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United States Wireless Networking Hardware

Verizon Promises 4G Wireless For Rural America 135

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the finally-the-dairy-twitter-market-can-explode dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A Pew study last year found that only 38 percent of rural American homes have access to broadband Internet, compared to 57 percent in cities and 60 percent in the suburbs. All that could be about to change with the announcement that Verizon plans to start introducing a new wireless network in the 700 MHz spectrum in 2010. 'The licenses we bought in the 700MHz auction cover the whole US,' says Tony Melone, a Verizon Wireless VP. 'And we plan to roll out LTE [high-speed mobile service] throughout the entire country, including places where we don't offer our [current] cell phone service today.' Because the [700 MHz] spectrum is in a lower frequency, it can transmit signals over longer distances and penetrate through obstacles, and because the signals travel longer distances, Verizon can deploy fewer cell towers than if it used spectrum from a higher frequency band, which means it can provide coverage at a lower cost. President Obama's administration is well aware of the high-speed Internet divide that exists today, and as part of the overall economic stimulus package passed by Congress, the government is allocating $7.2 billion for projects that bring broadband Internet access to rural towns and communities."
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Verizon Promises 4G Wireless For Rural America

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  • Welcome (Score:4, Funny)

    by Mishotaki (957104) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:30PM (#27451653)
    Let us welcome our future monopolistic overlords! so... they're gonna cap them at 5 gigs of data transfer a month for 200$ ? gotta pay for the bills of the bran new network!
    • by timeOday (582209)
      They are adding another route to the Internet on top of whatever exists today. How exactly does that create a monopoly?
      • Not for the 38% of rural customers who have access to broadband, true. But for the other 62%, they're going from no choice to one choice.

      • The government backed service will eliminate the market for non-government-backed competitors.

        In markets where, presumably, there isn't a competitor today.

        Sounds like the worst kind of monopoly. A government-backed one that will own entire regions of the US.

        • Actually monopolies that are regulated by government are very effective. Reference your electric company. It is only when the gov't decides to stop regulating the monopoly's prices that things go to crap (reference Comcast). Hopefully the government will either price-fix Verizon's Wireless Internet, or other competitors like AT&T or Sprint will enter the rural market.

          >>>"Because the [700 MHz] spectrum is in a lower frequency, it can transmit signals over longer distances and penetrate throug

    • Let us welcome our future monopolistic overlords! so... they're gonna cap them at 5 gigs of data transfer a month for 200$ ? gotta pay for the bills of the bran new network!

      Some may swallow that plan but it'll take a lot more than bran to pass it.

      • Some may swallow that plan but it'll take a lot more than bran to pass it.

        Indeed, if the US had enough dark fiber we wouldn't need this plan at all.

  • by kdekorte (8768) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:32PM (#27451679)

    I just hope it is a service with a reasonable cap or without a cap. The current 5GB limit to the wireless internet is way to small. If it has a 100GB or over cap I'd sign up today. Currently, I run about 25GB over Sprint Broadband and would expect more with a faster service. And yes it is all legal stuff...

    • Just a big question, I think, is "will I be able to get a dumb pipe?" if Verizon will offer 4G accounts with high bandwidth and high allowances, without any kind of filter or "walled garden", then will there be anything to prevent hardware manufacturers from providing 4G VoIP handsets and killing the cell phone market? Will Verizon allow that to happen?

      • Each 4g handset would have to be registered on Verizon's network. Verizon will still get paid. Sure you could hook the 4G into a router and NAT it, but that is no different than using a DSL link for VOIP.
        • Each 4g handset would have to be registered on Verizon's network. Verizon will still get paid.

          Yeah, but the question is whether they'll try to force you (through some means) to pay for voice service on top of the data service that you'll be paying for. It's not as though they haven't put any effort into fighting 3rd party VoIP services on their DSL lines.

          • by mobets (101759) *

            I assume it will work in much the same way as the current 3g network. They sell USB WWAN adapters that will give your computer an internet connection anywhere you can get a decent signal. The service on these devices is already data only.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Yez70 (924200)
        Wasn't Verizon forced to agree to an open device network in order to even bid on this spectrum?
        • I don't remember which of the provisions set forth by Google Verizon was required to agree with, but I think it was only one of them.
    • by maxume (22995) on Friday April 03, 2009 @06:05PM (#27451975)

      Maybe they will do something completely ridiculous and charge reasonable prices for metered bandwidth.

      Everyone one wins, light users pay less, heavy users get the bits they want for a reasonable amount, the company has the resources necessary to expand the network.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rawg (23000)

        I 2nd this. Metered bandwidth is the way to go. Grandpa can afford to send his three emails a month and I can do my remote development 6 days a week.

      • by Daimanta (1140543) on Friday April 03, 2009 @09:14PM (#27453669) Journal

        "Everyone one wins, light users pay less, heavy users get the bits they want for a reasonable amount, the company has the resources necessary to expand the network."

        That's what happens if companies play nice.

        What really happens: Light users pay exactly the same, "heavy users" will pay a lot more.

        My proposition: do NOT oversell your capacity. You cannot sell what you do not have and if the network grinds to a halt, it's not the rightful users who are to blame.

        • by maxume (22995)

          Yeah, hence the tone of the part that you didn't quote.

          On the upside, moves towards sane usually seem to have some traction.

        • by bziman (223162)

          My proposition: do NOT oversell your capacity.

          You already have this option... call up your local provider, and ask for a dedicated T1 line. Depending on your location, you can probably get one for only a few hundred dollars a month. You get a quality of service agreement, that guarantees 1.5 Mbps all the time with no limitations and some specific up-time guarantee.

          The rest of us are quite happy to share a fat pipe with a ton of other users. We realize that most people aren't using the pipe simultaneo

    • by venuspcs (946177) *
      I use an AT&T cellphone as my internet connection. I used 165GB last month and it was all legal stuff....Mostly Hulu!
  • the government is allocating $7.2 billion for projects that bring broadband Internet access to rural towns and communities

    Didn't Clinton throw a few billion down the same hole?

    We don't really have much to show for it, do we?

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:38PM (#27451725) Homepage

      The problem is giving subsidies to private companies without anything that tracks where that money goes. Building Internet infrastructure is a worthwhile investment. Giving Verizon billions of dollars and saying, "I hope you build something good with this," is not such a great idea.

    • by LowlyWorm (966676)
      I live in a very rural area with two traffic lights. Level 3 dug up the whole town a few years ago. Broadband is just now available in some areas. I live about 1 mile from downtown. Not yet.
      • You have two traffic lights? They took our single blinking caution light down about ten years ago, because it was a waste of electricity. ;) And, like you say, wireless broadband was available in town several years ago, but the tower just didn't reach me, 5 miles out of town. FINALLY, the telco offered DSL, and that's what I'll have til something better comes along. IF I CAN AFFORD IT!! 39.95/month for 300MB, which is really only about 200MB on good days just sucks.

  • Prediction: (Score:3, Funny)

    by lessthanpi (1333061) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:34PM (#27451693) Homepage
    Farm related porn will flood the interweb
  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:37PM (#27451709)
    Verizon did win the bid to get the 700 mhz spectrum but that is not what will elevate them into rural america alone.

    Verizon merging with Alltel [cnet.com] will be a big factor as Alltel has had a presence in a lot of rural and small city suburbs.
  • As someone who is making ASICs for 4G (including LTE and WiMAX) $7.2 billion for 4G wireless is stimulus I can really believe in!

    (I hope no one tells him that many rich people are going to get a lot richer thanks to this. Or that it would have been done anyway without the "stimulus" because it's a huge fat cash cow!)
    • by geekoid (135745)

      You just keep sucking at that teat.

      • by lgw (121541)

        Eh, I wouldn't be giving crap to anyone who's actually producing somehting useful for a living, even if some bailout dollars do fall their way.

    • Don't worry, because of the incredible rate at which Washington is printing money, inflation will soon wipe out any perceived riches.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      New LTE service also means that someone's going to have to support that network. Sales, customer service, tech support, network deployment, etc. etc. While the moderately well off get richer,a nd the obscenely wealthy get even richer, there's also the result of new jobs being created.

    • I hope no one tells him that many rich people are going to get a lot richer thanks to this. Or that it would have been done anyway without the "stimulus" because it's a huge fat cash cow!

      The thing is is incumbent broadband providers are fighting tooth and nail to stop competition. I wouldn't surprised to see the same thing here.

      Falcon

  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:40PM (#27451759)
    compared to 57 percent in cities and 60 percent in the suburbs[...]

    That's pretty terrible...
    • makes you wonder why major suburbs and cities(i assume metro city areas are at least 100,000 people) don't break at least the 75% barrier of getting high speed internet. sure there might not be much choice but then again these days i can hardly justify dial-up being a viable choice. The issue i have is that there is a choice. i assume we are talking about high speed internet being 1.5mbps+ so with every one in these area at least able to get DSL why is it only 57/60% ??
      • by Sardak (773761)
        I can't speak for other places, but where I live we have pretty terrible options for "high speed" internet access.

        The main source, if you happen to be located near the downtown area, is the cable company, who offers UP TO 2Mbps. Sadly, where I live, they don't provide service, so I'm stuck with DSL from the phone company with a maximum down speed of 512 Kbps and a mere quarter of that up.

        There's another company starting up that claims to be planning to offer up to 12Mbps connections over DSL fairly soo
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pnutjam (523990)
        You know I fell for the Cable is much faster then DSL garbage for a long time. On paper, that is true. Now that I have DSL, I can genuinely say it feels much faster. I get consistantly faster torrents and downloads. My VPN is more responsive.

        I do miss my "sticky" IP, it changes alot more w/ DSL, but that's easy to work around.
        • I just tested my cable broadband at 10.9Mbps down, 3285Kbps up. Usually it's much faster, but tonight 5 other users in the house are dinging it pretty heavy with games and downloads and such. I've seen 20Mbps down, 10Mbps up but to do that I have to kick everybody else off and use my best box and the Java benchmark because the flash one isn't reliable that high up. Cross-country latency can be as low as 27ms. At work I'm sharing a couple T1's with a crew of tech geeks, so if I need to download a DVD ISO

          • by pnutjam (523990)
            The top DSL tier is currently 6 down / 768 up. I get speedtests around 5 or 6 down and 650k up. I get torrents around 30k and my VPN just feels faster. Downloads have consistant speeds and longer downloads will maintain the speed or sometimes get a little faster.

            when I had cable I was on the 10M down / 3M up plan and I never tested above 2M down and 1M up. However when I actually downloaded things it would start fast and slow down fairly quickly. Torrents rarely exceeded 10k.

            I could be spoiled bec
        • by rolfwind (528248)

          It depends on the area you are in and how oversold the cable is. I have experience cable that is pretty fast (3,000kb/s downloads 5 years ago). Even though I'm only 1.5 miles from the local central office, I was too far away in the way they snaked those lines to get any DSL.

          Now, with Fios, it doesn't matter so much. But cable internet was the first decent internet I had. It was a way big step-up and much cheaper than the ISDN we had previously, which itself, was only marginally faster than dialup at tim

    • Especially since the broadband of those who do have it isn't really all that fast....

      What are those other people stuck with, dialup? That's beyond terrible...
      • but even if "isn't really that fast" is only 1 mbps thats still enough for most people to do web browsing and video streaming online and of course email. again even if there is only 1 dial-up, 1 DSL and 1 cable provider in most of these areas you have a choice to have "high-speed". perhaps we should define for the average joe was exactly high speed would be.
    • by ksheff (2406)
      I'm wondering how they are defining "have access to broadband Internet". I'm guessing they are defining it as broadband service in the neighborhood AND having a computer to use it. Since there are significant numbers of people who don't give a shit about computers or the internet, the telecoms will continue to use these low-ball numbers in order to get governments to subsidize equipment upgrades.
  • And more deadspots.

    I'm sure LTE across currently unserved areas will be better than nothing, but the "I know, this technology gives us oodles of bandwidth, let's just roll it out with as few towers as possible!" is what made a lot of networks barely usable back in the 1990s.

    • by symbolset (646467)

      You know, I read somewhere that in rural areas they don't have the device density that they have in urban corridors serviced by the standard Cellular tower density, so in practice congestion might not be as much of an issue. Also I hear that cows don't put out a lot of EMR interference and a cornfield doesn't have as many massive obstructions as a city core.

      Which leaves holes. And if you're in a hole in the ground and you're expecting good cellular reception, it doesn't matter whether the hole is in the

  • by ClaraBow (212734) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:41PM (#27451773)
    It would be nice if we could use this new wireless network on our smart phones and then let us tether our phones to our computers so that we could use it on the go and at home for one "reasonable price." --that is what I would love to see!
    • here you are. [htc.com]

    • i can tether my phone to any computer for $15 extra bucks a month. whether that's reasonable enough to drop [insert bane of your existance home provider here] for the drastic speed difference and limited cap is debatable.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        I can tether my phone to any computer for an extra $0 a month. Gotta love T-Mobile. I even clarified it with their rep before ordering it... I'm not breaking any TOS, and I didn't have to do any jailbreaking or any kinds of hacks to the phone firmware to get it working.
        • by Macrat (638047)
          Yup. T-Mobile rocks.. Been tethering on their service for many years. And their services keep getting cheaper.
    • It would be nice if we could use this new wireless network on our smart phones and then let us tether our phones to our computers so that we could use it on the go and at home for one "reasonable price."

      Yea, I read in an article on CNet [cnet.com] broadband will be fixed not mobile.

      Falcon

  • I've heard they're going to use Qualcomm's new dynamic network of Wolfpigeons to get as much coverage as possible - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3agYeT-T9co [youtube.com]

  • So their wireless network is superior but ridiculously expensive and their Fios support is good and cheap, but hardly anywhere.

    I wonder what path this will take?

    I can't help but wish Google had won the auction. Yes their a corporation like the others, but I like their products and prices better than Verizons' products and prices in general.
  • by dedazo (737510)

    My sister can't even get FiOS where she lives.

  • by NevDull (170554) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:46PM (#27451817) Homepage Journal
    It seems as though everyone's excited about "wireless broadband", but the speedtest app on my iPhone says 416ms ping while I'm on 3G.

    Latency that's even half that is useless for many applications, and just frustratingly slow for just about all the rest.

    Are we just heading for a new definition of the digital divide whereby some people don't have access to *useful* broadband?

    -Nev
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because with EVDO there are no bad latency issues. ATT 3G is not very good. HSDPA and UMTS in their current form are less capable than EVDO, which has ping times under 100ms. If ATT would support HSUPA, then they would get 3.6 Mb/s on the link.

    • Latency does not matter for media streaming and downloads. This will soon be the dominant use of bandwidth.
      • Video conferencing (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027)

        Latency does not matter for media streaming

        It matters for video conferencing, which as far as I know has a similar bandwidth requirement to YouTube in each direction.

    • What desktop applications significantly deteriorate as a result of high latency?

      I suppose it'd be annoying for video conferencing and gaming, though it seems like it'd be adequately tolerable (ie. still way better than dial-up) for most web browsing.

      • by tepples (727027)

        What desktop applications significantly deteriorate as a result of high latency?

        SSH, X, VNC, Remote Desktop, GoToMyPC by Citrix, etc. Or even web pages that use XMLHttpRequest.

    • by kindbud (90044) on Friday April 03, 2009 @06:44PM (#27452395) Homepage

      It seems as though everyone's excited about "wireless broadband", but the speedtest app on my iPhone says 416ms ping while I'm on 3G.

      Speedtest.net from my PC when it is connected to my Cradlepoint WAP, which in turn is connected to Verizon's 3G EVDO network, shows me 150 ms latency all the time. Xbox360 games, EVE Online, other PC games, they all work great over my 3G service.

      • I don't know what is with the Speedtest.net service but their latency calculation is terrible.

        If I manually ping a server based in London I can get pings of down to 20ms, when I do it on the site I get a ping of 300ms minimum.

        I don't know if their servers are struggling or it's just the site has been terribley written, but it sure isn't accurate.

    • by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Friday April 03, 2009 @06:49PM (#27452445)

      From http://mobiledevdesign.com/tutorials/lte_next_step_cellular_3g-1027/ [mobiledevdesign.com]

      "Network latency will also improve, from as much as 200 ms today to 5 to 10 ms with LTE."

  • I interpret that as meaning "can get broadband of some sort if they chose to pay for it"; if that's the case, then the numbers given for cities and suburbs are shockingly low -- so low, in fact, that I don't believe that the phrase means what it appears to mean. I'd guess they mean "actually have broadband in their home," in which case the figure cited for rural areas in meaningless if we're talking about potential broadband penetration.

    • I interpret that as meaning "can get broadband of some sort if they chose to pay for it"; if that's the case, then the numbers given for cities and suburbs are shockingly low -- so low, in fact, that I don't believe that the phrase means what it appears to mean. I'd guess they mean "actually have broadband in their home," in which case the figure cited for rural areas in meaningless if we're talking about potential broadband penetration.

      Even in New York City [broadbandcensus.com] broadband [citylimits.org] isn't available everywhere [nycfuture.org].

      Falcon

      • by Bodero (136806)

        Even in New York City broadband isn't available everywhere.

        One of your three articles is about NYC nixing municipal wifi (a stupid idea anyway), and the other TWO are from five years ago.

  • America is not US only, please fix that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      It is in U.S. English.

      • by chaval7 (1523933)
        so how do they refer to the continent? the-other-America?
        • by RoboRay (735839)

          Which one?

          The northern one is referred to as "North America."

          The southern one is referred to as "South America."

          Both together are referred to as "the Americas."

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mobets (101759) *

          I usually say North America to refer to the continent. This has the added benefit of distinguishing it from South America.

    • by al0ha (1262684)
      Actually it is perfectly acceptable to refer to the United States as America: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=america [reference.com]
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      America is not US only, please fix that.

      You want the US to annex the rest of North and South America? That's nut, but you did ask nicely, so I'll see what I can do.

    • Yes it is.

      The continents are North American, South America and Central America.

      America is short for the United States of America which is the only country to use the America on its own. So saying America is no different than saying Britain despite the fact the nation's actual name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      Britain is a good example too because, speaking of mistakes with locations, it's often referred to as a country but Britain is not a country but a nation or stat
      • by maxume (22995)

        'Chaval' is Spanish, so I wouldn't be surprised if gp is from Central or South America (or has such roots), rather than Canada (you loosely implied that they were from Canada, or, at least, I read your post that way).

      • by mosherkl (1251628)

        Yes it is.

        The continents are North American, South America and Central America.

        America is short for the United States of America which is the only country to use the America on its own. So saying America is no different than saying Britain despite the fact the nation's actual name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

        Britain is a good example too because, speaking of mistakes with locations, it's often referred to as a country but Britain is not a country but a nation or state made up of countries. But British people seem to have less of an issue with this than Canadians do with the term America even though it's 100% correct to abbreviate the USA as America and Canada has nothing to do with America as there is no continent America.

        I'm not sure where you went to school, but there are only 2 "American" continents. They are North and South America. Central America is a region, not a continent.

  • This question has been on my mind and it's relatively related to the topic of the article, so I'm interested to hear you folks feedback. How can we as computer scientists and IT pros be of service to society?

    I've had some people tell me medical applications of CS are where it's at, others point to projects like OLPC, others say get rich and give away your money. Others still tell me to just do my work well and let the rest take care of itself. As a computer scientist, I feel like I have training and backgr

    • Don't make it complicated. You don't need a huge organization to help people that need it, you pass by them every day. Next time someone asks for help, actually help them. Go to their place and sit with them in front of the computer and let your knowledge out. You also get the benefit of explaining things that you have not even thought about for years and when you explain it to them you have to rethink and put into simple terms the complicated nature of the tech. As soon as you help one person, that leads p
  • If Verizon does as well with this as they did with Net Day and E-Rate, they'll get all $7B+ and deliver some moderately-broadband service to some of rural America.

    And get rural Americans to pay for it all over again. And again.

    Our patriotism at work, finally!

  • Broadband penetration in rural counties is likely to plateau around 50% in the foreseeable future not for lack of supply but for lack of strong demand, especially when technical challenges will push the price considerably above dialup.

    I know that /. is the wrong place to say this, but many people (myself absolutely not included) can get by with minimal internet usage. Insisting that they must secretly want to be like us is flattering, perhaps, but it's delusional and paternalistic.

    Followup:

    http://techlibera [techliberation.com]

    • by Bodero (136806)

      I agree. The upside for Verizon, though, is that this will also provide voice services to rural America of which it is heavily lacking now (just view AT&T's or Verizon Wireless's coverage maps on their website). The users that want this for broadband is icing on the cake.

  • Rural America gets broadband access and the US government gets the infrastructure to roll out all of their privacy invading tools.
  • Just wait til they try to erect yet another tower in yeat another 'pristine' park that is just too close to someone's backyard.

  • And yet many of the heavily populated areas of Australia don't even have 3G.
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Huh - all of 'heavily populated' Australia has 3G and even most of rural Australia has it. Telstra's NextG network covers 99% of the population (and yes, it's 3G/HSDPA, on the 850 Mhz band). Sure it's overpriced and Telstra is evil ... but virtually ALL of Australia has it available, and it's damn fast too as wireless services go.

      What you probably meant is the other carriers (Vodafone, 3, Optus etc) don't have 3G coverage in some heavily populated areas. Which is true. But it's not true to say there's no 3G

      • by Samah (729132)

        What you probably meant is the other carriers (Vodafone, 3, Optus etc) don't have 3G coverage in some heavily populated areas. Which is true. But it's not true to say there's no 3G service at all.

        Yes that is pretty much what I meant. Thanks for clarifying.

  • I'm posting from my PC, tethered to my cell phone, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
    Live waaaay out in the boonies, surrounded by evergreen trees
    At&T (or are they cingular again?)
    HTC tilt via the "hidden" internet conection sharing & usb (winmo & windows xp (yeah, I know - boo, hiss!)) - standard internet plan
    13 dBi antenna from ebay (cellgear-usa)
    Went from 30-60kbps & 650+ ping, to minimum 150kbps(edge max) & 2-300 ping, popping up to 1.5mbps(3G) occasionally. On their advi

  • It's important to recognize that the size of the antenna is bigger at 700mhz. Remember the old phones with the antenna you extend? 1/4 wave at 700mhz is 4.2 inches. Compared to the 1.2 inches at 2.4ghz, I don't think manufacturers would be able to conceal it within the device and still get good performance.

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