Thursday, May 26, 2011

Millions of Americans Lack Access to Broadband's Economic Benefits

"America may have invented the Internet, but more than 100 million American lack access to broadband and its accompanying economic benefits, according to a new report from the Federal Communications Commission.

Some 26 million Americans in largely rural areas across the nation lack high-speed connections to the Internet, the FCCs Broadband Progress Report to Congress found, cutting them off from broadband-based jobs and other economic opportunities."

Millions of Americans Lack Access to Broadband's Economic Benefits: As reported in AOL Wallet Pop.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sen. Sanders: Satellite Should NotBe De Facto Cable Competition

"Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants the FCC to disallow satellite service from qualifying as effective competition to cable service in his home state."

Sen. Sanders: Satellite Should NotBe De Facto Cable Competition - 2011-05-25 01:48:41 | Broadcasting & Cable

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Great Blog to Follow: Cassandra Heyne's Rural TeleCommentary

A wealth of detail on current discussions in rural telecomm regulation, policy, etc., from someone who 'gets' the value of rural broadband:
"Yet, people do live in these areas, and they deserve quality and affordable broadband. I have long argued that these are the people who need broadband the most, because broadband has the potential to transform their lives in ways that it cannot in urban areas simply by opening up the entire world of education, health care, finance, business and culture to individuals who would normally have to drive 300 miles to reach the nearest 'city' to conduct business or even purchase everyday goods and services." -- Cassandra Heyne

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Satellite Internet Whitepaper Downloaded Hundreds of Times Already

The launch of the RuMBA whitepaper addressing satellite Internet's suitability for rural broadband access has been going very well  with hundreds of people downloading it already. Here are some of the places on the web that the paper has been hightlighted:
You can download the whitepaper here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Satellite Broadband Little Help To Rural Areas, Report Says

The new whitepaper is getting some traction in the press. You can download it from here. The following is from an article at

"Given the limitations of satellite Internet service detailed in this report, RuMBA cannot consider satellite a viable solution for rural communities who are increasingly cut off from mainstream America by the lack of access to affordable broadband service," said Luisa Handem, founder and Managing Director of RuMBA USA.

As reported by Consumer Affairs

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Reasons Why the Word Broadband Matters: #17 Satellite is not broadband

With over 610,000 subscribers, HughesNet is the largest supplier of satellite Internet service in America. The billion dollar company that owns HughesNet is Hughes Network Systems, LLC, which routinely describes itself as "the world's leading provider of broadband satellite services." You can see this on the company website and in the company's reporting of its first quarter 2011 results.

The problem is that broadband satellite is an oxymoron. The Internet you get from a satellite is not broadband. Just ask anybody who has used both satellite and cable, DSL, or fiber. The broadband functionality that DSL/cable/fiber users take for granted just doesn't work, or doesn't work well, over satellite; we're talking core functionality like automatic software updates, VoIP, VPN, NetFlix movies, website hosting, online backup and shared cloud storage services like Dropbox.

Who says such functionality is not there? The satellite Internet companies themselves, including Hughes. This fact is made clear in a 22-page report just released by the Rural Mobile and Broadband Alliance. Conveniently known as RuMBA USA, this non-profit group seeks to expand the availability of affordable broadband access in rural America.

Although I recommend reading the full report (disclaimer: I wrote it) you really don't have to look any further than the HughesNet website to see what I mean when I say that...

Monday, May 2, 2011

That Sinking Feeling: The effects of not expanding broadband to rural areas

Interesting observation: "The Center for Rural Strategies report concludes that having access to broadband is 'simply treading water or keeping up. Not having it means sinking.' Studies rank the United States overall between 25th and 29th in the world in terms of Internet speed. The report, 'Scholars' Roundtable: The Effects of Expanding Broadband to Rural Areas,' is can be downloaded here"

From Public News Service