National Broadband Plan – first thoughts

National Broadband Plan – first thoughts

The long awaited National Broadband Plan was finally unveiled this morning. It is quite a piece of work. FCC should be commended to put forth a vision and doing the due diligence to create a document that everyone can discuss and debate.

I haven’t had a chance to review it cover-to-cover but will do so sometime this week. Off the bat, designating broadband as a key infrastructure element is commendable. We have argued that in our Wireless Broadband book. Put putting the focus and energy of the political leaders to think connectivity as a necessity is a critical first step. The bulk of the heavy lifting will be done by the private sector but if the regulators can create an environment of increased competition, reduced red tape, and mandate transparency and accountability, we will be in good shape.

It is also good to see that the Commission has tied the broadband plan to several vertical industries – Health, Education, Energy, Public Safety, Governance, and Economic Opportunity in general.


Our paper “State of The (Mobile) Broadband Union” made a couple of appearances in the broadband plan

page 22

Evaluating network availability and performance is much
harder for mobile than for fixed broadband. For instance, the quality
of the signal depends on how far the user is from the cell tower,
and how many users are using the network at the same time.
Therefore, the fact that users are in the coverage area of a 3G network
does not mean they will get broadband-quality performance.
Still, as with fixed broadband, it is clear that the speeds experienced
on mobile broadband networks are generally less than
advertised. Actual average download speeds have been reported
to be as low as 245 kbps, while speeds in excess of 600 kbps are
advertised. Actual average upload speeds as low as 106 kbps have
been reported, versus advertised rates of 220 kbps or higher.

page 39

Mobile data users typically receive download speeds ranging
from hundreds of kilobits per second to about one megabit per

Thanks to our colleagues at Root Wireless for assisting with this study.

I will be analyzing the plan and write pieces as i get through the tome.