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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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October 29, 2008 8:50 AM

Cab Driver Disses DSL As Not Being Broadband

Yesterday on the way to meeting my wife for dinner I got to talking with my cab driver, asking him the question, What does broadband mean to you?

At first he hesitated, so I cajoled him a bit questioning whether or not he's even heard of the term before, but then he responded (and I paraphrase), "Isn't that the cable thing?"

Well yes, I responded, but what about the telephone company, would you get broadband from them?

He paused again and then mumbled, "Well maybe Verizon..."

I pressed further, asking if he'd heard of fiber-to-the-home, which didn't ring any bells until I said FiOS, which he immediately recognized as they're marketing it in the DC suburb in which he lives.

Let's pause for a moment and marvel at what just happened: this cab driver just said DSL does not qualify as broadband.

What's remarkable about this is that while he did seem more tech savvy than some, he also in no way gave any indication that he's an early adopter. In talking with him it really felt like I was getting an insight into mainstream America's perception of these issues.

The fact that to him DSL does not mean broadband was stunning. It leaves me hopeful that perhaps the marketplace is starting to understand the relative value of next-generation infrastructure. It also suggests that anyone trying to compete in the broadband wars with nothing more than DSL has quite the uphill battle to face.

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