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Wall Street Whines About New 10 Mbps Min. Broadband Definition
by Karl Bode 03:49PM Tuesday Jul 08 2014
For years the FCC has had a rather flimsy definition of what constitutes broadband, something that benefits the industry by making speed and penetration statistics look much better than they actually are. As a result, every time the FCC proposes to raise that bar -- whether that was the belated previous moves to 768 kbps or to 3 Mbps -- the all-too comfortable, uncompetitive broadband industry whines -- because it might force them to work just a little bit harder.

That's once again the case with recent reports suggesting the FCC is considering raising the definition of broadband to at least 10 Mbps -- and potentially 25 Mbps. That latter mark is highly unlikely, and after ample carrier lobbying it seems more likely the minimum definition will be set somewhere around the entirely-reasonable mark of 5 to 6 Mbps.

Enter Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett, who insists that increasing the standard definition of broadband whatsoever would be bad because it would highlight industry problems (specifically the lack of competition largely responsible for slower speeds). That, in terrifying turn, might actually encourage the FCC to do something about it:
quote:
"Raising the FCC standard will naturally lower the number of people who have 'broadband' (i.e. penetration will fall, at least initially)," Craig Moffett, senior analyst, said in a cover note about the 50-plus page report. The change will also have wider implications because "it will reduce the portion of the country for which broadband is deemed 'available,' arguably bolstering the case for FCC authority to do something about the shortfall."..

"Cable's share will, on paper, appear to rise. Importantly, so too will that share of the country where cable is deemed to be the only available option, bolstering arguments for FCC authority to intervene in the absence of effective competition," Moffett wrote.
Granted Moffett is the same guy who thinks most network upgrades are a waste of money and heavily-capped data plans are "the next generation of communications," so take this latest insight as what it is: protecting the profitable, uncompetitive status quo. Moffet's biggest worry is amusingly that if we slightly bump broadband definitions -- it might encourage regulators to actually start doing their jobs and embrace policies that encourage competition. The absolute horror.

In reality Moffett, Wall Street or carriers don't need to worry; the FCC has paid empty lip service to broadband competition for more than a decade, and with an ex-cable and wireless lobbyist now at the helm -- that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.


98 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments



Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net

7 recommendations

reply to fiosultimate

Re: Changing the rules in the middle of the game ...

The Telco's promised to build us Ferraris at a Chevy price in exchange for favorable regulations and tax breaks that the American public (you are included in that) paid for. Now they have our money and continue to charge modern Cadillac prices, every year, for the same crappy, '98 Malibu. Yet, the rest of the 1st/2nd/3rd world countries continue to get better broadband speeds at lower prices than the USA. This is America alright, "Were 31!!" in worldwide broadband speed. Feeling proud yet?


TKJunkMail
Premium
join:2005-12-09

5 recommendations

reply to openbox9

Re: Want some cheese with that whine?

You really need to lay off the sake. I don't see anyone whining they can't get 1gb for $49. Care to make up more stuff?


bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA
Reviews:
·Wave Broadband
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4 recommendations

reply to fiosultimate

Re: Changing the rules in the middle of the game ...

Did you seriously join DSLReports just to moan and whine about people who know that the broadband in America is terrible? And, nobody is complaining about internet not being free, we're complaining about internet being horribly overpriced and the ISPs being greedy and screwing over their customers by nickel & diming them to death.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

3 recommendations

reply to openbox9

Re: Want some cheese with that whine?

No but a captured market in a very uncompetitive and highly restrictive entry industry does.

Any business that has the superior product loves the "competition".

Look at cable companies. Do you really think they have any fear of telecom internet competition? No, it is almost laughable to even use cable, telecom and internet all in the same sentence.

Until telecom's start actually rolling fiber to the home and give up on this crap DSL flavor of the year they will never compete with cable.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

7 recommendations

reply to elray

Re: Changing the rules in the middle of the game ...

You continue to crack me up. "until such time as the vast majority are willing to pay for it,....."

The vast majority have been paying for it for decades. As a matter of fact, even people that are not subscribers to the providers have been helping to pay for it through other "incentives" they get. One of the biggest is that they get to write off at an accelerated rate any expenses to upgrade against their inflated profits that their subscribers are paying them that enables them to make the millions they make every year. That "incentive" cost every taxpaying citizen in the country.

So stop with the people arent willing to pay for it and say what you mean in that..... the companies and their stockholders are not willing to give up their profits or marginal increases to improve the companies long term viability.


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
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7 recommendations

reply to Brim77
Yes, this is the entire problem - why has nobody even paid attention to that packet of research?

We murdered Ma Bell for what, long distance competition? It lead to the absolute destruction of progress in the local loop, the end of universal service, as well as the termination of countless manufacturing jobs at WECO + the decline of Bell Labs.

The Baby Bells got a taste of lazy money and never let go.

Bleh.

Every time I look at that 400 PDF I cant help but get mad.


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
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reply to Plus One
Well if that's the case then the whole wretched husk of a formerly great country will finally implode and we can start to pick up the fragments and restart our lives.

*If this happens I fear the day. The USSR collapse was relatively peaceful. A USA collapse would be a violent disaster.

Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net

9 recommendations

reply to elray
We the people, have ALREADY paid for FTTH. American telcos have reaped BILLIONS on the promise that they would wire the entire country, each and every house, with FIBER! And not only that, telcos promised that the fiber network they built would be OPEN TO COMPETITION!

Here's 400 pages of education for ya. Its free, so use it.

»www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/broadban···61BF.pdf


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1

5 recommendations

reply to elray
Its not that nobody wants to pay for FTTH, its that the telcos wont build out. Its a chicken and egg problem. If you wont provide the service, who will pay for it?

Many of the ILECs made lofty promises about FTTH that they dropped.


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

12 recommendations

Boo Hoo

It is so hard to be a very rich, profitable ILEC that has ridden on the same decades old copper cabling while doing very little to provide service in "unprofitable markets" that were profitable enough to deploy telephone service to.

Lets just keep selling the ADSL hack. That will work. And if your Verizon, lets just abandon anything without FTTH unless the Government makes us do anything.

/10mbit is not a very high target in 2014 - I got 15mbit in a remote alpine village in Germany on Telkom ADSL2/

The United States has failed itself with deregulation. We let the phone companies do as they wish, and the nation will pay for this.

We will end up with pockets of very good service, and vast miles of shit that would be laughable in the 3rd world.