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- Statistics: Broadband

"The same cable network that currently provides television service to consumers is being modified to provide broadband access. Because cable networks are shared by users, access speeds can decrease during peak usage hours, when bandwidth is being shared by many customers at the same time. Network sharing has also led to security concerns and fears that hackers might be able to eavesdrop on a neighbor’s Internet connection. The cable industry is developing “next generation” technology which will significantly extend downloading and uploading speeds". - Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues, CRS p. 5 Jan. 26, 2006 OpenCRS ; Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Backbround Issues, CRS Report for Congress, Nov. 21, 2008 (copy acquired through wikileaks)

The FCC has concluded that Internet over cable broadband is an unregulated "Information service."

Broadband Plan Recommendations

  • Recommendation 4.12 The FCC should initiate a proceeding to ensure that all multichannel video programming distributors (MV PDs) install a gateway device or equivalent functionality in all new subscriber homes and in all homes requiring replacement set-top boxes, starting on or before Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Recommendation 4.13: On an expedited basis, the FCC should adopt rules for cable operators to fix certain Cable- CARD issues while development of the gateway device functionality progresses. Adoption of these rules should be completed in the fall of 2010.

Exhibit 3-E: Announced Upgrades to the US Fixed Broadband Network (Millions of Households Covered) Natl BB Plan p 20

Regulatory Proceedings



 

Gulf Power v. FCC

In construing the pole attachment provision of the Communications Act, 47 USC § 224, the 11th Circuit concluded that Internet access provided through a cable system contains neither a cable service nor a telecom service.

In April 2000 the 11th Cir. Court of Appeals  vacated the FCC's Pole Attachment Order.  The item at issue in this order is whether the FCC has jurisdiction over facilities (wires) attached to telephone poles.  The Court recognized that the FCC had jurisdiction over telecommunications and cable facilities, but that the Communications Act gave the FCC no clear authority attached to poles which is used for Internet access.  This again raises the issue of whether cable that is used for Internet access is considered cable, telecom, or something other (this is at issue in the open access controversy).  It also raises the question of what about the facility defines its regulatory status - is it the transport layer, the TCP/IP layer, or the communications as a whole.  Is cable considered cable regardless of use, or does the fact that TCP/IP is transmitted on top transform cable into something other - and how can that be rationally explained?  Previously different facilities fit neatly within different boxes - cable, telecom, wireless, satellite, broadcast.  But as these facilities become fungible - as different facilities supply similar or the same services - the old boxes and the different regulations that applied become more difficult to work with.  This proceeding, therefore, questions the continued viability of the enhanced versus basis service provider distinction and where Internet communications fits within communications regulatory schemes.

 

Law

DOCSIS

"Cable Labs DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) provides the basis for the development of standardized equipment that enables the offering of new or improved services over the cable network. DOCSIS 1.0 defined standardized ways of communicating high-speed Internet traffic over the channels of the cable network. DOCSIS 1.1 offered the ability to define various tiers of service or levels of quality that could be offered to different kinds of customers. DOCSIS 2.0 specification should enable increased “upstream” throughput, making possible symmetric data services." - Vermont Telecommunications Plan, Sept 2004 P. 1-19
Cable Standard Upstream Capacity Equipment Status
DOCSIS 1.0 5MBits/sec per 6MHz channel Currently Available
DOCSIS 1.1 10Mbits/sec per 6 MHz channel Expected by December 2001
DOCSIS 2.0 30 MBits / sec per 6MHz channel Expected by 2003
DOCSIS 3.0 100 Mbps / 50 Mbps Starting 2009

Source:  Network Magazine, p. 16 November 2001; various

  Companies 2009 2010 2011
DOCSIS 3.0
  • Comcast
  • Cablevision
  • Cox
  • Knology
  • Time Warner
  • Charter
  • Mediacom
  • RCN
  • Comcast (40 million)
  • Charter (St. Louis)
  • Mediacom
    (50% of footprint)
  • Knology (50% of footprint)
  • RCN (begin deployment)
  • Comcast (50 million)
  • Cablevision
    (entire footprint)
  • Cox (entire footprint)
  • Time Warner
    (New York City)
  • Knology
    (entire footprint)
 

 

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