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Echostar Joins Push For Lower Broadband Definitions
We wouldn't want low quality broadband left out of the equation....
by Karl Bode 09:11AM Thursday Sep 10 2009 Tipped by travelguy See Profile
Despite claims to the contrary, most of the major cable and phone companies are pushing for an ultra-low definition of broadband as the country creates a national broadband policy. Why? By leaving the current definition as 768kbps downstream and 200 kbps upstream, that means less work for carriers, and less government involvement in their affairs. Joining this growing cacophony of broadband mediocrity is Echostar, who is similarly busy telling regulators that the definition should remain low so that satellite operators don't get excluded from all the fun:
quote:
Waxing poetic, EchoStar told the FCC that it should not "let the perfect become the enemy of the good." Translation: don't define broadband by speeds high enough to exclude satellite broadband, which can be deployed more rapidly to rural and other hard-to reach places. . . EchoStar said the definition should be "at least" 768 kbps downstream and 200 kbps upstream, far lower than some commenters have suggested, but enough for satellite operators to handle.
Echostar should hope the FCC doesn't get too finicky with its definition, given that both of the country's major satellite operators employ incredibly low monthly caps that if crossed, result in users being throttled to speeds that barely could be classified as dial-up (sometimes as low as 7-14 kbps. The FCC's also been interested in whether they should measure advertised speed versus the speed actually delivers -- something that's also been an issue for satellite broadband.

While it's pretty clear that Echostar is interested in nabbing some of the broadband stimulus funds, satellite broadband traditionally is the broadband option for people without options, and these carriers could find themselves eventually supplanted by alternative wireless delivery. Satellite carriers have a captive market and their customers are treated accordingly -- as our user reviews for both HughesNet and Wild Blue can attest.

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Rob
In Deo speramus.
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Broadband definition should increase yearly..

The initial definition of broadband should be 1.5/256, and increases by 1/128 every year. So next year broadband would be defined as speeds of 2.5/384, and the year later it would be 3.5/512.
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Luminaris

join:2005-12-01
Waterford, VA

Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

I agree with this but wanted to add, I think the speeds should increase as technology evolves. Maybe not so much every year but, when new technology comes out, it should then be increased. Just a thought

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Luminaris:

I agree with this but wanted to add, I think the speeds should increase as technology evolves. Maybe not so much every year but, when new technology comes out, it should then be increased. Just a thought
The problem is that the technology already exists. Take Comcast, for example. They currently offer 6/1 (or 12/2 in DOCSIS 3.0 markets) as their standard Internet. That means that even if the broadband definition increased 1/256 every year, Comcast would be ahead of the game for at least 5-6 years. At the rate Comcast is going now, they'll continually be ahead of the broadband definition.

On the other hand, look at AT&T. I live in a popular area, yet the fastest I can get is just 1.5/256 from them. That's no excuse. The technology exists today.
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jimbo2150

join:2004-05-10
Euclid, OH

Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Rob:

The problem is that the technology already exists. Take Comcast, for example. They currently offer 6/1 (or 12/2 in DOCSIS 3.0 markets) as their standard Internet. That means that even if the broadband definition increased 1/256 every year, Comcast would be ahead of the game for at least 5-6 years. At the rate Comcast is going now, they'll continually be ahead of the broadband definition.

On the other hand, look at AT&T. I live in a popular area, yet the fastest I can get is just 1.5/256 from them. That's no excuse. The technology exists today.
I agree, any of those companies could change tack and deploy fiber if they wanted to. Just because they don't want to invest and continue to use aging standards and equiptment and technologies does not mean we should hold back the country's push for what is quickly becoming the rest of the industrialized world's current-gen technology.

If we continue to hold back and lower the bar then our technology will end up being as bad (probably much worse) as our education system.
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mr sean
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by jimbo2150:

If we continue to hold back and lower the bar then our technology will end up being as bad (probably much worse) as our education system.
The bar would have to be set at 600 baud before we can compare broadband deployment to our education system.
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Oinktastic
Let them use fibre

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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by mr sean:

The bar would have to be set at 600 baud before we can compare broadband deployment to our education system.
Eggsactly. My edumications rnt as strong then my intarwebs.

mr sean
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Oinktastic:

Eggsactly. My edumications rnt as strong then my intarwebs.
No Child Left Beh....
Oops!
Where did they go?
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RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY
said by Rob:

The problem is that the technology already exists. Take Comcast, for example. They currently offer 6/1 (or 12/2 in DOCSIS 3.0 markets) as their standard Internet.
Forget Comcast - Look at Cablevision. Standard is 15/2 (modem cap is 16.5/2.2) with Boost 30/5 (modem cap is uncapped[38 - the theoretical Max]/5.5) both via DOCSIS 2. On the DOCSIS 3 front you get Ultra 101/15. Comcast is SLOW in their areas but still better than TWC.

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by RARPSL:

said by Rob:

The problem is that the technology already exists. Take Comcast, for example. They currently offer 6/1 (or 12/2 in DOCSIS 3.0 markets) as their standard Internet.
Forget Comcast - Look at Cablevision. Standard is 15/2 (modem cap is 16.5/2.2) with Boost 30/5 (modem cap is uncapped[38 - the theoretical Max]/5.5) both via DOCSIS 2. On the DOCSIS 3 front you get Ultra 101/15. Comcast is SLOW in their areas but still better than TWC.
The purpose of my example was to compare two of the largest national ISPs

Otherwise, we could just look at Surewest, FiOS, or Utah's Utopia.
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quibbly
Premium
join:2003-02-07
Sugar Land, TX
I don't care about comcrap. They can offer more bandwidth, but if their latency is always so high, I prefer a lower download speed (1.5/128) with low latency. As a gamer, latency is the key.

comcast always has the worse latency for gaming, while DSL is still King (except Time Warner has both great speeds and latency)

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by quibbly:

I don't care about comcrap. They can offer more bandwidth, but if their latency is always so high, I prefer a lower download speed (1.5/128) with low latency. As a gamer, latency is the key.

comcast always has the worse latency for gaming, while DSL is still King (except Time Warner has both great speeds and latency)
This has NOTHING to do with Comcast. It has to do with broadband through our country.

Nobody cares on your opinion about Comcast!
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Oinktastic
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I agree that something around 1.5/256 is a good place to start the definition for now. 1Mbps might even cut it for the next year or so as well. With good latency and decent DNS servers, most pages would load in a few seconds even on that connection. However, I think it will probably have to bump up to several times that in a few years time.

I would say it might be nice to have an upgrade of the tiers in some areas by at least 1/128 per year, but I'm not so sure it should also apply to the definition of broadband.

What exactly is riding on this definition again?

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Oinktastic:

What exactly is riding on this definition again?
A lot. I believe jimbo2150 See Profile summed it up nicely.. "If we continue to hold back and lower the bar than our technology will end up being as bad as our educational system."
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sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by Rob:

The initial definition of broadband should be 1.5/256, and increases by 1/128 every year. So next year broadband would be defined as speeds of 2.5/384, and the year later it would be 3.5/512.
That's ridiculously slow. Both the initial definition and your idea for the moving target.

Keep in mind that freaking AUSTRALIA is setting a goal of a minimum of 12 mbps.

Also you don't seem to understand that internet technology adheres to the tenets of Moore's Law. From 2001 to 2006 the internet doubled in size every 18 months.

There is PLENTY of room for major growth at the last mile. If you can get 100 mbps in Korea for $20/month, I don't see why the telcos with their $200 billion subsidy can't do something similar.

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by sonicmerlin:

said by Rob:

The initial definition of broadband should be 1.5/256, and increases by 1/128 every year. So next year broadband would be defined as speeds of 2.5/384, and the year later it would be 3.5/512.
That's ridiculously slow. Both the initial definition and your idea for the moving target.

Keep in mind that freaking AUSTRALIA is setting a goal of a minimum of 12 mbps.

Also you don't seem to understand that internet technology adheres to the tenets of Moore's Law. From 2001 to 2006 the internet doubled in size every 18 months.

There is PLENTY of room for major growth at the last mile. If you can get 100 mbps in Korea for $20/month, I don't see why the telcos with their $200 billion subsidy can't do something similar.
I understand the Moore's law. But more importantly, I understand how money works. Demanding that the minimal speed be 12 mbps is not possible given our infrastructure.

We must make gradual changes and increases to what we define broadband speeds. This would force ISPs to continuely upgrade their infrastructure.

Let's not use Australia as an example, given their ridiculous "firewall". And as for Korea, I believe they use a LAN type system where subscribers get 100mbps internally (throughout the country), but real Internet speeds are significantly less.
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Oinktastic
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1 edit
I know this is a completely different tone from my last post, but I've been swayed by the Moore's Law argument :P

Maybe they should do it by population density or distance from civilization , since that seems to be a common argument against fiber deployments and network upgrades.

Something like: if you live in a city center (Band A), you should expect broadband of 24Mbps+, suburbs (Band B) ->16Mbps and so on...

Band A -> 24Mbps+
Band B,C -> 16Mbps
Band D -> 10Mbps
Band F,G -> 7Mbps

My actual numbers are up for debate... What do you think?

Rob
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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Oinktastic:

I know this is a completely different tone from my last post, but I've been swayed by the Moore's Law argument :P

Maybe they should do it by population density or distance from civilization , since that seems to be a common argument against fiber deployments and network upgrades.

Something like: if you live in a city center (Band A), you should expect broadband of 24Mbps+, suburbs (Band B) ->16Mbps and so on...

Band A -> 24Mbps+
Band B,C -> 16Mbps
Band D -> 10Mbps
Band F,G -> 7Mbps

My actual numbers are up for debate... What do you think?
At this point, I disagree. I want to see equal speeds across the country, regardless of population density, wealth, or location.

All this USF money should help with speeds in rural areas.
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Oinktastic
Let them use fibre

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Re: Broadband definition should increase yearly..

said by Rob:

At this point, I disagree. I want to see equal speeds across the country, regardless of population density, wealth, or location.

All this USF money should help with speeds in rural areas.
Well I'll disagree as well :P I think equal speeds everywhere may be a brilliant goal for the not-so-distant future, I think they should be looking more at a case-by-case approach to connect people with what's available now.

Then again, who am I kidding? By the time they get out to some areas, they'd better be rolling fibre, and kissing some feet too. They're taking forever to get the infrastructure out to where it should be.

Howard Beale

@above.net

1 recommendation

Can My Carrier Pigeon Business Qualify Too?

This is getting silly.

Is satellite something that some people find value in? Yes!

Is it "broadband", as defined in the law (i.e. technology that provides users the ability to originate and receive high-quality video, voice and data)? No, it is not.

Should it potentially qualify for subsidies? Yes, in the most remote places, where any other solution would be prohibitively expensive.

Should we lower our goals for the national broadband plan just so Echostar doesn't feel left out? NO!

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Can My Carrier Pigeon Business Qualify Too?

If we had a real broadband plan in the first place I find it hard to imagine that satellite internet providers would exist for anything but business and the far remote reaches that power has yet to make it.

Broadband, no, under any definition satellite does not fit. It is only the last resort because of our countries inability to adapt a decent broadband plan when the market was still developing.

I do not agree that they should potentially qualify for subsidies if those subsidies are for broadband providers. There are much better technologies for such remote places. Also the money could be better spent developing much better remote options.

Satellite was a decent idea ten years ago, but stuck in geosynchronous orbit instead of a LEO, ends pretty much any reasonable consumer use outside of checking email and minimal web-page viewing.

I agree that we should not lower our goals to fit outdated technology that has proven to already be a failure. It is time to move on and look ahead to new technologies. I agree with the people above who think every year the speed rating should be re-examined for a new standard based on technology advancements.

axiomatic

join:2006-08-23
Tomball, TX

Bogus

This is more about keeping the shareholders happy and corporate fat cats wanting their bonuses instead of investing in the development of their infrastructure.

Keep it up guys... you are all going to be left behind by Comcast and Verizon just because they have spent money on their networks.

The longer you guys wait to upgrade your networks, the harder it will be to catch up when you are hemorrhaging customers by the thousands per month.

But as long as "you get yours" its all good, eh fat cat? (facepalm)
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

So Many Companies Want To Lie!

Any national broadband plan based on anything less than 1 Mbps / 1 Mbps with reasonably low latency and without low caps is nothing but a lie. Echostar has just joined the club of liars that are the reason this country does not have a workable broadband plan.
SlyLoK6

join:2007-10-19
Sugar Grove, VA

Just imagine...

Where would broadband be in this country had they deployed digital phone lines back in the 70s ( or whenever it was ).. Everyone would at least have a low ping connection and probably more than that.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: Just imagine...

Isn't most of Europe using ISDN?

huju

@comcast.net

WOW

How do these people sleep at night. Is it really that hard to invest in your networks? I will be more than happy to pay more for great service. Rest of the world is leaving us in the dust and all these companies have to say is that we don't need faster service. Guess my waiting for Att@t to start going under is over. After all these years for talking crap that they don't need fiber now they can barley offer 18mb download and the service sucks while Comcast is offering 50mb and planning on 100mb . My cash is going to the one that provides better service and I am taking all my costumers with me

mrbiggz

@kumc.edu

Fiber or Nothing!

I think the goal should be fiber to the node in three years and fiber to the home in six.

This will allow us enough headroom for the next few decades minimum and also spur a true broadband economy.

Z80
1 point 77
Premium
join:2009-08-31
Amerika

There should be no national definition of broadband

With all of the problems the country is facing, not a single taxpayer penny or a second of legislator time should be squandered worrying about broadband. This government has proved it can't walk and chew gum and it is currently running a marathon while choking down some Ruth's Chris (bought on the taxpayer's Bank of China credit card).
heimdm

join:2008-06-22
Martinsville, IN

Broadband

USF only applied to smaller telco's for Verizon and ATT no dice. However, the major carriers opted out of stimulus funding. I think broadband should be defined as a T1 (1.5 up/1.5 down).

Fiber is not expensive as the telco's would like you to think. Fiber has a much lower annual maintenance cost than does copper cable. I have a rural lec that is doing FTTH, but I am 3 miles into AT&T territory and they do not even provide DSL.

I believe that if carriers are not going to deploy broadband in their area, they could have 18 months to do so, or lose their monopoly rights in that area.