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FCC Proposes 100Mbps Minimum Home Broadband Speed

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the still-can't-get-cable dept.

The Internet 461

oxide7 writes "The US Federal Communications Commission unveiled a plan on Tuesday that would require Internet providers to offer minimum home connection speeds by 2020, a proposal that some telecommunications companies panned as unrealistic. The FCC wants service providers to offer home Internet data transmission speeds of 100 megabits per second to 100 million homes by a decade from now, Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said."

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Already there (1)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169408)

Good thing I got fiber to my house a month ago in my house out in the sticks. Now I get 20Mbps down/4 mbps up and my ISP (Smithville Telephone) has plans going up to 100 down/25 up I think, although its like $140/month.

Re:Already there (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169728)

Same here. We have fiber to the house for a couple of years: 100/10 internet without caps/limits plus IP TV. The optical switch in our house has 8 cat6 ports, so there may be a future speed increase once the upstream is upgraded (apparently they use some 10Gbit switches for upstream). We use one port for the router/firewall on our protected LAN, another for the unprotected LAN (for our work laptops), and another for the IP TV digibox.

Re:Already there (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170004)

20/20 for 26E a month here. My city has 10.000 inhabitants, so you don't need a huge population to make it profitable. The only reason I can see to not have optic lines in cities above 10.000 people is political laziness.

Re:Already there (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170094)

It is indeed expensive, but Smithville is at least stepping up to offer service in places that were stuck with satellite. I switch late last year. Had to subsidize the fiber run as I am well back from the road, but they were great to work with.

That would be all well and good (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169410)

That would be all well and good if it were the Government's place to mandate minimum speeds. Frankly I'd rather see them focus on keeping the 'net free and neutral or forcing the telcos to expand broadband coverage like they were supposed to after all the incentives they got. Let market forces deal with bandwidth.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

llvllatrix (839969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169508)

They seem to be content with doing the opposite. A minimum speed will likely mean that only a select few telcos would be able to support the infrastructure and fewer people would be able to afford the service.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169576)

    The providers will probably keep their pricing at a reasonable level. It's not advantagous to them, to price it beyond the reach of the average customer. They'd rather have 100,000,000 customers at $20/mo, than 1,000 customers are $200/mo.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169736)

True, but the average consumer is also pretty happy at DSL level speeds (Or at least won't justify spending more for the 100mbps service).

What I see happening if this really does pass, is service levels for different pricing. Everyone gets a 100mbps connection, but the base plans only guarantee 1mbps (in theory 100 people or so per 100mbps uplink, in practice possibly thousands of customers). The more expensive plans would allocate more and more of the core bandwidth to each customer. That way, they could still afford a $20 per month plan, and still rape customers with $200 per month plans...

Re:That would be all well and good (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169886)

can we please drop the average consumer crap? Usage trends for internet are completely unpredictable even on a year to year basis, age group basis, or otherwise. So when people think DSL speeds are good enough, they're trying to define average consumers. It doesn't exist. This is like saying "the average user isn't a gamer" or "the average user just burns bandwidth on youtube" or "the average user just browses the web and sends email".

Also, 10 years from now 100mbps might be not that different from how dsl is now. Really, we already have 50-100mbps connections available in some areas (slowly becoming less spotty), so 10 years from now might be 300mbps or something. Gigabit routers = non issue there. Heck, everyone has at least a 10/100 router at home which can (and is specced to do so) handle 100mbps.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170080)

having a 10/100 nic does not mean the router can route 100mbit traffic. Try plugging your generic 100mbit router up to a real 100mbit connection, and see how much throughput you get.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

kriebz (258828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170114)

I love your optimism, but I want you to try something: get a router that's not brand-new and relatively expensive, and put the "100Mb" WAN port on your LAN, put a machine on the LAN side, and copy data through it from something on your actual network. Not to say technology is standing still; we will have this soon enough. A $1400 Cisco router is only rated to 40Mb of WAN speed.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169942)

True, but the average consumer is also pretty happy at DSL level speeds (Or at least won't justify spending more for the 100mbps service).

The average consumer was pretty happy at dial up speeds until they got a taste of something faster. Every day this becomes more and more true as more and more media rich services and web interfaces present themselves. Downloading music and watching video on line is now common for broadband users. Accordingly, users will continue to notice speed improvements up until they hit the endpoint service provider throttles or become saturated.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169756)

Ooh, nice spot. So the incumbents would be too big to fail, and nobody new would ever be able to break into the market. Business as usual, in other words.

Re:That would be all well and good (5, Insightful)

kingjoebob (1011701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169732)

"Market Forces" you mean let the ISPs charge whatever they want for poor service and very poor speed and uptime? Market forces only work when there is competition, in my area I got once choice. Besides how long does one have to live in this "Market Economy" to realize that big corps will do whatever they can to make a dollar. It is in their best interest to not upgrade their networks and charge out the nose. Change on this magnitude will only come to the masses if the government mandates it, its always been like that it always will.

Re:That would be all well and good (0)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169852)

It's a two way street. Consumers do whatever they can to squeeze corps. Corps squeeze consumers.

The government does not need to get involved, they need to get out of the way by removing the monopoly cable companies enjoy. Then we'll have actual competition.

For a counterexample to your argument, look at the airline industry. Consumers demand cheap flights, and they get cheap flights.

Re:That would be all well and good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169970)

In the US a large bulk of the airlines now charge per checked piece of luggage. I recently booked a flight that I've flown over 30 times in the past three years. it was about 20 cheaper than my last booking. Yet, this time around I have to pay $25 for a suitcase that is very tiny. Oh ya, I also can't carry it on for free.. because they've lowered their carry on size to something about the size of small messenger-style laptop bag.

Re:That would be all well and good (2, Insightful)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170088)

That's awesome, because it means that those of us who pack light no longer subsidize those of you who don't. Jet fuel is expensive, and since it takes more of it to tote your big fat bag around, I'm happy for you to pay for it.

Re:That would be all well and good (4, Insightful)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169998)

Odd - Where I live, 500 yards away, they have 8Mbps cable available for $40/mo. The best I can get is 512Kbps DSL for $85/mo. I offered to pay to have the line run up the hill to my home, and got an easement from the landowner to do so, but was stopped when I discovered that it wasn't legal to extend cable coverage outside the prescribed service area.

Get rid of the government "regulation" on this, and I'd have decent internet in a week.

Re:That would be all well and good (2, Insightful)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170020)

Yeah, so the cost of upgrades required by the government come out of their asses right? If you think you are not going to be the one paying for the FCC-mandated upgrades, you are living in la-la land. Who do you think is going to pay for it, the isp? No, the customer will.

Re:That would be all well and good (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169776)

Letting market forces deal with the bandwidth would be fine if there were any real broadband competition out there. Most people in the U.S. have two broadband choices, DSL through their telco or cable through their cableco. A few (very few) are lucky enough to have a third choice (like Fiber optic through FIOS or similar). With competition being so limited, their is little incentive to build up the system--particularly to rural areas where a user's only broadband option may be satellite (if you can even call that "broadband").

My own situation is a good illustration. I live in suburb of a fairly large city. I have two options, a DSL line (max 3Mbs) or a cable line (max 12Mbps). The telco has had the ability to build out to 6Mbps for years now, but has never done so because they knew that the cableco would ultimately pass them anyway. The cableco built out to 12Mbps but charges ridiculously high rates for it. The cableco also has zero incentive to build anything beyond 12Mbps or lower their prices, because their only competition is limited to 3-6Mbps max. Basically, without some government prompting, or the arrival of something like FIOS (which has been deathly slow in deployment), there is absolutely no reason for any of my providers to do anything but sit on their asses and charge whatever they choose.

Re:That would be all well and good (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169798)

Except your precious market forces exert more pressure on telcos to provide the minimum amount of bandwidth for the maximum cost the market will bear. There's absolutely no incentive for them to provide a minimum guaranteed speed outside of regulation. Just look at their current lobbying efforts do define broadband down to under 200K.

Re:That would be all well and good (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169876)

Let market forces deal with bandwidth.

Yeah, because that really seems to be working out so far. Clearly the competition between the major providers is pushing them to improve and excel.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169892)

I would agree except for one thing: most of these companies are government sanctioned monopolies. That in my mind means its up to the government to dictate terms of service and pricing.

Personally I don't think that for-profit government sanctioned monopolies should exist, but who cares what I think?

Re:That would be all well and good (4, Insightful)

dintlu (1171159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170014)

I see this is a sign that the government is realizing the importance of the internet to the future of commerce and national security.

Minimum speed mandates are the first step towards government-maintained infrastructure. By setting a target the telcos will be unable to reach, and buoying consumer expectations to expect this level of service soon, the door is opened for the government to implement solutions for upgrading or providing a portion of the telecommunications infrastructure themselves.

Frankly the telcos have nobody but themselves to blame. They took taxpayer money and instead of spending it on infrastructure upgrades to keep the US competitive with other nations, they sat on their collective asses raking in record profits while the quality of their networks and their customer satisfaction went to shit. If market forces worked, this would be unnecessary.

Re:That would be all well and good (1)

TheHappyMailAdmin (913609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170074)

Keep in mind that free market forces are not truly in play in the US since our telecom system has evolved as a series of local monopolies. While much more competition is present today than in the past, in large part because of the way competing technologies now blur the lines between phone and cable companies, it's still not a true free marketplace today since local monopoly agreements are already in place.

Well... (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169414)

...I'm going to have to side with the ISPs on this one. I think requiring them to offer high-speed internet to that many people is realistic by 2020, but at that speed? That's pushing it...

The only way to really get ISPs off their collectively slow asses is to increase competition. Too many areas of the country are stuck with only one or two choices...which isn't a choice at all.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169452)

It said to 100 million homes. How many of those homes are in densely packed cities? It's probably not as hard as it sounds. It would however require upgrades to the infrastructure that they seem to desperately want to avoid spending money on.

Of course, most likely nothing will come of this so it doesn't really matter.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169874)

Of course, by 2020, that would probably put us about 15th in average broadband speed!

The beauty of this is the government wouldn't have to do much, as most service providers will then be able to just outlay a small percentage of their fees to purchase off the shelf hardware that will already be in numerous countries by then.

Re:Well... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169492)

Or we're stuck with no choice whatsoever because our area isn't deemed profitable enough to even run cable television through! I don't understand why the telephone lines, water pipes, and power lines can run down my road just fine, yet no one is willing to offer anything outside of dial-up and satellite internet access. The government needs to step in and get the ball rolling on exactly this type of thing.

Re:Well... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169544)

Agreed. Government loves investing in worthless crap, how about something worth investing in for a change? Look at the billions of dollars they waste on a yearly basis. It would be interesting to see how much it would cost to set up a fiber-optic network throughout the country.

Yes yes, concerns about the government setting up that kind of network...that's why the money would just be given to the ISPs on the (very) strict condition that it is used to build the necessary infrastructure. But of course that would be "socialism", so...

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169792)

It would be interesting to see how much it would cost to set up a fiber-optic network throughout the country.

That fiber optic network pretty much exists. It's just not in the telco/cable provider's interests (read: not profitable enough yet) to turn that fiber on and start using it. After all, if they were forced to give you faster access now for the same price, how would they instead be able to charge you double or triple that amount for the same access in 5 years? They can't. So they won't even try. Welcome to capitalism. Offer the least amount of service for the most amount of money. Especially when you have a monopoly (or near monopoly) in a given field.

Re:Well... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169682)

The telephone & power lines only run down your road because the government stuck their nose in and said that everybody else had to pay more to subsidize your electricity.

Re:Well... (1)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169948)

I believe they tried by giving the telcos lots of tax breaks and money to improve the broadband network...but attached no strings to it, so the money just went to their exec bonuses and never went to the broadband network.

Re:Well... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169494)

...I'm going to have to side with the ISPs on this one. I think requiring them to offer high-speed internet to that many people is realistic by 2020, but at that speed? That's pushing it...

At worst, I suppose it amounts to "um, yeah, we're gonna make you replace all those ancient copper lines with fiber now, kthxbye". Which, given their government-granted monopoly status and subsidies, doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Re:Well... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169820)

It would be more useful if they also removed the bogus limits on running servers out of your home. The original concept for the Internet was that everyone could/would have some public/shared content on their computers. Why should trojans and worms have all the fun?

Re:Well... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169928)

Depending on your ISP, you may be able to run a server by just asking them to unblock port 80 -- they may even do it for free. You never know until you try*.

*Well, unless you read the fine print that is. And even then theory != practice.

Re:Well... oh comeon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169532)

Oh really? I completely disagree, 100megabits is 100% realistic, I live in the darned middle of nowhere and got 1/12,5 of that speed! And we are talking 10 years, an entire decade! How can it no be realistic.
And its megaBITS not megaBYTES(1 byte = 8 bits).

Re:Well... (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169726)

But Google's promising 1Gbps, which they want to aim at the more rural areas. But if the rural areas are getting that, there's gonna be a bigger push for that in the urban areas. Maybe the market will demand around 100mbps by 2020, as competition does get higher. And Google could be a pretty scary competitor for some of those bigger ISPs...

Re:Well... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169938)

but at that speed? That's pushing it...

Really? In our area, the ISP announced a few years ago that they would not lay any new copper. All connections are now fiber only. That includes TV, telephone, and internet (with 20/2 and 100/10 services). The cost in laying fiber is not much different from laying copper, and the bandwidth is much higher, especially in the boonies.

This was a wise decision, as the "last mile" is the hardest to upgrade, so putting in capacity for the future means that it will not become a bottleneck for some time. The optical switch installed in our house has 8 cat6 (gigabit) ports, so they are probably providing future capacity there also. The present bottleneck is the upstream connection, which relies on a few 10Gbit switches for the fiber through each customer area. Upgrading those switches is much less costly than digging up hundreds of kilometers of "last mile" connections.

Re:Well... (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170006)

If you lived in Romania, you could pay to use your apartment's fiber-optic line via an Ethernet connection. For $4 Euro per month, my friend gets uncapped transfers that max out to 10MB/s inside the country. The very worst speeds I've seen were 500kb/s while there.

Now you could say "But we have many more people", well yes, but this is a country who was communist not too long ago. You also have much more money. For example, a good wage is $10,000 euro per year for a skilled worker with a degree. So at this point, I'd state it's a matter of will, not expense that we don't have these things in Australia and America.

Make the companies do it, they will either succeed; or go bankrupt. If they go down, then their monopoly will be broken and smaller local ISPs will spring up and be forced to actually compete. Either way, people will benefit.

Bad Idea. (2, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169420)

Bad idea. Have you seen what most ISPs charge for 15?

Re:Bad Idea. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169704)

Sure, they can "offer" it, for only $9999.99 per month (plus taxes where not void). Any takers? Aaaaanyone at all?

Re:Bad Idea. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170102)

No, because 100mbit internet lines tend to be much much less than that-- I think we were quoted $1200/mo by one company, and worst case $5000 or so from another.

Re:Bad Idea. (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170016)

Yeah, they would certainly use it as an excuse to jack up prices. They'd complain that government meddling only hurts the consumer and raise prices through the roof to ensure that that's the case.

I do think that the internet should be considered a basic utility and that internet access should be guaranteed like water and electricity; however, I think that the right to online access ends at e-mail and Slashdot. 100 Mb/s is nice, but I'd say 1 Mb/s would be more appropriate for a mandated rate goal.

Google! (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169440)

Google just announced their plans to do lay high-speed fiber... and now the FCC is defining a minimum bandwidth.
Looks like the internet in that little country called the US will finally catch up with the rest of the world... Maybe i'll finally get some speed from US P2P users now... ;-)

Re:Google! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169534)

I hate you

Re:Google! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169612)

Don't worry, we hate you too :)

Re:Google! (3, Insightful)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169952)

It'll only catch up when we unbundle, which will never happen as long as they have lobbyists.

FCC: Setting High Goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169462)

Awesome, so now we have ten years to catch up to what Japan has now. Lead the charge, FCC!

Re:FCC: Setting High Goals (5, Interesting)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169980)

Japan has 1Gbps internet. I had it when I lived there a few years ago. Even at 100Mbps we would be way behind.

Who cares about ISP speeds? (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169478)

I rarely get anything served to me at higher than 400 KB/sec.

Re:Who cares about ISP speeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169808)

Your ISP is lying and/or utter crap. I have absolutely no trouble maxing out my 1.25 MB/s on any number of sites. I almost never, ever see any less than 600KB/s. Downloading a ton of podcasts from many sources. Definitely no trouble maxing out from the usual CDNs. Either your downloading habits are rather strange, or your ISP's infrastructure is shit.

Re:Who cares about ISP speeds? (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170116)

Well, my ISP is crap, but it's rarely lower than 10 mbps and only usually during evenings. Fast servers, like MS and Google, usually max out what the ISP can handle, but pretty much everything else, including YouTube, is pretty slow. Even DirecTV limits their upload rate to 7.5 mbps.

U.S. leading the world on internet development?!? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169482)

That would require that the U.S. take the world lead in internet development. It's completely unrealistic to expect something so unprecedented.

Re:U.S. leading the world on internet development? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169646)

I agree, it is unrealistic to expect the telcos to do a little work and actually try and earn the paychecks they're pulling in. But hey, wishful thinking.

because its too hard (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169512)

I like how we Americans think its fine that the rest of the world is surpassing us in everything else, bandwidth included.
World's most powerful nation going at the speed of fail.

Easy as pie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169514)

They do it in the most dense areas. The big cities where fiber is already running and put users on it.... that is cake. Now for us out in the sticks if we can get 1.5mb by 2020, that would be a great start.

We're going to MARS! (4, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169528)

This is the IT equivalent of Bush's "We're going to Mars" announcement.

It will be followed by actions which will make it impossible. (The equivalent of cutting Nasa's budget and programs)

So my money is on...reducing competition, letting infrastructure fail, and killing net neutrality for the Trifecta.

Who'll give me Vegas odds on these?

Re:We're going to MARS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169906)

Agreed. If I'll want to start an ISP business, I'll have to provide at least 100Mbps as mandated BY LAW. What if my customers won't want that much speed? That's actually true, because 100 Mbps is clogging a lot of routers and I am currently connected to two internet providers: one that offers 50 Mbps for regular browseing and one that offers 1Mbps with amazingly low latency for on-line gaming. Yes, sir, I'm very happy with what I've got.

Re:We're going to MARS! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169916)

Politicians making big promises and then failing to deliver?!?!? Well, there goes my faith in those guys.

The Dept, of Agriculture will soon propose... (5, Funny)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169530)

...that 100 million people by 2020 should have a pretty pony. This will result in 50 people receiving tainted horse steaks by 2035.

The next round of government rule-making... (4, Funny)

Entrope (68843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169536)

I, for one, welcome our new pony-mandating FTC overlords and our rainbow-mandating EPA overlords. Every American should have the government-granted right to upload pictures of their pony galloping under a rainbow at 100 Mbps speeds!

ISPs almost sound like trolls (1)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169540)

From the article:

"First, we don't think the customer wants that. Secondly, if (Google has) invented some technology, we'd love to partner with them,"

Almost sounds like a troll to me. I think most consumers would love a 100Mbps connection -- assuming it was reasonably priced. That being said, Verizon already offers FiOS at speeds up to 50Mbps, so 100Mbps isn't that much of a stretch.

Sadly, I'm stuck in an area where it's either ADSL1.x or cable.

Good start (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169548)

Now if only they could force companies to unbundle their services and keep the cost proportional to the service. By that I mean, if they bundle tv, phone and internet for $99/month, they can offer each service for $33/month.

Which is not the case at the moment. I cannot get internet service from either Verizon or Comcast (my only two providers) for $33/month at the same speed as they offer for their bundled service.

Re:Good start (2, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169742)

The only way they could do that is by increasing the bundled price; there's certain fixed costs of your service that don't increase proportionally to how many subservices you have.

Just pass the amendments already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169584)

WTF is the FCC doing, making suggestions about my dealings with my local ISP over a link that doesn't cross state lines?

That rhetorical question has kind of a quaint ring to it. Let's face it: America has certain expectations from their government, regardless of legal concerns. So let's just legalize it. I propose two constitutional amendments:

Congress shall have the power to do whatever they think is a good idea. All previous amendments conflicting with this, are hereby repealed.

The right to be subject to physics shall not be infringed; other rights are negotiable.

DigiTechGuy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169604)

Umm... Where in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to do this? Government's job does nto include manadating such asinine policies for private business, nor does it include running automobile companies (Lada anyone?). Government can do no good, can create nothing, can not get a net positive, ever. All it can do is take from one, slice a bit off the top, and give to another. This is bad.

Furthermore, if we were to ignore the Constitution as liberals and neocons do, this is just not feasible in any cost effective manner. It would put many internet providers out of business as they cannot be profitable and offer such services. This of small towns in teh boonies, in teh desert, in the mountains. it's just not realistic or profitable to get 100 Mb/s speeds to single houses or small communities in the middle of nowhere. So by putting these companies out of business from fines or whatever harsh measures government would inpose for non-compliance with the 100 Mb/s manadate there would be less competition. Less competition is bad, and results in increased prices and monopolies. Of course this is what government wants as it can lead to government takeover and government stake in many companies leading to an eventual single government provider for internet, just like the commies want with healthcare. Result is little if any competition, high costs, many inefficiencies and waste, and poor overall service at a greater expense.

Crazy laws like this are a downward spiral towards everyone being worse off and paying more.

Captcha: idealism - oh the irony

Transfer limits, not speed! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169620)

Pretty soon, we'll have 1Gbps connections to-the-home with 1GB monthly transfer limits. I can't wait. I'll be able to transfer my monthly quota in mere hours now!
Speeds doesn't matter one god damn when usage is so restricted. Telcos and Commcos win again!

Re:Transfer limits, not speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169840)

1GB at 1Gbps == 8 (and a bit) seconds.

Re:Transfer limits, not speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169954)

More like less than 20 minutes!

If the FCC wants to accelerate it (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169666)

They should federalize all franchising so that local and state governments cannot limit which telecoms and cable companies can operate where.

wow... (1)

rfolkker (443051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169678)

I am glad I heard that Devo is back to sing play out the end of days. While I agree that things will probably get twisted, I would like to see higher band-widths available to the general public. The general demoralizing and insulting response to something the government is *trying* to improve is funny. It's like kids getting upset with their parents promising a pony for a birthday. Instead of being happy at the COMPLETELY ridiculous gift, the insults and concerns of: well, if I even get the pony, who is going to feed it, where is it going to stay, my parents aren't even going to give me time to play with it, it will probably kick me, nobody else is going to get a pony, I already bought my own pony...

Lighten up people, you will have enough time to complain when things fail.

Won't happen (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169710)

Until we repeal the government mandated monopoly. Or they'll just redefine 6 Mbps as 100 Mbps. I certainly wouldn't put such douchebaggery passed Comcast, I mean Xfinity, to do so.

Why complain (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169740)

In the mid-90s the Telecom industry was given 200 billion [pbs.org] dollars to roll out 45 megabit internet across the country. Nothing ever came of it, and the telecom industry got to pocket that $200 billion.

Sounds to me that the telecoms should know a good thing when they hear it.

I'm for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169782)

As long as they are just saying that to be called (the word they are 'defining') you need to maintain such a minimum speed, slower offerings should be allowed, but just can't claim to be .

Just as their are regulations on what is given the name 'organic', we still allow non-organic foods, but they aren't allowed to claim to be organic.

Not without significant infrastructure change... (0, Troll)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169800)

100 Mbps? Does the FCC not realize that 99% of all residences only have copper cabling to them (either twisted pair or coax)? It is impossible to get 100 Mbps out of such a transmission medium over any meaningful distance. The only solution to this would be to overbuild the entire telecommunications infrastructure with fiber optic cable. Phone and Cable companies aren't going to like that--they already have billions of dollars invested in the current copper plant out there.

Is 100 Mbps feasible? Yes. Is it feasible by 2020? Yes, but certainly not to everyone.

Re:Not without significant infrastructure change.. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170118)

100 Mbps? Does the FCC not realize that 99% of all residences only have copper cabling to them (either twisted pair or coax)? It is impossible to get 100 Mbps out of such a transmission medium over any meaningful distance. The only solution to this would be to overbuild the entire telecommunications infrastructure with fiber optic cable.

Maybe you don't realize, but yes. That is exactly what they're going for here. A complete overhaul of the US telecommunications infrastructure.

What's up their sleeve? (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169872)

If the FCC, (government), wants this speed, then what does that allow them to do? What could you do with that if you were in their shoes and had their resources?

cap (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169894)

Hmmm. 100 megabits/sec. At that rate, my 2 gig cap would be reached in

2000 megabytes * 8 bits/byte / 100 megabits per sec = 160 seconds aka 2 minutes 40 seconds

100Mbps minimum is a start... (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169930)

The truth is by 2020, everyone should have 10 Gbps fiber to the home. Anything less will make internet speed the limiting factor.

Let's also remember that Sweden had common, affordable 100Mbps to the home almost a decade ago.

Re:100Mbps minimum is a start... (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170008)

You make it sound like we are prostituting our own people for whatever we can squeeze out of them before they wake up - which they never do.

Interesting (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169932)

I am all about the government keeping their hands off of things but the ISPs seem to be going the way of the Telcos, they have the public by the testicles and are charging insane rates for terrible service. Heck just this weekend I was running at 500Kbs and I pay for tier 2 RoadRunner service. I routinely have to call for spotty access, sometimes things just drop. Now I know a thing or two about networking so I can troubleshoot this but what about Joe 6 pack? Our internet access has been pretty stagnant because no one wants to upgrade infrastucture because they can charge people out of the wazoo for sub par service.

However, I think it would be better if the FCC would give tax benefits to companies that hit the minimum specs rather than fining them for not hitting the mark...

Why not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169944)

It is the government's responsibility to ensure consumer satisfaction. Raising the standards is not government interference. Interference would be to aiding one provider against another. We the people must demand minimum standards. We the people must protect our privacy. We the people have other choices as well, including denying access to public networks and spectrums for any vendor who does not meet our minimum needs.

Those who claim that their DSL speeds are adequate now, can continue to use those speeds without harm. Higher speeds don't mean your slow connections will be cut off or be affected.

If these simple tenets can be adhered to, maybe we will have a chance to catch up with a dozen other countries who enjoy these speeds and benefits right now.

who the heck is you?! FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169946)

What ever happened to free market offerings. If there's a market for slower speeds then isp's should be allowed to offer them. I just hope I stash enough money in time before the government takes control of absolutely everything...cuz i'm f'n outta here as soon as I'm there. USA is such a police state now it SUCKS..

What's next? (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169950)

Besides FCC not having authority to do this, why is this the government's job? What's next, mandating home delivery of groceries? This is government run amok.

If you require it, it will come... right? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31169958)

Just think, if we passed laws against stealing and killing, then nobody would steal or kill right? I thought Congress was given power to regulate trade between the States, not REQUIRE trade between the States.

US falls further and further behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169990)

100MBps in 10 years ???


By then Japan and South Korea will be at 2,000GBps!!!

I lived in Japan for 16 years. Back in 2006, I had 100Bps FTTH for $79.

The US is falling further and further behind.

Soon, we will have to travel to Cuba to get fast internet ... just like proper and cheap health care.


Torrents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31169996)

At least then there's no reason for you jerks not to seed.

PI in the sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31170044)

and other government proposals include ensuring that all americans will have an above average income by 2016.
Cingress is also going to change the laws of thermodynamics to make internal combustion engines 100% efficient.

Excuse me... (1)

pha3r0 (1210530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170062)

but why exactly is the FCC telling companies what to do, or for that matter what we want? Perhaps this is why we have a 12 trillion deficit. Its not the FCC's job to make sure we all have internet. It's their job to make sure the internet we do have is fair. This is just another piece of job security masquerading as good intentions.

100MBit for 1/3 of the pop by 2020? (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170082)

Thinking back 10 years, we had 56k around here 10 years ago. Now a days 10-16 MBit is very common (central Europe) in urban regions (where around 1/3rd of the population lives). Projecting that to 2020, we'll be at 200-300 MBit. If the US does not manage to upgrade their infrastructure to at least 100MBit in residential areas by then, it will probably declared a developing country or something.

Hell, around here we even have most of the fibre laid already, just have to get the switch from copper based endpoints to fibre (building wiring).

So do the telcos in the states really think 100MBit in 10 years is unrealistic? Weird nation..

This should have been done years ago (5, Insightful)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31170098)

IEEE-USA has been advocating bi-directional gigabit broadband for several years. The telcos have offered dumbed-down, legacy speeds because they are trying to become more closely associated with the entertainment industry than with telecommunications. The entertainment and other content industries do not want the competition that comes when every subscriber can become an originator.

The failure to mandate that broadband is at least 100 mbps places the US way behind other countries and makes our innovators much less able to develop new concepts in broadband-based applications. That is why Japanese who come to the US are said to feel like they are entering a telecommunications third world.

The FCC is moving to have the US join the developed telecommunications world.


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