[Paleopsych] IEEE-USA white paper: US prosperity at risk; Gigabit networks should be national priority
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Tue Apr 12 19:47:02 UTC 2005
US prosperity at risk; Gigabit networks should be national priority
The United States should deploy widespread wired and wireless gigabit
networks as a national priority, according to a white paper from the
IEEE-USA Committee on Communications and Information Policy (CCIP).
"Providing Ubiquitous Gigabit Networks in the United States," issued
14 March, says that our nation must act promptly to ensure that a new
generation of broadband networks of gigabit per second speed is
ubiquitous and available to all. Failure to act will "relegate the
U.S. telecommunications infrastructure to an inferior competitive
position" and undermine the future of the U.S. economy.
"Priority deployment of gigabit networks is essential for the United
States to maintain its world leadership in the knowledge economy,"
IEEE Life Fellow and IEEE-USA CCIP member Dr. John Richardson said.
"Information drives our lives and our prosperity. The problem is that
current networks aren't fast enough to distribute that information
Digital data rates, or speeds, are typically expressed as megabits per
second (Mb/s) or gigabits per second (Gb/s). A megabit is one million
bits; a gigabit is one billion bits. Current broadband networks, such
as DSL or cable modems, have an asymmetric speed of about 2 Mb/s.
Gigabit networks are capable of digital rates 50 to 5,000 times as
fast, with equal upstream and downstream speed. Symmetric speed means
information can be downloaded and uploaded at the same rate. With
asymmetric systems, upstream speeds lag behind downstream delivery
Omnipresent U.S. gigabit networks, readily achievable by deploying
optical fiber and high-speed wireless, would carry numerous benefits.
These include providing the U.S. economy with superior ability to
compete globally; stimulating economic activity in digital home
entertainment; enhancing online education and training; and
facilitating health care remote diagnosis and consultation
Congress, the Executive Branch and private-sector initiatives could
secure these benefits for our nation's global competitiveness and
quality of life by adopting "principles leading to ubiquitous,
symmetric gigabit availability as a national priority," according to
the CCIP white paper
pdf). Such principles include regulatory flexibility and encouragement
of user-owned networks.
"The key fact of modern telecommunications is the convergence of
voice, data, image and video into digital bit streams," said
Richardson, a former chief scientist at the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration. "We need faster
networks to carry these bit streams to users. Broadband speed and
penetration in the United States are pitiful compared to levels in
Japan and South Korea. This means that U.S. prosperity is at risk
because it depends, in large part, on fast and easy exchange of
IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the IEEE. It was created in 1973
to advance the public good and promote the careers and public policy
interests of the more than 220,000 technology professionals who are
U.S. members of the IEEE. The IEEE is the world's largest technical
professional society. For more information, go to
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