Re: [802SEC] Conference Call - 26 August - 2:00 p.m. CDT - FCC Request for Help to Define "Broadband"
On 8/26/09 8:33 AM, Mike Lynch wrote:
Dear EC and RR-TAG,
A friendly reminder of today's call - as if you haven't been loaded up with
other emails on this topic!
Some thoughts on the topic which will hopefully accelerate the
discussions on the call.
Much of this is in the realm of stating the obvious, but I do believe
that the obvious does need to be crisply and definitively stated for
1. I don't believe that we are actually trying to define "Broadband"
What I think we are trying to do is only to define the term
"Broadband" when it is used as an adjective in the context of
describing the bandwidth of wide area communications services in
general and subscriber access (especially residential) services in
2. The job that we are trying to accomplish here is to provide a
definition for "Broadband" that will be used in U.S. Federal
legislation to define the minimum bandwidth required for access
and supporting backbone communication services to meet national
minimum standards that will be the subject of the legislation.
3. In this context, there is likely to be a strong push (from
incumbent carriers) to attach this label to any residential
subscriber access service which provides a data rate greater than
the best that can be provided via an analog POTS line, i.e. 56 kpbs.
4. I am of the personal belief that, for the intended purpose, there
needs to be separate definitions for fixed base services as
contrasted with mobile services.
(Note that fixed based service may be (partially) provided by
wireless rather than cabled means, thus the particular terms that
I have chosen.)
5. Another aspect of access service which will muddle the picture is
shared vs. dedicated bandwidth for a given customer. Even if we
can't figure out how to work that into whatever definition we come
up with, we still need to note that it is an issue in terms of the
ultimate usable bandwidth available to the end customer.
6. In an earlier message to this group, Johnny Dixon indicated that
there was a definition for "Broadband" in the ITU-T Recc. I.113
vocabulary which set the floor at 1.544 Mbps.
7. Much of what is currently peddled by carriers to customers in the
U.S. as "Internet Service" (and thus alleged to be "Broadband")
does not even meet the lowest criteria of the ITU-T Recc. I.113
vocabulary immediately above. The use of ISDN BRI as such would be
8. As I said in my earlier message, the job of a broadband network is
to provide the needed communication service for an (or set of)
application(s) and not get in the way. Thus any numeric definition
of "Broadband" will tend to move up over time as society's use and
expectation of the applications that can be supported over
broadband services expands.
As an anecdote, it is amusing to me how the growth in available speeds
for Ethernet has distorted public opinion. 10 Mbps is still an enormous
amount of bandwidth from an individual user point-of-view. Most members
of the public (not realizing that their home access networks, wireless
and cell phone networks run at less speed than this) would not even
consider buying a hub for their home that "only" supported 10BASE-T.
I hope this helps. See you on the telephone in a little bit.
GraCaSI Standards Advisors
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