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Keeping Tabs on Broadband Availability

August 6th, 2010 by Sharon Gillett

Just over two weeks after the Commission released its report to Congress finding that broadband is not being deployed on a reasonable and timely manner to ALL Americans, we’re already starting work on the next report. The FCC is required to produce this broadband deployment report annually, and today is the statutory deadline for releasing a Notice of Inquiry seeking input for next year’s version. 

Commonly called the 706 Report after the section of the statute that mandated it, the Sixth Broadband Deployment Report reached its conclusions after taking a hard look at the wealth of new data available gathered during development of the National Broadband Plan and from ongoing FCC data collection, as improved by policies adopted in 2008.  The report also updated the FCC’s decade-old speed threshold for broadband, from 200 Kbps to 4 Mbps, and relied on a more realistic methodology for determining how many of the areas are unserved. 

But as you’ll see in the Notice of Inquiry for the Seventh Broadband Deployment Report, we’re committed to staying abreast of the fast pace of technological change by asking for public comment on whether our new speed standard continues to be reasonable or if  it should be adjusted. We also seek comment on how we can sharpen our analysis and make the best use possible of our data.

So while next year’s 706 Report may be different from this year's, one thing that is sure to stay the same: our commitment to assessing whether all Americans have access to the robust broadband service they need to find jobs, get educated, and stay connected to their communities.

12 Responses to “Keeping Tabs on Broadband Availability”

  1. Guest says:

    My house is currently 560' away from the nearest Wave broadband box. Wave told me that they will install the cable to my house for $8000 cost to me. They did say they would "work" with me- If I dug the trench, bought the permit, laid the conduit the cost would be $3000 to me. What a deal! My house is 50 feet from a public road but they will not provide service unless I pay for the 560 foot installation. What a joke!

  2. Guest says:

    WHERE AND HOW DO WE REPORT WE'RE LIVING IN THE 14TH CENTURY? LIKE MANY HERE, I'VE BEEN WANTING "BROADBAND" FOR OVER 5 YEARS.

  3. Dale Dukes says:

    Thank God you all are trying to pressure them to expand. Like most i have been waiting for over 5 years for even DSL. The city i live closest to has had it since like 2003 and i really hate that i wil have to move to get the internet for school.

  4. Randall says:

    I am in the same boat as post above but lesser connection. I can only get Dial-up and Verizon since they are the only one in my area they don't see a need to update to serve even the houses within DSL range. there are more house in DSL range then DSL slot on the DSL hub. The only other thing is 3G but with the 5GB limit that is not good for a main internet connection and Satellite is worst then Dial-up in some areas.

    some time back I talked with Verizon and they said they are not going to get to my area's switching for a upgrade until another 10 years, This is in a rural California. I have talked to s worker of radioshack were I live and they have people all the time from the area asking for high-speed internet and all they can tell them is that there is none.

  5. Guest says:

    I have a Sprint phone and am fortunate to have access to a Fios internet connection. Both are fine but the Wimax service is taking some time to be implemented. I'm sorry about those with DSL services through other providers and would suggest that you migrate to the competition, For less than $100 you may get better service. Wimax is on the way, in NYC.

  6. Kenneth Workman says:

    While I do have DSL, it is rare that I can achieve speeds above 1 MB/S. My provider, ATT, has no competition and, therefore, has no incentive to increase DSL speed in my area. I do not live near access to Cable and do not want a satellite DSL connection for various technical reasons. I friend who lives in the same area routinely achieves 5 MB/S speeds.

    The response from ATT when I complain about my poor DSL speed is that I should be happoy I can receive DSL at all due to my distance from the nearest DSLAM!

  7. Dave Burstein says:

    The 706 report conclusions are right on target, but there are several improvements possible to improve the data.
    In particular, one to three million homes only can get satellite because of local network conditions such as pairgain equipment or remote terminals that have not been upgraded. I believe most of these homes are not included in the current analysis.
    In addition, major cable operators have about 1M homes that cannot get cable modems. They have refused many requests to identify which homes they are and why they remain unserved. The broadband plan was not able to get the data either.
    As we get closer to universal coverage, these "black swans" have become a huge percentage of the "unserved," probably 25-50%. So it's essential they be identified and regulations established to reach them. For most of the country, the data is readily available in the "prequalification databases" maintained by the leading carriers. The $100M in state mapping money certainly is enough to identify most of these homes.
    How can we make sure the next report is as accurate as practical?

  8. Carolyn Castillo says:

    I am happy to read about Broadband Deployment and how it is not reaching most Americans. I have a DSL line at my residence and over the last 8 month have experience slower connection, service interruptions and lost of service. I've spend countless hours on-line help, lost vacation days waiting for the repairman to fix the problem. I've come to the conclusion that the problem is not my in-house writing nor my modem, but rather the infrastructure; the lack of boardband in my area. I've asked one of the service repairman about the availability of fibre; only to find out that there is no plan to service my area. My service provider is Verizon. After I make a complaint, my next step is to work with the city to get their assistance to help me and my neighbors the service we are paying for.

  9. Guest says:

    I hope that at some point the commission will look at the level of competition in each area. The simple fact that someone has broadband from a single provider does not really mean that it's "available" to everyone. Physically and technically availability is very different from economic availability. In fact, it would make sense for a provider to enter a market with a high price, attracting early adopters, but that doesn't serve the bulk of consumers. True availability would require some competition, bringing prices down, if we're counting on a completely market-based solution to bring broadband within the reach of all consumers. Mapping levels of competition would serve business as well as consumers. It would give a clearer view of the available market entry points and could help spur investment in areas.

  10. Out of service says:

    I live 4 miles from the nearest address that can obtain DSL. My franchised telephone company (AT&T) refuses to expand their service unless, "I get my neighbors to call and express interest".... why do I have to market thier product for them? Shouldn't they invest in their franchised areas? not leave it up to the consumers to request the product? I have registed my location as a broadband deadzone, applied for service every week for 6 months, and have even ask for a "share or cost" solution to my problem but they refuses to work with me. What am I left to try? Please any help on this situation would be great.

  11. Guest says:

    I have the same provlem with AT&T. Thay refuse to expand their service
    Do you have any advice? Any help on this situation would be great.
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  12. Guest says:

    IMO, the solution to actually deploying a high-speed broadband solution is to ... deploy one. Nationally. Change partnership so that the Federal Government contracts out ALL outside plant construction and ensures that anyone who wants FTTH is "connected". Then let all of the telecommunications companies provide service to customers over this shared infrastructure.

    In effect, make the cable infrastructure public, but keep the broadband service providers private.

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