Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wireless No Substitute For Wireline

....Smartphones Are a Supplement, Not Replacement for Fixed Line.

As I've been noting more than a little bit, we're at an interesting precipice in the broadband sector where AT&T and Verizon are starting to give up on upgrading tens of millions of DSL customers, instead letting them simply flee to cable. That not only creates a much stronger cable monopoly in an already uncompetitive broadband market, but it raises rates for tens of millions of DSL customers, who suddenly face the high(er) prices and steep overages we've gotten used to with LTE.

It's important to note that not all current DSL users will also be able to get LTE signal either, meaning they'll either have to turn to the nation's historically awful broadband satellite service, or they'll suddenly be faced with broadband disconnection -- at a time we're supposed to be closing these coverage gaps.

While AT&T and Verizon insist that LTE will be just as good as fixed line broadband, a new study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reiterates that wireless is simply no substitute for fixed line service. The study found that 7% of Americans are "smartphone only" (wireless only, no home broadband) but 83% of smartphone owners have broadband at home. Wireless is a supplement to fixed line access, not a replacement.

"The debate about whether wireless is a substitute for wireline broadband is misplaced," argues the report. "Mobile wireless is a game changer not because it might supplant wireline, but because it profoundly shapes how people view the Internet’s benefits."

Despite this being a study based on FCC data, the FCC remains oblivious to the impact AT&T and Verizon's decisions to hang up on landline are going to have, or the new and cozy marketing relationships being fostered between cable and phone providers. We're looking at a future where many of the country's residents that need inexpensive broadband the most are about to be shoved toward LTE service with $15 per gigabyte overage charges

Read more here...

Wireless vs Wireline

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