knowledge Democracy:

Net-Workshop real time report

I'm tweeting the Net-Workshop (9/19/11) in real time if you want to follow it (@designnine). Net-Workshop is a one day meeting of community broadband leaders from around the country.

Technology News:

The death of cable TV: Part XXIX

I had a conversation last week with a new college grad who had just started a new job and had moved into a new apartment. The young woman had a couple of questions about her Internet connection, which she had purchased from the local phone company (DSL). I asked if she had considered a cable TV/cable modem package.

She said, "No, I never watch TV. I can get whatever I need from the Internet."

In a nutshell, the customer base of the cable TV industry is getting old and dying, and they don't have a plan to attract younger customers.

NSA Network Best Practice Tips

The National Security Agency has released a very nice set of tips for managing desktop computers and home and small office network devices like routers and wireless base stations. Here is the link, and I have attached it to this article.

Technology News:

Knowledge Democracy:

Why tweets move faster than earthquakes

From the always funny xkcd....the whole East Coast was shaking from an earthquake centered in Virginia. Here is a picture of some of the damage in D.C.

Technology News:

WiredWest now officially a municipal coop

Design Nine has been working for the 47 towns that make up the WiredWest region of western Massachusetts since early 2010. Last week, 22 of those towns officially formed a municipal coop, as allowed by state law. This is the first step towards the WiredWest vision of fiber everywhere in western Massachusetts.

Design Nine helped the WiredWest steering committee with financial planning, organizational and governance planning, network architecture, and funding strategies.

Technology News:

Community news and projects:

The death of cable TV: Part XXVIII

Here in Virginia, Roanoke County and the City of Salem are struggling with the same problem that many other localities in the country have: cable companies that won't renew franchise agreements. Comcast purchased an aging cable system from Adelphia a few years ago when Adelphia went bankrupt. At the time, Comcast promised the localities it would upgrade the old system so it could support improved Internet access.

Community news and projects:

USF reform may not have desired impact

Eldo Telecom has an excellent critique of the proposed USF reform. My concern with any USF reform is that it should allow community-owned broadband efforts access to USF funds. There is no reason why a community that builds its own open access infrastructure should be forced to channel their portion of USF funds to legacy networks.

"Zombie broadband," and why community broadband is a zombie killer

Stephen Hardy, an editor at Lightwave, calls our aging DSL and cable modem networks "zombie broadband," as in "...it is the broadband everyone wishes would die, but won't." I think we need a Twitter hashtag anytime we talk about these obsolete technologies: #zombiebroadband

Technology News:

Verizon: Video is crushing our networks

In an interview about smartphone sales, the COO of Verizon had this to say:


Later in the CNBC interview, McAdam discusses Verizon's switch to tiered data plans for smartphones, noting that streaming video is the main reason they dropped unlimited data plans:

Technology News:

Forbes to rural communities: "Don't bother"

Connected Planet comments on a Forbes blogger has ignited a rich discussion online by saying that broadband in rural areas is a waste of time and money.

AT&T: DSL is "obsolete"

The CEO of AT&T has stated that DSL is "obsolete." In a speech on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Randall Stephenson said the telephone giant invested in DSL in the nineties to compete with the cable companies. AT&T is now concentrating on wireless and it's fiber to neighborhood offering called Uverse.

Technology News:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Broadband