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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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February 5, 2008 8:36 AM

Article RoundUp: More Broadband From More Places (And Less From Others)

There's been a spate of stories related to new developments in the availability of broadband over the last couple of weeks. Here's a handful I found particularly interesting:

Shareband Launching Bonded DSL in Seattle
Shareband is a British startup that enables business and residential customers to bond ADSL lines with other pipes to enable bigger, faster, and more stable Internet access. While the technology has proven that it can work, like all DSL it's limited by distance. And ultimately bonding multiple copper lines together seems like not much more than a stopgap technology that can fill a valuable niche for the next few years but ultimately has an uncertain future.

HughesNet Customers Say Service Sluggish
While satellite broadband provider HughesNet is in the midst of testing their newly launched bird that promises better coverage and greater capacity, there's a growing buzz around the limitations of the service it provides today. Customers are complaining about how if you exceed the rolling bandwidth cap, which can range between 200MB and 1500MB, that your service will be throttled to less than dialup speeds of just 7-14Kbps for the next 24 hours. And customers who are paying $80 for what's supposed to be 1.5Mbps down and 200Kbps up service are sometimes only realizing 150Kbps down and 6Kbps up. These are speeds at which the Internet is almost unusable, calling into question the viability of satellite as a true broadband alternative.

40Mbps DSL? Rim Semi Claims High Speeds at Long Distances
Rim Semiconductor Company is demonstrating new technology that it claims will enable 20-40Mbps at a distance of more than 5000 feet. While I support all efforts to increase our nation's broadband capacity and these claims are impressive relative to the speeds being realized by other DSL big broadband initiatives, I'm hopeful that public opinion won't get caught up in the hype of technologies like this and DOCSIS 3.0 (the new cable standard promising 100Mbps to the home). I say this because ultimately if you believe that we will one day in the not too distant future have need for gigabit connectivity to the home, then the only viable last mile solution is fiber. Sure it's possible someone might innovate a new way to stretch the capacity of copper, but I'd rather we spend more time, energy, and money to deploying more proven fiber technology than on research that can only hope to eventually reach gigabit speeds and ultimately will demand new investment in networks anyway.


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