Originally published: May 23, 2010
Last updated: May 23, 2010 - 10:46am
[Commentary] With broadband front and center these days, thanks in large part to policy debates surrounding a national broadband plan and the regulations that will govern it, one method of transmission that get's the least amount of respect these days is DSL. It's not as sexy as FTTH and 4G wireless, and quite frankly, cable modem broadband appears to be favored by the broadband buying public over the past year, at least in larger markets.
But there's no denying that DSL is still the workhorse of telco broadband and will be for many years, maybe even decades, to come. It's not just small rural telcos that depend on DSL as their main broadband option, its companies with global reach like AT&T and Qwest as well. Tier 2 providers like CenturyLink, TDS, FairPoint, and Frontier also have huge copper/DSL infrastructure to contend with. I fully admit that all things being equal, FTTH is the better option, and when possible, should be selected over DSL. I also fully admit that, generally speaking, a Mercedes is better than a Toyota (especially these days). But everyone can't afford (or necessarily needs) a Mercedes. Despite all the rhetoric and desire to get FTTH to every home in America, to be blunt, it 'ain't gonna happen.' It's just simply too expensive, and for a nation that continually runs a structural deficit, there are probably other priorities to consider first. I chuckle at analysts and reporters who can't understand why every service provider doesn't just buckle down and do FTTH to their entire footprint. That's easy to say when you don't have to worry about bankrupting your company in the process. The reality is, DSL is here to stay and prolonging its life is paramount. To that end, there's a lot of recent activity afoot.
- A Gigabit Broadband Land Grab is Underway: Is it for Publicity or Subscribers?
- Bell Labs Claims New Speed Record with 10 Gbps Over Copper
- Copper Based Broadband Decline is Accelerating, Sort Of
- DSL May Be Slower, But is it Better?
- Cable Industry Preps Broadband Answer to Gigabit FTTH
- Progress Update for Broadband Stimulus Program Revealed
- Verizon FiOS May Soon See Some Gigabit Competition, Finally
- TDS Breaks Ground on First Stimulus Project
- Success of Fiber to the Home in Japan Spurs Envy Among Telecom Experts
- NTCA: Rural Fiber Deployments Fueling Dramatic Increases in Higher Speed Broadband Take Rates
- Video Cord Cutting: Much Ado About Nothing…At Least Not Yet
- Move over FTTH, copper's back in style
- Gigabit or GigaWhat? There is Work to Do Regarding Ultra-Broadband Services
- Comcast Gigabit Footprint Expansion Announcements Continue, But Details Are Few
- Hey, DSL, it is time for good bye