FCC: US Broadband Doesn’t Suck If You Squint Just Right


This via Dave Farber’s IP list. If I tell you that the big news that that the FCC has finally decided to increase the definition of “broadband” from 200Kbps (in one direction) all the way up to 768Kbps, and that “availability” will no longer be determined at the ZIP code level, does that give you a sense of the bizarro broadband fantasy land we’re still living in here in the US?

There’s a link to the actual report (PDF) at the bottom, if you want some more depressing reading.

[Note:  This item comes from friend Ken DiPietro.  DLH]

From: ken 
Date: March 20, 2008 3:49:54 AM PDT
To: Dewayne Hendricks 
Subject: The FCC has released their High-Speed Internet Status report.

Included in this report is some pretty interesting facts, for those of
us that follow this kind of stuff.

There are now over 100,000,000 high speed connections (as
defined by exceeding 200Kbps in one direction) in service in the
United States.
A little over 60,000,000 are connected to residential dwellings.

Of those connections only 5.6% have a greater throughput than

The total number of connections that have speeds in excess of
100Mbps (in one direction) is a staggering 21,708 as opposed to
Japan which has already achieved close to 100% deployment of

Over 95% of all lines are serviced by the duopoly. This would be
the same duopoly that does not exist, according to AT&T's

And with a level of hubris that is beyond all concept of
reality, we find the FCC stating that 99% of all US ZIP Codes
now have, at least, one broadband provider, a statement that
Commissioner Copps called the ZIP code methodology "stunningly
meaningless." Even better, roughly 85% of all ZIP Codes
(estimated) to have four or more providers.

And in a move that I can only term, better late than never, the FCC has
decided that 200Kbps (in only on direction) is no longer a true
definition of broadband) and has voted to increase that rate to 768Kbps,
which coincidentally is the speed that many of the ILECs provide as
entry level DSL.

The FCC's report. titled, "High-Speed Services for Internet Access:
Status as of June 30, 2007" can be downloaded here:

A reasonably good review of this report can be found here:

Twitter Client Feature Request


So let’s say that you’re like me and have finally come to terms with the fact that you like Twitter.

You initially followed a couple of friends and some internet-famous people. Then you added some of the people you work with and some people who always seem to come up with funny things to Twitter. Then some more internet-famous people, and a few genuinely interesting people that you’ve never heard of. And a few more friends. And then a couple of people that you found through @messages sent by the people you already follow.

How many people is that you’re following, now? Do you actually have enough spare bandwidth to make effective use of an input stream that’s made up of the output from 50, or 500, or 5,000 [yes, I’m looking at you, jowyang] people?

Sure, one good answer is to modify Dave Winer’s RSS insight and view Twitter as a river of tweets. You hop in and catch what you can, and don’t worry to much about the stuff that gets carried past you by the current. But I think there’s a limit to how well that works. The different people in my Twitterstream are important and interesting to me for many different reasons; some people I always want to hear from, and and I may not want to hear from (and about) all of them all the time.

So here’s what I propose: a Twitter client that (a) allows you to flag each person that you follow as a member of one or more groups, and (b) allows you to dynamically filter which tweets are displayed, based on group.

With that functionality I can follow all the people who interest me while also ensuring that I don’t miss the output from the small group of people that I’m most interested in. I like both the [shudder] “ambient intimacy” experience of updates from people I know and the “exhibitionist meets stalker” experience of updates from people that I don’t know, and I’d like to be able to keep both of them as a part of my Twitter experience.

Maybe it’s just me, but this feels like something that could be really useful. Any takers?