The Good The Bad and The Ugly Of The National Broadband Plan
March 26, 2010 18 Comments
I am half way through the 376-page National Broadband Plan document that FCC submitted to The Congress a few weeks ago, and I already, sense that we will be watching the 21th century version of the classic 1966 movie – The Good The Bad And The Ugly soon. To enjoy reading the post, you may want to play the clip below as you scroll down. There is no need to watch the video, as it is only the sound track
If everyone plays their cards right during the ten year plan, the National Broadband Plan will most likely boost the employment in the DC area as well as the rest of the nation.
The roadmap lays out a way for government and the telecom industry to “rise to our era’s infrastructure” challenge. Such improvement would also significantly empower more small businesses to connect across our nation.
What I like about the plan most, is the recognition of the importance of wireless broadband – the call to find 500 megahertz of spectrum in the next 10 years. Wireless really has the ability as a practical matter to reach those millions of people currently living in places where connecting via fiber would be too expensive. Thus, wireless broadband connections are a viable alternative to getting them broadband access.
The Bad (in a good way)
The first immediate beneficiaries of course will be companies in the telecom service sector like Verizon and Sprint, the infrastructure sector like SBA, Alcatel-Lucent, and the tech sector like Cisco and Juniper.
Other companies that will benefit from all this, are the ones that sell to the wireless providers. With such high bandwidth, we will be doing more and more searches so that should also be a benefit to companies like Google and Yahoo.
And, the Ugly
My main concern with the plan is, that the 10-year program is not taking into account the technological changes that will alter the industry during the process. I can’t think of any specific change in the future at the moment, but I can remind you of many technological changes in the past like ISDN, DSL, Cable Modem, and wireless. One has been making the other one obsolete during the past ten years. Another recent example is WiMAX. Billions of dollars have been already going into WiMAX wireless, but it sounds like once LTE is out, WiMAX will become history. Not quite sure though. We shall see.
Certainly, the call for such spectrum in the next 10 years will lead to an epic lobbying battle as those whose spectrum is identified for reallocation gear up to fight against any loss of their turf. The plan will recommend that broadcasters be allowed to “voluntarily” relinquish unused spectrum in return for a share in proceeds from auctioning the airwaves’ use. Congress will be asked to authorize the sale – – basically asking broadcasters to give up airwaves in return for cash. If that approach fails, the FCC will hold its gun pointing at the broadcasters, dictating them how their transmission towers should work, or even require them to provide channel sharing.