Sunday, February 01, 2015

Link Between Broadband and Growth

According to this article, a Report Finds Strong Link Between Broadband and Population Growth. DUH! There have been a number of studies that demonstrate a correlation between fiber broadband, tax base, jobs and home values (mainly written about in Broadband Properties mag). "Counties with the highest broadband availability levels are seeing the greatest population growth, researchers said."

One point that might be missed: The correlation may be that denser population gets network CAPEX.

Meanwhile, the FCC raises the definition of broadband from 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps, which means fiber or cable. "The benchmark broadband data rate was 25 Mbps. “Access to 25 Mbps service is a realistic indicator that a household or business can use most available broadband applications,” researchers said."

DSL isn’t cutting it. ILECs are not building out enough FTTH. Google Fiber is more marketing to light a fire under the Duopoly than to actually build out. VZ has stopped spending on DSL and FiOS.

“Nearly forty percent of American households either cannot purchase a fixed 10 Mbps connection […] or they must buy it from a single provider,” it says. “And three out of four Americans do not have a choice between providers for Internet at 25 Mbps.” Even less competition. Even worse service. Even less than we pay for.

Faced with that situation, if a city or county can build its own fast broadband for its taxpayers, why shouldn’t it?

Broward County in Florida built its own fiber ring to replace carrier services. Both the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County (Tampa, Florida) have their own fiber rings -- so does the county transportation service.

Opportunity is there for FTTx systems for independent carriers. WOW! is the largest over-builder of cable systems in the US. Ting by Tucows bought an ISP in WV and is running a city owned fiber system in Maryland. There is opportunity -- but probably not equal or fair in all places.

A good write up about Obama's community broadband plan.

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