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Providers don't want to be under FCC regulatory control

Part of the billions of taxpayer dollars that president Obama set aside to help the economy and improve the technology used in many parts of the government is allotted to greatly improving the internet infrastructure in America. Millions of Americans around the country have no access to broadband or simply can’t afford access.

One of the first steps towards overhauling the national broadband infrastructure will be the unveiling of a new broadband plan by the FCC on March 17. The FCC began working on the national broadband plan back in April 2009. The FCC is looking at multiple methods of funding a national broadband plan including reallocation of funds collected in the Universal Service Fund. Last week, the FCC announced that it is aiming for nationwide broadband speeds of 100Mbps, but ISPs are already saying it will be hard to hit that speed in the next ten years.

Reuters reports that the FCC's national broadband plan is set to be unveiled on March 17 to Congress. The plan hopes to bring affordable and fast broadband internet access to the 90 million Americans who lack service today. According to the FCC, the major barriers it sees to broadband adoption by more Americas are cost, digital literacy, and relevance.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement, "In the 21st century, a digital divide is an opportunity divide. To bolster American competitiveness abroad and create the jobs of the future here at home, we need to make sure that all Americans have the skills and means to fully participate in the digital economy."

Cost is one of the main barriers to broadband cited by the FCC. Subscribers to broadband access around the country pay on average $40.68 per month while those bundling with other services at about $37.70 monthly. The cost of getting a computer in the home is also part of the cost barrier to getting broadband for many Americans. The FCC has not yet said how it plans to overcome the cost issues to broadband adoption or the other barriers for Americans.

As the FCC gets ready to unveil the national broadband plan next month, broadband ISPs are speaking out against any new regulations form the FCC over their networks. The FCC has been urged to place ISPs under the same regulatory umbrella that telecom providers operate under by digital rights groups. A decision on an old case currently before the federal appeals court could possibly derail the FCCs plans for national broadband reports the 
Washington Post.

Digital rights groups urge the FCC to place the broadband providers alongside phone providers with regulatory controls. The FCC is waiting on the federal appeals court to offer a ruling on whether it has authority over broadband providers. The appeal if from a 2007 case against Comcast where the FCC found the ISP violated open-access guidelines prohibiting network providers form slowing or blocking websites.

AT&T and Verizon are two of the largest broadband providers in the country. Both firms penned a 14-page document along with trade groups arguing that classifying broadband service providers along with phone services would be to "extremist" and add too many onerous ruled for the broadband industry.

The paper written by the companies stated, "The proposed regulatory about-face would be untenable as a legal matter, and, at a minimum, would plunge the industry into years of litigation and regulatory chaos."



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RE: Cost
By Oregonian2 on 2/23/2010 8:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Latency is the sort of thing that ping measures and is an attribute of path and delays within, and it'll vary quite a bit depending upon whom I'm connecting to. I can ping across (metro Portland, OR) to a particular server and get much higher latency (delay) than pinging a particular Seattle site (of course the cross-town ping may have passed through Florida on the way, I didn't check).

In terms of being able to have high transfer rates, my windows (having to do with ACK/NAKs, not uSoft) are nicely optimized and I get close to the 20/5 rates on various test sites, and even cross country I'll usually get at least half those rates.

As to ESPN360.com and my comments there, when I've used a monitor to see how fast I'm getting, it was a lot slower than 5Mbps and why I gave my DSL speed comments. If you've ever used ESPN360, the image size is very small and it's of relatively poor quality -- getting downright horrible if one puts it into full-screen mode.

As I mentioned, for sites that allow it, my 20Mbps download is great, and some sites even peg at that speed. But that doesn't happen very often, at least with my patterns of use. It's sites like ESPN360.com where I do use it often to watch my former school's games where I wish they'd crank up the resolution and needed net speed (now that I've got it).


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