Re: Should be simply available
56k modem gone by 2005? Maybe in a perfect world. I'm roughly 47,000ft. from the C.O. and I was just notified that the IDSL service which was supposed to be connected in only a few weeks at my home (via Phoenix DSL) is not going to happen. Why you ask? Because I'm too far away. All the lines out here are fiber optic. Do you really think that the phone company will be out here putting in copper lines so we can all have ADSL connections? Doubtful, and not really feasible. Bellsouth can't even answer a simple question for me, that question being "can I receive dsl service?". I know the answer is no, but it's really sad that that Bellsouth can't give me that simple answer after three queries in as many months.
And don't believe the hype about the coming satellite systems. If the current Hughes/DirecPC systems are any indicator the service will be lackluster at best, and may or may not provide a download AND upload path by 2005. And what about Macintosh or Linux? They aren't supported by Hughes/DirecPC. That starts to make "everybody" slim down a bit, regardless of whether the majority of users are PC or not.
So you're thinking, why not cable? Yeah, I thought that too, except I'm a mere 1/8th of a mile from where the cable line ends, and that's just for television. I called the cable company to find out how many neighbors I'd need to go in with me to wire us for cable here (keep in mind this is still just for TV; the mere tip of the iceberg), and it would be 100. I don't even know 10 of my neighbors (a relative term since everyone is miles away from each other), much less 100. And even if I did, that would only get us a petition to have cable TV lines; ensuring us absolutely nothing.
In short, check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you're in an urban area, or a suburb, chances are that yes, by 2005 you will have MANY options. However, the 56k modem, as much as I loathe it, will still be in use by a great many people. Not because they'll want to use it, but because they will have no other choice.
And by the way, all this fuss over modem speeds is such a waste anyway. As mentioned, it's not a symetrical two-way street. It's 33k upload and 53k download. 56k is only a standard, not a necessarily attainable measurement.