For years, it’s been taken for granted that the US ranks low in the broadband performance table. But a controversial piece by ITIF’s Richard Bennett explodes the myth of poor US broadband. Not everyone, however, agrees with Bennett. So, to debate the ITIF Senior Research Fellow, I invited Public Knowledge SVP Harold Feld, who has a much less positive take on America’s broadband reality. → Read More
The question of broadband metering is becoming more important by the day. And while there’s much to be discussed about the cost of bandwidth, the trends of consumption, the public money involved in the infrastructure, and so on, one basic fact today is this: AT&T wants to put caps on your bandwidth, but they can’t be trusted to measure it correctly. That’s not a situation consumers should take… → Read More
Australia’s Special Broadband Service has warned that the steady increase in broadband speed, and its increasing availability, may lead to “digital ghettos.” The premise is simple: faster and more reliable broadband means that more and more people can participate effectively online. As affordable broadband access spreads to different ethnic groups, argues the SBS, these communities could form… → Read More
It’s hardly a secret that many of us here are big fans of Steam, Valve’s digital download service that makes buying PC games pretty painless. Who among us hasn’t spent more than a few dollars during one of those big Steam sales?
The only problem with Steam sales is that, having purchased a game, you have to sit there for at least several (long!) hours, waiting for it to fully download. Meaning… → Read More
The FCC has just released its latest report on the sate of broadband in the US of A, and the results are… less than encouraging, and for a number of reasons. The agency found that around two-thirds of Americans’ broadband connections don’t actually qualify as broadband under its definition. (Broadband to the FCC is 4 mbps down/1 mbps up.) What’s sorta odd is that this isn’t a result of the lack… → Read More
There’s good news and bad news about broadband coming out of newly released Census data, courtesy of the Commerce Department. The good news is that more people than ever before now have broadband, with 63.5 percent of all households now subscribing to a broadband service. That’s up from 9.2 percent from way back in 2001. Read that carefully: that’s up from 9.2 percent, not merely up 9.2 percent. → Read More
The Pew research center put out survey results today on broadband adoption and Internet use in America. There was one data point that I found startling. According to the survey, 21 percent of American adults say they don’t use the Internet. One fifth of all Americans.
This isn’t just people who do not use broadband (which is 66 percent of American adults). It also includes people who don’t use… → Read More
The Cousins were mulling over a broadband tax, but the new Government has put a stop to that. (Now they’re considering using some of the BBC license fee to fund broadband development.) The idea was to charge people 50p (around $0.70) per month to fund the expansion of broadband into rural areas. Would such a move work here in the U.S.? Would you be willing to pay, say, $1 per month, paying toward… → Read More
It’s a brave new world of health and technology, coming together to keep you as healthy as modern medicine allows. The Senate Committee on Aging was witness to a show-and-tell of sorts last week, getting a first-hand look at some of the hi-tech innovations that promise to annoy people who cringe at the idea of universal healthcare. Because keeping people healthy is pure, pure evil, apparently. → Read More
Remember when 56K modems first came out? I remember walking around the mall thinking to myself, “Man, the Internet must be so fast with that thing!” I mention this because Akamai Technologies, the company which pretty much powers the Internet’s biggest sites, has published a list of the fastest Internet cities in America. The winner is Berkley, Calif., which has an average Internet speed of 18.7… → Read More
Kudos to Comcast for embracing the year 2009. The nation’s largest—and quite possibly worst—ISP has finally committed itself to deploying 100 mbps broadband beginning this year. That will make the FCC happy, what with the loft goals it set with its National Broadband Plan. It’s also good news for people who know their way around things like Usenet—taps nose like a spy. Will it… → Read More
The FCC would like to know what you do with broadband. This is what I do, and what I imagine 99 percent of Americans use it for. → Read More
Up until a moment ago, this was going to be a standard “newsy” post: the FCC will announce its National Broadband Plan on Tuesday, here’s what it’s all about. Then I read the comments of a PC World article discussing that very same plan—many people are outraged that the government would muscle its way into the free market! If Americans wanted fast broadband then the market would provide it… → Read More
About a year ago I signed up for Cablevision’s Optimum Online Ultra, and aside from a little snafu that I’m trying to fix right now (don’t ask!), it’s been great. How could you go wrong with a reliable 100 mbps down/15 mbps up connection? Only $100/month, too. Other ISPs are getting close to offering similar speeds, thanks to Docsis 3.0, but some people are wondering: will people even need that… → Read More
Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go prepaid 3G data service made a splash last summer by offering no-contract plans that came close to competing with two-year offerings from the likes of Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The major drawback was that the top plan, at $60, only allowed for 1GB of data usage, whereas you’d get 5GB on a contract plan. → Read More
They’re trying to balance the books over in the UK, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed a tax that may interest you. The proposed budget for the next year includes a broadband tax! The name is a bit misleading in that it’s not a tax on broadband, but a tax on telephone landlines (POTS), the money of which will go to making sure people in rural areas have sufficient access to… → Read More
[Sweden] The Swedish government is following in the footsteps of the Finns (well almost), as their IT-ministry is now promising that 90 percent of all Swedish homes will have access to a 100 mbit/s broadband connection before 2020.