January 18, 2008

California has a new plan for broadband

California Broadband Task Force (commissioned by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Nov 2006) has published an 84 page plan on how it wants to make the broadband communication available in California competitive with world leaders like Japan (average advertised download speed of 95Mbps).

The Task Force recommended that the state issue "broadband bonds," found an "Advanced Services Fund" that would make one-time payouts to subsidize broadband infrastructure in rural areas, and issue tax incentives for broadband deployments in unserved areas.

#1: Build Out High-Speed Broadband Infrastructure to All Californians
#2: Develop Model Permitting Standards and Encourage Collaboration Among Providers
#3: Increase the Use and Adoption of Broadband and Computer Technology
#4: Engage and Reward Broadband Innovation and Research
#5: Create a Statewide E-Health Network
#6: Leverage Educational Opportunities to Increase Broadband Use
#7: Continue State-Level and Statewide Leadership

The goals recommended by the taskforce in broadband speed and adoption levels

Here is a table with the applications that are possible at different communication speeds.

DSL is today capable of providing service up to 25 Mbps, and even more in exceptional circumstances. Cable can provide 150 Mbps with current technology, and will be able to provide more in the future. Recently launched and next-generation
satellites will offer significantly higher capacity and performance. A satellite system planned to enter service next year is designed to provide 10-30 Mbps aggregate bandwidth, though latency issues will continue to limit the usability of
satellite for certain broadband applications. Wireless speeds will largely be constrained by spectrum availability. Fiber technologies hold practically unlimited capabilities. However, to realize these speeds, all of these technologies require
significant infrastructure investments.

Technology Advertised Broadband Speed Ranges in California (Downstream rate)
Cable 768 kbps - 15 Mbps
DSL 384 kbps - 6 Mbps
Fixed Wireless 768 kbps - 3 Mbps
FTTH 1 Mbps - 50 Mbps
Mobile Wireless 200 kbps - 1.4 Mbps
Satellite 512 kbps - 2 Mbps