Blog Posts

April 20, 2010    1,345 reads

Last week Hong Kong introduced symmetrical 1Gb/s broadband service for just $26/mo. They offer symmetrical 100Mb/s service for just $13/mo. These prices are based on current exchange rates between US and HK dollars, which may not reflect the living standards and comparable cost of doing business in the US. In fact, if we adjust for what is called purchasing power parity, those prices would be roughly 25% higher. So $33/mo and $16.50/mo are arguably more accurate prices. Still, very low prices.

April 2, 2010    1,684 reads

The website has a 3-part article on the history of electrification in the U.S., and notes the political and economics similarities the current development of broadband networks. A very good read. Of particular interest, in Pt. 3, there is a little history of Niagara Mohawk:

March 29, 2010    1,396 reads

Rochester won't be getting Verizon FiOS service anytime soon. Nor will it get an upgraded network from Time Warner Cable—precisely because Time Warner Cable isn't feeling or expecting any competition. And yet, Rochester would gain substantial economic development benefits if it could offer high-speed communications services to businesses and residents. Instead, Rochester will be put at a downright disadvantage as nearby communities get wired for fiber.

March 27, 2010    2,053 reads

If your town or city government starts making serious noises about constructing your own, municipally-owned broadband network (especially one built with fiber optics to the home), existing providers who have repeatedly said “no” to requests for faster service at more reasonable prices have a track record of quickly turning around and saying, “yes — why didn't you ask us before?”

February 24, 2010    1,368 reads

The Economist magazine reports on Bristol, VA public FTTH network, one of the first in the country.

November 20, 2009    7,436 reads

Awareness of the impacts of our purchase choices on land and peoples far away has slowly been spreading. Yet still many don't know about the worst impact of all: the electronics industry. Metals essential to cell phones, computers, video game systems, digital phones, and other techno gadgets are being extracted from the Congo by armed groups actively engaged in a genocide of huge proportions (over 5 million killed.) This is a fact that many of us ignore as we use electronic tools to promote positive change in the world.

October 22, 2009    1,132 reads

There is no guarantee that two or more privately owned broadband service providers will enter and remain in Syracuse for the long-run. For example, Time Warner Cable may compete with new competitor Verizon for a period of time, but then agree to sell or swap its local operations with Verizon's in another market (or vice-versa), each gaining a market monopoly.

September 30, 2009    849 reads

The Syracuse Progressive Coalition put together a platform for the mayor of Syracuse, and gathered responses from the candidates.

September 3, 2009    839 reads

There are a number of different conceptions of what "public broadband" means, and what it would include (organization, business model, services), especially in the case of Syracuse. There is the idea of having an up-to-date fiber to the home (FTTH) system that the city would own and would compete against Time Warner Cable and Verizon for all services. Then there are more limited approaches such as city-wide WiFi, or an institutional network, i.e., municipal connections between various sectors (education, tech, gov, non-profits), which could be part of an FTTH network. And how does all this relate to the new initiative coming from the FCC and the administration (stimulus money etc.)? I'll touch on each topic and then answer the question on stimulus.

August 19, 2009    764 reads

"The consumer electronics scene in the U.S. is wonderful and horrible at the same time. The devices, technologies and innovation are wonderful. The provision of wireless access is horrible. U.S. carriers are some of the most backward, unscrupulous and anti-customer companies in the nation. So, carriers, this column's for you. Here's what I hate about how you do business."