Broadband Bytes for 2009-08-01

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7 Responses to Broadband Bytes for 2009-08-01

  1. Rusty Bumper Jack says:

    UTOPIA is grasping at straws here for Federal Stimulus Funding. It’s for “rural” areas that are under-served. Last time I checked – Farmington isn’t exactly “rural” and since they already have DSL and Internet provided by Comcast and Digis. UTOPIA can’t exactly bluff their way through a funding application this time. They have to know by census block where broadband is available. Only Qwest and Comcast know that and if by some miracle UTOPIA’s application is reviewed, Qwest and Comcast will shoot it down. The ILEC will have veto power over applicants since they can show availability. But I suspect in light of UTOPIA’s reputation with RUS the way it is now they won’t even get more than a cursory review and a polite letter informing them that their funding request is DENIED.

  2. luminous says:

    none of the incumbents will touch the stimulus so I think what is going to happen is their won’t be enough applicants and just about everyone who applies will be getting some. Not all of Farmington can get DSL and cable. Digis doesn’t count they are using unlicensed radio space making their service entirely unreliable. little things like poorly shielded microwaves from china, ham radio operators doing satellite communications, baby monitors, and hill air force base knock 2.4ghz out all the time. Farmington is probably to close to hill air force base to get 3.5ghz wimax licenses as well. ether way wireless is supplemental to broadband and not a replacement to such service itself.

  3. Rusty Bumper Jack says:

    I disagree with luminous: I have been on the stimulus calls for Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona and EVERYONE is at the table including ILECS, CLECS, cities and state government like UDOT, ADOT and NDOT. They all want a piece of the pie. However no one but the incumbents have access to the broadband maps coupled with census block data. The deadline for round one funding (the most money) is August 14th. The likes of UTOPIA and others won’t get access to those maps in time and when the funding decisions are made the incumbents will point out that ubiquitous broadband exists in the census blocks being applied for thus denying the likes of UTOPIA and UDOT access to stimulus funding.

    And Digis does count – it’s broadband service as defined by the US Government. It doesn’t matter what they use – heck they could use barb-wire for transport as long as they provide the minimum bandwidth required by the US Gov’t it counts. UTOPIA is spinning their wheels talking about stimulus funding, they need to concentrate on gaining new customers. In Brigham City connection fees are keeping customers from buying service as no one wants a lien on their property and in Tremonton they’ve topped out on customers as you can only hook up to UTOPIA if there is a fiber drop already in place. Qwest and Frontier both state privately that they are not seeing any effect from UTOPIA in their markets now. So it begs the question: What is UTOPIA going to do? Everyday that goes by is just one day closer to judgement day when they have to start paying back those loans. It was a bad business plan in the beginning and it’s proving to be a colossal boondoggle that will impede all the cities involved as they have to pay back those loans with tax revenue for the next 972,313 years! (disclaimer: it’s only 30 years but it’s going to feel like an eternity) Money that could be spent on new roads, industrial development and projects that better the lives of the people that live and work in these cities. What a shame.

  4. luminous says:

    Digis uses the same radio channels as your 802.11bgn networks, they suffer the same interference. They can not guarantee uptimes. That excludes them from being used for essential services. I can just imagine someone in the middle of a 911 call when the guy next door turns his microwave on and knocks their call out. Wireless is a complementary technology to wireline services not a replacement.

    At&t, and Verizon Both are refusing to use the stimulus. The trade group advising the telephone industry is telling them not to touch it due to open access requirements. their maybe smaller telco company’s that go for it, but it will be a short list. *note I am unsure of whether or not Qwest is going after any*.

  5. Rusty Bumper Jack says:

    luminous: Broadband is NOT considered essential services thus it was deregulated in January 2006 by the FCC. It doesn’t matter how they deliver it – it counts for Broadband and I assure you that Qwest will use that against anyone trying to get stimulus funding that will compete in their back yard. As to AT&T / Verizon not going after the stimulus funding – they aren’t really afraid of the open access provision they are worried about Congress telling them that since they took stimulus funding their salaries are going to be capped. The open access piece is and will be debatable and it won’t be that great a boon for competitors. Most of this is for “rural” areas and both those players are getting out of the rural markets.

  6. luminous says:

    You can think that all you like, I can’t wait the news headline about the guy having a heart attack who can’t call 911 on his VOIP provider due to a microwavable breakfast burrito knocking his wireless out. Dance around this all you like, It won’t change the fact that wireless on unlicensed bands can not be considered a reasonable solution.

  7. Jesse says:

    Jack: How would you know that Farmington is or is not underserved unless you have access to the closely-guarded coverage maps? Or how would anyone for that matter? That’s why coverage mapping is a crucial part of the puzzle.

    ILECs would love nothing more than to stay away from the money and use their super-secret coverage charts to shoot down proposals at the last minute and drive the competition out of the way. It’s the way they’ve done business for decades. Even though a lot of ILECs aren’t interested in taking the money, they’d be idiots to not keep an eye on it. Of course, cities could always use plans submitted to the city to determine availability and provide that to UTOPIA as part of the application process. None of them can bury lines or put up poles without city records and approval.

    I’m wary of how UTOPIA’s past experiences with RUS would color the process, but NTIA is also administering a significant chunk of the funds. I think that provides some kind of clean slate, not to mention that their prior approved application would bump them to the front of the line. I have a hard time seeing why this isn’t a route UTOPIA should go.

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