Dish Network has started offering HD and SD content in MPEG4 format. Other providers cable and DirectTV are only providing HD content in MPEG4 format.
Qwest is trying to get Comcast taxed as a telco here in Utah.
Google says they need more undersea bandwidth and traditional providers can’t provide. So they are building more of their own. From an older article on the same subject “Google has so much cash, it’s now competing head-to-head the world’s biggest telcos.”
I wish this study came out when I was still in school. Then I would have had a better excuse for the 2nd phone line for the modem back in the day. Apparently broadband at home helps kids get better grades.
Update: Sorry for the dupe on the Comcast cap thing. I guess I should check the front page before posting.
Qwest announced key leadership changes in Sales and IT. The link includes some background about each of the new executives that have been chosen. I’m hoping the new leaders will realize the importance of bringing telecommunications into the 21st century by investing in infrastructure like Verizon has been doing and understand the increasing importance of upload speeds.
Recently, it has come to light that Comcast has been throttling bandwidth for various applications with little or no disclosure. In a 67 page order, the FCC has said that “Comcast has 30 days to fess up about P2P throttling”. On Wednesday, there were also reports that Comcast would slow traffic for heavy users, but today in the NYTimes Comcast claims that no final decisions have been made about managing network traffic.
There is a looming problem on the Internet, IP addresses are running out. There is a finite number of addresses and experts keep telling us we are close to exhaustion. The solution is IPV6, but according to reports, it is failing to gain traction.
Internet traffic is on the rise and consumers are using more and more bandwidth:
“As cable and phone companies race to upgrade services or offer video for the first time, they’re doing it by installing equipment in boxes on lawns, easements and curbs all over American neighborhoods. Telecommunications rollouts have always been messy, but several towns and residents are fighting back…”
Some ISP’s have responded to increased bandwidth usage by some of their customers with announcements of new bandwidth caps.
P2P data is a big bandwidth user, apparently accounting for 40%-60% of all the traffic used on the Internet. Some researchers have a novel idea for cutting bandwidth usage. In a paper to be released next week, researchers found a way to lessen the load of P2P with an algorithm they dub “P4P”. Though the P4P article is scant on technical details, it involves finding shorter routes between users thereby making the traffic traverse fewer networks.
An analyst at a major investment firm says that broadband competition is today as good as it is going to get and that there aren’t going to be any major disruptive technologies in broadband in the future. All the more reason UTOPIA is so important: it provides an open infrastructure that fosters provider competition.
Speaking of politics, this article has an interesting look at the Internet policy in the 2008 Democratic platform. I couldn’t find any info yet about the 2008 Republican platform (it hasn’t been released yet). In 2004, the Republican platform stated: “Broadband provides Americans with high-speed Internet access connections that improve the nation’s economic productivity and offer life-enhancing applications, such as distance learning, remote medical diagnostics, and the ability to work from home more effectively…Broadband technology will enhance our nation’s economic competitiveness and will improve education and health care for all Americans.” It’s nice to see that both major parties acknowledge the importance of broadband for the future of this country.
We’ll see you at the Layton U-CAN meeting on Saturday at Noon at the Davis Library.
Popular Mechanics has an article about cable companies recompressing DTV signals. It also talks about bit rates and what makes HD look good or not.
Hate being forced to rent your cable box? This guy does to so he filed a class action lawsuit calling it an antitrust law violation. This would be one to watch the outcome here could mean the ability to purchase your HD Cable DVR from the company of our choice. Kind of like how you can walk into Walmart now and pick out a Cable modem of your choice.
Wonder what broadband speeds in Utah look like? The Communications Workers of America have their 2nd report out. The data is compiled from the speed test application on their site.
This was mentioned in the FreeUTOPIA forums by Capt. Video. It looks like 400 or so residents in Canada are going to own the last mile of fiber to their home. The fiber will terminate at a common peering location. Which they then will be able to choose their provider. The fiber is their’s they can sell it with the house, lease it to the neighbors, even roll the purchase into their shiny new morgage.
American Airlines began offering broadband today on flights. Unfortunately, you have to pay $12.95 to use it.
Could things get ugly at Qwest? They still have not reached a labor agreement with the Communications Workers of America. Those 20,000 workers could begin a strike as early as Sunday (tomorrow), the day their existing contract expires.
“The U.S. may be winning world speed records in swimming at the Olympics, but not in average Internet speeds. According to a new report, the country that invented the Internet has now sunk to 15th worldwide in the percentage of the population subscribing to broadband.” This is a great AP News article that summarizes the state of broadband today in America and compares it with other countries. In other parts of the country, like Oklahoma, they are significantly behind. According to this article, Oklahoma ranks below most other states in broadband, which is a worry for officials. “Infrastructure and connection is so important to economic development…Many future industries will be knowledge-based.”
The FCC has a proposal to build a national, free, wireless broadband network that nearly everyone could access. It is inching forward despite controversy and worries by T-Mobile and others about interference. They are seeking feedback on this plan. I would like to point out though that this will never replace the interference-free, low-latency, high-bandwidth connections that are possible with fiber optic networks.
In the presidential race, net neutrality and other broadband issues have become points of contrast:
John McCain’s position: “John McCain does not believe in prescriptive regulation like “net-neutrality,” but rather he believes that an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices is the best deterrent against unfair practices. John McCain has always believed the government’s role must be rooted in protecting consumers.”
Barack Obama’s position: “So here’s my view. We can’t have a situation in which the corporate duopoly dictates the future of the internet and that’s why I’m supporting what is called net neutrality.”
John McCain has put forward an excellent bill in the Senate called the Community Broadband Act of 2005, which Barack Obama has not yet signed on to. Interestingly, this bill is supported by EDUCAUSE and more than 40 education and trade associations, public interest groups, etc. This bill would protect the ability of local governments to provide Internet services
to their communities. Jonathan Karras and I have talked about EDUCAUSE before. Though Obama hasn’t signed on to this bill, he has stated that “Every American should have the highest speed broadband access—no matter where you live, or how much money you have. We’ll connect schools, libraries, and hospitals. And we’ll take on special interests to unleash the power of wireless spectrum for our safety and connectivity.”
Many cities haven’t been as successful as they hoped in building various municipal broadband network, primary wireless networks. The first of these was Philidelphia. “Philadelphia’s goal to cover 135 square miles with a cloud of Internet connectivity was ambitious. But the need was undeniable. High-speed Internet access was fast becoming an economic, educational, and social necessity.” This article has an in-depth look at a lot of municipal networks around the country, but no mention of UTOPIA or IProvo.
While Wednesdays edition news related. Today’s links would be about broadband policy. Where should we be going where are we going and how do we get there.
A Blueprint for Big Broadband – This is a document that has been mentioned here before by me (Jonathan). I quite like it because its very comprehensive about why broadband matters and an action plan on how to get there. Written by EDUCAUSE which is a higher education community. Their stated mission is to “promote the intelligent use of information technology.”
Speed Matters – This site is run by the Communications Workers of America. With similar goals to promote broadband expansion.
The fact that we will be doing a regular feature on broadband news shows that there is a lot of interest in this space. At a recent Qwest webinar, lots of business attendees mentioned slow network speeds are a major concern. Many people are supportive of UTOPIA for different reasons and come from different political persuasions, but the one cause that unites us is a desire to bring our communities into the future by supporting advancements in broadband deployments. We feel it can’t be stressed enough that networks are the railroads of the 21st century. Those cities that have it will prosper, those that don’t will be left by the wayside.
Major telecom incumbents have been slow to invest in our communities and bring us faster network speeds that will be crucial for our economy and our quality of life. In addition, these incumbents have fought and continue to fight efforts by others (like us) to improve broadband even when they themselves refuse to improve broadband speed, quality, and availability. Our goal is to share news developments and insights pertaining to broadband in the hope that with a more informed community we can make better decisions to improve the availability of fast, consumer-friendly, choice-driven, high-quality broadband. This kind of broadband is severely lacking in many parts of Utah, though fortunately, UTOPIA is changing that in more ways than one.
Without further ado, here is our first edition of Broadband Bytes:
Charter Communications says out with the old and in with the new. DOCSIS 3.0, SDV, and all digital in the works. (Goodbye analog spectrum)