FCC Issues Open Internet Rules

Jonathan Charnitski, Reporter, BroadbandBreakfast.com

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WASHINGTON, December 22, 2010 – In an uncommon split vote on Tuesday, the FCC handed down an order requiring network providers to abide by certain rules intended to maintain network neutrality.

The order provided three guidelines by which internet service providers must abide in their offerings to consumers. First, the commission said, ISPs must provide services in a transparent manner by disclosing their network management practices and performance characteristics. Second, network providers must not block lawful content from their customers, and third, providers may not unreasonably discriminate by prioritizing certain network traffic without sufficient reason.

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Connect America Fund Threatens Rural States’ Telephone Subsidies

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Jonathan Charnitski, Reporter, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, November 29, 2010 – As the next phases of the National Broadband Plan draw near, states with significant rural area have expressed concern that they may lose funds vital to affordable telephone service.

The plan’s Chapter 8 outlines recommendations to provide affordable broadband internet access to all Americans. Part of that chapter recommends the creation of the Connect America Fund. The CAF would fund deployment of broadband to unserved and underserved populations, much as the Universal Service Fund provided the economic means to provide telephone service to all Americans.

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GAO Report Sees Tough Implementation of National Broadband Plan

BroadbandBreakfast.com Staff, BroadbandBreakfast.com

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WASHINGTON, October 13, 2010 – The United States plans to take actions to promote broadband similar to other nations, but achieving those goals will be challenging, says a new government report.

The Government Accountability Office looked at the plan offered by the Federal Communications Commission and how it reflects the experiences of leading countries on the issue. It found that the United States has a tough road ahead.

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FCC paves way for new mobile devices

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By Jasmin Melvin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators paved the way on Thursday for new, faster wireless devices by opening unused television airwaves for mobile broadband use.

Device makers such as Dell Inc, Nokia and Motorola Inc stand to profit from the Federal Communications Commission’s unanimous vote to allow unlicensed wireless devices to operate on this idle spectrum.

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Consumers getting only half of advertised broadband speed

Publish By Consensus

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Articles like the one below flooded the media this week when the FCC released its’ “Broadband Performance: OBI Technical Paper No. 4.”  All of the articles jumped on the headline that users were actually receiving half the bandwidth that the carriers were purchasing which implied that consumers were being cheated by carriers.  Even the typically conscientious ARS Technia jumped on this headline (or SEO) grabbing theme/meme.  Some of the articles took the time to extract from the report that the reasons for speed variations could be due to a multitude of factors such as user network, other Internet, and server delays, but many of them stuck with the prevailing theme.  The technical press seem bent on pressing the meme that “carriers are evil and we need the government’s regulation to save us.”  While I would be the first to chastise a carrier that was not providing what I purchased, my experience is that the transport usually lives up to the advertised speeds.  Remember too that there is always the obligatory “up to” qualifier on the speeds as well.  If I have any complaint with the incumbent ISP is that the price per bit is too expensive.

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