Thursday, July 16, 2009

Submit your ideas to change the face of broadband

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Have an idea for how to expand high-speed Internet access across the United States? Here's your chance to have your voice heard.

Under the terms of the recent economic stimulus package, the Federal Communications Commission must deliver to Congress a National Broadband Plan by February 2010. Several weeks ago, we laid out Google's vision for how to make broadband Internet available and affordable for every American — and hundreds of others have already submitted comments of their own.

The FCC has called for "maximum civic engagement" in developing a broadband strategy, and we're hoping to help them to achieve just that.

We've teamed up with the New America Foundation to launch a Google Moderator page where you can submit and vote on ideas for what you think the Commission should include in its National Broadband Plan. Two weeks from now we'll take the most popular and most innovative ideas and submit them to the official record at the FCC on your behalf.

Google and the New America Foundation agree that public participation in this process is critical. Expanding access to broadband has the potential to transform communities across the country, spark economic growth, and restore American competitiveness. Now that the Commission has officially opened this proceeding, and with a new Chairman at the helm, we think it's time to give people the opportunity to learn about the issue and to weigh in with their thoughts. And as the process continues to unfold at the FCC, we'll keep you informed of additional ways to share your views and voice your ideas to the agency.

So do you have any good ideas? Submit them today on Google Moderator — and you just might help change the face of broadband in the United States.


Dagley said...

In addition to a universal fiber or wireless connection, broadband should be open to whichever provider you choose. Roads are not limited to Ford, or Toyota, but all types of transportation use them. Having a proprietary connection, limits choice of vendor and keep prices higher for everyone.

Gregory Cohen said...

I would like to see broadband sold without being bundled to phone or cable service. I would also like to see providers just selling wireless cellular type internet service separate from voice. If we can buy bandwidth, then I can buy digital phone service separately. Heck, while you are at it, I want to be able to buy streaming cable and network TV channels to my computer at a price that reflects that this service is not paying for upkeep of copper or other overhead.

Separate the services from the delivery mechanism.


kevin said...

In india you switch carriers 15 times a day depending on where you are. You don't get charged extra for this. Everyone needs cellular, and they make their money on the monthly payment. So we need to have all companies use the same cellular service, and same Internet service. We will have a better experience.

Now take that same theory and use it on Internet. You pay your carrier for internet, and you are allowed to use internet everywhere. Maybe you are using version signal at home, however at the beach it may be ATT signal... either way... no extra fee.

One World.. One Connection .. Brought to you buy Google???

Michael said...

What about doing something similar for the UK? There are various blogs and communities dealing with the issues about rolling out broadband in the UK, but nothing that is really engaging with the public to get wider views and ideas.
I'm talking with the communications providers and local partnerships to try to identify workable ideas, but it all feels a bit isolated. Google would be a great focal point to get some lively and practical discussion going.

tito said...

I'd like to see fiber offered in more areas. If you take a look at other countries they are way ahead of us in fiber deployment. In addition, our cost is much higher in comparison to countries running fiber. I find that disturbing and hope it gets better.

Corey said...

Abolish bandwidth caps by ISP's. If people and companies want to move forward and grow digital distribution they need to put pressure on big ISP's to make internet unlimited again

Brian said...

I'd like to see better metrics for success. "Broadband is installed in XX% of homes" is essentially a useless measure that speaks nothing to the ability of public and private services to make it productive, of a user's ability to do something useful with it.

The oft cited 90% South Korean broadband penetration sounds good, but municipal governments, small businesses, and consumers have almost no presence outside games and chat.

The point is that deploying broadband is a huge waste of money if there aren't services that make use of it.

Prior_Analytics said...

Why not strap the network to our vehicles?

I'm rarely more than a few hundred feet from my vehicle. My vehicle has a self contained power source, plenty of room for an oversized antenna, is secure, has insurance, gets updated every few years, is near other vehicles, and scales well with local populations.


Adam said...

Best idea from so far, as posted by bak3y:

1. - Fiber, fiber, fiber, fiber
2. - Symmetric speeds. Upload is just as important as download.
3. - NO bandwidth caps.
4. - NO traffic shaping/throttling.
5. - NO extras. I don't want your webmail, your cheezy anti-virus/anti-spam, just give me an ethernet cable and leave me alone.
6. - IPv6. IPv4 is running out of addressable space. Deal with it now so we don't have major issues later.

Carmine T. Guida said...

- Unlimited = without limit, non limited, without a limit.

- Upload Speed
There are lots of backup your data online sites as well as video sites that need good upload speeds.

- Agreed with Adam... no webhosting, anti-virus, etc. Just a jack on the wall to plug into.

Shotaru said...

Most of the points have already been made:

Fiber to the wall for everyone, not just new construction. This is mainly in regions where ATT is the incumbent. Verizon will, usually, rip out the copper and run fiber in FIOS enabled regions.

No bandwidth caps.
No traffic shaping.
Symmetric upload and download speeds.
Unbundle, unbundle, unbundle! I don't want to be forced to buy your cheesey "HDTV" service just to get something faster than DSL.

One thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is a regulatory/legislative protection at the federal level for communities that want to run municipal broadband. Immunize them from being sued by the LECs. Let them run FTTH if the LECs have deigned them to be not worth the money to service, or if the LECs won't upgrade infrastructure in their community.

r3ing said...

I would like to see a dramatic change in the way we pay for access. Instead of companies charging for phone AND cable AND internet, which is all coming out of the same pipe, I would much prefer to pay for access to data, and then a tiered system based on amount of data used would determine the amount of money the individual would pay. Also instead of only being able to use equipment provided for by the ISP company (modem, DVR, phone equipment etc.) the end user would determine what their data usage is going to be and then purchase the equipment they need. For example, if I intend to use the data access for internet and cable, I would then go to my local electronics store and find the cable modem and DVR that I choose, based on what I want to do with them. This would increase third party manufactures and competition for customers among the hardware manufactures. ISP's could still provide these products to customers who don't feel comfortable installing this type of hardware. In short, pay a reasonable base price for a connection, and then pay for usage-just like any other utility out there (gas, electricity, water etc.) Yes, internet access, TV and phone should be grouped into the same category as basic utilities.

ed said...

Give me more options. In Greenville SC I'm limited to Charter if I want speeds over 1 mb. What gives. Charter is like the Broadband Nazis of the state. I know you can get ATT DSL but the speed isn't there. Where is FIOS?

Michael said...

I'm trying to promote the idea of a utility broadband channel, separated off from the bandwidth used to deliver consumer services.

The point is that,up until now, broadband has been used simply to provide Internet access, telephony and television. However broadband can be also used for a range of other purposes.

Broadband is basically an always-on channel for data. It can therefore be used to, for instance, support smart metering, allow remote management of electricity use to manage peak energy demand, deliver telecare and telehealth services, and support local security services. It also could be used to provide access to local services and information; including for instance local educational resources for schools, without data needing to be sent onto the internet and back.

Many of these services are becoming increasingly important to deliver key Government Policy Agendas such as Smart Metering, Renewable Energy, fuel poverty, health and social care of the aging population and so on, and have a clear and growing economic value

Some of these can be done over wireless or the normal telephone line, but the low bandwidth and, more importantly, poor quality of service, limit the capabilities of the services offered.
The problem is that there are a number of barriers to broadband being utilised in this way:
• Many people do not have broadband so a ubiquitous service cannot be provided
• At the moment these services could only be delivered over the Internet, which means that QoS is more difficult to guarantee. It also adds unnecessarily to the data transport costs of Communications Providers
• The Communications Providers could offer this over a VPN via their existing broadband service to customers, but this would require service providers to make arrangements with each Communications Provider separately
• It would also challenge the Communications Providers business model in that they are paid by the end customer to provide broadband internet access, but if service providers such as Hospitals paid for dedicated bandwidth to provide a channel into people’s homes to deliver healthcare services, this would have to be taken away from the bandwidth they provide to the end user
The result
• Consumers are losing the benefits of valuable services
• Public policy objectives are more difficult to achieve
• Important revenue streams are being lost which could significantly contribute to the business case for upgrading the broadband infrastructure in the UK
• Business opportunities are being lost
A Proposition
That a universal service obligation be laid on all owners of networks providing superfast broadband services to customers to provide a dedicated and firewalled channel to all homes, separate to that used to deliver conventional triple play. The channel would be funded through the providers of services over it and could potentially provide a significant income stream to the network owner.

The bandwidth required is for negotiation and may depend partly on the capacity of the network, but could indicatively be 2Mbs symmetrical.

It would need to be managed as an open access network and used to deliver services from a range of providers, who would pay according to a clear and transparent funding mechanism.

The time is ripe for this, as the extra revenues it would provide would add to the business case for the move to superfast broadband, which, in turn would provide spare capacity to make it easy to provide an open channel to deliver these services.

Phillip said...

Ensure that the connection is unfettered and available to anyone using the net.

Restore the peer to peer connection by using Ipv6.

Define what exactly is broadband and Highspeed. It should also be a minimum speed of 1.5 meg for basic connection and 5 meg for standard and say no to quota's. They are a good idea on the technical side, but the business side will use this as a means to make more money than they should.

Rant” 45 dollar a month for inconsistent speed and questionable up time is wrong. Basic network connection should be no more that 25 dollars a month.”

Be able to choose any ISP I want not be lock into single provider and the no long term contracts. Force the ISP to give the customer good prices and customer service.

Maybe look into government control of the nations backbone connection, likely not a good chose, but rules need to be implemented. The internet has turned into a utility not a service and should be treated as such.

Ben said...

Total privacy and NO bandwidth monitoring or throttling.

James said...

Poor money into BPL, Broadband over Powerlines as well as upgrading of the power line infrastructure - kill 2 birds with one stone. We get a more robust powergrid and hopefully if the technology works we get broadband access on the same network.

Kyle said...

Well if you want to improve broadband bring it to the rural parts of the US. we are stuff with crappy internet and have to pay double then what people in town do. I say bring broadband to everywhere even in the country. Oh and start improvement in Nebraska first.

frvlog said...

invent new protocol that sends whole parcels instead of packets..

make browser geo location send email directly to the other pc if they are in a mile radius ....

maybe store some server settings/accelerators in the pc, instead of loading every time the client requests a page

Erik said...

Some criticisms: the unlimited internet bandwidth and speed sounds great in theory but there has to be technology (this takes time, money, creativity and technical know-how) and money (billions, if not trillions) behind it.

At the rate of expansion of internet connectivity and bandwidth demands (video and "real-time" multimedia), bittorrent traffic, accounting for roughly 50% of all internet traffic, it is a juvenile fantasy to want unlimited anything.

Security, security, security!!! This will be pivotal to making a national broadband network (the national intranet). It should protect both the network(s) itself and the end-user(s) [it may require that there is a national computer network security best practices policy]. With perhaps the development of a national advisory panel that helps to regulate this, taking the input of security researchers and companies. Developing the relevant educational initiatives.

Energy-efficient technologies that help to control energy costs related to the powering of data-centers and various network-carriers (ISPs) for a bigger and more dense national network.

Inter-ISP coordination and resource sharing. Including the developing of protocols for handling differents sorts of traffic at peak-times (this is related to the differentiation mechanism for handling different kind of traffic).

Models for efficient upgrading of technology (both on the front- and back-end) as the network ages, including proper investments that reduce if not eliminate costs [perhaps a national technology tax with a fixed baseline >0 but prorated by network density, if fiscally feasible)].

Development of models for increasing network design/implementation efficiencies and dealing with scaling problems (that ISPs and required to look at in developing and deploying their networks).

Perhaps development of a private/public research company/ies {or even dare I say a college/university} (could help create jobs) that studies these problems and develops applied solutions (I am thinking here of another ATT Labs or perhaps a wholly independent Google research team [independent in the sense of Google having no claims on patentable work(s)/idea(s), or managing with an eye to any financial or stockholder bottom line]).

chris said...

fiber would be nice,but what about a $99 wimax router that receives and broadcasts to other near by routers creating a bittorrent inspired web of routers.and yes its all ad supported.this router could also function as pvr using sdhc cards.
it would be designed by samsung

Rob said...

1- Make pricing fit what u get its crazy in Wisconsin I'm Payin $60/month for 5 Mb cable internet and it goes out 15-20 times a week and i have to reset my modem plus when it does work I only get around 3.8.

2- Allow me to get internet without your crappy TV services or phone Services


4- Don't Throttle me! I'm payin for a specific speed let me have it, if i want to download to the max of my bandwidth LET ME!

5- If i call and say there is a problem with my service FIX IT! Don't send out 17 different so called "Technicians" over a years period and tell me you don't know what it is and ignore me FIGURE IT OUT AND FIX IT!

6- Give me SPEED!! there are places all over the world getting huge speeds don't tell me it will never happen here. You have Fiber through out my whole city there is no reason you couldn't up me to 20 Mb or more specially for the 60 bucks I pay a month

Dear Google,
Praise be to her and her infinite wisdom please use your devine power to give us a company who can serve us and allow us to use you to your fullest potential. with out feeding us lies after lies. Use your devine power to strike comcast down for their sinful ways! UNLEASH YOUR WRATH ON CHARTER COMCAST! SAVE US FROM THEIR SATANIC WAYS!

jagenigma said...

Stop Promising higher speeds only to disappoint us. 20MBPS is that Megabytes or megabits? It is very misleading as 20Megabits is slower than 20 megabytes, and if it was really that fast, we would have an mp3 in less than .1 seconds, we would have a movie in about 20 minutes depending on server speeds, and everything on the internet would run seamlessly.
Also I would like to add, Why is broadband so expensive? It should be cheaper. I don't see why it is 60 dollars a month for sub par internet speeds.

Rob said...

COST! Don't tease us with the 19.99/month then add 20 dollars a month in service fees and then make the 19.99/month jump to 59.99/month after 3 or 6 months give us a good deal no contracts and a standard fee with no BS "service Fees"

jejones3141 said...

Gregory Cohen nails it. Internet is now mostly tied to phone and cable companies because they had the infrastructure, a government-granted "natural monopoly" access--but they have an inherent conflict of interest. It's to the cable company's advantage to impede progress to make sure you buy both cable and net access, and ditto for the phone company.

It's all bits, and the phone company and cable companies are out of date. It's time for them to go away.

Luis said...

I would like to see broadband take the same form as Japan. It is the infrasturture most technology runs on anymore. I would like to see technology companies be required to subsidize a part the cost for broadband use on devices, similar to how Amazon executed the Kindle's "whispernet". I would be willing to pay the difference for home use, with out ISP restrictions, with exception for illegal activity and SPAM.