The American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Apr 10, 2003
    The U.S. government has released its American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report that documents the reasoning, challenges, and necessity for broadband internet access and coverage across all of America. Digital technologies have fundamentally changed and created new business models since the rapid growth of internet access began in the 1990's. All jobs have been altered by digital technologies from agriculture to healthcare. Yet many communities and businesses across America are without access to this basic tool of modern economic prosperity. The U.S. government outlined three actions to be taken to bring about change: Invest $600 million in rural broadband while maximizing the value of taxpayer dollars. Use Federal land and towers through the Department of the Interior (DOI) for communications use. Last of all, create tools to identify and expedite Federal funding for priority markets.

    24 million Americans lack access to fixed land-based 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband internet. 30% of Americans living in rural America and more than 35% of residents in Tribal lands lack access to basic broadband internet. 39% of rural Americans lack access to sufficient broadband internet access. Rural America covers 72 percent of the Nation's land and includes 46 million people. The report blames the lower population density in rural areas for increasing the "unit cost" or cost per person served. This makes erecting the broadband infrastructure more costly as more infrastructure is needed to cover large areas and causes the price of services for the rural population to be higher. The report suggests allowing the private sector access to towers on military, Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, and thousands of other government properties to build the broadband infrastructure on. There is a call to streamline policies and forms to make permitting processes faster.

    Some suggest studying the feasibility of leasing Department of Energy Dark Fiber; unused fiber-optic cable, to the private sector. The government builds more network capability than it needs to curb the cost of having to expand and redo it in the future. Thus the unused lines are called "Dark Fiber." The report outlines the necessity of enhanced security measures for the proposed broadband initiative to protect consumer's sensitive personal, financial and health information and lower the cost of having to retrofit at a later date. The report also recognizes the propensity for false data coverage maps to be created because if one household in a census block has access to broadband internet; that area is usually listed as having "coverage" even though none of the other citizens living in the area have broadband internet access.

    "In today's information-driven global economy, e-connectivity is not simply an amenity - it has become essential. E-connectivity, or electronic connectivity, is more than just connecting households, schools, and healthcare centers to each other as well as the rest of the world through high-speed internet. It is also a tool that enables increased productivity for farms, factories, forests, mining, and small businesses. E-connectivity is fundamental for economic development, innovation, advancements in technology, workforce readiness, and an improved quality of life. Reliable and affordable high-speed internet connectivity will transform rural America as a key catalyst for prosperity."

    -- Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, October 21, 2017
  2. GlowingGhoul

    GlowingGhoul Whines about Whiners

    Jun 13, 2013
    When Americans whine about broadband speeds, they typically make comparisons to the hyper-densely populated areas of South Korea, and small densely populated sub-regions of Europe.

    The fact is, most lower density parts of Europe and the UK have terrible internet speeds, often DSL being the only option, If that.

    It's no different here, except we have a HUGE amount of really, really sparsely populated land. It's always been about the last mile connections. I would have thought a wireless solution would have been economically feasible by now, because I don't think it's ever going to viable to run wires or fiber half a mile or more for 2 or 3 customers.

    I mean, most people on the coasts have pretty decent options.

    See how yours compares to the averages reported here: (makes 100 mb/s seem like lightening compared to what most of the world has access to)
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  3. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Apr 10, 2003
    True, but how do you use artificial intelligence to identify the beginning stages of disease in a field if there is no internet? Science and technology around the world is moving towards a future where big data means everything. Mining operations could generate a lot more cash if an A.I. could analyze the rock in real-time as the machine bored a hole in the earth. Oil fields could benefit from increased production if an A.I. predicted the next strike with 95% accuracy (made that number up.) All of those operations need internet connections to legions of those sweet datacenter networks to find those answers. The more you buy the more you save!

    But you're 100% right as to why we don't have broadband internet access across America. But if we don't get it or get it too late; we will be the ones looking up to other nations for answers.
  4. Pieter3dnow

    Pieter3dnow [H]ardness Supreme

    Jul 29, 2009
  5. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Jul 9, 2012
    And yet, despite that all, those same regions have access to power and water. How did that happen? Simple: The Federal government came in and provided it.

    The solution for broadband is exactly the same.
    Brian_B, Wierdo and Pieter3dnow like this.
  6. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

    Mar 4, 2013
    One thing that makes rural broadband harder to deploy is the rate of change. The dirt roads graded out when cars became a thing are still good today. The electric service installed by the Rural Electrification Administration in the 30's and 40's is often still in place and working decades later. Same for the basic POTS phone system. A lot of rural folks are still on private well and septic systems and likely will be for many decades to come as they work fine.

    Broadband is different. If you had 56k dialup in 1999, you had a pretty advanced setup. Rural folks often had to make due with slower dialup due to 60+ year old phone lines. Just 20 years later, basic urban broadband is 25Mbs. Most rural folks still have those same now 80+ year old phone lines. Even if the US did a broadband equivalent of the REA, by the time the lines/towers/whatever were ran, the standards would likely have changed again.

    And despite those solid color maps a lot of cell companies show in their advertising, there are many rural areas where cell reception sucks if it works at all.
  7. Tiburon1186

    Tiburon1186 Gawd

    Jan 17, 2007
    Still over charged and underserved. So basically ssdd.
    Brian_B likes this.
  8. Bankie

    Bankie [H]ard|Gawd

    Jul 27, 2004
    I remember 20 years ago "they" were working on Internet over Power Lines specifically for the rural population. Guess that that ended up going nowhere.
    SamuelL421 and Armenius like this.
  9. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Apr 10, 2003
    Rural America changes. Young people move away to areas with proper internet and cellular access for high paying jobs and sell / lease the fertile farmland that's been in their family for generations to solar companies. That's what is happening in my area. :(
  10. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

    Sep 13, 2008
    they were, then isp's found out there was a loophole in the government deal where all they had to do was make an attempt and they got paid, they didn't actually have to complete it.
  11. reFre5h

    reFre5h [H]Lite

    Oct 27, 2011
    Agriculture is a full-time lifestyle as a source of income, and it really isn't sustainable without the governments influence. So it is a little sad to see farm communities fading but it's not like we're making starting a new farm very accessible either.
  12. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

    Aug 1, 2007
    Mine is running a bit slow today.

    I'm pretty far back in the sticks. The difference is the major Cable/Internet providers was not interested in the area because of the sparse population. So the local telephone co-op was able to provide the services not based on dividends for share holders but how to best serve the population. That meant all new infrastructure and fiber to the homes. I pay for a "Up to 1 GB download" connection and usually it is between 400-500 mb/s with the semi-accurate test. Cost is around a hundred bux a month and that include the mandatory phone service.
    That is compared to what we paid for Comcast in the big city. We paid for 30 mb/s service and that was about 70 bux a month.
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Jan 14, 2007
    Tribal lands? Excuse me? Are these the same tribal lands that are considered sovereign nations as a result dont need to follow rules like taxes on cigarettes, gas an are allowed to have casinos in areas that otherwise prohibit gambling? If so fuck those guys let them build out their own infrastructure
  14. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

    Jul 2, 2011
    Why is it when someone comes to the defense of these monopolies, it's always a comparison between the awful service in rural areas vs a place like South Korea?

    Why is it not NY or LA vs South Korea? It still looks awful by comparison even in the most dense parts of the country. If you're lucky you got a single fiber provider offering - and often only available in a subset of the city - and even that is not guaranteed. Why don't we have a hundred ISPs to choose from like back in the DSL days when line sharing was a thing? What happened!?

    It's an awful situation with no free market at work.

    Instead of being intellectually lazy and say "everything is fine" we should be thinking "why is the market failing the consumers" instead and do something about it before it continues to hurt jobs and economy in under-served areas, more and more industries are getting dependent on digital connectivity each passing day, it's not gonna wait for laggards, the jobs will keep shifting elsewhere.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  15. PantherBlitz

    PantherBlitz Limp Gawd

    Apr 14, 2011
    I think that went nowhere because it generated a lot of RF noise. A lot of opposition lined up against it - astronomers, cell carriers, NATO.
    Bankie likes this.
  16. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

    Oct 31, 2004
    You known what S.K., top of the list, has? Competition. THe country has been cut up and doled out to regional monopolies.
  17. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Nov 15, 2016

    also bandwidth is an issue. From my own testing within my own place, its just not all that fast. BUT.. it works in a pinch. I use it to tie in my sprinkler system controller in the garage to my home network, and it works great for that and saved me the hassle of running wire.

    but when i used it to tie one end of the house to where the cable modem was.. its sucked for gaming/internet as my internet was actually much faster
  18. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

    Apr 13, 2009
    The government likes to pretend they care but this is all lip service. If they really cared the first thing they should do is get rid of data caps and force internet providers to sell based on speeds only. A large chunk of the rural community (in my area at least) could be adequately served by a 4g hotspot if plans were good for anything more than email.

    Secondly they screwed rural communities out of easy and cheap to implement DSL options when they increased the definition of broadband to 25mbs. 6mbs uncapped would have been a much more useful definition IMHO. Now we have satellite and cell providers gobbling up government money to implement awful service that "technically" meets the definition of broadband access but is practically unusable and \ or prohibitivly expensive.

    This is all just throwing money into the pockets of companies who know how to milk to system. These initiatives have had a minimal impact on rural connectivity thus far. The only chance we have at this point is spacex starlink being as great as they say. The government has already proven that they can't \ won't get it done.
  19. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

    May 29, 2008
    Rose colored glasses and all that....

    You mean on everyones dime. The government also didn't do it, they used grants and loan guarantees to subsidize companies that built electric and phone lines. The reason the suppliers didn't build out to these people is the cost of install to so few people, and those people were not willing to pay the cost and ROI to the cost of install would almost never happen, so other tax payers paid for it.

    Other factors is that the REA changed economic settling of people in the US, as living in the country meant subsidized power. Power lines in rural areas cost more and run at higher voltages, people also don't know that 90% of power lines only cover about 10% of the population, as it's almost all rural. Funny enough lots of research was going into wind and solar power after WWI for rural power up until Roosevelt announced that it was the right of every American to have power, at which point all that research stopped.....And now today people claim that we would not have solar and wind power if it wasn't for government subsidizing it.....Oh the irony.
  20. Fresch

    Fresch n00b

    Mar 14, 2018
    And in N.Y. we still have people on wells and septic, so what government?
  21. SamuelL421

    SamuelL421 Limp Gawd

    Jun 3, 2016
    At least it is solar companies... where I used to live in PA, all free farmland was sold or leased to natural gas companies to be fracked. In the DMV area where I am now, farmland has all been converted into endless developments with overpriced, poorly built row houses.

    Huh? Wells and septic are still common in many places and preferable if you don't want to be at the mercy of whatever the city/town water rate is set at. Like I mentioned above, just look at places in northern PA that saw a lot of fracking. A lot of people up there who wish they could be back on their well systems but who don't trust the water to be safe anymore. IMO septic and wells just get a bad rap from people who don't maintain their systems and/or leave nightmares for future property owners to clean up.
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  22. joobjoob

    joobjoob Gawd

    Jun 29, 2004
    I've mentioned before, IME fiber to a node and then fixed wireless to the home is a great solution for small rural areas. Problem being is big corps often sue local goverment into submission.

    Re the sparsely populated argument, look at how Australia handled that. We could have fibered the whole country for a fraction of what we spent on the stimulus and military spending.

    Increase in work from home jobs and expansion of broadband would hugely help revitalize middle America that has been in a Economic depression since Jimmy Carter.
  23. FreeLow

    FreeLow n00b

    Nov 29, 2017
    Well water is great until all the developments and farmers have sucked up most of the water. Parents are now forced to get well drilled every few years and water quality isn't great anymore.
  24. steakman1971

    steakman1971 2[H]4U

    Nov 22, 2005
    I moved to the boonies for a few years. I liked the open sky, few neighbors, peace and quiet. However, the internet options sucked. I had dial up - no DSL available. Hughes satellite was sort of an option, except it was a total rip off and not that great anyway. Oddly enough, the power was more reliable when I lived out there than it is at my current location. Go figure.
    I moved back to the suburbs. The place I used to live probably still doesn't have any internet options - unless cows and soybeans need it, there were not enough people living out there to make it worthwhile. Maybe cell would be an option nowadays - I haven't been back in over 10 years, so who knows.
    If broadband ever became an option in a rural area like that, I might consider moving back. Not sure my wife would be cool with it...having to drive 10 miles to the closest gas station would not be cool with her. I think it was at least 40 minutes to a Walmart/target/whatever.
  25. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

    Mar 21, 2018
    I live in a rural area. I have 1 dsl option and I can get 1mpbs down 96kbps up for $12 a month. I have to use Satellite for a lot of things.

    My main concern is the lack of initiative in my area to roll out faster internet. These speeds haven't budged in nearly a decade.

    How can rural Americans like myself get access to faster internet when there is no competition? Move?
    SamuelL421 likes this.