Monday, December 22, 2008

Last/First Mile 2008 Problems

A blog reader from Foremost Alberta sent me this e-mail this week asking why he can not get good quality broadband access when he lives only two blocks from a TELUS CO and four blocks from the SuperNet POP?

He asked: "Shouldn't I be be able to get broadband access from the Provider of Last Resort"?

This question illustrates that the last/first mile problems are not "Technical" but are either "Economical or Political".

Here is my list of last/first mile problems that must be resolved in 2009.

1. The GOA built a network that does not support rural broadband. The GOA should be actively looking at ways of funding the last mile. Other provinces have already made commitments. Why not Alberta?

2. Axia's business model is to compete with TELUS and Bell in the Enterprise connectivity market and clearly does not have a mandate to support rural broadband. By giving Axia an exclusive contract to manage the SuperNet the GOA effectively used tax money to fund the creation of a competitor to TELUS and BELL.

3. Bell used the Provider of Last Resort as a means to secure the SuperNet contract but had no intentions have supporting it after the network was complete. Information on POLR can be located at:
http://www.albertasupernet.ca/the+project/the+network/network+access+.htm

4. TELUS should review its social responsibility to the citizens of Alberta and start actively looking for funding and partnership opportunties to build the provider copper-based access in rural communities.

Questions:

"Can we as a rural broadband community work "Cooperatively" to resolve these and other problems in 2009?"

"In January of 2010 will we still be facing the same problems?"

Have a Happy Xmas and New Year!

1 comment:

Ken Chapman said...

Merry Christmas Allan and thanks for this blog. I hear Wordpress is a great blogging platform. I blog on Blogger and will investigate Wordpress over the holidays.

As for Mr. Formost's (I presume boldly and at great risk that the writer was a Mister) frustration, help may be on the way. The CRTC has an application before it for a regulatory decision requiring TELUS to provide access to its copper wire for broadband purposes. That would provide Mr. Foremost with a real solution and potential for connectivity to the SuperNet. Wouldn't that be sweet?

The CRTC just sent TELUS a requests for some further clarification of its reasons for opposition to ISP access. That round of CRTC inputs will finish in mid January. Then we wait for a decision.