On Sunday, the FCC sent a letter to Kathryn A. Zachem, VP of Regulatory Affairs at Comcast. The letter advises that the FCC requires clarification of apparent discrepancies between claims made in an official filing versus observed bandwidth throttling practices. Comcast maintains that VoIP is "separate facilities-based" service, but observations indicate Comcast is not treating VoIP as special, but instead is throttling voice calls made over their network.
Trendnet is showing off at CES this week what it calls the world's
smallest wireless N travel router. The company also showed off a 450
Mb/s router, which is expected to become available by the third quarter
of this year.
AT& is expanding its bandwidth throttling experiment with Beaumont,
Texas being the second test market after Reno, Nevada. Time Warner
Cable was the first to set caps in the region to a data transfer volume
of up to 40 GB per month and other major ISPs are running similar tests
across the country. The ISPs generally claim that the purpose of these
"experiments" is to protect average subscribers from a minority that
consumes most of the available bandwidth. At least that is the official
Providing broadband Internet to rural America never has made economic
sense to telecommunications and cable providers, but it seems that
there soon might be a fast Internet solution for those underserved
areas. IBM is working with electric cooperatives across the eastern
U.S. to deliver broadband over power lines to rural America. The
implications are significant and could bridge a growing digital divide
between rural and metropolitan America.
The FCC will be voting on several big issues on November 4, including
the Verizon Wireless-Alltel merger, Universal Service Fees, rural
interconnection fees, wireless operations in TV white space as well as
the Sprint-Clearwire deal, which will remove a major hurdle in getting
WiMax off the ground.
Hot on the heels of a new report that suggests the U.S. is hopelessly
falling behind in global race for broadband Internet speeds, Comcast
announced two new residential options that are so fast that the company
decided to name them “wideband”. Generally available connection speeds
of 22 Mb/s and 50 Mb/s are a positive sign for the broadband Internet
development in the U.S. The catch? 50 Mb/s was available before and it
is only marginally cheaper than the service that has been available for
If we look at the notebook manufacturers offering WiMax as an option, one important company is missing: The
world’s largest computer builder, Hewlett-Packard (HP). Why? HP
believes it is premature to offer WiMax due to limited availability,
questions about interoperability, roaming and service quality. At least
at this time HP believes 3G is the better option.
WiMax, often also described as 4G wireless broadband, is out of the
gate. It is almost one year late, it is only available in the Baltimore
region, it is - as expected – not cheap and the service offering is
everything else than clear. The question is: Will consumers bite?
Ending a string of delays, Baltimore will become the first U.S. city
with a WiMax network. Intel said it will be hosting a launch event
throughout the Bond Street Wharf Park in Baltimore on October 8.
Xohm president Barry West announced that Sprint and the companies that
saved the company's WiMax network in May will be offering the
high-speed wireless technology in September of this year on a very
T-Mobile took a stab at an already dying industry and is offering a
VoIP replacement for your landline telephone service for a flat fee of
$10 per month. The T-Mobile offer has serious implications as it is not
only darn close to being free, but it is also marketed as an add-on to
your cellphone, which essentially downgrades your landline to being a
secondary service. The question really is: Are you ready to ditch your
existing traditional landline and are you prepared to deal with the
disadvantages of a VoIP service?