Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2015

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 BANDWIDTH HAWK P resident Obama and the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have ofered a coordinated attack on the nation's broadband problems. Te proposals put forth are ones this magazine has endorsed or suggested over the years. What's on the table now? Where might it falter? No blocking. An Internet service provider must allow access to all legal websites or services, not only those commercially afliated with the ISP. Tere have been few blocking incidents, but some have involved major carriers. Most incidents center on Wi-Fi calling. No throttling. ISPs should not be allowed to intentionally slow down, speed up or degrade content. But can the FCC prevent carriers from holding trunk upgrades hostage to concessions from content providers? Right now, one major carrier is delaying upgrades of its trunks and interconnections into California. Other cases occur as 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps switches become easily upgradable to 100 Gbps. Te carriers believe they are in a far stronger position to demand "fast lane" tolls from content providers before upgrading than they would be if they upgraded frst and then throttled. Accounts of blocking or throttling due to peering disputes reach us every week or so. Increased transparency. Te "last mile" connection between consumers and ISPs is only one potential choke point. President Obama asked the FCC to aggressively use the transparency authority the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld to examine peered and paid interconnections between ISPs and the rest of the Internet. No paid prioritization. No content or service should be stuck in a "slow lane" because it does not pay a fee or because an ISP imposes some other restriction. Te White House justifcation is that prioritization undermines the level playing feld it deems essential to the Internet's growth. One interesting frefght concerns some large content providers, such as Facebook, making side deals with mobile carriers to exempt their content from usage caps. Usually, a mobile data plan comes with a 3 to 5 GB monthly cap on high-speed data access. No state restrictions on public broadband. If a municipality cannot get good broadband from an existing provider, it A Strong Broadband Policy A strong national broadband policy is now on the table, though carriers, who would beneft in the long run, worry about the disruption it may cause in the short run. By Steven S. Ross / Broadband Communities How will the changed broadband policy landscape afect your business? Get all the details at the BroadBand Communities summit in Austin, April 14–16.

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