What’s Wrong With This Picture?

This is a map of the United States (it cost us $200 million) that depicts terrestrial mobile wireless coverage. As presented, the coverage appears seamless. I'm here to tell you that is not the case. Last summer, we drove from Seattle to Minneapolis, in a meandering way. There were plenty of times that I had no coverage, period, because I am an AT&T subscriber with a phone that will not function on Verizon's network. There were plenty of times when my iPhone showed that I had a data signal, but I did not. And there were plenty of times when all I had was voice, no data. What other things might the map be hiding? The cost (for example, taxes on mobile service) perhaps? Tip: Slashdot  continue reading →

FCC Broadband Plan Shrivels Compared To New Hampshire

Last March, the FCC announced a national broadband plan with the goal of connecting ~85 percent of the US population to 100 Mbps high speed broadband by 2020. I just learned that New Hampshire is requiring that North Carolina-based FairPoint* (which paid $2.3 billion for Verizon's New England land lines and internet service) is required to offer broadband service to 95 percent of its customers by 2013. It's true that the NH requirement contains no speed threshold. However, broadband speeds have been increasing by 50 percent a year for the past decade. Therefore, assuming that FairPoint keeps up with the technology - or even lags a little - they should be at 100 Mbps by 2010, given that the US average was 5 Mbps last March: …continue reading →