Going in the wrong direction

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – Nov. 23rd, 2017


The FCC was charged by Congress in 1999 with developing a plan which  “include a detailed strategy for achieving affordability and maximizing use of broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety… and other national purposes.”
Eighteen years later and America’s broadband speed ratings have declined to ninth in the World for fixed systems, but 46th for mobile broadband. Worse still, the FCC which stated that “broadband” required 25/3 speeds to qualify for that designation means that both DSL and most U.S. mobile service, (Cell),  are not “broadband”; however more than ten other countries provide mobile broadband service above the 25mbps down/3mbps up speed. Typical U.S. cell networks are in the 10-15mbps down range, with the leading provider Verizon capable of 40+mbps in some areas. 
Advanced systems like BPL, fiber, and microwave relay are stuck in neutral, and numerous laws are still on the books which prevent municipalities from creating their own broadband networks.
Another set of disturbing relationships is America’s STEM ratings, quality of infrastructure, and broadband provisioning have all fallen out of leadership positions. Our STEM ratings are in 25th position, infrastructure at 8th, broadband at 15th. Twenty years ago we were in the top five for all segments.

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