Fixed and Mobile Broadband, Bundling, and the Future of the Broadband Industry

Fixed and Mobile Broadband, Bundling, and the Future of the Broadband Industry

Carol McDonough (University of Massachusetts – Lowell, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch097

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Types Of Fixed And Mobile Broadband

The term “broadband” refers to internet access via a variety of high-speed networks, including cable, DSL, FiOS, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G and satellite. Most high-speed internet connections are asymmetric. In the United States, the minimum speed threshold for broadband is download speed of 4 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps (Federal Communications Commission, 2010). The Federal Communications Commission is currently reviewing the possibility of increasing these thresholds to accommodate current demands.

The European Commission, through its Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) program, required all Member States to devise and make operational by 2012, national broadband plans which would enable the EU to meet the broadband targets for Europe by 2020. Those targets included basic broadband (512Kbps to 4Mbps) to all by 2013 (Mastrangelo, 2012). In 2014, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India set the minimum download speed for broadband at 512 Kbps. ARCEP, the telecom regulator in France, has also set a minimum speed of 512 Kbps. In Korea and Japan, broadband plans start from a minimum of 2 Mbps. IDA (Infocomm Development Authority) of Singapore requires broadband services to deliver a speed of from 400 to 1000 Kbps, as of 2014, whereas in 2011, IDA required a broadband speed of only 256 Kbps.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wireless or Mobile Broadband: High-speed internet service delivered by using radio waves, using the network built out by the wireless telephone industry.

Complements: Two products or services that are used together. The benefit or utility that the consumer receives from one product is enhanced by consumption of the other product.

Broadband: Refers to high-speed internet. Internet speed, or the data rate of a computer network connection, is measured in units of bits per second (bps). Internet service is usually rated using related, larger units of kilobits per second (Kbps) or 1000 bps, and megabits per second (Mbps) or 1000 Kbps. Internet speed is measured both by upload speed (the speed at which a user can send data to the internet) and download speed (the speed at which a user can obtain data from the internet).

Electromagnetic Spectrum: The range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum extends from low frequencies used for modern radio communication to gamma radiation at the short-wavelength (high-frequency) end. The use of radio spectrum is regulated by governments through frequency allocation. In the United States, the Federal Communication Commission typically conducts spectrum auctions to allocate spectrum space.

Substitutes: Two products or services that are used in place of each other. A consumer will typically substitute to the product or service whose price has decreased.

Technological Advance: A change in the way a product or service is produced or delivered that reduces the resource input requirements for production or delivery. For instance, a technological advance in the wireless broadband industry might enable more efficient use of scarce spectrum, resulting in greater speed and capacity for wireless broadband.

Fixed-Line or Wired Broadband: High-speed internet service delivered by coaxial or fiberoptic cable.

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