Originally Posted by Tschmidt
The Internet is content agnostic. If it can be digitized the Internet can be used to transport it.
Assuming there is some sort of national broadband policy to get everyone wired with fiber, similar to what we did with telephone and Electricity a hundred years ago, delivering 100 Mbps residential service is cost effective. That is a sweet spot from both a cost and performance perspective.
Wireless is less in need of government policy. Barriers to entry are lower and services are more profitable than wiring residences.
As far at TV is concerned 100 Mbps is fast enough to deliver four HDTV channels with 35 Mbps left for Internet. 100 Mbps allows each person in typical family of 4 to watch a different program. It will upend the traditional content aggregation model. Content aggregator (i.e. your friendly Cable MSO) no longer needs a physical presence to deliver programming services.
It is disheartening listening to the naysayers. If we could bring electricity and telephone to most of the US population a hundred years ago seems like there is no excuse not to deploy fiber to all but the most rural areas.
There are about 110 million US households. It is costing Verizon about $2,000 per household to deploy FIOS (outside plant and equipment). Given those numbers it will cost about $250Bn to wire up the country, I lot of money to be sure but also a fantastic investment in the future.
I've been ABSENT from this thread for quite some time, but my email box has kept me aware that it's been BY FAR the busiest of my subscribed threads, so I spent the last SEVERAL hours catching up, and it was worthwhile reading...
Tschmidt, you just basically restated my primary thoughts on this issue, as well. I'm disappointed in Obama's stance on this, and think perhaps he's just been "into" the wireless thing for quite some time (probably had wifi at home, and been using a laptop and his wireless smartphone, etc.), and just hasn't put a lot of thought into how much of the content he's been used to receiving "wirelessly," often at something approaching
broadband speeds, was first
delivered via some WIRED TRUE BROADBAND CONNECTION.
Of course, any time he's used his (is it a Blackberry? I don't remember what it was he "couldn't give up" when he took office that the Secret Service had to get a special version of "just for the President," but I THINK it was a Blackberry)... At any rate, whenever he's using whatever smartphone he has, that
is a true wireless device and he's at the mercy of whatever "broadband" speed delivery his carrier provides (assuming the government isn't giving him some special, dedicated service). Being a subscriber to PC World, which runs a comparison article on wireless broadband speeds once or twice a year in a half dozen or so major markets, I know that the fastest peak
speeds in any of the markets they tested most recently were still slightly shy of 2 Mbps, and most were closer to 1 Mbps, with some down in the 800 Kbps range, and an average of about 1,200 Kbps. To ME, that just BARELY qualifies as "broadband" until you consider how much faster that is than 56K.
All the same, IF
there were a NATIONAL mandatory fiber-optic wiring plan for all but the most remote areas (and I mean areas so remote they also aren't served by either the electric grid and/or telephone companies), the wireless part of things would EASILY take care of itself!
First, the wireless telecoms could still continue to sell wireless broadband to whomever they wish, and whoever is willing to pay their ridiculous prices (or maybe they'd actually be forced to become more competitive/reasonably priced).
Second, with wired fiber-optic TRUE broadband available virtually everywhere, most folks would be able to use wireless routers hooked up to that broadband to give themselves wireless internet for areas in proximity to their homes or businesses. Those who MUST HAVE mobile, wireless broadband, WELL, they can pay for it by whatever mechanism is available (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.). But I see NO NEED NOR EXCUSE to sell off the Nation's birthright of telecommunications spectrum in the process.
Those airwaves ARE public property. That electromagnetic spectrum has ALWAYS existed, and WILL always exist. It's not something that was invented by any human; it came into existence with the birth of the universe, and it essentially BELONGS to the universe, which means ALL OF US. For the FCC to have the attitude that a few telephone companies have the need or right to buy up exclusive ownership to use the majority of it virtually "forever" just because there's some temporary trend in a certain direction seems extremely short-sighted.
I don't recall exactly who it was who posted a couple months back (that's how far back I was reading earlier this morning) about the floods in Nashville, but I can assure you that NO cell towers in Nashville were working after those floods. Local TV and radio stations BASED in Nashville were likely off the air, as well. BUT, since signals carry quite a ways, I'm willing to bet that stations from surrounding cities were still on the air, and ANYONE who was lucky enough to still have electricity -- or who had a generator or a battery-powered TV (or a car with a good DC-AC converter and a portable TV) could pick at least one of them up and get IMPORTANT emergency information.
THAT, ALONE, if nothing else, is the VITAL PUBLIC INTEREST broadcast TV serves that NO WIRELESS ALTERNATIVE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO REPLACE, PERIOD.
As for politics on this issue, I'm in agreement that this is very much a non-partisan or bi-partisan issue, as it's primarily an issue of COLOR, and that COLOR, I'm pretty sure, is GREEN
. I'm not saying President Obama, or all the House and Senate members (or even FCC board members, for that matter) who might support re-allocation of 120 Mhz of broadcast spectrum to wireless carriers are being paid off either under-the-table by those carriers or one of their lobbies -- or even via campaign contributions (although I'm sure many of them ARE getting campaign contributions -- but probably from all sides). What I AM saying is that it's quite likely that quite a few of the people who support the spectrum-grab plan are convinced this is GOOD
for the economy... That it will spur economic growth and be a positive thing for the future, etc.
What I think REALLY needs to be done is that someone needs to put together a very cogent plan showing how an alternative national fiber-optic plan
would be both better for the longterm economy and the nation, overall (and I'm certain that it would be). I have don't have the technical knowledge or the connections to do that, but I'm certain there are people who do (perhaps there is already one or more such alternative proposal out there, and we just haven't seen it/them?). When and IF such a proposal is put forward, as many of us as possible
need to get together and make a concerted effort -- a FULL PUSH to educated Congress and the President about this and try to get them to PUSH the FCC in THAT direction, instead.
This national broadband plan via wireless is a sort of "on the cheap" plan that is not good for the country, ONLY for the Wireless companies. It's short-term thinking at the expense of longterm growth, the same sort of thinking that has, time and again, gotten this country into one mess after another (including our current recession, via the short-term financial gains of selling homes to folks who couldn't afford them, then "packaging" those loans and re-selling them as investment securities). This "wireless broadband plan" is selling our broadband future "down the river" at the expense of both the broadcasting industry, free TV viewers, and the future of TRUE high-speed internet.IT NEEDS TO BE NIPPED IN THE BUD, NOW!