Originally Posted by Sammer
While not perfect there is one form of artillery known as fiber optics that at least seems to help in some emergencies. On Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists deliberately flew planes into the World Trade Center. AFAIK only two NYC television stations had backup facilities at the Empire State Building. The reason why most people were able to continue to watch local television throughout the NYC television market that day is because robust fiber optic cables continued to deliver television to cable headends and satellite uplinks.
Tell me how a national broadband plan based on a reasonable amount of fiber to the premises is not a thousand times better than a plan that is almost entirely based on the extremely less robust mobile cellular broadband? Why do we the people have to pay for nonsensical federal government boondoggles that are destined to fail?
I have ALWAYS been against a national wireless broadband plan, but I have always been FOR a national fiber broadband solution. I wrote "solution" because I don't feel that our government should build it.
The government should mandate the building of a national fiber grid that rivals, and even surpasses the U.S. telephone grid. This grid should be underground and should be built by the telecom corporations. The system should be completely regulated as a utility with local monopolistic rights, just as original cable TV had. The system should contain redundancy like the power grid and should be designed to carry all types of telecommunications.
All telecoms should be compelled to participate. Rural areas should have lines running down every road, just as telephones now do. If a property has power, it should have full wired telecommunications also.
In return for participation, each telecom should be given exclusive rights to geographic areas that are fairly divided and assigned, and they should be regulated with regulated rates that guarantee a profit, exactly the way other public utilities operate.
While the backbone of the grid should be fiber, final distribution could be coax or any other method that allows full duplex voice, video and data. Existing cable and fiber grids could be integrated into the grid, which would lower overall costs.
Wireless should not be included in the plan. A wired grid would offer much greater bandwidth and would be faster and more reliable. Wireless telecomunications should be licensed in the same way that TV and radio stations are and with similar regulations. A difference would be that wireless telecoms should license a slice of spectrum on a nationwide scale instead of a local transmission scale. In this way, their wireless services will be continuously integrated no matter where people travel across the country.
Wireless telecomminications would tap local towers into the national wired grid.
If we started now, the telecoms could (here's where I get crucified) be subsidized by the government in the form of labor. Our state and federal governments should offer to pay the telecoms $4 per hour for each and every currently unemployed person that they hire, and this payment should continue until the grid is finished and operational in each local area. The regulation on this should be that certain production standards must be met so that this generosity is not abused.
This sounds expensive, but it would actually lower the unemployment rate and in turn the cost of unemployment compensation payments. Overall, it would be a savings to "we the people" and because people are working, income tax revenue would increase.
In the state of Wisconsin, I believe that about 230,000 people are out of work. If telecoms began this construction, and they hired 50,000 of the unemployed workers, our unemployment rate would drop nearly 2%. How quickly could 50,000 people get this done? Would the logistics of getting 50,000 people to work together be too much? I don't know. I suppose if you broke it down into 10 man crews...5,000 crews state wide would need to cover about 13 square miles each. I would think that a year would be quite easy. Other, larger and less densely populated states would take longer. Of course, workers might be willing to travel to work also...
When completed, end user pricing should be based on service levels. Basic voice with long distance, 25/5MB internet and local HDTV service should be quite reasonable, perhaps $40-50/ month combined. Faster internet connections and added "a la carte" TV selections should be added cost. Cable content such as ESPN could then negotiate their fees with a national fee commission, again with a la carte pricing. ESPN and the others would then be charged a bandwidth fee based on ratings share, forcing them (and standard broadcasters) to go back to ad revenues as a way of competition. They could make these bandwidth fees up via the a la carte pricing that the end user pays.
Current satellite service could continue under their current model, allowing ESPN and others to COLLECT usage fees and allowing the public a second option. this second option would offer the public content much like current Pay TV.
More crazy talk