Archive for February 6th, 2008

700 MHz Auction: Bidding slows, prompting FCC to start poking participants

The 700 MHz auction has officially entered into Stage 2, which requires participants to bid each round. The FCC resorted to such tactics because bidding had slowed down to a sluggish pace yesterday, requiring it to prod the cash cow just a bit so it could spurt out a little more milk before retiring. This likely means the auction is coming to close soon. more

Broadband everywhere?

According the Federal Communications Commission, there are 12 broadband service providers for my home zipcode.

I found that out from Broadband Census, a new Web site I wrote about today that is taking a grassroots look at where broadband services are available today in the U.S. and how much choice U.S. consumers really have.

 I know I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with more choice than most — in addition to AT&T, we have both Comcast and RCN in my little village, and all three have triple play bundles for sale.

But 12 service providers? I don’t think so.

In the pre-bubble days, there were DSL companies such as NorthPoint Communications and RhythmsNet Connections, who installed DSLAMs at the Central Office in downtown Skokie, where I live. Of that crowd, however, only Covad Communications still exists, and even they are dependent on leasing the last mile from AT&T. Qwest Communications once offered business service there, as did Verio, but those were pricey ($150 a month and up) and not aimed at consumers. They also depended on leasing the last line from AT&T.

Given the direction the FCC is moving on competition, will that kind of access be assured, or make economic sense?

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