With a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to end the digital divide next month -- but don't expect any improvement in broadband connectivity if you live in rural or under-served regions of the United States.
While many nations including Italy, Australia and Hong Kong are in various stages of nationwide gigabit broadband deployment, at its Feb. 3 meeting the FCC is widely expected to include 10Mbit/s upstream and 1Mbit/s downstream wireless broadband services in its definition of broadband, Hot Hardware reported.
Wired broadband classification would remain the same: 25Mbit/s down, 1Mbit/s up. But the FCC's plan would include a wireless broadband spec -- 10Mbit/s down, 1 Mbit/s up -- then use the combination of faster (albeit nowhere near high-speed) and wireless (slow and often costly) to decide whether a region already receives broadband coverage. The FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai has discussed this approach for a while. Now, the day of reckoning looms only weeks away. (See Broadband Downgrade: How the FCC Is Failing the Nation )
In other words, rural residents who can connect to the Internet via wireless speeds of at least 10Mbit/s will no longer be deemed "uncovered" and, therefore, their regions will no longer be eligible for federal or other government funding to deploy fiber-based broadband. No doubt urban regions without fiber immediately will lose their eligibility since it's tough to imagine any area of a city, regardless of income level, lacks cellular service. With the elasticity of this revised definition, the number of people on the wrong side of the digital divide dramatically is reduced.
Of course, they still cannot log on to telehealth systems, videoconference with education or work colleagues, access streaming media or live in a smart home. But if the vote goes through, they may be comforted in the knowledge that three people in Washington, D.C. (home to almost 40 ISPs using everything from fiber DOCSIS 3.1 to VDSL, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) FiOS, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and RCN Corp. ), think 10Mbit/s down, 1 Mbit/s up via cell phone is more than enough to power broadband connectivity in the US in 2018.
Nokia kicks off a busy October by announcing a fixed access network slicing solution, PON interoperability approach and antennas that make a sound business case for 4G fixed wireless residential service.
With the availability of SD-Access products that leverage Amendment 3 Gfast capabilities like 212 MHz spectrum, DTA support and ability to deliver symmetric gigabit speeds, operators can quickly sate the needs of gigabit-hungry customers.
Telefónica Deutschland will use Deutsche Telekom's fiber-optic cable network to connect at least 5,000 mobile base stations to support 3G and LTE networks and prepare for 5G; to accelerate rollouts, DT will use artificial intelligence on some future fiber deployments.
With its recently opened South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), Angola Cables CEO António Nunes realized a personal goal — and connected Angola to North and South America, along with a world of new opportunities for the telco wholesaler and the continent it calls home.
After California enacted its own net neutrality law on Tuesday, heavy-hitting trade groups struck back Wednesday, filing a lawsuit to throw out a rule they claim extends beyond California and beyond the 2015 Order.
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