Believe it or not, even in today’s world, not everyone can have broadband access. Some very rural areas of this country still do not have broadband access because they are not wired for cable or DSL. In taking steps to address this, Dubya signed into law the broadband data collection bill so that the government can determine who does and does not have broadband access.
The bill requires the commission to redefine broadband. In April, the commission voted to consider 768Kbps, which is the entry-level speed offered by major DSL providers like Verizon, the low end of “basic broadband,” a range that extends to under 1.5Mbps. For years, the commission had considered 200Kbps service to be “high speed.”
Internet service provider reports to the FCC would also have to be adjusted under the bill, so the FCC can identify the actual numbers of broadband connections by customer type and geographic area. The commission would also be required to identify tiers of broadband service in which most connections can transmit high-definition video, as well as collect demographic data for geographical areas not served by any advanced telecommunications provider. The bill also requires other government offices to collect information, such as whether Internet subscribers use dial-up or broadband.
Maybe this will then set the stage for the next inevitable step, a country wide Wi-Max network?