19% of US Homes May No Longer Have Broadband

English: A wireless internet router, part of M...

English: A wireless internet router, part of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s broadband wireless internet network run by U.S. Internet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Broadband” is another term that historically had a specific definition in the telecom industry but now politicians have co-opted it and made the definition squishy. Before the Internet was a commercial service, the industry referred to signals as being narrowband, wideband, and broadband. Broadband was defined as any signal being greater than 1.544 Mbit/s or a DS1/T1 rate. Now broadband has evolved from an adjective to a noun with a different meaning depending on how the FCC defines it. I guess I should think of it as further evolution of the English language.

All across America, people could be waking up to their last day with broadband internet access. Oh, the speed of the bits in their pipes isn’t changing, but what we call it might be. The FCC is set to vote on whether or not internet access should only be called broadband if it’s 25Mbps or higher downstream. The current standard is a measly 4Mbps, which ISPs are just fine with. Continue reading

Broadband Is Best Left to Private Sector

ows_142205957499425Earlier this month President Obama visited Cedar Falls, Iowa, to encourage more American communities to build government-owned broadband networks. He issued this challenge for cities and towns to build their own municipal networks because, he said, the United States has fallen behind much of the world in providing super-high-speed broadband. The president then instructed what was previously thought to be an independent commission, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to overturn existing state laws in 19 states that exist to protect citizens against ill-advised municipal broadband projects.

One that they are seeking to overturn is in effect in Minnesota, where state law requires a local ballot initiative before a municipal broadband project can advance, providing transparency and some level of protection to taxpayers. Continue reading

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

capitoldomenight[1]Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband.

Senators Cory Booker (NJ), Ed Markey (MA), and Claire McCaskill (MO) today introduced the Community Broadband Act, which would make it illegal for states to forbid municipalities from building out their own networks if they want to. Continue reading

CES: Wheeler Signals Title II Is Likely

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler outlined his approach for establishing new rules for the “Open Internet” by suggesting he would use Title II, but in a relatively limited way, to ensure there would be “no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization.”

Wheeler made the comments at an annual Q&A with Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro during the 2015 CES convention on Jan. 7. Continue reading

Net Neutrality Meets Muni Broadband

There is not a mention of municipal broadband in this article other than the statement about the number of states with laws blocking it. At this time we have discovered that a vast majority of comments received by the FCC were form letters created by Soros-backed groups demanding more government control and that it is generally accepted that more regulation, especially Title II, will increase broadband rates. Yet, there are still people that believe that more government intervention will increase freedom and privacy.

The net neutrality discussion has raged since January when a U.S. appeals court struck down federal rules that barred broadband providers from creating fast and slow Internet lanes, essentially allowing ISPs to favor some sites and slow down others.

In response, the FCC proposed rules that would comply with the court’s ruling, causing a national debate that crashed the commission’s public comment system in July. Continue reading

U.S. Consumers Have Limited Options For High-Speed Web, Commerce Dept. Says


US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find it sad that so many people in this country are not aware of the 10th Amendment that prohibits the federal government from overriding state laws unless expressly stated in the Constitution. The report does outline the abysmal state of competition in the broadband market even though it blurs the line between wireless and wireline. 

Lest there was any doubt, competition among broadband providers remains lacking — at least at speeds of more than 10 Mbps.

That’s according to the Commerce Department, which this week released a new report regarding the state of broadband availability. Continue reading

Analysis: Consumer Bills Could Soar Under Title II

By: John Eggerton

Consumers’ broadband bills could go up close to $90 a year if the FCC reclassifies Internet access service under Title II common carrier regs, according to an analysis by the *Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute and **Robert Litan of Brookings.

According to a paper being released today (Dec. 1), the average increase in state and local fees on wireline, and potentially wireless, broadband, would be $67 and $72 annually, plus an added $17 per year in federal fees. Continue reading