Here in New York (10003, for example), the site says I have four options for broadband, but in reality, many buildings have exclusive contracts with ISPs (I could only get TWC in my old building, for example).
My sister lives in Miami and she also has access to one ISP, despite the site giving two options. Her ISP, Hotwire Communications (which gives her "up to" 20 Mbps), isn't even listed.
Same thing with my parents' ZIP Code (and they live in a single family home). The site says they have access to three ISPs, but one of them is only 12 Mbps and the other isn't actually available.
I'm not sure why they aren't using the more detailed information from http://www.broadbandmap.gov/data-download
In our initial development of the site we realized that MOST people don't know what census block they live in, where everyone knows what zip code they live in.
We store shapefiles (I'm doing GeoJSON in RethinkDB but same difference) for every census tract that we cover with the speed and technology offered (because that's what the FCC requires). Since we have the data we're redoing our service availability mapping so prospective clients can drag the placemark icon on gMaps to their house (because geocoding is horrid in our area and you need to compensate for long driveways) and then show them what's available.
It's interesting when service location is abstracted out. We have a rural residential POP where the immediate neighborhood has fiber, the surrounding mile or two has 10-25Mbps fixed-wireless, and then out to 6 miles has 1M-384k fixed wireless. It's all in the same zip code, and actually, because it's so rural, mostly the same census block.
The consumer impact of this: we get people calling us after looking at online broadband maps excited to sign up for fiber and living in the 4 mile range only to get their hopes crushed. Then they realize they can chose between 1Mbps with no cap or 15Mbps LTE with high overages.
If most providers have shapefiles, is there a common method we could use to collect/manage that data that you'd recommend?
Almost every day (sometimes 5-6 a day) we have smaller providers who email us looking to update their coverage or adding more coverage, but we haven't come up with a manageable way to make it happen.
Then there is the whole validation issue which opens a huge can of worms.
If you're open to chat, I'd be incredibly grateful, we've been trying to tackle this problem for months.
Feel free to drop us a line at help [at] broadbandnow.com
the data is way off. not onlt is basing it on zip not sufficient; but the data is not consistant with actual provider data. I put in my zip; was told I have WAVE as a provider in the area. 'thats news to me' so I go to wave and enter my zip. 'yup; they aren't in my area'
I think you need more accurate data before you can put 39mil in your title! the situation is _much_ worst!
The providers shown on a zip search are providers that reported having at least some coverage in that zip (translated from census blocks). It doesn't mean everyone in the zip has access to all those providers.
In some cases the building management is given a wholesale rate for your internet, and then marks it up and uses the revenue to fund association costs, or their own profits.
If the building owners had an incentive, or just were not tied by a previous exclusive deal, the technical hurdles would be quite manageable, and more providers would be willing to run their cables and offer their services.
When I lived in Moscow ~6 years ago, my quite moderate house on the outskirts of the city had 2 optical cables run into it, in addition to cheap DSL available over the phone cable, all in hope to serve 60 apartments of people with modest incomes.
1) Low-income housing with a up front grant from .gov for 512kbps or so per tenant. They hire a consultant to deploy wifi and hook it up to random ISP. ISP is paid out of the grant.
2) Mid-range or high-end housing pays a small local provider $10-25 per unit per month to provide X Mbps on a 2-3yr contract.
Both cases remove the up-front cost. The former doesn't care about managing infrastructure and the latter has outsourced it to the ISP.
For us, we try to avoid running new cable/fiber/cat5 because asbestos and cost, but we're working off different assumptions. Your model has cost per unit at $600 and we aim for less than half that otherwise ROI is too far out. Fiber costs basically the same as cat5 but you can frequently reuse copper for 100BaseT if there's a wiring closet per floor which greatly reduces the cost of running cable.
Right now we don't worry about delivering more than 100M because most people we talk to care more about cost than speed once you reliably deliver 15-25Mbps (e.g. not over wifi, no cable/telco peering congestion BS/<10ms to google.com).
250 units is about $100k in ARR. It sounds like it would easily cover the financing on installation costs with plenty of room to spare for operational cost and even some profit kicked back to the condo association.
I checked your Bio and didn't see any mention, would you mind sharing the name of the startup that was trying this (or something remotely like this)?
The PSTN network is connected to a DMARC at the edge of a building, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarcation_point
How did the phone network work for years with neutral wires within buildings?
I don't see why this is such a big deal. Where I'm from, different telecom companies come into apartment buildings to set up boxes and run wires and everyone is OK with it.
Getting a new telecom service into an existing building is, in fact, a big deal.
For my home, 2.5mi from the Capital Building in Washington State, I'm offered four wired broadband providers:
1. Comcast, "advertised 100mbps to 1gbps" (true enough, although you can only get 150mbps, so I'm not sure if that's bracketing)
2. CenturyLink, "25-50mbps" (CenturyLink's own website says "Our systems indicate that our High Speed Internet is not currently available at your service address." I tried several other streets in the area that indicated that none of them had availability either.)
3. Platinum Equity LLC, "10-25mbps" (err, Platinum Equity is an investment firm - oh, one of their portfolio offers "T1 and Bonded T1" lines to businesses and after further investigation would offer me 192K SDSL as a residential offering)
4. Integra Telecom Holdings, "3-6mbps" (a Vancouver telco that does business fiber).
So there's one - Olympia, WA.
Here in San Luis Obispo, Charter cannot run cable to many of the downtown historical buildings–leaving AT&T DSL as the only option. I've turned down some office space because of it.
I would actually pay more than I already do to get better internet through my complex, but I literally can't. Bloom Broadband is terrible.
Also consider qualitative differences: sure, I can get DSL, but it would be a far worse option speed- and cost-wise than cable. So I'm effectively forced into one provider.
The price of living in a small town I guess.
Most of us are paying for a fixed amount of data now.
I currently live in San Diego and my situation is mostly the same as yours. My cable option (Time Warner) peaks out at a higher speed, but the only other option is DSL at exactly the same rates you mention (6/0.5). And since the cable option is the only viable truly broadband option the customer service and uptime on it is pretty abysmal because with an essentially captive audience why bother making it better?
Baltimore essentially only has a Comcast option.
I wonder if it's actually even worse than this article suggests -- not only is DSL slower than most people want, but there are some places Verizon may technically 'offer' DSL, but in fact not really. (many places? I think Verizon is focusing on FiOS and there may be other places that they only 'offer' DSL, but do not really offer it at all?)
I have FiOS in Baltimore.
That nobody else does is 100% the fault of the city. Verizon was willing to build FiOS here, and did in a few places where they didn't need permission. But the city turned it into a huge social justice issue and sank the whole thing.
I have it here in Harford County.
I was under the impression there is zero FIOs build out in the city.
I actually tried writing to the head of Qwest Arizona and Qwest nationally to try and convince them to run faster pipes to my area—a lot of students and younger people who like fast Internet access lived there—but didn't get any action.
Right now I'm in one of those locations that's outside of any city (but only by a hair, part of the property is inside one), so it's only AT&T. We could in theory enjoy ~1.5 Mbs down after a DSLAM upgrade some time ago, but we don't bother because AT&T, to protect their U-verse video offerings puts strict caps on DSL. Even in small-medium sized cities/metro areas like mine (Jopin), where they don't offer U-verse (besides that brand for new generation DSL), and pretty clearly never will. 150 "GB" as they calculate it, $10/each 50 GB over.
Now, having started in the bad old days when 1200 baud was fast, and if you were lucky you could get 2400 baud or greater on a direct link, I'm only so unhappy, with my parents disgruntled by this limit on Internet video. But we're certainly "roadkill on the Information Superhighway", and I don't, for example, see this being addressed by the White House/FCC proposed 300+ pages of new regulations. Then again, they're not yet public, but even the most positive descriptions indicate we're SOL.
Oh, yeah, the price keeps increasing, right now it's $39/month as long as you have an also expensive voice land line (all told with the nickle and diming taxes, another 30+ dollars).
On the other hand, AT&T i.e. SWB is a freaking telco, the service is rock solid. Everyone of my friend with cableco Internet service has notably worse reliability, enough to impact e.g. working from home.
I'm fairly lucky in Phoenix, with Century Link I get 40/20 for about 70/month.
And, Century Link I believe is currently in the process of rolling out Fiber in Phx (same w/ Cox)
The head of this study is on reddit, as reddit.com/u/NickReese
This study does not take in account the upcoming change of bradband >=25Mbps . The current site uses >=10Mbps .
There's also question regarding their data, as it does seem compromised in certain locations. He was looking into it, after a few redditors that supposedly had multiple broadband providers only had one, and some none at all.
It's been a couple years since I moved out of there but at the time I'm pretty sure I only had one true broadband choice, Comcast. This being a few miles from Apple and Google.
They are definitely trying to provide good data if nothing else...
What are the numbers now that broadband has been re-defined as "25 mbps" ?
I'll bet it's a lot more than 12%.
I got 30MBit at the moment, but when I got my first DSL connection back in 2001 I got 1Mbit and it was considered broadband...
I thought it was a bad situation ten years ago. Now I think it's a scandal. Especially for poorer areas on the Mid-Atlantic, the tobacco deal was specifically supposed to provide broadband. The idea was that over time we would trade off tobacco farming for some kind of technology work. Instead we were sold out.
Just last week, a neighbor came to me asking about doing internet work for a call center from their house. I told them it was impossible, short of leasing a T-1 or T-3 from Verizon. I cannot tell you how whacked it is to say that in 2015.
The eminent domain thing is a red herring. Most places in northern VA, fiber is routed along utility poles owned by the power company, or in underground conduits owned by the power company. In any case, being allowed to run some cables at their own cost in no way justifies forcing them to build miles and miles of fiber in the middle of nowhere.
The Virginia market is actually a great example of how telecom should work. There are relatively fewer regulatory barriers, so companies build infrastructure in places it makes sense to do so. My parents have 150 mbps cable or 75 mbps fiber because they live in a close-in suburb where people can afford to pay enough to justify that investment.
In contrast, the dense, wealthy neighborhood next door to where I live in Baltimore has no fiber service, even though Verizon has fiber in several buildings mere blocks away. Why? Because the city's quid pro quo for allowing Verizon to wire up anyone with fiber was wiring up the vast swaths of the city where it makes no economic sense to do so. And the end result is that nobody gets fiber.
If internet access is a concern of yours, it should likely factor into your thinking when choosing a place to live (just like access to other services like fire/police/education).
Nobody here is demanding that any one company do anything. The thing is, we've electrified the country, we've run phone service to just about everybody. This is a solved problem. It's not like the internet was some super weird thing that's just impossible to do. You want the business in the lucrative areas, you gotta provide it in the not-so-lucrative areas. That's the trade we made with those other services, and that was the trade anybody in their right mind would have made with the internet.
Verizon's not to blame -- aside from just being weasels. There's no crime in that. (In my mind they could have made out better had they kept their eye on the public interest instead of quarterly reports, but that's neither here nor there. No crime in being short-sighted)
The problem here, as you point out, lies in the government officials. I swear after watching this go on year-after-year I find it extremely difficult to believe that anybody can be that inept. I strongly suspect payoff money somewhere, but I doubt anybody will ever prove anything.
The government made AT&T and Dominion Virgina Power run telephone and powerlines to everyone, but in exchange there was legally no competition.
Now the government wants competition, but that means there is nobody on the hook to subsidize this guys internet connection.
It is probably more efficient to just install LTE instead. Running fiber to every farm house is a waste of money.
None of this would be impossible to do with broadband although there would certainly be side effects--almost certainly including increased costs to those who already have broadband. It's also the case that satellite is an alternative for many. I understand that it's not ideal but I know quite a few remote tech workers in rural areas who use it and don't have a particular problem with it.
I am not aware of the deal involving tobacco for technology. Sad that it appears to have not worked out. Perhaps this faith would have been better placed in setting up a line-of-sight or co-op system rather than in politicians.
I would like to offer two stories:
- Czech Republic before 2005 had really bad internet service. Single telecommunication company had monopoly. It only offered expensive dial-up and very slow ADSL. So it gave rise to community driven internet providers based on WIFI. They even made their own hardware based on laser diods. The biggest community network had about 500K users.
- Ireland around 2010 had (and still has) very bad internet access. Goverment gave free license to new mobile phone operator which used exclusively 3G networks. One of the conditions was to provide internet access over phone for montly fee 20 Euro. Many people are now using phone as their main connection (I know case where monthly traffic was 44GB without any complain from provider).
Also, http://broadbandnow.com/Pennsylvania claims that 90% of people have access to 100mb service in my county. 1) No. 2) "Access" doesn't mean at any price anyone but a business can afford.
It's unfortunate that I live on a more rural road where there's an approximate 1 to 1.5 mile stretch of road with absolutely no houses. Beyond that, my street has only 20 houses after this stretch. This is definitely off-putting for carriers to install new lines down to us because they're likely to not see ROI foreeeever.
I really don't know what to do. Satellite is currently unacceptable with the bandwidth caps and latency.
Does anybody have any suggestions? I've contacted all of the major providers looking to get updates to our area.
The only problem with the LTE service is that so many things like to silently update in the background---they can bump up against that 30GB limit without intending to.
Maybe contact your board of supervisors or whatever they're called in your neck of the woods? At least you could get them thinking about the problem next time the service contracts are up for negotiations.
I don't know that I could get 100% uptake, but I could definitely get 50%. At one point I read that they have cutoffs of, say, a minimum of 10 houses to qualify for serviceability. I think this is an attainable number. There's actually another 20 or so homes at the beginning of the road that I believe to be unserviceable too.
Is there a way to contact the NTIA regarding their BTOP program? I'd personally be interested in seeing where they're investing their money given North Carolina took in a very large chunk ($150M). I'm all for trying to strong arm this until I get better service.
And those who have more than 1 are served by an oligopoly who overcharge for mediocre (at best) service.
Are the few cities with municipal broadband or Google Fiber seeing better service and prices?
When I want to download something quickly (or just open a web page some evenings), I tether to my cellphone which thankfully has unlimited LTE service because I've refused to sign a new contract. (Speeds are around ~18/5 if I put the phone in my front window.)
A guy working at Time Warner (which provides 50mb service about 0.5 miles from my house) said it would cost around $22k for them to wire up my neighborhood and that was too much for them.
After that, I've started looking into what it would take to run my own fiber lines to my neighborhood. It looks like it'd cost me that much or more, which is not an insurmountable amount, but it is significant. And I'm not sure if there's any way I could ever hope to make it profitable.
Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention: my price has gone up twice during the past year - I'm now paying ~$65/month.
Second edit: I just realized that my service doesn't qualify as "broadband", even under the FCC's old definition. I have zero wired broadband providers available.
I usually consider "my neighborhood" to be the ~0.75 mile road that I live on, which is about 18 single-family homes. I've met just about everyone, but I've only lived here for ~1 year, so I wouldn't say that I know anyone really well.
Time Warner is the most available and is the only cable option for many people.
Grande Communications is available in a few, selected areas.
Google Fiber is slowly becoming available across the city, one neighborhood at a time, but is not available to most at the moment.
AT&T U-verse is also an option, but the impression I've gotten is that Time Warner is still much faster.
And even though I got a complimentary upgrade to 300mbps down, it's capping out at 100...
Isn't a 100 Mbit router that is the bottleneck? Be sure to have Gigabit Ethernet support in your modem/router as well as your computer. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious!
When the FCC releases it's 2014 dataset we'll re-release this same report and apply the new definition. (My gut says the results will be much different)
Also in using the site if you find that your zip is vastly inaccurate (lots of areas in PA that we're investigating) drop us a note here or via help [at] broadbandnow.com and we'll dig into the data.
You can check your zip here: http://broadbandnow.com/search
Our goal is to help make shopping for broadband easier.
It's a big undertaking as the industry leverages it's opaqueness to charge higher prices, but hopefully we can bring more transparency to the marketplace.
[Disclaimer: Do not interpret this as a complaint, I knew what I was getting into when I moved here, and I do love this place for a lot of reasons]
As critical services move to the Internet, and we become reliant on IoT and cloud for our day-to-day, including emergency communication, many residences and businesses will need access to at least two permanent connections because we will need 99.999 uptime (and some programmable CPE to abstract the user from switching between the providers when one is down or degraded).
This means even two broadband providers will not always be sufficient. Many of us will need at least four total (true) broadband providers:
to then choose from in truly healthy, competitive enviro...
Heck, Heinlein discussed this sort of thing in his 1966 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Then again their packages are a reasonable compromise between nice and the realities of Internet so it's cool. Eg. Gigabit access but only unmetered late at night. So if you need to pump a terabyte of data you can do so...at 1AM.
It is insane.
One of the worst providers I have ever experienced.
From what I understand, Verizon is not expanding their FIOS service area anymore, because so many people are like me, and don't want to pay much for it.
edit: nvm the link is the resource, though it doesn't appear to be that accurate of a representation
For instance, in Europe I have a €27 subscription with unlimited data and 1.5megabytes/400kilobytes link. How does it compare ?
Do I really have a choice when one of them is so unappealing?
( Though, yes I agree there is no Internet in villages, but it's slowly changing )
I'm from Australia but live in New York and luckily my building has access to 2 providers (TWC and FIOS). My previous building only had TWC.
The problem with having a monopoly over providing retail Internet access is, well, that you have a monopoly. This is what infuriates me about the position of cable companies demanding Netflix pay to "push" bytes onto their networks.
No one is pushing anything. The customers of cable companies are _paying_ for Internet access and using that bandwidth to access services on the Internet that include Netflix.
The only reason cable companies even care is because Netflix provides competition to cable TV.
This situation can only exist because there are regional monopolies and for some reason the US just loves pretending regional monopolies are somehow "competition". Look at the Baby Bell situation as an earlier example.
In Australia, most people have only 1 physical option for fixed-line broadband, being Telstra, which was the government telco but has since been privatized. A few places also have cable Internet, typically over HFC, from Foxtel (owned by Telstra) or Optus.
I say "physical option" because the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; think of it like the FTC/FCC but without quite so much regulatory capture) some years ago forced Telstra to provide space in exchanges for rivals to put DSLAMs to provide ADSL service. Telstra receives income from this and tries their damndest to undermine this situation but the fact is you can get Internet from a bunch of providers because of it.
10+ years ago ADSL2+ was pretty decent. Now it's a tad archaic. Many people don't have >2Mbps due to distance from the exchange.
The US solution is to encourage overbuilds. This is not a good solution. For one, it's a waste to deploy so many networks. For another, providers will cherry pick areas leaving many with still a single provider.
What you need is forced separation of retail and wholesale. I think the Australian example provides good evidence for this.
Wholesalers need to be denied the ability to sell to retail customers and they need to provide the same terms to all retailers.
The previous government in Australia brought in the NBN (Next generation Broadband Network), which was to be FTTH for the vast majority of Australians. Deployment was slow and only a few areas got hooked up. Despite what anyone says, the cost was going to be way more than the government quoted (A$42B originally). The new government has essentially decided on a mix of technologies, being FTTH, HFC and FTTN.
FTTN is fiber to a box in the street and then copper cable the rest of the way. With VDSL2, you can probably get to 100Mbps this way. Recent trials of G.Fast have I think raised this to 1Gbps. So it's not a terrible solution. It's certainly not FTTH however.
There is antitrust precedent for forced separation of services, like the Hollywood Antitrust case of 1948 . This separated studios, distributors and theaters.
I don't know if Title II is the answer here either. US regulation has been pretty terrible (eg the breakup of AT&T into the Baby Bells).
Still, most people do have one electricity provider and utility rules do prevent them from price gouging since electricity, gas and water are essential services. I believe that Internet access will be---or arguably already is--an essential service in much the same way.
Whatever the case, building more networks is a pretty terrible solution to the problem.
 US vs Paramount Pictures Inc. (1948), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Paramount_Pict....