Friday, August 29, 2003


CRS Report: IB10045 - Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues - NLE  

CRS Report: IB10045 - Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues - NLE: "One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Proponents assert that restrictions must be lifted to give incumbent local exchange companies (ILECs) the incentive to build out their broadband networks. Opponents argue that lifting restrictions would allow the ILECs to monopolize voice and data markets. An alternative approach, establishing 'new tools' to ensure that markets are open to competitors, is also being considered. "

Congress misses the point. As usual. The point is NOT about local phone companies monopolizing the local broadband market, it's about getting someone, ANYone, to provide broadband access to smaller urban, suburban, and rural areas AT ALL. In my area of between 15 and 20,000 people, there are two practical choices: cable modem access from the local cable company and carrier pigeon. Oh, I suppose I should add DSL from the local phone company, but this is a RURAL area. DSL is only good for a limited area around a local switching exchange and doesn't even cover all of "our fair city". ISDN is available in even more limited areas for even higher prices, which approach satellite access in most cases.

So, the whole thing boils down to getting someone to expand the choices and coverage in areas like this. And there just doesn't seem to be anyone interested in doing it :(.

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