100mbps to 100 million HOUSEHOLDS, not people
Genachowski has said he wants 100mbps per second to 100 million households, not 100 million people. That would be 260 million people.
Read it in his own words...
Fixed the sentences I screwed up, thanks, Michael. Again, doesn't affect my argument whether we're talking households or people. Cable passes 125 million homes. DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades are inexpensive and realitively easy to do across entire networks in just a few years.
You'll note Genachowski doesn't give a timeline for this supposed amazing accomplishment, which is because he knows it's going to occur with or without the FCC's help. At least in markets with competition.
said by Karl Bode:Is that a good number? Considering that we had 128M housing units in 2007 according to the 2007 American Housing Survey, that kind of makes it appear that we have an extremely easy fix for any broadband penetration issue.
Cable passes 125 million homes.
That's the cable industry's own data. Cable reaches something like 97% of the population (though something around 60% subscribe). That's what I'm saying. 100 Mbps to around 100 million homes will likely happen no matter what the FCC does just through normal progress over the next decade.
Then why all of this fuss about a national broadband plan, especially given that it will likely accomplish little anyway? Or all of the hubbub about penetration rates? If cable services (what percentage of service doesn't have an HSI option?) reach XX% (97% minus the small percentage that HSI is an option) of households, then encourage the small remaining build out and call it good. According to the survey, only 97.8% of occupied units have phone service available, which appears to be fairly close to cable service. We shouldn't jump off the deep end because XX% of our population isn't willing to subscribe to services.
Then why all of this fuss about a national broadband plan, especially given that it will likely accomplish little anyway?Well because it could have done something about competition. While there's 125 million cable homes passed, there may not be a competitive motive for many of these operators to upgrade if they're competing in a monopoly or duopoly market where their only competitive threat is 1.5 Mbps $50 DSL. We're talking about markets where duopolists stare at each other waiting for the next opportunity to hike prices.
As for penetration, I don't think at this point we're talking about huge swaths of unserved people, but instead a ton of little areas where users have access to just one or no providers. Because of limited competition, there's no motive to fill in the gaps, and because of a rigged regulatory playing field, it's hard living for a small provider. About a third of the population doesn't have broadband (100 million), and about 40 million of them don't have it because it's too expensive or not available.
And you know, these are limited sample surveys. Nobody's gone into the fields to check, and carriers fight tooth and nail against any independent entity that wants to verify their data.
I agree there's lots of questions at play about whether you want to spend taxpayer dollars to push broadband on people who don't want it. Some of these "user education" ideas they're pushing seem immensely lame. Again though we're a wealthy country. Not to veer off, but we could have built a wholesale fiber to the home network that reaches every single home in America five times over for the amount of money we spend on nation building and other nonsense...
said by Karl Bode:Hmmm.... What's the correlation between limited competition and unfilled gaps in service? Seems to me that if a true gap exists, it's probably for a reason....either lack of demand or ROI. Until someone is willing to pay to service these gaps, nothing will change. Personally, I believe these costs should be borne as close to the potential recipient(s) as possible.
Because of limited competition, there's no motive to fill in the gaps, and because of a rigged regulatory playing field, it's hard living for a small provider.
said by Karl Bode:The real question is how many households don't have service because it's not available. "Too expensive" is in the eye of the beholder.
About a third of the population doesn't have broadband (100 million), and about 40 million of them don't have it because it's too expensive or not available.
said by Karl Bode:Don't get me started on all of the money that we throw around overseas. The part that concerns me with "universal service" is what we'll end up wasting paying for something that we don't understand, regardless of what broadband plan may or may not appear. If the government really needs to throw money at this (very debatable IMO), it should be hanging on the end of a big stick. Sadly I have minimal confidence this will be the case.
Not to veer off, but we could have built a wholesale fiber to the home network that reaches every single home in America five times over for the amount of money we spend on nation building and other nonsense...
They've never been able to adequately track E-Rate or USF expenditures, and with AT&T and Verizon lobbyists telling them precisely what to do, I have no doubt its use as a slush fund continues...