Out of Control Policy Blog

Broadband Stimulus Without Government

Microsoft will donate $4.5 million to a Houston program designed to address the digital divide. The move represents another instance of the private sector’s growing role in addressing the low penetration rate of personal computers and broadband connections in low income areas.

As the U.S. government works toward allocation of some $9.2 billion in stimulus funds to expand broadband networks to unserved areas, the Houston program, Wireless Empowered Community Access Network (WeCan Works), points to the ongoing issue if the so-called demand divide—the persistent lag in penetration in inner city users even though broadband service is available from numerous providers at comparatively low cost.

Many feel the federal program, with its emphasis on high-cost infrastructure, will end up funding expensive systems with low demand—broadband to nowhere—while pockets of real unserved demand will be overlooked. Arguably, private sector-initiated programs such as this, along with One Economy, are already out in front in solving the digital divide because they look at the problem as more than just a lack of infrastructure.

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, Houston Public Library Director Rhea Lawson said the program, the third designed to address the so-called digital divide, will offer computer training and access, job counseling and apprenticeship opportunities to at-risk students.
Similar services will be offered to dropouts seeking GED certification and to older individuals seeking to improve job skills.

“We expect success,” Lawson said Monday after a news conference in which Mayor Bill White and others praised the program.

Nicole Robinson, the city’s director of digital inclusion, said instruction using 5,500 computers will be available at 400 sites, including libraries, schools, community colleges and Workforce Solution sites.

WeCan Works should serve as many as 155,000 people in its two-year pilot phase, Robinson said.

Some may recall Houston was one of the earlier cities to consider municipal wireless, but reconsidered the plan after looking at the mounting losses and poor uptake other cities encountered when they attempted to fund and operate their own broadband networks. After that, Houston attempted to launch a digital inclusion initiative that seemed aimed at exactly the opposite. The Microsoft funds seemed to have brought about a complete reboot.

The new approach seems to be to look for funding from companies that have a vested interest in seeing broadband use expand. Experience in Kentucky, North Carolina and now Texas shows the money is there. Taxpayers need not be tapped. In this scenario, everybody stands to emerge better.

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Comments to "Broadband Stimulus Without Government":

Jess Posey | April 29, 2009, 11:27am | #

In reading many blogs, it is obvious that the discussion has centered around whether the rural areas need, deserve, or should be happy without, faster broadband speeds or broadband at all. We would like to change the discussion. Let’s change the discussion to investment in new technologies that can actually solve the problem that the phone companies will not invest in. We have such a technology and have been frustrated at trying to commercialize it. You folks as bloggers can take our information and throw it out to your audience. With the stimulus package in the air, here is a chance to really address the problem. Hopefully we can stimulate some support to get this into the hands of those who can use it. We have also responded to the NTIA-RUS RFI. http://www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants/comment.cfm?e=72163667-3CFE-492C-BC3E-766C24BCC550

While many speak of the bandwidth problem in the last mile of the phone system, the real measure is not bandwidth (measured in MHz), it is the data rate (measured in Mbps). However the real problem is fully utilizing all of the wires in the wire bundle (often referred to as a binder group) to the maximum technically allowed by the Shannon limit. The problem with wireline implementation growth today is xDSL’s signal self-interference. TelePulse Technologies has created a new technology called Dynamic Time Metered Delivery (DTMD) (Patent No. 7,236,451). It solves the noise problems inherent in xDSL and provides the next phase in data rate that xDSL cannot deliver after VDSL/VDSL2 with or without vectoring, bonding, MIMO, etc.
The creation of DTMD (Patent No. 7,236,451) solves the technology problem (crosstalk) that prevents the phone company from getting the maximum allowable data rate/customer and prevents the phone company from fully using and reusing CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE for triple play services or for just increasing the data rate at long distances.

The exploitation of DTMD allows the phone company to serve triple play customers using networking architectures that are significantly cheaper and faster to roll out and scalable by individual customer need.

It can also be used to take broadband signals into older buildings and facilities without the costly rip-out re-fit and upgrade.

TelePulse’s DTMD technology is the more effective way to get the maximum data rate possible over copper twisted pair. It can also be a cost effective way to get higher rate broadband to inner-cities and other low income as well as bring very basic broadband to customers who are far away from the central office. DTMD technology is compliant with current standards and compatible and complementary to other fiber enabled solutions. We will provide the next level of data rate that no form of xDSL can provide. The technology was derived from exotic signal processing done for the military. At this point we are trying to pull together technical partners to make Hardware Developer Kits (HDKs) so that prospective users can test the technology on their networks and determine the types of central office modems or customer premises equipment they would want. Basically, on a single twisted pair with no co-channel interference:
100Mbps-4,000 ft; 25Mbps-10,000ft; 1.5Mbps-greater than 33,000ft
This is available to all of the twisted pair in a wire pair bundle it is also potentially 1/10 the price. We answered the RFI in a way to give an action plan to make this widely availiable. This is an alternative worth considering.

B.W “Jess” Posey
CEO and President
TelePulse Technologies Corporation
Tel: 1-856-264-3961
E-mail: jessposey@telepulsetech.com

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