Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Rural areas using creative wireless to catch up; wealthy exburban homeowners suddenly find out they have no Internet otherwise
Washington DC local state WJLA presented the disappointing slowness of rural broadband tonight. People sign contracts for homes in exurban Loudoun County communities to find no cable broadband yet. Small companies are mounting stationary devices at high points to feed off of major cellular wireless and provide reasonable connections (otherwise direct Blackberry or cell device hookup).
My own experience with cellular wireless on the job (government) is very good. For ordinary home or small business or publishing use, it’s adequate. For streaming video, you still seem to need land-based (cable or FIOS) broadband. The other night, Netflix had to reset it’s send once during a 96 minute film when Comcast slowed down a bit as more users climbed on.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Will wireless services start to threaten to disrupt other uses, or vice versa? Alan Levin has a story in USA Today, March 10, “High Speed Wireless vs. GPS; new network could disrupt car, jet navigation, trade groups say”, link here.
The high speed service would come from LightSquared, here The name of the company corresponds to Einstein’s formula for energy.
GPS companies like Gamin have said that the FCC has moved too fast.
But I can remember that back in the 1960s, people in some cities (as around Pittbsurgh) complained that signals from military bases interfered with home electronics.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
On March 7, the New York Times ran an editorial that explains the issue of the FCC’s “jurisdiction”: very limited over “information services” (that is, the media, whether professional or “amateur”), but considerable over telecommunications, which are seen as utilities. The link is here.
The Bush administration had regarded the Internet as a form of “media” rather than a service (and I have to admit, that is how I used it for self-publication in the early years). It’s not necessarily so much in Obama’s political interest, ultimately, to change that.
So Verizon sues the FCC, and it may well have a case.
Friday, March 04, 2011
Libertarians (and anti-neutrality forces) will enjoy the column by Timothy P. Carney in the Washington Examiner Friday, p. 13, Regulatory warfare ensnares the wireless world,” link here.
Carney talks about regs that kept some players up in the air, in outer space; but hedge funds dealt some deals that got around all this, something like a forerunner of “The Event”. Carney mentions Falcone, SkyTerra, and Harbringer Capital Partners. These names call to mind the mysterious cell towers in Somalia in “FlashForward”, as if the telecomm companies know “there’s going to be another blackout.”
Seriously, the point of Carney’s piece is that telecomm companies paid lobbyists to play both sides of the partisan spectrum. It doesn’t sound like the telecomm industry is a place for “intellectual honesty” about public broadband policy.
Picture: Lookout Mountain, TN