Just to remind everyone, "Broadband" is a term invented by the cable industry to describe "bundled cable TV, phone, and Internet", pretty much "aka DOCSIS".
The confidence game played on America was to promote the idea that the US would deliver Broadband across the entire country (particularly rural locations where people have not had cable TV, much less bundled with phone and high speed Internet. And it was conflated with recovering from the 2007-2008 economic crash as a "shovel ready" job creation program, enhancing ghe opportunity of rural locations to create "good jobs" in the IT service industries.
Of course, the folks who wanted to see Internet connectivity spread and restructure the economic structure of communications decided not to look this "gift horse" in the mouth. Congress was going to fund rollouts of Cable TV (new and upgrades), and as a side effect, maybe some better Internet. (but no "over the top" TV like Netflix or VoIP telephony, just leave TV alone and use Cable Labs telephony standards at the RF level).
Now it's worth realizing that by accepting this framing of Broadband as the goal, not ubiquitous and interoperable high speed Internet itself, you basically put monopoly/oligoply Cable TV companies in control of the country's communicstions future.
Is this a good plan for thinking about the future of the Internet in the US? I really think it is a bad direction.
Now 25 Mb/sec is totally fine for most standard WWW/email usage, and even a little YouTube watching. But remember, such Internet on DOCSIS 3.1 or on 25 year old Verizon FiOS technology alongside cable TV over Verison FiOS still uses a TINY fraction of the installed cable analog capacity for Internet service. The architecture of the Cable TV service distributes *every* channel simultaneously to every endpoint, consuming outrageous bandwidth compared to the 25 Mb/s diddly squat usage on the "broad band" cable or fiber.
The idea that it is the government's job to "incent" private industry with pretty much oligopoly control of premises connectivity to make money is one of the perverse political arguments in the industry. They "poormouth" how they "can't make money", when in fact their High Speed Internet service has the highest profit margins of any of their service offerings. They are making money hand over fist on the Internet piece, and it costs them next to nothing to provide it. (Prices don't track costs, because there is no competition at all in most places, because the government prevents new competitors.)
So it just seems strange to me that we have this debate about how fast is fast enough, as if the government has to force companies to make money hand over fist.
Nope - what is going on here is something a little subtle. What the cable companies don't want, what they are fighting for, are two things:
1) no competitive entry whatsoever, no way. They have to make sure that state and local governments think they can't afford to upgrade their plants, despite strong customer interest. Of course, no new investment is required if there is no competition, and their story is that if the FCC allows competitors their incentive will vanish and they will stop investing. (that makes it the only industry in history whose incentive vanishes when there is competition on a profitable service. And they are NOT losing money on Internet service, far from it, if you look at the books they show their investors, not the regulators).
2) The right to bill both sides of communications transactions arbitrarily large prices for reachability - they make their customers pay to get access to the public Internet, and also the cloud, web, content servers pay them to provide adequate connections. This is a two-sided market. It arises when the "middle" can create arbitrary scarcity at will. (a "protection racket" is a two sided market, too).
So, in responding to this notice by the FCC of a "standard" for Broadband, just realize that you might want to question the entire proposition that Broadband is a thing that needs a standard.
What "high speed" means in the Internet is a much more meaningful question, but that's a truth in advertising question. And it really has to do with "response time" more than any guarantee of an "up to" speed. How long does it take Netflix to buffer enough content to play the rest of the show without interruption? (that's why you need burst rate) How fast do your trigger pulls on your multiperson VR shooter get reflected on all the other players' displays?
People do pay more for that. But the standard of what "that" is - high speed, very high speed, ... isn't just 25 Mb/sec. It's also bufferbloat, for example.
THink about that, and don't get sucked into comments on what Cable TV should do for minimal Internet quality.
From: "Dave Taht" <***@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2018 7:47pm
To: "bloat" <***@lists.bufferbloat.net>, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [Cerowrt-devel] fcc initial comments due sept 10
CEO, TekLibre, LLC
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