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Broadband Bits

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the hot-and-cold-running-data dept.

The Internet 143

rtphokie writes "In an article covering bringing wireless and high speed internet connectivity several rural counties near Fredericksburg, VA, a county commissioner comments that transportation issues were once considered the top issue in economic development discussion, now it's the lack of high-speed Internet." Reader Darmok0685 writes "UGO has an interesting feature that explores the future of broadband, with in-depth sections that explore such technologies as Broadband Over Power Lines, WiMax, Fiber to the Home, Stratellite, and ADSL2/ADSL2+. It delves into the pros and cons, as well as giving backgrounds on each."

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Whatever happened to ... (2)

isometrick (817436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674881)

the company that was routing internet over the magnetic filed around power lines (not through the power lines)?

Re:Whatever happened to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674899)

They couldn't learn to type, so natural selection got the better of them.

Re:Whatever happened to ... (3, Informative)

barawn (25691) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675181)

Media Fusion. Was a fraud, as most on Slashdot expected. Here [bizjournals.com] is what happened to the founder, thank goodness.

UGO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674882)

Is that really a news source these days?

Re:UGO? (1)

One of the abnormals (817423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674946)

Was it ever?

Re:UGO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675011)

That's my point.

GNAA nigga nate loves you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674883)

Nigga nate loves big cock, and he loves BROADBAND BITS as well.

broadband... (1)

npfscayle (671641) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674894)

I just want fiber in my house for under $1000...

Re:broadband... (1)

bconway (63464) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674916)

What is this obsession with fiber? You still need a big backbone to support the users, and cable can provide more bandwidth than any of the fiber companies are willing to sell you for a long time to come.

broadband...A Green revolution. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674934)

"I just want fiber in my house for under $1000..."

Oh vegtables are much cheaper than that.

Re:broadband... (2, Informative)

fred911 (83970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675701)

Verizon in certain markets has it available. 15/2Mbps costs $49.95 a month.

Government intervention required (1, Insightful)

Sarcastic Assassin (788575) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674896)

I think one thing this article highlights is that government intervention is needed if we (the US) are serious about upgrading our broadband infrastructure.

Re:Government intervention required (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674949)

I think one thing this article highlights is that government intervention is needed if we (the US) are serious about upgrading our broadband infrastructure.

The last thing any growing industry needs is the death knell of civil servants running the show.

I can't see what's wrong with the current situation. If you want broadband, you can get it pretty much wherever.

Re:Government intervention required (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674988)

The problem is the home users want to pay next to nothing.

You have to study telco history to see they have some typical configs. DS0, DS1, DS3, OC3, OC12, and up. this is what telco knows. This is the gear they buy and runs a lot of the USA.

They could have priced T1s (DS1) a lot cheaper back in the day and owned us all. They (verizon) could have offered SDSL long ago, and failed. The telcos are to blame.

So the laws changed and in come the CLECs. well we are growing and have some big plans. We start small by running our own fiber to the CO.

But soon you have whole towns/cities approaching you to do these deals because verizon wont.

that is the critical turning point. they will pay you to build it and maintain it.

Re:Government intervention required (3, Interesting)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675674)

I can't see what's wrong with the current situation. If you want broadband, you can get it pretty much wherever.

No, you can't.

Unless by "pretty much anywhere" you're including huge stretches of inhabited (albeit rural) land throughout the country, or unless you consider satellite Internet a legitimate form of broadband (which I don't think it is... I haven't talked to a single person who's bought into satellite Internet who doesn't regret it).

I built a 60 foot tower on my property to receive fixed wireless "broadband" (386 kbps) service and it's extremely flaky (sometimes it works fine, often it doesn't work at all, or I timeout a lot.... I think I need a 70 or 80 foot tower). I'm paying double, triple or quadruple what a lot of people are paying for DSL or cable.

Nothing is wrong with all of this, if you don't consider broadband an important aspect of the national communications infrastructure. If you do think that broadband availability in rural areas should be much better than it is, then the government certainly does have a role to play. Not necessarily running the whole show, but perhaps in mandating improved broadband coverage, paying for part of it and implementing better regulation or deregulation of the industry.

Re:Government intervention required (3, Insightful)

to be a troll (807210) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675022)

eh, thats BS...supply will meet demand and a few hundred IT guys will eventually realize they should quit their nine to five and open up a wireless internet company that could supply thousands

I REALLY can't understand the logic of "we have a problem, lets call congress!!!"

Re:Government intervention required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675065)

If it's that easy, why hasn't it happened already? People want to call congress because congress can do stuff regardless of whether it's profitable or currently legal.

Re:Government intervention required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675157)

People want to call congress because congress can do stuff regardless of whether it's profitable or currently legal.

Hrm, that's an interesting reason to call in Congress as you want to rush through something that's illegal and to force other people to pay for it.

The reason its not being done as there isn't that much of a demand for it, and where there is companies are filling it. Sure there isn't broadband out to the sticks (more of a reason to move into the city) but who cares?

Re:Government intervention required (1)

nbowman (799612) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676417)

Already happened around here :) http://www.com-pair.net/ [com-pair.net] Perfect place for it really, Rural with spotty broadband coverage.

Re:Government intervention required (1)

FlopEJoe (784551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675057)

From what I understand... the government's computer/internet for schools program in the late '90s was a disaster. The jobs were a boondogle, money went for carpeting, and kickbacks were plentifull. Of course, It may have been anecdotal talking.

Anyone here work on the projects?

Give it some time for God's sake (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675059)

10 years ago almost nobody had broadband access. It takes time to build an infrastructure, whether through government intervention or market forces. I'm sure with in a few years broad band will be as pervasive as cable tv, due to market demand.

Re:Government intervention required (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675075)

Why? Exactly what problem does broadband solve that not having it is such a problem?

Government intervention required-FP's needed. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675407)

"Why? Exactly what problem does broadband solve that not having it is such a problem?"

Not getting First Post.

Actually for all the Robin Hoods out there. It makes it easier to crow about the demise of the RIAA/MPAA/Book publishers/Girl Scouts.

Oh, and it means P2P will work better.

Re:Government intervention required (1)

cubicleman (739204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675492)

I have no idea.. I've got Comcast cable service, I have no idea right off what the upload/download speed is, nor do I care..it's fine for how I use the Internet--check my email, surf a bit, buy stuff on ebay and other sites, connect to my office via a VPN, etc.

Re:Government intervention required (2, Interesting)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675799)

Take a small town in the coal region of Pennsylvania. The only industry has gone, and the town is becoming poorer, older, and more depressed. Anyone who wants a high-tech job is moving somewhere closer to a major city. The schools are underfunded, and kids move away as soon as they graduate. There's no broadband because Verizon or Comcast have determined it's not profitable for them to supply the town.

Now put in a FTTH system, where people can get 10Mb fiber connections with a static IP for $15/month per residence or $40/month per business connection.

Businesses move in because land is cheap, and they can do business just as effectively as if they were in New York or Philadelphia. People move in because housing is cheap and they can telecommute to their jobs three days a week. The schools benefit from all kids and parents able to be online, allowing them to check progress through a school portal.

Sound far fetched? It's not. It happened in Lock Haven, PA.

Government intervention required-Outsourcing. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675839)

"Businesses move in because land is cheap, and they can do business just as effectively as if they were in New York or Philadelphia. People move in because housing is cheap and they can telecommute to their jobs three days a week. The schools benefit from all kids and parents able to be online, allowing them to check progress through a school portal."

Problem is. there's only certain types of businesses that fit the broadband model being advocated here.

Unfortunately if it can be done over broadband here, it can be done overseas with the additional benifits that aren't available here.

Maybe we need to start fixing the "other" problem before we start on universal broadband.

Re:Government intervention required (2, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675639)

The same government that:

Wants to tax the internet?

Tax online shopping?

Tax VoIP?

Denies access to frequency spectrum that could currently be used more efficiently for broadband internet?

If anything there is STILL too much goverment regulation.

Re:Government intervention required (2, Insightful)

glockenspieler (692846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676165)

The same government that:
Wants to tax the internet?
Hmm, tax what? service delivery? Is the internet that different from other services that it, in contrast to power, water, and other utilities, it should be tax free?

Tax online shopping?
So, why should purchasing something from Amazon be tax free but going to Borders is taxed?

Tax VoIP?
Are you going to want to contact 911 services using VoIP or will you keep your cell and landline for this? Yes? Then you will need to support it.

Denies access to frequency spectrum that could currently be used more efficiently for broadband internet?
I am without enough information to respond to this.

If anything there is STILL too much goverment regulation.
Look people, there ain't no free ride. If you want something, you gotta pay for it. The fact is that government exists because there are somethings better done collectively than by everyone individually or by commercial entities. is it always the most efficient? No. But at least the first three things you cite I think have at least semirational bases and you're comment makes it sound like you just don't want to put a crowbar in your wallet and pay for it. Tell ya' what, why don't we just provide you with all these services anyway and then we'll just put the tab on your kids. Oh wait, we're already doing that....

Re:Government Incentives required (1)

wayoutwest (471539) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676162)

How about Incentives instead. I live deep in the rural back country of Utah. I have 768kDSL for $35/month.
Why? Out state govt had the foresight to offer massive tax incentives for the rural phone companies to upgrage their infrastructures and get broadband into rural Utah. This was done in part to help stimulate the rural economies out here, which are primarily based in agriculture and tourism. However, now with broadband available in just about every little town over 700 people, we are seeing a great many other industries pop up.
Utah continues to develop rural technology businesses through their SmartSite program http://smartsites.utah.gov/ [utah.gov] and have graciously provided my little upstart company with over $10,000 in grants and equipment, only because I am a geek working to create more geek jobs in rural Utah.
I don't believe that we need more government, just turn those funds into incentive programs instead of red tape nightmares.

Magical Sea Monkey Enema (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674901)

PEOPLE = SHEEP

It is better, but... (4, Informative)

Sediyama (527384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674907)

Rivernet charges $97.45 per month, with $37.50 going to Verizon, for a 1.5 megabyte-per-second line. Verizon will now charge $29.95 for the same line.
I heard that in Japan you can get a 100Mbits (http://www.odn.ne.jp/english/course/bflets/index. html [odn.ne.jp] )for only USD 15.50 a month, with the 3 months free of charges!

Re:It is better, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674924)

That's beacuse they built a massive infrastructure to support hi-speed connections at home from scratch.

Re:It is better, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674930)

Rivernet charges so much because it is a true connect to the internet, with all the benefits.
Such as a public IP and being able to run servers.

Verizon will give you 192.168.15.34 and tell you to like it.

I think the japanese can do that because of the size and density of their country. Also the content they read/view day to day is close.

I doubt they can download a file from the USA at 19mb/s.

Re:It is better, but... (2, Informative)

Brian_Warner (765805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675798)

"Rivernet charges $97.45 per month, with $37.50 going to Verizon, for a 1.5 megabyte-per-second line. Verizon will now charge $29.95 for the same line.

I heard that in Japan you can get a 100Mbits (http://www.odn.ne.jp/english/course/bflets/index. html )for only USD 15.50 a month, with the 3 months free of charges!"


I'm sorry, but America complaining that other people are getting better deals with broadband is like Northern Canadians complaining they don't get enough snow because Siberea gets more.
Here in New Zealand I'm paying the equivalent of US$50 for a massive 128bit connection, that isn't even considerd broadband! I'm afraid you won't find many bleeding hearts here, given that you're paying less than double for twelve times the connection speed.

anonymous coward posting his thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674908)

There are companies that will gladly place
poles along the roadway and string whatever
cable you want. copper, fiber, etc.

You can simply create your own Central Office.

I see the problem keeping the costs low if you
use fiber to the premise. Can you imagine someone
handing you an SC fiber connector? What shall these mere humans plug it into? Voice, tv, and internet should come out of that pipe. Hicks will be able to afford all that new gear?

anyway, i wish them luck. I would probably instal
copper, knowing I could keep costs low and make use of all the cheap hardware: customer premise as well as CO.

From the article... (5, Informative)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674910)

"Of course we need broadband, but the technology moves so fast that we might end up with a system that nobody wants" Risavi said.

So lets not invest in it... heh.

Conclusions for every 'future broadband' tech from The Future of Broadband Article :

The final word on Broadband Over Power Lines [ugo.com]

BPL has been given a bad wrap by many news sources. At this stage, it is really impossible to tell whether the interference complaints are legit for the actual technology as a whole, or whether they are based purely on BPL networks that were not researched or planned well enough before deployment - some reports even suggest false claims have been made to try and derail the deployment of BPL by pro-radio enthusiasts. With most information about BPL being very dated, it is hard to say what we can expect. There is nothing we can do but sit back and hope this technology can become sturdy enough for widespread deployment, because the potential is almost unmatched.

The final word on WiMax [ugo.com]

Wireless Broadband has already taken a huge step forward worldwide. Here in Australia, for example, Sydney is facing almost complete coverage in the near future from various companies adopting various technologies with DSL-like speeds and prices. However, none of the current systems seem economically viable for widespread coverage. Although true field tests have not yet confirmed the on-paper features, with backing from companies like Intel, it is hard to imagine WiMax not making a huge impact. Look out for its retail release sometime in 2005.

The final word on Fiber To the Home [ugo.com]

Whilst FTTH is by far the most impressive and feature-filled technology on display here, the likeliness of it ever reaching a wide audience isn't very high, at least not in the near future. Many leading Telco's around the world have decided to merge into a pure IP network in the near future for data and voice, which will fuel the expansion of FTTH. However, FTTH is very much viewed as a technology for new estates and areas, not necessarily current establishments. For the lucky few who will be able to use FTTH in the near future, you can probably expect Telephone, Broadband, TV and other services delivered by a conventional high-speed connection directly to your doorstop. But for the worldwide broadband scene, I wouldn't get your hopes up. It will be a very long time before this makes any sort of widespread impact if any at all.

The final word on Stratellite [ugo.com]

Probably the most "far out there" concept in this roundup, Stratellite is actually much closer to reality than what you may think. Sanswire insists it will extensively trial a real air ship in January 2005 after successfully demonstrating the technology in 2004. This is a promising technology that could combine the best of Satellite and wired Internet - fast with low latency and hugely widespread, at least in theory. Whilst it is still unclear how exactly a floating broadband hub could haul its data back down to earth wirelessly with acceptable bandwidth (keeping in mind its potential ability to serve millions of people at a time), rest assured this is a prime candidate for tomorrow's broadband world. Whether or not it will get the industry support required, however, is yet to be seen.

The final word on ADSL2 [ugo.com]

Is it too little too late for DSL? Only time will tell just how efficient ADSL2 will be at offering a better service to a wider range of customers. The impression given is that ADSL2 is really more of an add-on to the current ADSL, rather than a completely new revolution. Whilst it sounds like a fantastic upgrade for current ADSL users, it doesn't seem to seriously address the issue of ADSL reach. ADSL2 hardware, depending on your location, could be available right now, and service trials may be well underway worldwide, but the fact remains you'd still have to be quite lucky to get it if you currently can't get ADSL.

Re:From the article... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674948)

Thanks for copy-pasting. I guess most slashdotters are using their hands for other things right now.

Re:From the article... (1)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675030)

I shouldn't be feeding the Troll, but here it goes. I figured that copypasting at the beginning of an interesting thread, with reference and links, conclusions from a 6 page article most slashdotters won't bother to wade throught is useful for the community. Thanks for your input anyway.

Re:From the article... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675228)

yeah but you know /.ers never RTFA! even if it's at the begining of TFA! becuase then they have no time for posting comments and getting karma!

Re:From the article... (1)

Snorpus (566772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675046)

BPL has been given a bad wrap by many news sources.

Is that wrap as in sandwich? Wrap as in Christmas presents? Wrap as an outer garment?

Or is this just another of those weird Aussie spellings?

And since BPL (aka PLC) is 0-for-everywhere it's been tried, I find his assessment rather optimistic.

Re:From the article... (1)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675234)

"BPL has been given a bad wrap by many news sources. At this stage, it is really impossible to tell whether the interference complaints are legit for the actual technology as a whole, or whether they are based purely on BPL networks that were not researched or planned well enough before deployment - some reports even suggest false claims have been made to try and derail the deployment of BPL by pro-radio enthusiasts."

If it doesn't cause actual interference then why would pro-radio enthusiasts be trying to derail it? I'd think they would know what they're talking about, being "radio enthusiasts" and a large percentage of them being EEs.

Re:From the article... (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675642)

Whilst it is still unclear how exactly a floating broadband hub could haul its data back down to earth wirelessly with acceptable bandwidth

Gyro-stabilized laser to a downlink station with a big fiber pipe.

Re:From the article... (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676397)

The problem with satellite latency isn't the distance the signal travels, it's the logistics of packet aggregation. The satelite transmits back to earth in packet bursts. Like AC current. It's on for a second, at really really high dense speeds, and then off for a sec.

~Will

Re:From the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10676411)

How many packets have to come down the signal to FUCK WILL DUNN GOATS?!?!! LALALAL!!!!!

A clean bill of health. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674914)

"In an article covering bringing wireless and high speed internet connectivity several rural counties near Fredericksburg, VA, a county commissioner comments that transportation issues were once considered the top issue in economic development discussion, now it's the lack of high-speed Internet."

And here, I thought good water, and sanitation was important? Shows what I know.

Re:A clean bill of health. (1)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676244)

As disinclined as I am to feed the trolls ...

Sixty years ago, sure, those were serious issues in economic development. Now, sanitation and water are not top issues, because in most of the developed world, they are solved problems.

So much for multi-camera VR... (2, Insightful)

UnapprovedThought (814205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674923)

If most of the populace is still trying to suck their bandwidth through a dial-up straw.

I hope someone on high wakes up and realizes that a fast broadband infrastructure has the potential to reduce energy consumption more than any other technology out there.

Care to explain that? (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675601)

broadband infrastructure has the potential to reduce energy consumption more than any other technology out there
Seriously, how?

Re:Care to explain that? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676024)

With super high speed broadband available to every geek in the world, the increase in heat output from friction alone is enough to melt the polar ice caps.

Re:Care to explain that? (2, Informative)

UnapprovedThought (814205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676190)

"Seriously, how?"

Look at rush hour traffic and consider why it's there. It consists of a bunch of people commuting to work because their presence is required elsewhere. The number one reason most of these people can't telecommute to work is because of insufficient bandwidth. They have or they can only get or afford a dial-up connection. It would hurt productivity to telecommute while using slow speed or unreliable connections. Resolve this problem and that excuse is taken away for the employee as well as the employer. I believe that eventually rich collaboration tools will mature and make the home the preferred work environment, more productive and flexible than the typical office.

Say only 10% of the U.S. population can be taken off the roads due to more widespread viability of broadband. This, by itself, would save enough barrels of oil to match the entire fuel consumption of a dozen small countries.

I look at this as something that could be done today, whereas many alternative energy solutions, or old-school infrastructure (like roads, bridges, tunnels, etc.) depend on much larger $$$ investments, require more expensive maintenance and take a longer time to begin to pay for themselves.

Consider how much fuel money fast broadband would already save one person in the first month alone, and once out in full force how many expensive (in the billions) road projects can even be postponed or avoided.

Re:Care to explain that? (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676403)

Wow, i was thinking about it, didn't come up with anything like that. Interesting theory.

High Speed? (2, Informative)

hardcampa (533829) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674939)

What's high speed internet in the states. Seriously. In Sweden it's 10MBit to 100Mbit. Anything lower is ridiculous and not even worth considering.

Re:High Speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674970)

I sit 2000 feet from the central office downtown, owned by verizon. since i work for a clec, i get my bandwidth free. I use a simple copper pair and get 2mb/s up and down sdsl.

this is basically a business connect given to me for free. companies pay 100-400 for it, depending on how fast they want. latency is very low. pipes to the net are at 40% utilization.

so you know. in New Hampshire.

Re:High Speed? (1)

MeanSolutions (218078) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675100)

What's high speed internet in the states. Seriously. In Sweden it's 10MBit to 100Mbit. Anything lower is ridiculous and not even worth considering.

Through what company would that be? What definition of 'high speed' is used? What type of user is targeted?

Standard pipes on ADSL in Sweden is between 64kbit to 512kbit upload speed and 128kbit to 2.8Mbit (the 512kbit/2.8Mbit option is through BoNet and IIRC it is available in flats in Linköping).

The 2Mbit - 1000Mbit type pipes are the type thing Telia or Telenor would sell you. These links are SDSL style, or they are E1/T1 style pipes. Hardly something your average Joe User would go out and buy, even in Sweden. Pricing means most peoples monthly salary would just about be enough to cover the cost of the pipe...

Re:High Speed? (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675112)

Yes, and and how many square miles is Sweden compared to the United States. Population density is an issue when it comes to broadband deployment. Taiwan, Japan, and other very densely populated countries have a huge advantage over more sparsely populated nations like the U.S.

Re:High Speed? (1)

russint (793669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675689)

Yes, and and how many square miles is Sweden compared to the United States. Population density is an issue when it comes to broadband deployment. Taiwan, Japan, and other very densely populated countries have a huge advantage over more sparsely populated nations like the U.S.

Actually, USA (~29 inhabitants/square kilometer) has a higher population density than Sweden (~20 inhabitants/square kilometer) does.

http://www.fact-index.com/l/li/list_of_countries_b y_population_density.html [fact-index.com]
http://www.photius.com/wfb1999/rankings/population _density_2.html [photius.com]

Re:High Speed? (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676459)



Actually, USA (~29 inhabitants/square kilometer) has a higher population density than Sweden (~20 inhabitants/square kilometer) does.


You missed his sarcasm, but that's beyond the point. The United States may have an average population density of 29 people per km^2, but that's done (obviously) by taking total area divided by total population. The problem is that there are a lot of places in the US that have FAR FAR less than 29 people per square km. My senior thesis was on the current state of the midwest US, and what to do from an ecological standpoint with the plains states; there are many places (say, west of Kansas City and east of Denver) that have less than 6 people per square mile! If you take out the midwest and alaska from the equation, and you have the south, the eastern seaboard, and california, you've got a much higher density.

~wx

Re:High Speed? (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676122)

"Anything lower is ridiculous and not even worth considering."

That's why you have 100mbit.

EVERYONE with cable internet in the US could have 39mbps access TOMORROW. The modem supports it and the headend supports it.

It's not an infastructure problem at all. The cable companies could simply "flip the switch" and offer 39mbit access. Now, they might have to upgrade their backend or add more trancievers to prevent massive oversubscription, but they could do it.

There is a reason that my cable modem is 3mbps. It's because people don't DEMAND 10mbit. If people started demanding 20mbps access, it would arrive. Most people, however, are perfectly happy with 3mbps.

I'm perfectly happy with 3mbps. The latency is very good (8ms to the gateway, 35ms to Google) and there is enough bandwidth that sites load quickly.

The only time when you can really USE more than 5mbits is when you are transferring large (20mb+) files. Most people in the US don't do that very often. Hell, even a DVD-quality movie downloads in 45 minutes on a 3mbps connection.

Now, I wish I had 25mbps access. But most of the people with 3mbps cable LOVE the service. They think it is plenty fast already. That's why it won't get any faster.

You can get fiber in Keller Texas already. (3, Interesting)

spicy salsa (826249) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674940)

"Verizon has begun an ambitious rollout of fiber optics to businesses and residences with the deployment of 440,000 feet of cabling in suburban Dallas. The carrier this week announced that it is about halfway through the build-out of a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to every home and business in Keller, Texas, a city of 25,000. When completed, Verizon will string 1.2 million feet of fiber through Keller." "Verizon reiterated plans to pass about 1 million homes in nine states with FTTP by the end of the year. Earlier this year, analysts stated expectations that Verizon would fall short of that goal by about 200,000 to 300,000 homes, reportedly due to problems with initial equipment shipments from vendor AFC." http://www.nwfusion.com/edge/news/2004/0519foa.htm l [nwfusion.com]

Free Flat Screen HERE! [freeflatscreens.com]

Re:You can get fiber in Keller Texas already. (1)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676408)

Not Surprising. Keller, Texas is one of the richest cities in the state. [wikipedia.org] It'll be a big deal when a lot of areas can get it.

Stratellite is the wave of the future... (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674944)

Literally. Geostationary stratospheric 'satellites' sandwiching low-high frequency transmissions to give high-bandwidth/low-latency communications to urban and remote locations alike.

The current problem with satellites is that because of the distance involved and the use of radio waves (substantially slower than the speed of light communications we get with cables) the latency is horrible. But stratellites stand a good chance of becoming a permanent and useful part of the Internet and its backbone, particularly transatlantic/transpacific communications. Good stuff.

Re:Stratellite is the wave of the future... (1)

mark_osmd (812581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674984)

I don't get how the use of radio waves matters, the only thing hurting the speed is the extra distance involved with satellite. The fact it's radio doesn't matter since radio goes at light speed. Actually the radio signal's in vacuum most of the path so it's actual faster propagating a signal via radio than say optically down a fiber that has some index of refraction > 1

Exactly how...? (2, Insightful)

Snorpus (566772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674999)

Exactly how are radio waves in free space "substantially slower than the speed of light communications we get with cables" ???

I'll grant that using geostationary satellites results in high latency, but the problem is distance, not that radio waves are slower than the speed of light.

In fact, because of the dielectric in cables, signals are significantly slower (although only about 5% IIRC) in cable than in the atmosphere or free space.

Re:Exactly how...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675155)

All the more reason for flying by with Virgin Galactic. pr0n cruises! For that extra low latency! Download all the pr0n you can get shit fast for 5 mins!.

Re:Exactly how...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675547)

You're not funny.

Re:Exactly how...? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676044)

If I remember rightly, its not the speed of signal transmission, its the distance travelled.

Both could use laser, and both travel at ~SOL, but because one has to travel thousands of miles further than the nice straight(er) fibre, it takes longer.

Re:Stratellite is the wave of the future... (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675302)

Uh, you couldn't be so wrong.

You can't get around the latency problem with geostationary satellites. Speed of light isn't the issue, because it's faster through the air and vacuum of space than it is a coax or fiber optic cable anyways. It's the distances involved to geostationary satellites. Oh, and bandwidth to/from the satellites.

DirectTV is dropping their satellite broadband, because there's more $$$ in serving HDTV with those transponders...

And there is no way anyone will be putting stratellites (high altitude balloon/dirigible) in a good chunk of the US, including in Arizona, Nevada, N/S Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, etc., except around large urban areas (Las Vegas, Albakerkie [sp], Dallas/Ft Worth, Denver/Colo. Springs, etc. The major telcos don't even serve the "big" cities in Montana, with POTS *or* cellular, except maybe Missoula or Helena (which are close enough to Spokane, WA. But it's 400 miles from them to Billings...)

Again, it comes down to customer density. It took the Rural Electrification Project (a federal project...) to get electricity and telephone to most of these areas in the 50's. Without that, there probably still would not be service to those areas wired up by the REP.

Wireless Internet (1)

cyt0plas (629631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674945)

I've got wireless internet using Sprint [sprintpcs.com] , with a Treo 300 [handspring.com] .

I've found it to be rather useful, allowing me to work (and play games [globalcombat.com] ) at the airport, for example.

It would be nice to see other options available for Wireless, as the latency is horrible. (2.5sec ping, 120 KBps thouroughput).

Re:Wireless Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10674972)

I've found it to be rather useful, allowing me to work (and play games [globalcombat.com]) at the airport, for example.

Heard of books? Or magazines? Or just thinking to yourself? Why people have this need to be online 24/7 is beyond me. The world ain't going to cave in if you're not there to respond to an email.

Yeah, I know I'm posting this to slashdot. But still, do you really need to play games while at the airport?

This reminds me (1)

whackco (599646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674974)

Of the old addage about "Don't underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon filled with data"

If you estimate the size of the average 200GB SATA drive as being .02 cf and a van as having 309 cf thats 15500 drives approx. Thats 3 PB of data :-)

Now if the van were traveling from new york to seattle at an average of 50 MPH what is your bandwidth? hehe

This also goes with the article about verizon deploying ftth in texas here: http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome/channels/Fios /HighSpeedInternetForHome.asp?promotion_code=&vari ant=

does broadband change a town to a city? (2, Interesting)

ir0b0t (727703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10674976)

The article has an interesting comparison between transportation and wireless access as economic development issues. Are the two really that similar?

A highway does enable more commerce to and from an area. Are there studies that demonstrate that broadband access results in economic growth even in rural areas?

Re:does broadband change a town to a city? (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675088)

Being on the border between the countryside and middle-class suburbia, while still being within 30 minutes of a major city centre and an international airport are still extremely desirable features of lifestyle living. This has been the major factor which has influenced the growth of most major cities.

The requirement for broadband adds another factor to the equation. It adds another constraint to the choice of purchasing a house, affecting house and adjacent land prices.

Are there studies that demonstrate that broadband access results in economic growth even in rural areas?

Rural Broadband [dti.gov.uk]

Re:does broadband change a town to a city? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676083)

still extremely desirable features of lifestyle living

What is lifestyle living?

Re:does broadband change a town to a city? (1)

FlopEJoe (784551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675103)

I would say the analogy doesn't hold too well. Except for some web based small businesses, I can't see how broadband can give economic growth. The best it can do is improve the lives and world awareness of those online. Having more computer savy folks is important to an area but I don't think it'll mean businesses will build there.

On the other hand, the local pr0n shops will tank within three months!

Grownup and moving out of the house. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675211)

"I would say the analogy doesn't hold too well. Except for some web based small businesses, I can't see how broadband can give economic growth."

I can see B2C and B2B working in a rural area. I would suggest artistic endeavours(1), but since that's going to be strangled in it's crib (see all previous copyright stories for an explanation), it's going to have to be small to medium physical goods that can be manufactured on a local machine shop level.

"On the other hand, the local pr0n shops will tank within three months!"

Nope! Because people like their porn to be "in hand", so to speak.

(1) The same for anything information related, because (say it with me) "all information wants to be free".

Re:does broadband change a town to a city? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675315)

Yes, it was the same issue brought up when the Rural Electrification project was initiated...

It brought all those hick ranchers and farmers out in the hinterlands into the 20th century.

Yes Broadband makes a HUGE difference (1)

wayoutwest (471539) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676221)

I live in a very remote town of 975 in Rural Utah. The next town of 10,000 people is 60 mile north. Grand Jct is 110 miles east.
Our state was very proactive in creating incentives for rural phone service providers. We now have broadband in 85% of the hick towns out here.

And what are we doing? Many are telecommunting to companies located in big cities. Others have started their own businesses based around internet services. Call centers pop up in every small town - better than outsourcing to India! Medical Coding is a huge part of Utah's economic development plan.

Personally, I do web development and graphic arts. I am very pleased that I don't have to fedex my proofs and that I can upload to my printer a 200 meg file in minutes.

Broadband is a very important part of bringing rural locations into the modern economy.

something for you slashdotters to consider (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675024)

As someone whose political views seem to definitively prove that consciousness may exist in a non-Euclidean space (I'm somewhere to the right of Alexander Cockburn and a little to the left of Alex Jones) I regret to inform the world of the following fact:

I'm voting for John Kerry.

Let me start a few steps from "relevancy" and attempt to explain this astonishing decision.

There have always been those who would just as soon destroy everything, hoping that a New World Will Arise From The Flames Of The Old. Examples that come to mind include Souvarine, the Russian anarchist in Emile Zola's novel Germinal. More obscure examples come in the form of Nazi occultists such as Miguel Serrano and Savitri Devi, both of who believed that Adolf Hitler was the "last avatar", or "Kalki", who marked the beginning and the ending of a cycle in traditional Hindu cosmology.

Needless to say, right now there are a lot of "undecided but leaning towards Poli-Sci" types who are carelessly throwing around comparisons to George Bush and Adolf Hitler. This, in my opinion, does Hitler a great disservice. No matter what you don't like about the guy, no one can call him uninteresting. And while America is undoubtedly on the cusp of terminal Spenglerian decline, as of yet I just can't buy into the notion that American embargoes are the equivalent of concentration camps or that FOX News is somehow the equivalent of "Jud Suess." Again, this isn't to say that I am not concerned - deeply so, in fact - but I would much rather save the "Nazi" pejorative for the day when the UN jackboots are beating down our doors and confiscating our firearms.

Sorry guys, but Dubya just doesn't even come anywhere near to making the "Tenth Avatar" cut. The fact is that he's a third-rate frat boy who gets by on his appeal to the lowest-common denominator in Middle America (or is that the "norm" in Middle America?) He's plays the Big Strong Leader role for all of those cubicle drones who are susceptible to Authoritarian Personality Disorder. He throws a few bones to the socially conservative demographic in order to secure votes in the heartland, but his real loyalty is to Wall Street. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of the demographic that supports him - our beloved financial oligarchy - you will find that most of these people aren't particularly interested in outlawing abortion. They're much more interested in ensuring that they have a plentiful supply of cheap brown-skinned labor and keeping their income taxes low. None of these things are endearing, but I just can't buy into the notion that Bush is the epitome of a "right-wing threat." He's just not interesting enough.

Don't get me wrong. Personally, I can't stand the man. I hate his smug little mannerisms that appear on cue in a Pavlovian manner when his grinning Army of the Undead cheers him every time he uses the word "freedom" or "liberty." But however intellectually uncurious and prone to bullying he might be, he's really quite banal at the end of the day - not Evil Incarnate. Now, this personal dislike of him would be enough for me to vote against him. However, that is not the point of this post.

It's easy to see how Kerry and Bush are more the less interchangeable. Despite a few differences, it's going to be Business as Usual for the New World Order in Washington if Kerry gets elected. You can expect to see a continuation of the war in Iraq, a further perpetuation of the military-industrial complex, more offshoring, more of the War on Drugs, and no end to federal deficit spending. But there is one very important reason that you should carefully consider before you cast your vote in November.

When I was watching Errol Morris' excellent documentary The Fog Of War last week, Robert McNamara detailed some information regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis that I had not known before. Not being even close to conception during this time, this event obviously didn't make that much of an impression upon me - however, McNamara said one thing really stuck out in my head. "Kennedy was rational. Castro was rational. Khrushchev was rational... and we came this close [holding thumb and forefinger together] to nuclear war... that close."

Immediately after I heard this line, I knew that I had little choice but to vote for Kerry. While Bush is not as inherently unintelligent as his numerous detractors would have him be (his problem is more of a chronic lack of intellectual curiosity coupled with dyslexia and numerous Freudian psychological issues), there seems to be a mounting body of evidence that Bush is not rational. Consider a recent story from Capitol Hill Blue:

"President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind. In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state."

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home."

This inherent irrationality is a problem - a problem much bigger, in my opinion, than all of Bush's atrocious foreign and domestic policies put together. Consider what GWB would have done in the Cuban Missile Crisis. As McNamara states very clearly, there were no shortage of "war pigs" who were pushing for an all-out nuclear conflict with the USSR during that time. It is only because calmer heads prevailed that we're still around today. And again, these "rational" individuals almost succeeded in totally annihilating Planet Earth.

Those who refuse to vote for Kerry still have my sympathy - but, as for myself, right now I'm thinking that I'm not ready to face the consequences that may arise when someone on a "mission from God" is faced with a similar sort of crisis. I pulled the lever for Nader in 2000, and have never voted for a mainstream candidate in my four elections - but this time, I'm scared.

Re:something for you slashdotters to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675168)

something for you slashdotters to consider

Here's something for you to consider: find a better forum for your ideas other than replying to a post about broadband usage. What on earth does your post have to do with that?

Predictions for 2010 (4, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675039)

6 years ago, cable internet was rare and DSL still wasn't available in many urban areas. The 56/53k modem standard was new.

6 years from now, most people in urban areas will get 1+Mbps connectivity through their existing phone lines or through cable TV, much as they to today. The main difference will be a higher maximum bandwidth along with lower-costs for today's 0.5-5Mbps bandwidth.

I'm guessing 10-30% of the population will have access to and pay for "very high bandwidth" of > 30Mbps for internet with the balance for other services, probably through fiber-to-the-curb or fiber-to-the-street, shared by a few dozen subscribers at most. These customers will mostly be "converged" customers, with voice, data, television, and who knows what else riding on the fiber.

Amost all semi-rural areas and non-DSL-equipped urban areas that aren't well-connected today will have SOME option for 1+Mbps connectivity besides satellite. Whether this is airship, "wi-max," extended-distance DSL, or something else, I don't know.

There will always be areas that are "too expensive to reach" by land or even by 30-mile-range radio signals. These customers will likely be stuck with satellite or (gasp!) dialup unless something better or cheaper comes along.

How fast do you need to watch a DVD movie in real time? 9GB=72Gb, 2 hours=7200 seconds, that's about 10Mbps. Double that to be on the safe side.

Re:Predictions for 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10676413)

How fast do you need to watch a DVD movie in real time?

You don't really need to watch the DVD as it is encoded on the disc..

What needs to happen (3, Insightful)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675040)

What needs to happen is that ISPs need to wake up and smell the roses, ala Speakeasy. Allow the user, who is paying for all this anyway, to have port 80 open, to run servers, to have static IPs and the rest.

At least offer this as a "power user" option through cable and DSL providers. That way, people can actually create websites that are not fed by those banner ad driven hosts.

And yes, I know how many people probably are not up to the challenge of setting up firewalls and routing tables and whatever else it takes to do all this stuff, hell, I'm not able to really do it either. But, it would be nice to have the option to do it. I can manage apache well enough.

As it is, most "broadband" users here in the states are crippled with restrictive TOS/AUPs and upload bandwidths of around 256k. Hello? That's broadband?

As I understand it, people pay for upload. If that's the case, then consumers should be highly pissed at what they are paying. But, I guess most consumers really are amazed that they can download entire albums in ninety minutes, assuming that they find someone sharing it out at that rate.

Hmm, well so much for this not very thought out rant. I hope you all can make sense of it.

Re:What needs to happen (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676043)

People CAN set up very powerful web sites without banners, for between $3-$10 a month, so the person keeping the web site doesn't need to keep a server maintained and powered.

Residential broadband wasn't meant to allow server level upload speeds, especially given the limitations of the infrastructure. Some ISPs do sell commercial broadband for a little more that does have higher upload. Part of the limitation is that both cable and DSL services are hacks in a way since neither the phone or cable systems were meant to transmit data bi-directionally at high speeds, so they do what they can to optimize for download speeds.

fuckEr (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675107)

Fredericksburg Rural Area (3, Interesting)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675111)

Its funny, I live in Fredericksburg Va and work for a computer shop that tried our damned hardest to offer excellent DSL service to a number of these rural areas. In many cases we found the technology is in the ground and users can in fact get DSL, but Verizon is not willing to "flip the switch" unless there is a huge demand in the particular area. We successfully offered DSL through Verizons lines on our bandwidth for over a year to these people without a problem. All of a sudden Verizon started undercutting us (ie selling to the USER cheaper than they would sell to us) in order to muscle us off their lines so they could take over the market in the area. On top of that any sort of tech support we would need from Verizon concerning their lines would get shrugged to the side and we would end up with understandably angry customers at us, although we had no way to solve the issues. We eventually pulled out of the market all together and went back to just repair/custom builds. The fucked up part is a lot of people that are still in smaller areas ended up getting their service disconnected when we pulled out and now Verizon is telling them that it is technically impossible to carry DSL to their homes even though they had it just a few weeks ago. I happen to be one of those customers, but luckily can get a cable modem...which by the way is half the price.

Moral of the story is a lot of rural places CAN get broadband, but the recourses that can carry it aren't fessing up to honest answers about it.

Re:Fredericksburg Rural Area (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675363)

rural places CAN get broadband

Well, I wouldn't call Fredericksburg, VA, very rural. It's a bedroom community for Washington DC now. It *feels* rural, but it ain't.

Now, I live in the Willamette Valley, in OR. I'm about 15 miles from Salem, 10 miles from McMinnville (and only 3 miles from the Verizon CO in Amity). No DSL. definitely no cable TV. Don't worry, I'm definitely rural. Nearest neighbors are about 3/4 mi. from my house.

Good thing there are places like OnlineMac, which offer wireless broadband. 768kbps symmetrical DSL, static IP, very brief TOS agreement. $50/mo. Can't beat that! It uses a Waverider modem (it's a 900MHz-ish link to the tower).

I'll stay with it, even if Verizon does manage to deploy Fibre-to-the-curb (or whatever it is) down Hwy 99 in the next 20 years, because I bet it'll be WiMax first, but it will have annoying TOS agreement and limitations.

Re:Fredericksburg Rural Area (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676434)

Fredericksburg isn't rural, but King George and much of the Northern Neck are. These are the places I was refering to.

I grew up near Fredericksburg (1)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675546)

... and my parents still live there. WiFi may be the best best because the phone infrastructure in many of these rural areas is still horrible. When it rains, the phone lines get crackly.

CATV was installed in the the mid 80's and hasn't had much done to it since then so it's probably not up handling broadband.

Re:I grew up near Fredericksburg (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10676430)

Not only that, the cable TV around here is run by Adelphia, which is comming up on their deadline to recover from Chapter 11, and hasn't yet got all of their finances in order. There's a Comcast buyout bid on the horizon, so I heard between you, me, and the wall, so they're not really concerned about their quality of service. Their main tech support phone number has been shut off (540.898.6666).

Oh, and they're always showing these commercials, telling us how cable is better than satelite because they don't charge extra per TV, and it doesn't go out when it rains. Well, when Satelite TV is $35 + $5 per extra TV, and Adelphia cable is $52/month, who's saving money? And the TV does go out when it rains around here.

~Will

Re:Fredericksburg Rural Area (1)

SimplePlanRox (826153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675775)

Moral of the story is a lot of rural places CAN get broadband, but the recourses that can carry it aren't fessing up to honest answers about it.

I know how that feels. I am in the middle of nowhere. Rural Oklahoma. The "DSL Box" (as the SBC ppl say) is less than a mile from our house yet SBC has yet to do anything with it. They assure us that DSL will be available soon (within six months) and they will notify us when it is. We call about every 3 months, always the same thing. We'll call you when it's available.
I'm beginning to think that putting a cantenna on the hill and pointing it toward the nearest big city, hoping that I can sap someone's Wi-Fi, is the only way to get a better connection.
Meanwhile, I'm stuck with AOL Dial-up and Gawd am I tired of it. I have never even been able to connect at 56k.
They have the means, but they're not willing to actually do anything.
Wow, I wrote alot. I feel better now.

Will they never learn? (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675149)

Wireless has inherent penalties, security, contention, and perhaps most of all the battery life of portable devices with little enough to spare to power wireless circuitry. Wired is perfect for everything that is non mobile, it is secure, it doesn't have a power problem, and best of all it knocks everything else put together into a cocked hat when it comes to sheer bandwidth AND latency. This isn't an article or issue about the various technologies, it is an article about money men trying to carve out markets, they don;t want to play with fibre because the world's littered with dark fibre that companies spent fortunes installing and can't sell, because the "last mile" doesn't exist. In my considered opinion wireless of whatever form is not a solution for the last mile problem, there is only one harmonius solution to that, and that is wired, whether it be copper or fibre. Clearly under the current market conditions in places like the ISA and UK nobody wants to invest in that, except of course the cable television companies, who have a ready business model for installing last mile cable bandwidth to every home sufficient for several hundred telly channels, and so are correctly placed for the "unexpected" demand from those customers for ever faster internet. Speaking from here in the south west of the UK where 1 Uk pound currently = 1 dollar 88 cents american, I have a choice at home between BT ADSL of 512/256 for about 30 pounds per moth, but with MANY people being capped, and TW cable, offering 512/128 or 1.5/256 (my pick) for 30 quid a month or 3.0/256 for a tenner more. Unlike BT, TW can not only offer me a telephone service, but also television, and it's a real small step from an internet connected computer at home to an internet connected SOHO LAN to an internet connected everything including MythTV time shifting and advert editing complete home entertainment system that will also play movies and mp3's downloaded over said connection. The ONLY other solutions I can see for wireless is point to point, eg two sites on opposite sides of a river / road / valley / whatever where installing a wired solution would be prohibitive and involve several outside agencies and contractors, or you could just link the two by wireless, in either the radio spectrum or using laser modulation. FWIW I have been a member of the UK fixed wireless committee for several years, I've seen more life i n roadkill, wireless last mile is dot com mania, nowt more. end

70Mbps WiMax is Wrong (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675166)

The max speed is around 75Gbps.. this is why companies such as towerstream who are using WiMax can offer Gigabit connections non LOS within 10 miles of a tower.. cheaper than the telco's.

No Pirates Allowed (1)

Kujila (826706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675264)

Broadband in power-lines, eh? I guess that would kill cable-internet piracy (or at least strongly discourage it)...

...I mean, you couldn't just go outside and split the wire when your neighbor wasn't looking, you would...uh...be electrocuted in the process. :-/

Lack of competition? (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675279)

My parents live in Virginia's Shenandoah valley, and they just this week ordered DSL. For what they're paying for 384k/128k, I get 3m/768k here in California. But there's just one local ISP, that's also the phone company and cable company.

I'm not sure exactly what the deal is, but apparently years ago they merged a number of smaller telcos and all of the subscribers got stock in the resulting company, and now they've got a vested interest in keeping out competition. Or so I've heard. In any case, if you want broadband in that area, you either deal with them, or get satellite.

Mind you (1)

BlackShirt (690851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675603)

DSL is the winner. As phone companies have invested so much money in the copper, the possibly can't just overrun this by fiber.

Re:Mind you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10675726)

Stuck with 56k... no joke!!!
I live in Connewitz, Leipzig, Germany. Here they took all the copper out of the streets after the Berlin wall came down (It was too old and expensive to fix)... Now (and for the past 12 years) there has been sweet sweet fiber cables (OPAL net) just outside my doorstep - Only I can't get on it - NO FTTH!!!
I've been told that it's maninly beacuse the German Telekom wants to have teh same price and product politics all over Germany... Some sucker in Hamburg would get pissed off over paying 27 euros for his 2mbit when I could get a 20mbit for 5 euro a month... i guess!??! Argh!
If i call the Telekom they don't understand why I don't want just get one of their nice ISDN lines... Aaargh again!!!

Fredericksburg Broadband (1)

q2k (67077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675829)

I live in Fredericksburg - I pay $79/mo for 128/768 DSL from a company that is basically just reselling Verizon. Verizon refuses to sell it to me direct. And I won't ever give a dime of my money to Adelphia, so I won't consider the cable modem option.

That said, the DSL service is rock solid - and tech support is great. When I call and say I've pinged and trace routed and the router at IP whatever is timing out, they believe me. They don't ask if I've rebooted my PC yet :)

Satellite access (3, Insightful)

FlynnMP3 (33498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10675972)

Having recently moved into a rural area from a densely populated area, I checked into all the options for getting any kind of broadband.

Wireless DSL was looking good until we found out that the location of the broadcasting tower and where we were had an electrical substation smack in the middle of line of site. No dice for that. Can't get through. WAAAAyyy too noisy.

So this past month, I took the plunge and purchased DIRECWAY satellite service. The cost is outragious (I had cable access before in the city), $1000 to get the dish/sat transponder/sat modem and to have Hughes flip the damn switch, another $350 to get the dish installed, and a measely $100 a month to have the service. For 2 years mind you, that's how long the required length of contract is. They never mention that part until you listen to the agreement recording to confirm your purchase.

The Fair Access Policy (such as it is) is even worse. I purchased the middle tier plan - 500meg download in 4 hours (sliding window). Now when I was on cable up in the city, online was my only entertainment, and I used it, quite heavily. The cable company never complained and the particular subnet I was on didn't have a lot of active nodes. But this FAP for the sat system is annoying the holy hell out of me. Heck, the available download speed from the service is 900mbps. That means I can blow the FAP in roughly 10 minutes (math mavens don't crucify me).

If you exceed the FAP, the download speed is clamped to 24kbps. It takes about 8 hours to reset. I've got a courtesy Hughes gonad squeezer making sure that I'm a good little boy.

So all in all, I payed nearly 2000$ for always on dialup service with higher latency. (*balloons* *confetti*)

I'm moving as soon as I can muster it.

The greater fredericksburg area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10676487)

I think I'd like to add something to this discussion. I am from Stafford, Va, which is directly beside Fredericksburg. I even worked on that very site that is linked to for this article.

Things like this have been talked about in the area for quite a long time. Fredericksburg City, IIRC, has stated many times that they have wanted to get broadband and internet access around the area to attract as much business as possible. Of course, none of these things have ever happened. While this may actually happen I'll be waiting to see how long it actually works out and who uses it. Many people around the Fredericksburg area have access to broadband from a number of places. Verizon of course is one. I'm not sure how well they stack up. Cable from Cox, and I must add, this particular Cox network has had some of the best reliability I have ever experience from a Cable system. Then... there is Adelphia. Now it must be stated. This is bar none the absolute worst adelphia system ever. Worst I tell you. Luckily I am not a customer, but I have had to deal with many and know many personally. If the cable modem is on for 6hrs a day, they consider that a win. It really is true that their cable modems may be out more than 50% of the time in a month. This I think is leading some people away from broadband in the area, businesses too. Much of the population is not "computer savvy" as the rest. I know several have turned back to dial-up just because it "works" and won't give other forms of broadband a chance. I believe this may be a major hurdle for the service.

Onto something a little different. I think I may want to explain something about Fredericksburg. It is not rural. Much of is has been assimilated into the greater Northern Virginia Metropolitan Area. if you don't believe me and are from NoVa, go take a look at route 1 in Stafford county and tell me that interchange they are building wasn't drawn up by the same coked out monkey that did most of your roads? While much of the county of Stafford, Spotsy, and the City are no longer rural. There are parts, particularly right near where I lived. Giant subdivions put up behind my house just recently, along with a subdivision with big lots and for $2 million dollar homes. Directly after that though the county turns into the "ruralest" of rural areas. This little section of Stafford County is called White Oak. It's where the cable doesn't run, where sewer doesn't run either. This is a rural area without broadband of DSL. The problem is that this area is quite small as a part of Stafford. I'm sure a good number of people that live out there would love broadband. I'm sure a great number wouldn't give two hoots about it either. It's just a wait and see thing for the mix of the area.
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