If you write about, talk about, or care about getting more people faster access to the internet, then please, please don’t use the term broadband.
Between 768kbps and 1.5Mbps is now classified as “basic broadband,” and providers are also required to break down both upload and download speeds in specific increments —
To refer to these pathetic download speeds as broadband leads the general public to think this is a desirable target. It’s not. It shouldn’t even be called “basic broadband.” It should be called “minimal internet access.”
Yet, every time I run across a reference to the $8 Billion package to bring better internet access to rural America, the source calls it “broadband.”
Obama has touted the stimulus provision for broadband Internet networks as a way to generate jobs right away; workers will be needed to dig more trenches to lay down fiber and put up more cell towers. He’s also focused on broadband as a key to creating valuable high-paying jobs in the future that can help lift troubled economies.
It isn’t necessary to dig ditches or put up cell towers to get fast internet to rural areas. And, BTW, ten miles from where I sit with 10 Mbps download speed, the only access to the internet is via DSL or satellite. Smallburg is over 50,000 population. The county is over 100,000. But ten miles away is “rural.”
So even though Treehugger.com thinks rural is farmers with cows and combines, rural can also be McMansions and small businesses.
There exists today a technology to get “fiber in the sky” to rural citizens. MMDS is Multichannel, Multipoint, Distribution System. All the major network companies have versions of MMDS that will get fast internet (up to 10 Mbps download) up to 35 miles with no line-of-sight restrictions.
1. Don’t call use the term “broadband.” Call it internet access and if you want to refer to high speed, call it high speed or wideband.
2. Don’t let Connect Kentucky/ Connected Nation anywhere near the stimulus money.