National Academies Press: OpenBook

Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits (2002)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
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BROADBAND BRINGING HOME THE BITS

Committee on Broadband Last Mile Technology

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

The majority of the support for this project was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract No. N00174-99-C-0052 and the National Science Foundation under grant No. ANI-9908155. Additional support was provided by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, Interval Research Corporation, WorldCom, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, and Qwest. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-08273-0

Additional copies of this report are available from:

National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20418 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
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COMMITTEE ON BROADBAND LAST MILE TECHNOLOGY

NIKIL JAYANT,

Georgia Institute of Technology,

Chair

JAMES A. CHIDDIX,

AOL Time Warner

JOHN M. CIOFFI,

Stanford University

DAVID D. CLARK,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PAUL GREEN,

Tellabs (retired)

KEVIN KAHN,

Intel Corporation

RICHARD LOWENBERG,

Davis Community Network

CLIFFORD LYNCH,

Coalition for Networked Information

RICHARD METZGER,

Lawler, Metzger & Milkman LLC

ELIZABETH MYNATT,

Georgia Institute of Technology

ELI M. NOAM,

Columbia University

DIPANKAR RAYCHAUDHURI,

Rutgers University

BOB ROWE,

Montana Public Service Commission

STEVEN S. WILDMAN,

Michigan State University

Staff

MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director

JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer

DAVID DRAKE, Project Assistant

DAVID PADGHAM, Research Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD

DAVID D. CLARK,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Chair

DAVID BORTH,

Motorola Labs

JAMES A. CHIDDIX,

AOL Time Warner

JOHN M. CIOFFI,

Stanford University

ELAINE COHEN,

University of Utah

W. BRUCE CROFT,

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

THOMAS E. DARCIE,

AT&T Labs Research

JOSEPH FARRELL,

University of California at Berkeley

JEFFREY M. JAFFE,

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies

ANNA KARLIN,

University of Washington

BUTLER W. LAMPSON,

Microsoft Corporation

EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA,

University of Washington

DAVID LIDDLE,

U.S. Venture Partners

TOM M. MITCHELL,

WhizBang! Labs, Inc.

DONALD NORMAN,

Nielsen Norman Group

DAVID A. PATTERSON,

University of California at Berkeley

HENRY (HANK) PERRITT,

Chicago-Kent College of Law

BURTON SMITH,

Cray Inc.

TERRY SMITH,

University of California at Santa Barbara

LEE SPROULL,

New York University

JEANNETTE M. WING,

Carnegie Mellon University

MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director

HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist

ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer

JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer

LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Program Officer

CYNTHIA PATTERSON, Program Officer

STEVEN WOO, Program Officer

JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Officer

MARGARET HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant

DAVID DRAKE, Senior Project Assistant

JANICE SABUDA, Senior Project Assistant

JENNIFER BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant

DAVID PADGHAM, Research Assistant

BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Staff Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

Preface

Since its inception, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) has examined how the nation’s networked infrastructure has been evolving. At the close of the past decade, the popular appeal of the Internet was evident and growing, and with it the range and richness of the uses to which the Internet might be put. The vision of a popular Internet leads inevitably to thoughts about how people use it in their homes—and then to the arresting observation that most people get the best possible access to the Internet from outside their homes, if they can get it at all. That observation led CSTB to frame an assessment of broadband technologies in what the telecommunications industry has traditionally called the last mile—the link to homes (and small offices). This project complements prior CSTB studies of the core of the network—the backbone, the architecture, broad categories of applications, and specific categories of networking technology—in its concern to (literally) bring networking home.

The key questions about broadband technology in the last mile are deceptively simple. First, what is feasible, technically and economically? But feasibility is a nuanced quality: it is in the eye of the beholder, and beholders differ considerably in terms of their assumptions and preferences. Those same conditions confound answering the second key question: how can public policy foster dissemination of broadband in the last mile? Many industries are involved in supplying broadband technology, and their existence and strategies are already shaped by public policy. And many outside those industries, trying to figure out what is going on,

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
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have their own views of what policy is or should be. Moreover, recent industry trends, from mergers to business failures, feed speculation of all kinds—except for an expectation that broadband deployment will accelerate. Thus, to have any claim to completeness, an assessment of broadband in the last mile must combine consideration of technology, economics, and law and policy.

Accordingly, CSTB convened a committee of 14 people with expertise in the following areas: the different kinds of technology that could be used in the last mile; the economics, law, and policy of the telecommunications and networked content industries; and trends in the home and local use of various kinds of networks and their applications.1 The committee combined people with academic, other nonprofit, and commercial experience, and it embraced both supply- and demand-oriented perspectives. The committee met five times in plenary session and received extensive input through briefings, a workshop, and solicited white papers. In addition, it had two plenary conference calls and made extensive use of e-mail and a private Web site for electronic exchange and deliberation.

The committee thanks the many people who helped to make this report possible, although of course the responsibility for the final result is its own.

A number of individuals provided valuable information through briefings to committee meetings. Aubrey Bush and Rodger Ziemer of the National Science Foundation (NSF) presented the charge to the committee. Dale Hatfield, then chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology, and John Berresford, FCC antitrust attorney, presented the range of telecommunications policy concerns from a regulator’s perspective. Jeffrey Chester, executive director, Center for Media Education; Eugene Kimmelman, co-director, Consumers Union; and Mark Cooper, director of research, Consumer Federation of America, discussed concerns emerging from consumer advocates. Andrew Sharpless, then senior vice president of interactive media at Discovery Communications, described the perspective of an online content provider; David Kettler, then executive director and vice president of science and technology with Bellsouth, and C. Lincoln (“Link”) Hoewing, assistant vice president, Internet and Technology, Verizon, presented incumbent telephone company perspectives; William St. Arnaud, CANARIE, Inc., described the Canadian experience and the larger opportunities in local investment in deploying optical fiber; Milo Medin, chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering, Excite@Home Network, discussed the cable industry’s approach to Internet service and broad

1  

David Butler, who had recently retired from AOL at the time the study started, resigned from the committee for personal reasons in 2000.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

band deployment; Jorge Reina Schement, professor of telecommunications and co-director of the Institute for Information Policy, Pennsylvania State University, provided context for considering universal service issues by describing the big picture of communications and information consumption across different population segments; Ted Darcie, director, AT&T Labs Research, analyzed the merits of different broadband technologies and explained AT&T’s thinking about its choices; Douglas Sicker, FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, discussed perspectives on DSL and HFC technologies; James Hannan, vice president of network technology, Sprint Broadband Wireless, discussed wireless broadband; James Stratigos, vice president and general manager of EchoStar Data Networks, discussed satellite broadband; Kevin Lu, executive director of the Integrated Access and Operations Department, Telcordia, discussed fiber in the last mile; George Abe, venture partner, Palomar Ventures, characterized venture capitalists’ view of investment opportunities; Thomas G. Krattenmaker, senior counsel at Mintz Levin, outlined challenges in thinking about regulatory options; Glenn Woroch, a University of California at Berkeley economist, presented an economic model of asymmetric regulation of the broadband race; Andrew Cohill, director of the Virginia Tech Communications Network Services and director of the Blacksburg Electronic Village, outlined concepts for a comprehensive municipal fiber plan; Richard Esposto, director of market activation, Western Integrated Networks, discussed conditions and options confronting local government, drawing on his immediately previous work of many years with the Sacramento cable commission; Joseph Van Eaton, principal partner with Miller & Van Eaton, discussed local franchises and licensing; and Richard Civille, Washington director for the Center for Civic Networking, discussed economic development and aggregating demand for rural telecommunications. Some of these individuals and a number of other people provided white papers to the committee (these are available online at <http://www.cstb.org> and are listed in Appendix C).

This project owes its existence to the support of its sponsors, in this instance an unusually large and diverse group, reflecting combined public and private interest in the topic. The majority of funds came from government or nonprofit sources: the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Special Interest Group on Data Communication of the Association for Computing Machinery. Small contributions—from Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, Interval Research Corporation, WorldCom, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, and Qwest—were developed by members of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, who recognized that without those resources the project could not be undertaken. In view of the politics of broadband, it is important to note and emphasize that as is typical

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

of CSTB projects, the sponsors enabled but did not influence the outcome of the project. From among these, the consistent encouragement of NSF’s Aubrey Bush and members of CSTB are especially noted.

CSTB committees are often assembled with experts from very different backgrounds, and this committee was certainly no exception. It is to the credit of our distinguished members that they constantly derived strength from the diversity in their team and realized an end result characterized by a substantial, and in some ways unexpected, degree of consensus. My thanks to each and every member of the team for their diligence and commitment. On behalf of the team and myself, I extend special thanks to David Clark, who played a major role in launching this study and served as its “virtual co-chair,” contributing to and inspiring the work of the committee on many occasions. The CSTB staff, by now well known for its standards of broad excellence, performed once again with supreme distinction. Thanks to D.C. Drake for facilitating our work in every way possible and to Marjory Blumenthal for relentlessly challenging the committee to be comprehensive as well as creative, and finally, many thanks to Jon Eisenberg for his role in anchoring the report of the committee and for representing its work with remarkable timeliness and sophistication.

Nikil Jayant, Chair

Committee on Broadband Last Mile Technology

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Robert Broderson, University of California at Berkeley,

Eugene Cacciamani, Hughes Network Systems,

Vincent Chan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Andrew Cohill, Blacksburg Electronic Village and Virginia Polytechnic Institute,

David Kettler, H.I.G. Capital,

Tom Krattenmaker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.,

Milo Medin, Excite@Home,

Sharon L. Nelson, University of Washington Law School,

Andrew Odlyzko, University of Minnesota,

Paul W. Shumate, IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society,

Marvin Sirbu, Carnegie Mellon University, and

David Waterman, Indiana University.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lewis Branscomb, Harvard University (emeritus). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10235.
×

4

 

TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS AND ECONOMIC FACTORS

 

120

   

Local Access Technologies in Context,

 

120

   

Essential Features of the Local Access Technology Options,

 

121

   

Wireline Options,

 

122

   

Hybrid Fiber Coax,

 

123

   

Digital Subscriber Line,

 

125

   

Advanced Wireline Offerings—Fiber Optics in the Loop,

 

129

   

Powerline,

 

135

   

Wireline Roadmap,

 

136

   

Wireless Options,

 

139

   

Fixed Terrestrial Wireless,

 

139

   

Mobile Wireless,

 

142

   

Satellite,

 

144

   

Wireless Roadmap,

 

146

   

The Diverse Technology Landscape,

 

148

   

Layering and Unbundling,

 

149

   

Economics of Infrastructure Investment,

 

152

   

Understanding Costs,

 

152

   

Take-Rate Tyranny,

 

153

   

Paying for Broadband,

 

155

   

Focus on the Consumer,

 

156

   

The Pace of Investment,

 

158

   

Investment, Risk Taking, and Timelines,

 

160

   

Uncertain Investment Prospects in the Private Sector,

 

161

   

Investment Options for the Public Sector,

 

162

   

Moore’s Law and Broadband,

 

163

   

Economics of Scaling Up Capacity: Congestion and Traffic Management,

 

163

5

 

BROADBAND POLICY AND REGULATION

 

167

   

The Context for Broadband Policy,

 

167

   

Policy Implications of Technological Change,

 

171

   

Regulation in the Face of Rapid Change,

 

171

   

Asymmetrical Regulation and Achieving Technology Neutrality,

 

174

   

Competition,

 

177

   

Unbundling and Resale Mandates,

 

180

   

When Unbundling Works,

 

182

   

Implications for Investments by Incumbents,

 

184

   

Facilities-Based Competition,

 

184

   

Structural Separation,

 

185

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Broadband communication expands our opportunities for entertainment, e-commerce and work at home, health care, education, and even e-government. It can make the Internet more useful to more people. But it all hinges on higher capacity in the “first mile” or “last mile” that connects the user to the larger communications network. That connection is often adequate for large organizations such as universities or corporations, but enhanced connections to homes are needed to reap the full social and economic promise.

Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits provides a contemporary snapshot of technologies, strategies, and policies for improving our communications and information infrastructure. It explores the potential benefits of broadband, existing and projected demand, progress and failures in deployment, competition in the broadband industry, and costs and who pays them. Explanations of broadband’s alphabet soup – HFC, DSL, FTTH, and all the rest – are included as well. The report’s finding and recommendations address regulation, the roles of communities, needed research, and other aspects, including implications for the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

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