Normally, a news story like this would be rather depressing but I believe it signals a huge opportunity for WISPs based on our near complete failure as a country to roll out suitable broadband.

As quoted from the Emarketer article dated Sep 15, 2004,

“The FCC has two classifications of broadband connections: “high speed” connections are those featuring connectivity of 200 kilobytes per second (kbps) in at least one direction, while “advanced” connections offer connectivity of 200 kbps or greater in two directions. The FCC notes that subscribership to both has tripled between June 2001 to December 2003, which demonstrates that the use of broadband is growing. However, as Commissioner Michael J. Copps writes in his dissenting statement,

“In Japan, for as little as $10, consumers get broadband service at 8,000 kbps. In Korea, consumers get 10,000 kbps for the same price that we pay for 1,500 kbps. Consumers elsewhere get great prices for revolutionary speeds. Why, then, is the FCC still collecting data about 200 kbps service and calling it broadband? Our dated definition of broadband speed should have been dropped by the wayside long ago.”

In other words, while the US may be moving towards countrywide availability of “high-speed” or “advanced” connections, these standards set the bar so low that the US may achieve full availability and high numbers of subscribers, but lag other countries by great margins in terms of connection speed.”

The entire article can be found here:

So where is the opportunity?

Deploying better, faster connectivity before any of the other technologies can. If the Telco is looking to run Fiber to every home, we can surely beat them. The cable companies are also looking at connecting everyone with wire. Satellite? Right, can I have some more latency, please sir?And Broadband over Power Lines looks like it will be a non-starter.

If we are smart, plan carefully, push the manufacturers to deliver what we need quickly and deploy ahead of the competition, we could quite literally own a large chunk of the market. And this is key, if we grab the customers first and deliver reliable connectivity along with excellent customer service they will never leave.

That’s what I call opportunity!

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