In light of the yesterday’s FCC report, suggesting that approximately 7.7% of U.S. households are unserved by broadband, Dave Burstein's investigative work trying to understand where the NTIA money is going becomes especially relevant. His early analysis suggests that the NTIA money is not meeting the goal of getting broadband to the unserved.1
In a nutshell, he suggests the way the program was set up encouraged the investment in mid-mile and anchor institutions and is not meeting the goal of ubiquitous residential broadband. He has more analysis to do and promises to post the information he obtained from the NTIA on his website. In the meantime, read the Korner for one potential stimulus success that promises broadband at approximately $1,500 per household.
One friend from the vendor community today called the ARRA a “de-stimulus”, as telcos wait on the sideline to see where the awards go, as well as wait for more regulatory certainty. One thing that is certain, at least in the near-term, is that the FCC’s definition of broadband is moving to 4 Mb/s downstream and 1 Mb/s upstream. The FCC’s just released report has caused a bit of dissension between the Republican and Democrat FCC Commissioners regarding its conclusion that, “broadband deployment to all Americans is not reasonable and timely.”
The upshot of this is that the FCC feels this conclusion mandates it to, “take immediate action to accelerate deployment of [advanced telecommunications] capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.” I am sure this will be a hot topic for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at next week’s OPASTCO Summer Convention.
Click here to watch a video montage that uses ViodiTV at OPASTCO footage to promote the OPASTCO 2010 Summer Convention. Thank you in advance to the following sponsors for their support of ViodiTV's coverage of the 2010 OPASTCO Summer convention.
Infonetics: Mobile Broadband Revenues to double; HSPA drives card sales by Alan Weissberger
Alan Weissberger provides analysis on Infonetics recently issued report on mobile broad services. Click to read why he believes that the majority of mobile broadband growth will be driven by HSPA/HSPA+ in the near term, with LTE kicking in around 2013-2014. Click here to read more.
Scott Birnbaum, vice president of the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) Business at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., discusses the state of television displays and some of the near and longer-term developments that will make them more useful and ubiquitous. Birnbaum suggests that almost 1/3 of the homes in U.S. are expected to have 3D in their homes by 2014. Some of the first commercial 3DTV applications could be digital signage, where the advertisement jumps out of the screen. He also talks about the “Magic Window” or the use of visible light communications to provide an interactive path between the content on the display and other devices in the home. Lastly, he paints of an interesting picture of augmented reality using transparent LCD screens. Click here to watch the video interview.
The Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) each year raises and awards dollars to fund education and economic developments in communities served by independent telcos. There fundraisers are a critical part of their efforts. Next week, they will be holding a fun, fundraiser at the Museum of Flight outside of Seattle. Roger has captured some of the sights of this cool museum in this brief video. To participate in next week’s event, register here.
The relentless banging noise of a Step by Step switch in a small, rural central office pounds away in my head some 13 years later. The irony that I was in this central office to terminate an advanced state-of-the-art, video fiber network was not lost on me. This central office was a reflection of the overall project that saw us bringing fiber to the large curb for video services, while an existing wireless BETRs system barely served as the voice transport.
Fast-forward to the present day and the Navajo Nation still faces challenges in both communications as well as other utilities. According to Navajo Tribal Utility Authority web site, some 18,000 families are without electricity. With an area larger than 10 of the 50 states of America, the Navajo Nation still presents unique challenges to providing communications services.
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority recently won a $32.1 million grant from the NTIA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This is being matched with a $11.3M from NTUA and $2.2M from Commnet Wireless. This will provide broadband access to 15,120 square miles of the Navajo Nation’s 27,000 square miles. The wireless service will cover 30,000 households and mid-mile backbone to another 49 communities.
In this video interview, Irshad Ansari, President/CEO, NI Solutions, Inc., discusses the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority’s project that will require the buildout of 550 miles of gigabit fiber backbone and a total of 59 towers, resulting in one of the earliest wide-scale LTE deployments in the United States. The ARRA funding is accelerating the completion of this project from 10 years to less than 3 years.
Monroe Keedo, Divisional Manager for IT for the NTUA, explains how some of the grant money will be used for notebooks with wireless capability to allow students to extend their learning while on the school bus; bus rides that can sometimes take a couple of hours. He also explains that, by extending the reach of health-care professionals, the telecommunications network they are building will improve health care across the Navajo Nation. Click here to watch this video interview.
1 Note: Puerto Rico seems to be account for 1.3M of the 8.9M unserved broadband households. It seems that Puerto Rico would skew the data such that the percentage of unserved broadband is less when looking only at the 50 United States. According to the report, the unserved areas tend to be rural and have lower income, as compared to the rest of the United States. Again, the influence of Puerto Rico's 1.3M unserved broadband households (which are more urban and much lower income) would tend to skew the data to look even more urban and lower income than it really is for the 50 States.
Also, if you are an independent telco, I would look at the list of counties that are "unserved" and make sure that it accurately reflects your county's status (Appendix C, page 27).