Monday, February 23, 2009

As I mentioned in my previous post, Department of Commerce's National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) has reported on Jan 31, 2008 that %99 of the zip codes in the united states have access to broadband. I had a hard time finding the definition of Broadband in the report. It is implied that any internet access other than dial-up is considered broadband. Hence, I "think" that broadband in the report means DSL, Cable high speed, Mobile Wireless, Fixed Wireless, Satellite, and Fiber optics. I called NTIA to confirm the definition of broadband. The author of the report, Richard Mills, left NTIA on July 2008. They directed me to the office of public relation: (202)482-7002. Once I asked about the definition of broadband, the answer was that they are working on defining the term. NTIA is inquiring from the public to figure out what is "broadband" in their opinion. They holding a poll to learn what rate of uplink and downlink are considered broadband for the public. They also would like to know if the public prefer Mobile access or fixed access. I am a little skeptical on the result of this polling. For example if you have never experienced broadband how can you tell what speed is sufficient for you. If there was a clear answer for the public opinion the telecomm industry would have found before the government. But, stay tuned for my posting on the definition of broadband and the best way to define it!

broadband penetration and the stimulus

Based on the department of commerce's National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) report, %53 of the households in the urban areas have broadband access to the internet. While the access to broadband %39 among the families in the rural areas. The reported is based on the data collected on Oct 2007 for 117 million households in the united states. Based on the NTIA report, by December 2006, 91.5 percent of ZIP codes had three or more competing service providers for broadband. In addition, more than 50 percent of the nation’s ZIP codes had six or more competitors providing broadband access. I would imagine the stimulus package wants to increase competition in the rural area to make the broadband access more affordable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tax credit for expanding broadband in the rural area

In general I am FOR the broadband for the rural areas. However, I think the requirements for defining Broadband in the stimulus package are too ambitious, particularly for a short term plan. Based on the Bloomberg report, the stimulus plan called for a 10 percent tax credit for carriers that build out broadband networks in rural and underserved areas, providing download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 1 megabit per second. Carriers would have qualified for a 20 percent tax credit if they expanded broadband service with download speeds of at least 100 megabits and upload speeds of at least 20 megabits per second. I live in San Diego. I think of my neighborhood as suburban as it is 20 minutes away from downtown San Diego. But I guess it could qualify as urban area. I have U-verse service from AT&T and on the description of my account I have 3.0 Mega bits per seconds for down stream and 1.0 Mega bits per second for upstream. God knows how much bandwidth I really have but these are my nominal maximum values. I use a wireless router for having wireless internet access in my house. The wireless router transform the U-verse signal to WiFi which has maximum bandwidth of 1.0 Mega bit second for the downlink. Occasionally I experience slowness in my connection. However, I am happy with the service overall. That's why I think 5 mega bits per second for rural areas is too ambitious for a short term plan. Based on what I am hearing in the media the purpose of the stimulus plan is to jolt the economy in the short term!