Alan Percy : The SIP Invite
Alan Percy
| Observations by Alan D. Percy on VoIP enabling technology, industry and our personal reach for success.

August 2008

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More on Universal Broadband

August 20, 2008

An interesting article in today's USAToday about FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's efforts to expand access to the Internet to more Americans.  If you've been following along, you know that I've been writing and talking about the importance of Universal Broadband for the health and wealth of all Americans.

Many that live in urban and suburban America don't realize this, but once you leave most metro areas, broadband access to the Internet is very difficult to get and very expensive.  I know this first hand because I've been trying for years to get broadband access to a summer cottage that our extended family shares.  We can get phone service, but for broadband we have only one option - Satellite - and frankly, that's not a good option due to the 3 second latency.

When I spend time with other year-round residents in the neighborhood, I'm amazed at the difficulty they have in doing what we consider every-day activities.  This effects not just the entertainment part of the Internet, but real business too.  Weather forecasts for farmers, tax information and filing, educational materials are all very difficult (if not impossible) to accomplish with dial-up Internet access.

However, I do struggle with the "free wireless" idea that FCC Chairman Martin is pushing in his interview.  Nothing is ever free and the complexity of installation and operation of a wireless network needs to be professionally managed and supported (partially) by those using it.  

I'd rather see an approach that provides incentives for the existing wire line and wireless operators to expand their infrastructure and coverage to Universal Broadband.  

Universal Broadband is actually very good for our industry as it will speed up the transition of all telephony over to VoIP, increase demand for ATAs and core network media gateways, softswitches and other supporting systems.

Frankly, we just need the leadership - I hope that FCC Chairman Martin can find the common ground to get the operators to support the concept of Universal Broadband without starting a fight over "free wireless".

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