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.
With more than 200 OTT services now available and a growing number of households equipped with high-speed broadband, US consumers face video-choice meltdown, and that could generate opportunities for savvy cablecos.
Now that they've met cities' broadband needs, Chinese carriers face bigger challenges when they extend to rural and suburban regions, challenges they will face using XG-PON and XGS-PON, not NG-PON2, Dell'Oro Senior Analyst Alam Tamboli learned on a recent trip to China.
Jeff Finkelstein, executive director of Advanced Technology at Cox Communications, is BBWN Radio's guest on May 24 at 1PM ET/10AM PT/6PM BST. During the show, he'll discuss network innovation, digital transformation and defining DOCSIS' future.
We will explore several fiber network environments, common vulnerabilities, and the business impact of failures. Fiber networks are typically a combination of owned and leased fiber. Learn how to reduce MTTR by up to 60% when an event occurs and how to detect degradation before it generates a service impact. Fiber monitoring of leased fiber helps ensure that the responsible party is dispatched for repair and SLAs can be managed. We will discuss both in service and out of service monitoring. Learn about the opportunities to improve business results in the following environments:
Hyperscale datacenters- the business need for near 100% uptime
5G small cell combined with leased fiber - ensuring the SLA for leased fiber
Long haul and Metro dark and lit fiber monitoring - reducing MTTR and preventing damage
FTTX construction and service activation in the access or MSO network - accelerating time to revenue
Join us when Jeff Finkelstein, Executive Director of Advanced Technologies at Cox Communications, is BBWN Radio's guest for a wide-ranging conversation about the cable operator's strategic network direction, DOCSIS 3.1, digital transformation and more. Bring your curiosity and questions when our distinguished guest speaks with Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana on May 24 at 1 pm ET; 10 am PT; 6 pm BST.