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Unread 08-24-2007, 03:20 AM   #2
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In the US, several factors come into play, from what I have observed. First, broadband service is generally slow and expensive, compared to other parts of the world. The providers advertise what they pretend to be fast downstream rates without mentioning that they are typically coupled with pitifully slow upstream rates. Their assumption is that the customer will only "surf the web", and will not engage in any substantial activity, like telecommuting via VPN or using VoIP, so they need not provide any resources to support them.

Companies like Verizon have begun offering fiber-to-the-home, but are charging exorbitant prices for unreasonably slow service. There is no technological reason for limiting the typical FiOS customer to 15Mbps/2Mbps service. Here in Japan, the identical technology delivers 100Mbps/100Mbps service to residences and 1Gbps/1Gbps service to commercial accounts. Typical monthly prices, after welcome discounts are used up, are $60 residential and $400 commercial. Until US providers catch on to the fact that better service and lower prices will get them the penetration they need to earn more money, US consumers will lag behind their cousins overseas.

Another inhibitor, which hits people like my parents, who divide their time between Florida in the Winter and New York in the Summer, is that broadband service providers are demanding one-year or longer contracts for service. My parents are not interested in paying 6 months at each end for idle service, so they stay with dial-up.

A third problem, which would probably solve my parents' problem in the process, is that DSL services in the US are bundled. That is, the drop wire is managed by the ISP and the DSLAM is owned by the ISP. Here in Japan, the DSLAM, drop wire and modem are owned and managed by the phone company, with the ISP only owning from the access router onward. Your PPPoE credentials serve to route you through the DSLAM to the correct ISP, along with authenticating you. In the US, PPPoE is used only for authentication. How this could help migratory people is that they could pay for an access line full time (the smaller price component, compared with the ISP's slice) at both locations, and "sign on" to their ISP via PPPoE at either end, as they migrate.
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