Tag Archives: broadband

Why America’s Internet Is So Shitty and Slow

The internet is a tangible thing, a network of infrastructure pulsing with light, winding its way into and beneath buildings. It’s also a marketplace. There is the physical location where the fiber-optic cables full of data cross, and then there are the financial deals that direct the traffic down each specific set of wires. This combination of physical wires and ephemeral business transactions will shape the future of the digital world. – Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo

Italy’s €6bn broadband plan: Spread 100Mbps far and wide, fill in the rural notspots

The Digital Agenda, which all EU member states have signed up to, stipulates all countries in the union must ensure that 100 percent of their citizens have internet access at speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2020, and by the same year 50 percent of the population must have access to speeds of 100Mbps or more.

At the start of this year, those percentages for Italy were 45 percent and one percent, respectively. To bridge the gap, the cabinet of prime minister Matteo Renzi has unveiled what it’s calling the ‘strategy for Italian broadband and digital growth 2014-20’. – Federico Guerrini, ZDNet 

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Your Internet service might not actually be true broadband anymore

[I]n descending order of percentage of average download speed, Indiana (24.74 Mbps), Arkansas (23.8), New Mexico (23.24), South Carolina (23.1), Mississippi (22.79), Wisconsin (22.78), Hawaii (21.34), North Carolina (20.59), Ohio (20.08), Colorado (18.97), Kentucky (17,09), and Maine (16.65).

If you look at just rural parts of the country, it’s even worse. Aside the fact that no one in the any part of the U.S. unincorporated organized territories American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands now has access to broadband, that’s also true of at least 80% of residents in rural parts of Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, Montana, Texas, and Vermont. – Kevin Collier, The Daily Dot

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Li-Fi-like System intended to bring 100-Gbps Speeds Straight to Your Computer

Ariel Gomez, a Ph.D. student in photonics at Oxford University who describes the system in IEEE Photonics Technology Letters says that such indoor optical wireless probably wouldn’t replace Wi-Fi, but if compared with data rates of 3 terabits per second and up, it’s certainly amazing and could find its uses. Wi-Fi, by contrast, can give a maximum top speed of about 7 Gb/s. And with light, there’s no worry about sticking to a limited set of radio frequencies. “If you’re in the optical window, you have virtually unlimited bandwidth and unlicensed spectrum,” Gomez says. – Rahul Kumar Singh, Techworm
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Microsoft Wants to Tap Unused Tv Spectrum to Bring Internet Access Across India

Speaking to national daily Hindustan Times, Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik explained, “Wi-Fi has a range of only about 100 metres, whereas the 200-300 MHz spectrum band available in the white space can reach up to 10 km. This spectrum belongs mainly to Doordarshan (Indian public broadcaster) and the government and is not used at all. We have sought clearance for a pilot project in two districts.” – Abhimanyu Ghoshal,The Next Web
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FCC Eying Net Neutrality Plan That Will Make No One Happy

[Tom Wheeler]’s aides have been hinting for a month that the agency is seriously considering a so-called “hybrid” strategy, which would essentially regulate sections of Internet lines differently. Broadband connections to consumers would be regulated lightly as a “retail” service. Lines between websites and services (or “edge providers,” in FCC-speak) and broadband providers would be regulated under old rules written for old phone networks. The Wall Street Journal also dug up some details about this hybrid proposal for a story published Thursday night. […] Net neutrality advocates argue […], the hybrid approach, isn’t the best way to move forward since the plan is so convoluted it probably won’t hold up under the inevitable legal challenge. They want the agency to reverse a 2002 decision to deregulate Internet lines, which would give the agency clearer authority to police Internet providers. – Amy Schatz,Re/code
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America Pays More For Internet, Gets Slower Speeds, Than Other Countries

Internet users in Seoul continue to get the speediest connections at the lowest prices anywhere in the world, with speeds of one gigabit per second costing just $30 a month, according to annual report released Thursday the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. By contrast, the best speeds that consumers in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., or New York can get are half as fast and cost $300 a month. […] The New America Foundation’s report highlights how city-owned networks are becoming more competitive with the offerings from Internet providers around the world. The small number of towns that have built such networks — like Chattanooga and Lafayette, Louisiana — ranked higher in the report on speed and price than almost every other city except for those in Asia. […] Advocates for municipal broadband say there is not enough competition in the market for major companies to offer faster service at cheaper rates. They argue that local governments should be able to provide their own networks, especially in rural areas where most cable companies won’t deliver Internet service because it is not profitable – Gerry Smith,The Huffington Post
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Legally Dubious Hybrid Proposals Won’t Protect Internet Users

“The good news is that the FCC seems to have abandoned the disastrous proposal it put out in May. But if its new rules look anything like the convoluted proposals submitted by Mozilla and CDT, then they’re still the wrong choice. The FCC is supposed to protect our communications, period. Chairman Wheeler can’t wave a wand, change the law, and pretend to break the Internet in two. But these schemes suggest just that: dividing the Internet to protect corporations sending information, but not the people receiving it. Such an untested, too-clever-by-half approach is bad law and a bad idea. It will not survive in court, and it is clearly inferior to reclassifying broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. – Craig Aaron,Free Press
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Cities’ fiber announcements are great, “but no one should uncork the champagne”

Although plans for many fiber networks have been announced, [Blair Levin, former FCC Official] said it’s far too early to declare success. “I am very excited about the fiber announcements, but no one should uncork the champagne,” he said. “If Google changes its mind, if cities don’t focus on the long term (which is hard), or if the fundamental economics shift, due to, for example, mergers changing the economics of related businesses, like multi-channel video, the competitive picture could change and the announcements could end up never becoming real. But we are in much better position than we were a year ago.” – Jon Brodkin,Ars Technica 

Fed up, US cities take steps to build better broadband

Playing hardball: Comcast is going city to city to get approval for its purchase of Time Warner Cable, but not every local government is giving in easily. In Lexington, Kentucky, officials are demanding commitments to improve customer service in the cable franchise agreement, which has lapsed and must be renewed before it can be transferred from Time Warner Cable. In Worcester, MA, the City Council has declared that it doesn’t want Comcast coming into town. These actions won’t prevent the merger on their own, but they could give the federal government more reason to block it or require extensive customer protections as a condition for approval. – Jon Brodkin,Ars Technica
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