Archive for March, 2010

TV stations being asked to move for mobile (Cellular) internet

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

It’s been reported recently that part of the FCC broadband plan is the desire to move some broadcast TV stations out of the 500Mhz frequency band so this can be used for cellular companies to have more bandwidth for their userbases.

This is entirely the WRONG move. Much more can be attained by using smaller cellular sites, and the deployment of picocell/microcell technology. If each home had even just 5Mb/s internet access, and a microcell device, the need for this would be minimized and cellular customers would be happier with increased coverage at their homes/offices.

Some networks unable to keep up

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

It’s no shock that some networking companies are having trouble keeping up with traffic growth and customer demand. It appears the current FCC broadband plan (should hit the US Congress in about 2 weeks) has a mandate to deliver services capable of 100mb/s to each home in the USA. I think this is a reasonable thing, and can be done for cheaper than most companies have determined in the past. The Active Ethernet and PON service offerings provide the ability to dump the old copper/POTS networks and attain these speeds for the same or nominal increase in costs.

What strikes me as most interesting is there are a few different responses to these trial balloons.

1) Comcast – We can do it, DOCSIS3 can bring the speed.
2) Verizon – We can do it, our GPON (FiOS) offering can deliver these speeds either with same hardware or through simple upgrades
3) AT&T – We can do it, but it’s gonna cost us. (AT&T has been a major player in breathing life into their copper plant with their U-VERSE offering/FTTN strategy). This would require a PON or similar architecture to be delivered to subscribers.
4) Qwest – (And I quote) – “A 100 meg is just a dream,” Qwest Communications International Inc Chief Executive Edward Mueller told Reuters. “We couldn’t afford it.”

The differences in network strategies are apparent. Verizon has been pushing their fiber build plans to capture subscribers, and has one of the highest levels of customer-satisfaction. I have believed in a FTTH strategy for many years, and if the FCC mandates 100Mb/s services either directly or through congressional action, we will see significant investment before long.

There currently exist a few classes of service today, I want to briefly touch on them in regard to the above….

Dial-Up – Max Speed – 56Kb/s (very narrow band, depends on line quality)

Basic Broadband – Max speed 5Mb down, 384k upload (useful for moderate local internet access; DSL based)

Broadband – Max speed 20Mb/s, 1Mb/s upload (useful for most common home users; Usually DSL based)

High Speed – Over 20Mb/s, over 5Mb/s upload (useful for home backups/restores of small volumes of data)

We need to attain the goal of having universal High Speed internet access.  Most hotels typically have lower speed access, on the order of something below Basic Broadband speeds.  Closing this gap is important to realize the value of the internet to small businesses and enterprises.  Setting for something less in a first-class economy and country is doing us a disservice.