21 Jan Ensure the Next Century Cities are Smart, not Foolish
How do we ensure the Next Century Cities are Smart, not Foolish?
Stimulus works. But, smart stimulus works better. Today, 50 cities have come together to form the Next Century Cities coalition, a nonpartisan group that aims to improve broadband for their citizens.
We applaud the desire for increased broadband access, at affordable prices and with higher performance. This is a laudable goal.
That said, we ask that these Next Century Cities stay smart and informed. Broadband isn’t just a concept, it’s a technology. Improvements in technology always occur. Yet, often regulators and other well-meaning folks simply can’t stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry.
That’s what’s going on today. Most regulators are unaware of G.fast, the newly ratified ITU standard for delivering ultra broadband at about one-tenth the cost of deploying fiber. This standard is simply too new for them to be up-to-speed.
So, they are off making plans promoting fiber all the way to the home – even after the industry has realized it is impractical. It will cost well over $500 billion EXTRA to bring fiber to every residence versus using G.fast. That cost will not be absorbed by the industry – it will be passed along to consumers. This will worsen the digital divide, not solve it.
Smart cities are ones that recognize that G.fast will allow them to improve local competition, deliver speeds that rival fiber – all at a fraction of the existing costs of doing so today.
We encourage all regulators get smart by reading the following primer on G.fast and getting current with what the industry is up to.