Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Truth About Broadband

According to a new study, “high-speed” Internet may be an overstatement.

The United States may be tops in a lot of areas, but it turns out that broadbandaccess speed is probably not one of them. This finding came to light as a result of an Federal Communications Commission ( FCC ) t a s k f o r c e probe into the actual speed of broadband connections across the nation. This report will help the FCC bring a plan before Congress to spend allocated stimulus dollars.

The study found that broadband speeds advertised by ISPs are generally slower than they claim to be. Furthermore, the report says that the increasing number of users is putting stress on networks: About 1 percent of all users drive 20 percent of traffic and 20 percent of all users drive 80 percent of traffic. The task force also found that most Internet applications are currently focused on communication and entertainment, but that is evolving into education, job training, business and other productive purposes. Currently, almost two-thirds of Americans have broadband at home. About 33 percent have access but have not adopted it, and 4 percent said they have no access where they live. The FCC says that getting broadband to everyone should be a priority. “The cost of digital exclusion is large and growing fornonadopters, as resources for employment, education, news, healthcare, and shopping for goods and services increasingly move online,” according to the FCC.

However, the commission goes on to say that if Americans want more than one provider, guaranteed access to fixed and mobile service, or access in rural areas, they should be prepared to see the cost of broadband improvement increase by a few billion dollars. Depending on the type of speeds you want, investment will range from $20 billion for universal 768-Kbps to 3-Mbps service all the way up to $350 billion for 100-Mbps service. For a more in-depth look at the FCC’s findings, the commission has posted all 168 slides from the report on its Web site.

Source of Information : PC Magazine 2009 11

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