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Summary:

Can Americans dream about a day when they get a 100-megabit-per-second broadband connection, delivered over fiber? FTTH Council, says yes, and is pushing the US government to adopt a 100 Megabit Nation policy. The Council says that we have the technology, and the carriers (and cable […]

ftthcouncil.gifCan Americans dream about a day when they get a 100-megabit-per-second broadband connection, delivered over fiber? FTTH Council, says yes, and is pushing the US government to adopt a 100 Megabit Nation policy. The Council says that we have the technology, and the carriers (and cable providers) have the networks to make it all a reality – with a little pressure from Washington D.C.

The FTTH Council’s recommendation included the goal of extending, through both private and public sector initiatives, affordable next-generation broadband to a majority of Americans by 2010, with universal availability by 2015.

The Council wants Congress and the President to act fast on this – otherwise we will be stuck in the slow lane, of sub-10 megabit per second speeds. Every day we twiddle our thumbs, we lose some of the edge when it comes to developing clever ways to use the bandwidth. My simple argument is that what x86 was to the PC era, bandwidth is to the broadband era. The more bandwidth we have, the more innovative ways we will find to use it, thus creating another cycle of innovation.

  1. 100Mbps would successfully support widespread thin-client computing. This is an area I’ve messed around with; I can run a full-fledged OS (Knoppix) from the CD-ROM of a PC connected to a 100Mbps hub. I can run things like GIMP, Open Office, and other things without much lag.

    The secret is caching a lot of this stuff into the RAM at boot. You can also use a section of your hard drive as an encrypted swap…

    It’s pretty interesting, and it WILL open up gateways to new types of computing.

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  2. 2015 ? ;) It’s 2007 here in Europe and Some People already have 200Mbps symetric ;)

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  3. Singapore is planing gigabit to the home (possibly FTTH) by 2015.

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  4. Interesting Om, the adoption rate also would be awesome, current US broadband adoption rate is 1% per month (home users) and has reached 80%+.
    I hope we will have our data in cloud and move around…

    kind rgrgds
    saran

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  5. The US continually seems to be the unwieldy monster, trudging toward technological development. Maybe if we spent half as much on these things as we do our star wars defense capabilities (particle beams, airborne lasers, metastable nuclear isomers, etc) we might be happily on our way toward realizing our terabit fantasies. But alas, we are relegated to accepting technological hand-me-downs… I do hope we see 100Mbps some day, but it will probably be more interesting to see what the rest of the world has by the time we reach that mark.

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  6. Rishi Sachdev Monday, April 16, 2007

    Actually in Hong Kong the internet speeds go up to 1Gb/s for 220 dollars a month from HKBN , symmetric so the U.S. is way way way behind.
    link

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  7. i hate all of you. I just blogged about the state of affairs in India and it’s pathetic.

    link

    help.

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  8. Rishi Sachdev Monday, April 16, 2007

    Please realize that all the dollars signs on the HKBN website are in Hong Kong Dollars ( one eight of the USD ) while my reference to 1gb/s internet was in US dollars.

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  9. 100Mbit full duplex is very common already in Stockholm… Waiting for Gbit now.

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  10. We already have 100+ Mbps to the home here in Denmark and the government have mandated that 100Mbps will be the minimum you can have to the home.

    As far as I know they expect all service providers to have rolled out 100Mbps to all customers withing the next 18 – 24 months.

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  11. [...] many months (things seem to be better over the last week or so, fingers double and crossed!) this GigaOM piece covering the dream of “100-megabit-per-second broadband connection” really struck a [...]

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  12. all of you who are showing off your bandwidth, why don’t you send a pound of salt and a ton of lime so i can rub it in my wounds. i am still stuck at 6 meg/s – not fair. sigh…

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  13. dream-on, i say. until the competitive broadband landscape gets FIXED in the U.S..

    And this will only get achieved IF AND ONLY IF federal and perhaps, more realistically and importantly LOCAL government step-in BIG TIME when it comes to rolling-out broadband INFRASTRUCTURE.

    Because a strong INFRASTRUCTURE, that isn’t owned by a single private entity but rather owned and operated by local government and LEASED to a myriad of competing providers, is the backbone of a competitive broadband landscape.

    Aside from a few forward-thinking municipalities rolling out their own infrastructures, right now the only entities rolling out fiber in the U.S. are phone companies painstakingly trying to reinvent themselves as all-encompassing communications + media companies with bundled deals. And experience shows they have their own agenda as to what we can do with their pipes: nothing that would allow us to communicate and consume media “too freely” and too advantageous rates.

    Yes Verizon, i’m looking at you.

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  14. Feel better. the UK at the moment has enough trouble getting 8 meg/s to all homes…

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  15. 1 meg/s need i say more…….pathetic english countryside

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  16. The lines are so poor in the uk, also every isp saturates the lines with too many customers. The country is 99% lagfest.

    I’ve been seriously thinking about moving to Sweden, France or Holland. Yes! just for the internet.

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  17. With regard to Manish jain’s comment – I strongly suspect that people, apart from a small but vocal minority, don’t actually care what goes on in india and other third world countries.

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  18. And all of the while…the trusty rusty copper that is my connection to the worldwide-super- backroad just about gives me 2Mb/s with a good wind behind it …until October that is, when WHOOOOOOOOOOOO I’ll get 6-8Mb/s!! Whoo Hoo!

    I’ll have any salt left over after Om Malik is finished with it!

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  19. 100Mbps is common in Sweden. 1000Mbps is starting to roll out. Here in England? I get 8Mbps. Sheesh!

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  20. to the person saying that they have 100 mbs for home users in Danmark. Could you provide me info on your internet provider, as i believe that is not correct.

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  21. Bravo, Om.

    I’m in the same boat here in Santa Fe. And like a great deal of the US, I have a “choice” of 1 provider.

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  22. David Kluskiewicz Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Connecticut completed a 100Megabit network for its public schools, community colleges and libraries in 2006. But, other than fast video transmission it’s hard to know what the benefits of the increased capacity are. There need to be more comments like #1 (Robert Dewey) that explain the possibilities created by increased bandwidth.

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  23. UK is pretty useless at this – unless you have cable (you can now get 20Mb/s) you are stuck with BT and if you get consistently over about 4.5Mbps it’s cause for champagne.

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  24. When will fiber replace TP

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  25. Jacob Varghese Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    100mbps sounds great, but when you pair it with something like running fiber to the home, it sounds a little antiquated – especially in regards to a standard for 2015.

    Shouldn’t WIMAX/WIFI be the delivery method with ethernet/fiber on the backend handling the load? That would be much cheaper and easier to implement.

    Robert, you don’t need 100mbps to implement thin-client computing at least not if you’re using Citrix.

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  26. Oh, not a big deal. In Russia (in biggest cities) 1Mb is the best you can expect, and most of “broadband” users have no more than 512 or even 256 Kb. Not to mention dial-up which is still used by the most part of web users (ADSL and other broadband technologies became common only in last couple of years).

    Oh my, they have 500x faster in Stockholm, as said above. And it’s only a few hundred kilometers from where I live…

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  27. frankly speaking, all this number is mainly for marketing purpose i believe. first of all, it’s the server on the other side of the connection determines how fast the transmission can be. Secondly, ask yourself if you really want to put all the application and data online while hard disk / flash memory now is amazingly cheap.

    sit back and relax, you may be able to see the real picture.

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  28. We have 100Mbps fibre here in Japan. Telephone and TV come along with it, and it costs about US$40 a month for all three.

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  29. If the CellCo’s spent half their ad budget on upgrading their network to interoperate with the real Broadband Metro Area Wireless Mesh and new WiMAX networks and focused on providing solid voice, instead of hyping/spinning their lame Narrowband 500Kbps of data services maybe we’d be able to come up with a serious 5-10Mbps per sub.
    I do not believe the 100Mbps figures for the European and Asian markets. These figures might apply in the major cities but what do they get in their countryside-anything??

    Jacomo

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  30. Ive got terrabit fibre to my home. I use a direct sattelite 20 x E1 link as a back up. Its great i cant believe more people dont have it.

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  31. The U.S. is lagging badly behind Asis and some of the northern European countries when it comes to peak bandwidth availability to residential subscribers. But this is not surprising since the same thing happened in the wireless handset market.

    Instead of 100Mbps FTTH, the U.S should be bold and contemplating 1Gig (or why not 10G’s) to the home over fiber and ubitiquous wifi everywhere. Some kid in high school right now will make billions fromt this opportunity.

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  32. And one more thing…for the folks that don’t believe the 100mbps availability in Asia and Europe, I think you need to visit.

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  33. Yes, a 100mb connection would be amazing. But I hate the thought of having the government step in. Let the market dictate what will be. Not the government.

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  34. [...] has introduced an interesting new certification process for DOCSIS 3.0 qualification. In light of recent public debate on how the US needs to encourage higher bandwidth delivery, the CableLabs move is hopefully a way [...]

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  35. Bah to you all. I’m on dial-up, and not by choice. Try being born in the country (and no I can’t just leave right now), when you’re viewed as worthless markets by anyone and everyone, simply by virtue of population density and perceived nature (read: they think we’re low-tech hicks). Never mind that a)no, we’re not, and b) dial-up prices have bottomed out and so anyone who comes in will have a virtual monopoly compared to a dial-up/2nd line, density be damned.

    But it does say something about the US that’s significant. #1, one big problem is that we’re not Hong Kong or Europe. We have lots of land, and while that’s great, there’s an inverse relationship between land availability and cost/benefit ratios of tech buildouts. #2, we’ve no cultural history of autocracy in any form. We’ve little precedent and less political infrastructure for broad mandates “for the good of the people.” Plus we’re federalized; states have a big say. For letting people just live their lives, it’s great. For getting asphalt laid down, it works well enough. For pulling off effectively integrated build-ins of complicated technological nature…not so much. The ripples of market motives will toss your boat in a heartbeat.

    Maybe there’s a solution, and I’d love to hear if anyone had one. But I doubt it.

    Heh. Funny. Maybe long term, socialism might win after all, not from the social but the technological.

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  36. While I have to agree with Daniel’s coment (911004) about not liking the thought of the government “interfering”, I believe that the idea of the government building out the infrastructure and then leasing it to the various internet providers is going to be the only way that we will see >10Mbit to the home any time soon.

    I am somewhat luckier than some folks… I have a choice of TWO internet providers currently… the local telco (NOT a “Baby Bell” company, and so not as subject to the same rules/regulations) and the local cable company. Soon, I will have a third option, but I still won’t have anywhere close to 10Mbit/sec to the home…the best I can reasonably hope for is 6Mbit/sec.

    I can see where they have been deploying fiber all around me, but I still can’t get access to that fiber. It seems like my neighborhood has been passed by while the fiber goes right past us. sigh

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  37. And, in answer to Daniel, while I am a free-market proponent, be wary of pure “let the market decide” attitude when it comes to infrastructure. The hold-ups I describe for my area are nothing new; in the next town over there still exists a small telecom who was formed by a coalition of farmers back in the day so they could get phone service, because they were being ignored. They were being ignored because corporations will always chase the QUICKEST money, and they weren’t it. Cities are it, suburbia’s it. In this current age of conglomeration and deregulation, that’s all the more true. But government’s burden is different; it shouldn’t represent you less just because you don’t have a backyard. And governments ought to think long-term (instead of election terms, but whatever). Roads and fiber are just such good long-term state investments. Even when the market has different ideas in the moment.

    My area’s growing pretty fast now–imagine if those farmers hadn’t given up part of their real jobs to get lines put up. We can’t do that again, but we don’t need to hold this area back again.

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  38. i’m 100% with danquin (911135) on this.

    As mentioned in my last comment, parroting seemingly feel-good capitalistic phrases such as “LET THE MARKET DECIDE, keep the government out of it”, is actually taking an anti-capitalistic stance to broadband infrastructure: Local government has the most effective opportunity to lead the build out of broadband infrastructure to provide a competitive landscape.

    Roads and sidewalks enabling businesses to flourish, are infrastructures just as important as a competitive broadband landscape.

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  39. What a lot of people still fail to understand is that getting a 100Mb link to your house is one thing but unless you like to transfer big files to and from your neighbor what you really want is a reasonable amount of INTERNET bandwidth. Heck, I’d stay with my current 6-8Mb cable modem service if I could pull data that fast off the Internet. The problem is that carriers have oversubscribed their networks to the point that, in some cases, dialup is just or almost as fast. The current bottleneck is NOT in the last mile. This is not to say I wouldn’t want fiber to my home but that I do think the more pressing issue is the lack of bandwidth to the Internet.

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  40. well what use is a huge 100Mbit/sec connection if the sit you are trying to access has a mini upload speed? as i am finding more common for me nowdays; especially on video sites!

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  41. 100 Megabits At Home By 2015?…

    According to a post on GigaOm, FTTH Council is pushing the US government to adopt a 100 Megabit Nation policy with the goal of extending, through both private and public sector initiatives, affordable next-generation broadband (100-megabit-per-second c…

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  42. Om,
    Thanks for covering our call for 100Mbit Nation. Based on a number of comments about the initiative, I encourage your readers to view our ExaFlood video. This short describes the coming deluge of data we can expect from emerging applications.
    And, I encourage those citizens to make their voices heard by government officials who are responsible for making Telecommunications policy decisions.

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  43. What’s funny is that in Indonesia, 69kbps (yes, there is such a thing) is our “broadband.”

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  44. i remember 28800 speed and i was going OOO. then came 57600 and i was going OH WOW. i drooled.

    technology is moving so quickly that even a young person can soon reminiscent about the “old days”. but before we put in a lot of effort in pushing to make 100 Megabit a reality, i’d think it’s wise to push to make the rest of computer users understand and know how to secure their systems, otherwise we’d probably be inundated with even more zombie computers on a very fast network. a huge waste of good bandwidth.

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  45. 100Mb? I live in Spain and all we can get is 512k in the mountains, if at all. We feel privileged if we can get water, let alone broadband. Electricity? Luxury! generators mate. lots of noisy polluting generators. And solar.

    We want WiMAX country-wide. That’d do.

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  46. I use 64kbps “broadband” in Mumbai, India. I am connected to a 100 mbps LAN network of local ISP which is city wide, but still net bandwidth is very low and expensive. Max I can get 256kbps to 2mbps (varying, probably shared) using newly deployed ADSL which is a bit costly. Anything else need I say?

    Request to all web developers, please develop websites that can still be downloaded over 64kbps! Thanks.

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  47. How timely… Shortly after reading all the lamenting from the UK posters, I came across this article from BWeek.

    http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2007/gb20070416_512129.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_global+business

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  48. Hey, and why don’t you look to the awesome speeds here in my country (and how do they cost). 128 Kbps (yes, kiloBITS per second) for $39.90, and thats the standard now. For $10 more, you get 200 kbps. This is from the biggest cable company here. And one year ago was only 64. One can get 2 or 3 Mbps but for hundreds of $$$ a month.
    All this ’cause of the lack of a direct connection from my country (Ecuador) to those underwater cables that pass a few miles from our coasts. A high-speed link is been build right now and will be operative from September, then, maybe, will get the first more-than-1-Mbps home connections…
    I really envy you all from Japan, Sweden, etc. with those 100′s in your broadband.

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  49. 100Mbps is called Vdsl which stands for very high speed DSL
    If you check out the telecoms providers (the decent ones) you’ll find that they are offering these solutions as VDSL and also high speed cable access.

    Its all down to IPTV and the migration to complete fixed IP network solutions. Meaning you’ll just get TV internet and phone over that one line and all the other will be cut out.

    Its expensive so forcing operators to take it up is stupid and unnecessary as it’ll happen eventually anyway.

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  50. 10mb to the home is more realistic, I hate to say.

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  51. If the technology exists, then why not issue it out right now! Why wait until 2015. In 2015, other countries would have technologically advanced much further with innovations etc. using faster bandwidth. In today’s world bandwidth means alot and the U.S. government needs to understand this and implement faster and more efficient technologies as soon as possible. In my personal opinion, 2015 is far too long to implement a 100MBPS connection. As other’s have said, countries are already looking into 1GBPS. C’mon, U.S. can do better!

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  52. Im in the UK maybe London is better than the UK countryside as I get 52mbps from BT, ok, nowhere near 100, and even further away from 1000, but its not so backward.

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  53. I left the UK in March 2002. At that time broadband was just starting to become avaialble.
    The UK was being held up simply because of British Telecom’s sheer GREED.
    In my view, what BT were doing is tantamount to Treason, as it surely cost the UK, Billions of Pounds in lost revenues as a trading nation.
    I emigrated to the USA, and since I am now in a lower paying job, and have a mortgage and family to support, I am stuck with dial-up!
    I thought things had improved in the UK, but it seems not.
    Apparently Britain’s internet access is stuck in the dark ages, along with it’s transport network.
    What a terrible shame. One day, I hope to return to a better, more progressive country, but for now I live in the USA :-)

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  54. [...] neste blog gringo que os americanos já podem sonhar com conexões de 100 MB/s,enquanto no Brasil até os [...]

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  55. Hey guys – just exactly what are most people going to use 100Mbs for? Let me guess – about 50% of it will be for downloading more pornography faster, maybe another 25% for sharing episodes of Lost. And you just won’t have time to watch it all.

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  56. All these great speeds don’t apply to the UK :(
    ATM 24/1.3meg is tops – unless someone can say different (BE being the provider) – getting it is a different matter…. probably 16meg (if the exchange is in your back garden)

    But!! I have cable :) 10/.3meg – what a joke :(

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  57. Toon Macharis Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Wow, 100 Mbs, I didn’t know the broadband speeds were evolving as in Belgium there barely is an evolution. The -maximum- speed connections for the moment are 20 Mbs download, 512 kbs upload. The price is about 62 euro for this package at both providers. You read it right, there are only two possible broadband providers here (and they have similar offerings). One provider (the telephone lines) is half owned by the state and the other (cable) is the only private one. I guess we have a lack of competition here. 100 Mbs would be nice.

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  58. It is a nice dream.
    “Let us realize our dream through dedication “.

    America is now a one of giant nation in world, so they can achive that target in future. I am a Sri Lankan and in Sri Lanka internet facilities are becoming popular & cheap. More ISPs like SLT, Suntel are giving ADSL and other services at affordable price. We can get ADSL connection 0f 2 mbps at 60 US$/month (SLR 6000/month.

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  59. “We have 100Mbps fibre here in Japan. Telephone and TV come along with it, and it costs about US$40 a month for all three.”

    Thats MAD!… that works out about £22 per month.

    In the UK it would cost £26 ($50) for “Up to” 8meg Broadband, telephone and the most basic TV package (no sports or films).

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  60. I live in Australia and the fastest speeds we have are 24mbs, (which is only in some areas).
    Yet, I live in a capital city and it costs about 75 USD for a 1500/256 connection. (which is the max speed here)

    Its appalling, Australia is “meant” to be at the forefront of technology, but we are really lagging behind!!

    not to mention our telecom companies suck ass

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  61. Birty McFlirty Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Oh get a life. The world’s in the sh*t, people are starving and you all are complaining about the speed of your broadband connection. Jesus wept.

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  62. What’s all this bitching about, 8 meg broadband is still a luxury to me having worked up through the years from a 2800bps modem connecting to bbs sites to todays 8meg internet fest.

    When we get 100mb in the UK (Hello BT are you listening?) it will make VPN’s and working from home much better.

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  63. the person in denmark who said we get 100 mbs is cheating what he forgets is in denmark we get ours from sweeden.
    in denmark we pay 4 times what they do in sweeden and if u live in the middle or north denmark the very most you can get is 8mbs.
    and that costs over 400 kr. about 40 english pounds.

    in sweeden that will get you 24 mbs. sorry us in denmark are not only cheated, we are way behind the rest of the world. its just most danes cant admit it…

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  64. The down load is only as fast as the sending party will allow. The service providers will throttle back what ever segments they deem necessary to level the available bandwidth, and your Computer on your end plays as much a part as anything outside the walls of your home.

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  65. Its always about greed isn’t it. Here in Egypt most people still use dial-up and that only took off when we started free dial-up, not free but no monthly payments. But we have DSL but only up to 2Mbps, but the prices are really high for us. Most people go for the 256kbps, which I have, for 95 EGP(16.5 USD)the problem is the companies rent the DSL lines from our only teleco for 5 EGP. And the prices are set by the govournment so their isn’t really much competiton. You just have to hope you don’t go to a company that’s too saturated.
    100Mbps sounds nice but I’d like to have 8Mbps available first and 1Mbps made cheap.
    I guess anywhere you won’t get highspeed broadband unless you gouvernment thinks its good and it doesn’t matter how rich your country is.

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  66. [...] bring such high speeds to much of the population Whilst Om Malik warns the same is true of the US Every day we twiddle our thumbs, we lose some of the edge when it comes to developing clever ways to…. For me the first problem to solve is universal access. Ensuring everyone has their 2 or 4mbps is [...]

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  67. @lars and others.. Try SEAS NVE in Denmark.
    They’re providing 100mb + speeds

    They’re also providing backbone connections for data transfer between companies and offices up to 2.5 Gigs

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  68. It’s clear something has to be done and this is possible. This country IS falling way behind the rest of the word in high speed, affordable broadband for all. Many of the 2008 Presidential Candidates – Obama, Hillary, Edwards have published proposals on this. It is do-able. FTTH is what they use in Japan which has the highest speeds. This can be done. There are some step by step proposals for implementing a National policy on http://www.speedmatters.org. If we don’t do it, it just won’t get done. Everyone has an interest in getting it done — every student, teacher, citizen who wants to participate in political debate, businesses, the workers who will build it, hospitals, farmers… even during and after the tragedy at Virginia Tech — the internet was not just used for information but the main way these young people reached out to each other for support and comfort. No one should denied access to this.

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  69. The sad thing is that recently , in Bangalore,India, my cousin got his internet upgraded to 2mb/s down and 500kb/s upload for 12 dollars a month, which is about the same that most people get in the U.S. … did I mention that India was a third world country :)

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  70. [...] giorni fa GigaOM ha riportato di un analoga richiesta del FTTH Council al governo USA di adottare una politica… di banda larga per [...]

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  71. [...] Via [GigaOM] Comment on this post | Permalink [...]

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  72. Any clue how much it would cost for a 100 Mbps connection? I mean, since it’s run through an established infrastructure, would the costs to upkeep it be more drastic for the high-speed ISP?

    http://highspeed-internet-provider.com

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  73. [...] Malik highlights the FTTH Council, a group that is pushing the U.S. government to adopt a 100 Megabit Nation policy [...]

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  74. [...] No comments It is not the first time I have indulged in navel gazing about what is broadband, how much bandwidth is enough, and what are you really going to do with it. Business Week is having a similar moment, wondering [...]

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  75. Wow that is some serious bandwidth. I hope it comes sooner than that. High speed internet at its finest! http://t1blowout.com

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