Tag Archives: broadband

Satellite on the Brink of…Something

Satellite Internet providers WildBlue and HughesNet have said they are both working to upgrade their speed and availability “over the next few years.”

Really?  Years?  I realize it’s a major undertaking to shoot a satellite into orbit around our crowded planet.  The time to have put those satellites in place was several years ago, or worst case, right now.  Not several years from now.  That boat sailed long ago, and any efforts to catch up that take more than a few months are likely never to show a return on investment.

Many of us, even in urban areas, would have gone with satellite-based Internet years ago, if it had been anything worth having.  But satellite Internet speeds are incredibly slow, and outrageously expensive for service that amounts to enhanced dial-up.  “Blazing speed” it isn’t; and your pocketbook will be that much poorer for having subscribed in the first place.

But of course, the satellite companies will continue to move this direction, for basically one reason.  That’s because while the big wire providers (cable, telecoms) are refusing to move into rural and under-served areas, leaving those users with two choices; dial-up or satellite.  All of those rural users wanting broadband, however slow, are going to have no choice but to sign up for satellite Internet.  This of course gives WildBlue and Hughesnet big dollar signs in their eyes.

I would gladly and easily move to a rural area at the drop of a hat, and be happier for it.  But the single thing that stops me is the unavailability of quality broadband services.  Like most urbanites these days, I believe that reliable, fast broadband service should be a basic right, like electricity or water or telephone.  I wish more of the big telecoms/cable providers felt the same way or had the incentive to feel that way.

GNC-2010-07-20 #594 Post Show Insider Recorded

A new insider is recorded will be getting that pushed here in the next 24 hours. Want to be an insider see the link below. Also I am looking for a fan to run the shows facebook page interested email me. Huge pile of tech tonight, so much so that their are some links below that I skipped as I ran out of time to cover it all.

These companies keep the lights on here at GNC your support is appreciated.
Sponsor: Save money at GoDaddy using my Promo Codes significant Cash Savings.
Sponsor: You can save up to 75% or more on term life insurance with Matrix Direct.
Sponsor: Visit gotomeeting.com, click the try it free button & use promo code: Podcast.

Subscribe Today:   Audio | Video | iTunes | Zune
Download the Show File

Follow @geeknews on Twitter
My Facebook Profile
Podcast Facebook Page
My YouTube Channel
Visit the Ohana Store for GNC Gear!
To Comment on show call 1-619-342-7365 or e-mail geeknews@gmail.com

Insider / Ohana Links:
Open Mesh Product of the Day.
Netflix Streaming coming to Canada.
Personal Power Energy Device.

The Geek’s Show Links:
Nokia hunting for new CEO
eBooks selling more than Hardcover Books.
iTunes Update.
3Qi Display.
ASUS 3d Monitor.
Streaming Netflix to Canada in November
Virgin Atlantic first Crewed Flight.
Verizon LTE Coming Soon!
Charge your batteries by shaking them?
Windows Phone 7 vs Android.
Gizmodo State of Apps.
Redbox next step.
How close to sun can you get?
KATA Blow up Camera Bag.
Laser Shoots down Aircraft.
Tech news Burnout?
US Continues to Slip in Broadband.
Facebook Fan Page Tips.
Apple versus Microsoft Earnings.
Apple responds to Tracking Inquiry.
Apple Verus AT&T Wired Expose.
70,000 blogs shut down.
Can your Router be Hacked?
Time Warner Greed Exposed!
Movie Lawsuits Coming in Torrents.
Windows Zero Day Exploit!
Bogus reviewers is now a big Issues.
Pain Relief by iPhone.
Honda and Green Car Updates.
Boxee Production Box Introduction.
GPS Map Issues?
6 Cores from Intel.
Nokia buys Motorola Wireless?
Thankless Job.
Times in London only 15k Subscribers.
Patch or Shot?

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

Britain’s Broadband Bust

The British Government has confessed that it doesn’t have sufficient money to meet the deadline of 2012 for a 2Mb/s broadband universal service.   This commitment had been made by the previous government but was reconfirmed by the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, only last month in his speech at the Hospital Club in London.  He further said, “Our goal is simple: within this parliament (2015)  we want Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe.”

However, speaking at the Broadband Delivery UK conference yesterday, Mr Hunt admitted that there was insufficient funding in place for these commitments and was pushing back the deadline for the 2Mb/s universal service to 2015 with no deadline for the superfast broadband.   Only £175 million had been set aside as surplus from the Digitial Switchover project.

BT estimated that to equip Britain with superfast broadband will take £2 billion of public money and it has already invested £2.5 billion of its own money  in fibre networks that will reach around 2/3rds of British homes.  The additional money is needed to connect up those for whom it would be currently uneconomic to reach.

This also makes it difficult for the Government to fulfil the digital inclusion promises made on Monday by the UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox.  Announcing the Manifesto for a Networked Nation last Monday, it sets the ambition that everyone of a working age should be online by 2015 and that no-one should retire without web skills.

The Manifesto also estimates that 10 million adults in the UK have never used the internet for reasons of motivation, access and skills.  Nearly 4 million of these 10 million adults are over 65.  Rural and coastal areas have the highest concentrations of over 65s who don’t use the internet.

Considering also that the supporting quango Digital Public Service Unit was closed down before it even got started, it’s no surprise that the Manifesto is looking to industry and charities as well as government to meet the ambitions.

Further, as reported in GNC previously, UK internet users have grown by 2 million in the last year , expecially in the over-50s.  This suggests that the issues of motivation and skills appear to be resolving themselves and that the only restricting problem is that of access to broadband, fast or otherwise…..which the UK Government doesn’t have any money to help with.

Nothing like a bit of joined-up thinking.

Is It Time For An REA for the Internet

The death of Senator Bryd at the age of 92, had me thinking about the technical advances he saw in his life time. That the fight to get those advances to the most people was being fought then and continues to be fought today. The battleground may have changed, but the arguments often repeat themselves. Today, the battle is over what is the best way to get broadband to the most people. In the 1930’s it was electricity. While 90% of all urban residents had electricity by the 1930’s only 10% of rural residence did. Electric companies of that time said it was too expensive to supply electricity to sparsely populated rural areas, that they could not justify the cost. Rural residents who were lucky enough to have electricity paid rates two times as high as those in urban areas. This was at a time when items such as refrigeration, the radio and the telephone, all which depended on electricity were coming into their own. Without electricity, rural areas were falling further and further behind their urban counter part.

Despite their unwillingness to build in rural areas, utility companies and their supporters fought against any kind of government involvement, They insisted that the free market would take care of the issue. By 1935 it was clear that the free market system was not working and that something had to be done to get electricity to the rural areas. To deal with the problem the Roosevelt administration, created the Rural Electric Administration. The REA supplied incentives in form of loans to private utilities to build the infrastructure to provide electricity in rural areas. In those areas where private companies could not or would not participate, the government encourage the formation of cooperatives which were established to provide electricity for coop members. By law these electric cooperatives could not compete directly against private companies. By the 1950’s nearly all rural areas had electricity either thru cooperatives or private industries.

My question is is it time for something similar to the REA to get high speed Internet or broadband to areas that are not being covered by private industries. Just as electricity was the backbone to much of the innovation of the 20th century, broadband will be the backbone of much of the innovation of the 21st century. As more and more business and communication is done on line, those who have no or slow Internet connection will get left further and further behind. Do we continue to depend on private industry to provide the broadband or do we consider other alternatives similar to the REA. What do you think

GNC-2010-05-21 #577 Live from the Homestead!

Ok had a great visit at Ford Motor Company, videos coming next week but I give you my run-down on the event and my perspective. Show recorded from the kitchen of the home I grew up in. There will be a very special insider for those of you that have signed up to be a insider. For those wanting to meet, there will be a meet-up on 5-22 @ 6pm EST at Applebees in Coldwater Michigan please RSVP. Special version of Geek News Central Insider coming be a Insider!

Sponsor: Visit gotomeeting.com, click the try it free button & use promo code: Podcast.
[Save 15% on orders $20.00 or more at >GoDaddy.com!] use Code Geek5 Complete List of GoDaddy Promo Codes for huge Savings!

Follow @geeknews on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/geeknews
My Personal Facebook Profile
Geek News Central Podcast Facebook Page
Video of Show at www.youtube.com/user/geeknews
Be Geek News Central Insider!
Check out all of our Special Offers!
Check out the new Ohana Store
Show Comments please call 1-619-342-7365 or e-mail geeknews@gmail.com

Listener Links:
Scientist create Artificial Life.
Viagra may lead to hearing loss?
Seven reasons Android 2.2 Froyo beats the iPhone.
Copy Machines with Hard-Drives.

Show Links:
Google TV 1
Google TV 2
Google TV 3
Google TV 4
Google TV 5
Cuban on Google TV
ISS Battery Replacement.
Russian Module added to ISS.
Facebook sharing our data with Advertisers.
US Regulated to 3rd Word in Broadband Speeds.
Google Versus Amazon S3.
Mars Rovers on the Roll.
Firefox still beating Chrome.
Google WebM to the Rescue.
Steve Jobs thinks WebM Sucks!
Apple selling more iPad than Mac’s!
Google Leapfrog Apple?
Bloggers making FTC Nervous!
Tethering is Carriers choice on Android.\
Seagate to Launch SSD/HD Variant.
Google Froyo versus iTunes.
Clean your Hard-Drives Boys.

Send in your stories to geeknews@gmail.com and be sure to provide a link to your websites!

A Personal Reality Check for Bandwidth Caps

Over the years of GNC, I’ve heard Todd rail on about broadband bandwidth caps and while I’ve enjoyed his rants, it’s been low priority topic for me.  Why? Because I think I’m a power user with a good selection of podcasts, a fair bit of online TV viewing, some (legal) music downloads. However, in a single month, I have never got anywhere near 50GB.  I think 30-something gigs was the most.

And then came the email from my service provider telling me that if I continued as I was going, I would exceed my bandwidth cap shortly.  Although I wouldn’t be cut-off, daytime bandwidth would be throttled.  I was a bit surprised but when I checked the firewall logs, it was correct – if anything, they were under-measuring by a few GB.

So, looking back, why the surge in data usage?  Well, I’m going to blame Todd and the Tech Podcast Network coverage of CES.  It was so good, I downloaded every single one of the videos, watched a few of them on-line, just couldn’t get enough.  I even downloaded some of the them twice, once for my PC and once for my Palm Pre!

Removing tongue from cheek, yes, it was the coverage of CES that bumped up the stats but it showed me that a bandwidth allocation of 50GB per month doesn’t actually go that far once you start getting into video.

Recently, I’ve also bought an Archos media player that can go online and stream content direct to my TV.  I’ve been pretty impressed by the viewing experience, even with only a wireless connection.  Although I can do the same with my laptop, having a dedicated appliance is far move convenient.

I don’t have any doubt that online distribution of films and TV programmes will take off in a big way, especially when it comes built-in to the TVs.  As an aside, a built-in media player is far more attractive to me than 3-D!  It’s also clear to me now that the telecoms companies are going to have to up their game to cope. If they’re smart, it’s an opportunity to make money and the competition for broadband services in the UK is pretty healthy. 

For consumers like me, it’s time to start looking for deals with caps bigger than 50GB.

British Broadband Tax

In his pre-Budget report, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed that there will be a 6 GBP tax on all households with fixed-line phones in order to setup a fund that will be used to ensure that even the uneconomical parts of the UK will get fast fibre connections.

Note for readers – the incumbent UK Government is Labour, who come from a socialist or left-wing background.  The Opposition is the Conservatives (aka Tories), who come from capitalist or right-wing background.  For a good few years, it was hard to tell which policies came from which party but now the economy is down, they’re reverting to type.

While the aims of the Chancellor may be laudable, I think he’s completely wrong to setup a broadband fund.  All it will do is line the telecommunication companies’ pockets and it’s not as if they’re short of a penny.  In each of 2007 and 2008, one of the major British telecoms companies, BT made 2.5bn GBP (before tax) on 20bn GBP.  Ok, things are bit tighter in 2009 so far but they’re still making millions.

If the past 30 years of technological advancement has taught us anything, the pressure on technology to make things smaller, faster or cheaper has come from competitive pressures, not by throwing subsidies or government money at companies.  These companies ought to be trying to figure out how to make the uneconomic parts of the country into economic parts, by delivering more efficiently or delivering differently.

Around 30% of households are believed to be in this uneconomic category but that’s only for fibre connections – the figures (and Government) totally ignore the possibilities of wireless technologies.  Rather than let the best technology win out – and it’s for the market to choose what “best” means – the fund will be used to connect up with fibre whether it’s appropriate or not.

And even if the property is miles from anywhere why not simply charge the customer the true price of bringing fibre to their home.  That’s what happens for electricity – if you choose to build your house two miles from the nearest electricity line, the utility company will bill you the cost to install the cable to your house.  For a non-essential service to be given this kind of subsidy seems bizarre.

And I’m sure an extra side effect will be increasing numbers of people dropping their landlines in favour of mobiles and VoIP.  I’m definitely thinking harder about it – if I didn’t have ADSL broadband I would have done it years ago.