Universal Service and the National Information
A critical examination of the literature
Brennon M. Martin
School of Communications
University of Washington, DS-40
Seattle, Washington 98195
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Universal Service and the NII: a critical examination of
This paper examines the existing literature on the
topic of providing universal service to the National
Information Infrastructure. The examination is built around
a number of questions that must be answered in order to form
coherent, socially-responsible policy. The analysis focuses
on the absence of an empirical approach to these questions,
proposes areas of study that would benefit from a behavioral
treatment, and concludes by offering a research question
with which to begin.
Universal Service and the NII: a critical examination of
The convergence of the telephone, television, and
traditional publishing industries represented by the
creation of an electronic National Information
Infrastructure, known as the NII, the Information
Superhighway, or simply the Net, presents policy-makers with
interesting and sometimes troublesome dilemmas. The problem
originates from the disparate traditions with which these
industries have been governed in the past. Ithiel de Sola
Pool first outlined these traditions as non-interference
(traditional publishing), scarcity (broadcast television and
radio), and common-carrier (telephone).
In the common-carrier tradition, telephone service was
allowed to develop into a natural monopoly based on the
argument that one company could most efficiently serve the
population allowing each customer to be connected to every
other customer. One of the consequences of the telephone
monopoly was the emergence of the concept of universal
telephone service, the idea that service should be available
to everyone at a reasonable cost. In order to fund this
service, a complex system of internal cross-subsidies was
created, whereby customers who could afford to pay more,
such as businesses, contributed to a fund to subsidize those
who could not otherwise afford service, such as those in
rural areas where connection costs are higher.
As telecommunications technology has evolved, the
argument that a monopoly is necessary for complete
interconnectivity has fallen away. The modified final
judgment in the AT&T antitrust case allowed competition in
the long-distance business, and several bills presently on
the floor of Congress include provisions to introduce
competition in the local market. This evolution in the
industry has also prompted a renewed debate over the idea of
universal service. Many telecommunications companies
(telcos) have begun to upgrade their networks to high-
bandwidth, fiber-optic technology, which allows more
digitized information to flow than traditional, analog-based
transmission over copper wires. The transition to fiber is
nearly complete at the national, regional, and state levels.
What is under debate is the local loop, also called the last
mile, which is the connection from the home to the first
With a fiber-optic connection, a customer would be able
to send and receive voice, video, and data simultaneously
over several channels. In other words, one wire could carry
an interactive television signal, a video phone call, and a
computer terminal connection to a distant database all at
the same time. Installing fiber optics in the local loop,
known as fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC), is very expensive
relative to the national and regional fiber network. The
costs beg the question whether or not such an expenditure is
warranted for the wealthy, much less for those who would
require a subsidized connection. FTTC, of course, is not
the only possible high-bandwidth connection;1 but the debate
is not focused so much on the technologies as on the
services the technologies would enable. At issue is a
question of whether people have a right to a high-speed
connection to the Net, demanded by the interests of equity,
or whether such a connection is a privilege for those who
can afford it.
Several questions have been addressed in great detail
in the literature, but concrete answers have remained
elusive: What is the historical precedent for universal
telecommunications service? How should universal service be
defined? What does a cost/benefit analysis of universal
service look like? How should universal service be funded?
What is the role of the government in establishing universal
service in a competitive system? In a regulated monopoly?
The research up to this point has remained theoretical
and polemical. What is needed is an empirical approach to
the question of universal telecom service. The problem, of
course, lies in the abstract nature of the question itself.
Researchers need to pay attention to relevant issues that
may be operationalized in order to evaluate the merits of
implementing or not implementing universal service of
advanced telecom technologies. Before addressing these
questions, it is first necessary to examine the theoretical
arguments for and against universal service to determine
what questions remain unanswered.
The Bell system was founded on broad lines of "One
System," "One Policy," "Universal Service," on the idea
that no aggregation of isolated independent systems not
under common control, however well built or equipped,
could give the country the service. One system with a
common policy, common purpose, and common action;
comprehensive, universal, interdependent,
intercommunicating like the highway system of the
country, extending from every door to every other door,
affording electrical communication of every kind, from
every one at every place to every one at every other
place. (Dordick 230, quoting Theodore Vail in the 1910
AT&T annual report)
This often-quoted passage by Theodore Vail, former
president of AT&T, has been cited as the origin of the
concept of universal telecom service as a fundamental right.
Herbert S. Dordick has argued that policy-makers should
endorse universal service based on historical precedent.
According to Dordick, it is important to examine how the
telephone became a corporate tradition at AT&T and a
perceived consumer right in the USA. When Vail originally
joined the Bell system in 1885, he sought to extend phone
service universally, but his concept of "universal" was of
"everywhere" not "everyone." By working to achieve the
interconnection of the local exchanges, which allowed the
provision of long distance service, Vail recognized that the
"seeds of a broader concept of `universal service' were
By 1910, the concept evolved to mean everyone, not just
everywhere. Susan G. Hadden and Edward Lenert point out
that Vail's concept of widespread telephone access at
reasonable rates had become accepted public policy by the
time the 1934 Communications Act was passed which calls for
regulation "to make, so far as possible, to all peoples of
the United States a rapid, efficient, nation-wide, and world-
wide wire and radio communication service with adequate
facilities at reasonable charge" (cited in Hadden and Lenert
132). Dordick concludes that regulators must develop
policies that will permit the development of broadband
digital services while maintaining Vail's goal of universal
service and the tradition established in US policy.
Harmeet Sawhney takes a somewhat different approach.
He argues that the repertoire of experience is a useful
resource in that society has been faced with the problem of
providing a service to all its citizens in the past, namely
telephones, education, and suffrage. According to Sawhney,
universal service will result from the "overlapping
consensus" of unlikely groups. Universal telephone service,
for example, emerged not from any sort of benign good will
but rather from fierce competition and the drive to gobble
up territory, followed by Theodore Vail's move to eliminate
competition and establish a regulated monopoly.
Universal education, likewise, emerged from a desire to
unify the country and "Americanize" the growing immigrant
population, not from any enlightened vision. Sawhney argues
that universal service is an incremental process,
illustrated by the development of universal suffrage in
which certain groups were given the right to vote often so
that a certain group or individual could retain or win
power, not as an extension of a right. When one section of
the country loosened its restrictions, pressure came to bear
on other parts of the country to do the same. Universal Net
service, likewise, will be an incremental process driven by
the competition of companies to claim territory and be the
first to offer service in a given area (Sawhney 387).
According to Dordick, history tells us that policy-
makers should make universal telecom service a priority
because past policy has generated a perceived human right to
such service. According to Sawhney, history tells us that
universal service will emerge from natural processes of
competition as an unexpected by-product requiring no special
government interference. One question that neither author
has addressed is whether there are any inherent differences
between the new technologies and the examples each has used
for illustration. How appropriate is each example for
illumination of current issues? The example of the
telephone seems like a good start, but broadband
communications systems offer much more than point-to-point
connection of voice lines. Universal education and
universal suffrage, however, cannot be taken as appropriate
precedents at face value. In order to answer these
questions, it is first necessary to analyze what is meant by
universal advanced telecommunications service -- what is
included? what is excluded?
Defining universal service
The debate over how universal service should be defined
turns to a great extent on what services will be available
over the network. At present there are three models that
could emerge. The first is an entertainment-based model in
which the principal services include video dial tone (VDT,
essentially a video telephone), video on demand (VOD, a sort
of on-line Blockbuster Video), a glorified Home Shopping
Network, and other consumer-driven services designed to make
spending money as easy as a phone call. The second
possibility is a public-interest/educational-based model in
which the principal services include distance learning
projects, government information access, telecommuting or
work-at-home arrangements, and other information-retrieval
projects designed to increase the flow of educational and
public information. The third possibility is some
combination of the first two models.2
Steven Titch has, perhaps, summarized objections to
subsidized provision of universal service in the first model
"Now, as convergence begins to shake out, and we
see Bell Atlantic teaming with Tele-Communications,
Inc. and BellSouth raising hundreds of millions for a
piece of the Paramount action, it's clear that even the
Bell regional holding companies know that
entertainment, not the information services they touted
in the past, will drive broadband services on the
consumer level. Given this fact, it is questionable to
what extent, how much, if any, residential broadband
access should be subsidized." (40).
Titch argues that policy makers should subtly re-focus
the goal in order to avert the creation of a class of
information-poor. The idea that part of the nation, i.e.
the wealthy, would be wired with advanced systems while the
rest of the nation would be left behind has been a
frequently voiced argument in support of universal service.
This argument rests on the assumption that there are certain
benefits, economic and otherwise, to having access to these
technologies that would give those who are connected an
unfair advantage over those who are not. According to
Titch, these disparities can be avoided not by ensuring
universal access to broadband, but by ensuring universal
access to the benefits of broadband (40).
Following a similar argument, Heather Hudson suggests
in an article for Telecommunications Policy that a
multilevel definition of universal service is acceptable
because not all services are required by households. Some
may serve the needs of all just fine at the community or
institutional level. She suggests that what is needed at
the household level (level 1) is service sufficient for
voice, data, and fax at transmission speeds no more than
9600 bits per second (bps). For levels 2 and 3, she
suggests Internet access and broadband applications.
John Browning, in article for Wired magazine, argues
universal service is an outdated concept because there are
more types of information (voice, video, data) flowing over
more types of channels (wires, fiber optics, and airwaves)
to more than one standard receiver and because "intelligence
is fast migrating to computers on the network's periphery --
and many of those computers are owned by customers rather
than service providers." He suggests that the idea of
universal service should be scrapped for open access, which
would require big network operators to make available to
everybody, on a non-discriminatory basis, whatever services
they do provide as well as the technologies required for the
use of the services.
Susan Hadden, Chairman of the Policy Committee of the
Alliance for Public Technology (APT), argued before the
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
that the goals for universal service should not be stated in
terms of specific technologies, because technologies change,
but rather in terms of capabilities and functions. Her
testimony provides eight such goals.
z connectivity -- full capabilities of the network should
z switching and broad bandwidth -- capability of carrying
two-way voice, data, video, and graphic signals3
z openness -- users can send as well as receive and can
tailor their searches for information to their own needs
z interoperability -- compatibility between systems
z accessibility -- ability to use the network, regardless
of disability or functional limitation
z usability -- ease of finding information
z privacy, security, and reliability
z essential information services -- personalized health
care and job training
In Media Studies Journal, Hudson echoes the argument that
the goal for universal service should be stated in terms of
capabilities although she does not go as far as the APT in
her support for ensuring access at the household level to
the more advanced services.
Sawhney, however, argues that the current emphasis on
the development of a new definition for universal service is
a misdirected effort because it is so unlikely that a
definition could ever be formulated that will be acceptable
to everybody. "Even if it is possible to forge a
universally acceptable definition, it will have limited
utility in the political arena, because the players are
likely to pursue their own private interests in spite of
their public support for the new definition of universal
In short, questions remain unanswered regarding the
structure of the NII so deciding what services should be
made available to all may prove to be impossible until the
make-up of the system is more concrete. Although Hudson
argues that goals should be stated in terms of capabilities,
not technologies, in one source, she contradicts herself by
specifying a data transmission rate in another source.
Another problem with Hudson's argument is the fact that she
does not recognize that the data transmission rate she
specifies as appropriate for the household level is more
than sufficient for most information available on the
Internet, which she reserves for the community or
The APT stands by its belief that supporting universal
service is the only way to avoid the creation of an
information poor. There is no empirical evidence, however,
to support or to refute this argument. Before answering
questions about the structure of the system, it is first
necessary to answer questions about the costs and benefits
of an electronic infrastructure. Steven Titch suggests that
the telcos should be asking, "What are the social benefits
of an information highway? What services are necessary to
growth and learning? What applications can the public
sector encourage?" (40). Also, does the net provide
tangible benefits to those with access? If so, how? How
much access is required to take advantage of these benefits?
By examining the arguments that have been made for and
against the possible benefits of universal telecom service,
it is possible to generate a list of research ideas with
which to begin a more empirical investigation.
The bottom line
The discourse on costs and benefits of universal
telecom service takes place on three levels: that of the
individual, in the welfare and rights issues as well as
consumer issues; the community level, on the benefits to
the business economy and the polity; and the humanitarian
level, in quasi-religious themes emphasizing the capacity
for technology to bring peoples together in natural harmony.
By examining the arguments on each level, it is possible to
determine what questions remain unanswered and where an
empirical investigation of these issues may begin.
At the humanitarian level, the hope is to facilitate
the union of humankind. This argument stems from the fact
that the root of the words "communication" and "communion"
is communis, a shared participation in a common experience
with strong religious overtones. The meaning was later
extended to include the exchange of information and
materials and then the technologies which made the exchange
possible. Originally the connotation was a "hope for
oneness with God," but the meaning has become more
mechanistic. As Sawhney points out, this hope for oneness
has lingered on to become a recurring theme in the
discussions on new communication technologies. "Within
this context, the communication technologies, both
telecommunication and transportation, are viewed as the
physical links that make the communion possible" (381-382).
Obviously, the problem with this argument is that it is
impossible to quantify in any way. Determining the cost or
the benefits to society in tangible terms is necessarily one
objective of policy makers. Arguments that fail to address
these issues specifically, however moving the notion may be
spiritually, often fall on deaf ears. This problem with
quantification occurs within the arguments on the community
level as well.
Hudson has identified four major national goals of the
US government: (1) a strong and diversified economy, (2)
universal access to quality health care and education, (3)
the opportunity for all Americans to develop their talents,
and (4) protection of the environment. Although these goals
may be debatable, the purpose is not to question them here.
She argues that research, without specifying exactly which
research, shows how information and telecom technologies can
help reach these goals by identifying the necessary
components of an information-based society: a citizenry who
seeks out information rather than passively consuming it,
industries that view information as a key to their
competitive strategy, public and non-profit organizations
that use communication technology to improve equal access to
their services, and policies designed to overcome barriers
to opportunity (Hudson, "Toward Universal Access" 138).
These components touch on issues related both to the
benefits to the business economy and to the more efficient
operation of democratic processes. Universal service is
viewed as a way to allow the whole system, economic and
political, to function more efficiently. The network
externalities argument says that each additional subscriber
increases the value of the entire network because each of
the other subscribers can now access the newest. Extending
the service to all, therefore, is likely to be more
beneficial than costly.
This same argument has been used in the debate over
other universal services to justify the financial
expenditure. Universal services are seen as a magical
solution to social reform as in the case of universal
education to end poverty and social unrest and rural
electrification to improve the quality of rural life and
stem the flow of people to the cities. Following this
argument, the Net is viewed as the vehicle into the
information age with increased economic activity and more
cost-efficient education and medical services. "...[T]he
tax for universal service is not a levy on the rich for the
benefit of the poor. It is the cost borne by society for
its own benefit" (Sawhney 380).
Hadden and Lenert argue that the concept of universal
service is closely linked to the public nature of the
network. Essentially, their argument becomes a chicken-and-
egg question: universal service is inherently public
because it is transmitted via a switched and wired network,
and using this network for universal service enhances the
public character of the network. Universal service,
therefore is inherently public and enhances public values.
Hadden and Lenert mistakenly discuss universal service
as if it is a thing, a product, instead of a service.
Technology does not support universal service. Universal
service is the providing of access to technology to
everyone. Yes, universal service is inherently public, but
the public nature of a technology that is available to all
is embedded only in the fact that it is available to all.
Otherwise, a certain technology would have no inherently
To the US Senate, Hadden outlines the benefits of
universal service as more efficient government services,
improved health care, improved education, improved
lifestyles, telecommuting, more efficient courts, more
efficient markets, and increased First Amendment rights.
The opportunity costs, the costs of not providing universal
service, are the diminished size of the market, a
marginalized population, and a failure to meet national
goals in education and health. "Taking all these arguments
together, we can see that the benefits of ensuring that
everyone has switched broadband telecommunications services
in the home far outweigh the costs." She concludes also
that the costs of creating a population of information poor
by not providing universal service are "too great for our
nation to bear."
In spite of Hadden's conclusions that the benefits to
the community "far outweigh the costs," the math is, quite
simply, a bit more complex. Measuring the costs of
implementing the technology to make universal service
possible is easy, and the costs are very high. Measuring
the benefits to society and the opportunity costs , however,
is very difficult, if not impossible. The lists that Hadden
provides seem to make sense when viewed theoretically, but
theoretical assumptions and cost/benefit conclusions are
entirely different matters.
Measuring the opportunity costs is not necessarily a
problem inherent to the provision of universal services in
general. In the case of universal medical coverage for
example, the lack of such a service for patients who cannot
afford a regular doctor leads to more expensive emergency
care that is paid for by higher medical bills for those who
can pay, as Sawhney demonstrates. Perhaps these costs to
the community can be quantified in the case of universal
telecom services, at least in relative terms if not more
specific amounts. In order to make these determinations at
the community level, however, it is necessary to determine
the relative costs and benefits to the individual.
On the level of the individual, there are basically two
concepts that are important to understanding the discourse:
the individual as a consumer and the individual as a
citizen. In the former, the question is how does access to
advanced telecom technologies affect the market efficiency
and behavior of a person. For the latter, the question is
how does access affect the ability of a person to
participate in the political process and how does access
affect the ability of a person to get information from the
government relevant to his or her needs.4
Embedded in the concept of the individual as a citizen
is the notion of telecommunications service as a human
right. If this service is accepted as a right, the
cost/benefit analysis is relegated to a secondary
consideration (Sawhney 379). Tom Valovic suggests, however,
that the discussion about extending universal service to
advanced telecom capabilities is impractical given the
slippage in universal local service in recent years: the
percentage of households without phones almost doubled
between 1988 and 1992 in key metropolitan areas surveyed by
the FCC, and 50% of phones in the New York LATA (local
access and transport area) did not have touch-tone
capability as of 1991 (6). Following this argument, the
cost/benefit analysis cannot become a secondary
consideration given the current fiscal situation.
Steven Meyers has summarized the situation from a human
rights viewpoint by classifying four categories of "drivers"
on the information highway: primes, boonies, no-knows, and
forget-its. Primes are those individuals who live in urban
areas with easy access to the Net and much enthusiasm for
getting involved in it from an early stage. Boonies would
like to get on-line, but they live in areas where access is
limited. No-knows have never even heard about the Net, or
they do not know what services are available, but they would
probably get involved if they discovered its possibilities.
Forget-its do not know about the Net, do not want to know
about it, and would never have any interest whatsoever in
Meyers contends that there are simply some members of
the citizenry who would never have any use for the
electronic infrastructure. "The problem I have with
universal access is the implication that the network should
accommodate every potential user, regardless of the level of
driving skill.... No matter how wide the road, there will
always be bystanders" (174).
This view, also known as the Aunt Sally argument, is
refuted by Hadden and others at the APT. Aunt Sally is who
Meyers would classify as a forget-it, but Hadden insists
that Aunt Sally, and everyone else who thinks that they do
not want access, is really a no-know. By explaining to Aunt
Sally that she could visit her doctor without traveling to
the county seat or visually check-up on her children who
live two hours away, Hadden would convince Aunt Sally, and
the US Senate, that the Net can benefit every individual
regardless of location or socio-economic status and that
every individual as a right to this service.
These arguments, however, assume that the information
infrastructure will take on the form previously referred to
as the public-interest, or educational, model. The concept
of the individual as a consumer assumes that the Net will
develop in a different fashion, following the entertainment
model. If the goal of service providers is purely one of
market efficiency and profit seeking based on entertainment,
then what rights do individuals have to VOD or affordable
video games? Focusing on the individual as a consumer
effectively removes the universal service debate from the
human rights arena and places it firmly in the hands of
Given the strong and growing presence of educators and
researchers on the Net at present time, it is unlikely that
the system will develop along a purely entertainment-based
model. This statement is not meant to say that the
commercialization of the Net is unlikely; the current hands-
off approach being adopted by the Clinton administration
would predict that the development of the infrastructure
itself will be driven by commercial interests. Development
by for-profit organizations does not condemn the Net to 500
channels showing Terminator 2, five minutes apart. The
history of the development of the radio broadcast industry
demonstrates the power of commercial interests over non-
profit groups, but the non-profit presence on the Net is
much more established in number of participants at this
point than it ever was in the radio spectrum.5
The cost/benefit analysis of the NII is far from
complete. At the level of the community and of the
individual, theory and much of the literature indicates that
the benefits of extending telecom service universally might
exceed the costs of doing so (or of not doing so), but the
evidence is inconclusive. More research is needed,
beginning with the individual. Does an individual increase
his productivity at work as well as his level of
participation in the community by gaining access to the
services available on the Net? If so, how? At the level of
the community, researches might ask, does the efficiency of
government improve by ensuring individual access to services
via the Net? If so, how?
The Research Question, Implications, and Conclusions
From a behavioral perspective, it would be interesting
and instructive to determine how participation in the
democratic process is affected by access to the Net by
identifying the steps involved in certain types of
participation such as writing a letter, volunteering on a
campaign, voting, and discussing political issues with
others. After identifying these steps, the question becomes
one of determining what prompts a person to take action and
how Net access reduces or increases the probability that
participation will occur. If Net access is found to
increase the likelihood of democratic participation, how
does this participation benefit society? Of what
consequence is this form of participation? Upon finding
positive answers to these questions, i.e. that access does
increase participation resulting in a social benefit, then
universal service might be accepted as a prudent policy goal
If universal service is accepted as a goal, the next
question becomes one of its funding. In this debate, there
are essentially two questions: who pays, and who gets paid?
As Browning points out, a system cannot label the "have-
nots" without labeling the "haves." Dean Miller contends
that the problem is not whether universal service of
advanced telecom applications is a worthy goal. The problem
is that the goal of universal service has been traditionally
pursued through regulated monopolies. There is near
universal consensus, however, that increased competition in
the telecom business will lead to enhanced benefits for
Although there is near universal consensus on the
benefits of competition, agreement is not complete. In a
four-part series for Telephony, Barbara J. Farrah and Mike
D. Maxwell argue that the telecom industry is in the midst
of a transition from a technology paradigm to a market
paradigm, in which there is a greater emphasis on developing
applications that blend capabilities with the market's needs
rather than developing products that blend technology with
market technology. This argument, echoed in part by David
Rand Irvin, is based of the idea that the industry has
previously operated under a set of incorrect assumptions
that America's declining ability to compete is connected to
declining technology. By breaking up the monopolies and
stimulating competition, policy makers will stimulate the
production of technology needed to become global
competitors. Farrah and Maxwell argue that the US is not
being beaten by better technology; the US is being beaten by
better applications of technology developed in the US. They
contend that the key to US success is an end to the system
of regulated competition, dissolution of the modified final
judgment, and establishment of a new regulatory structure
for issues related to the Net.
Given current anti-monopoly sentiment, the action
Farrah and Maxwell propose is highly unlikely at this point
even though they make a strong argument. If a regulated
monopoly does develop around the Net in the future, it is
more likely to result from the incremental process described
by Sawhney, mirroring the development of the telephone
In a survey of CEOs of major industries involved in the
creation of the Net, consensus emerged that one of several
obstacles to the creation of the National Information
Infrastructure was the lack of innovative funding mechanisms
(Pelton 34). In her testimony before the US Senate, Susan
Hadden outlined several possibilities: (1) a NetTrans
Account, a sort of value-added tax developed by Eli Noam;
(2) a tax on all equipment used on the NII, proposed by
Michael Einhorn; (3) a universal service trust fund in which
each user pays a small amount on his or her monthly bill;
(4) a gross receipts tax, as used in Maryland; and (5)
moving the spectrum allocation auction fund to serve as a
nucleus for universal service. As the situation is today,
universal local service is slipping, and the system of cross-
subsidies is proving insufficient with the changes in
regulatory structure. Creating a financing structure for
implementing universal service to the Net could well prove
to be the most challenging aspect to the problem.
While the US debates these issues, other governments
are moving forward with plans to implement policy. Naqi
Jaffery points to the greater authority of the Canadian
government than of the US government to shape the nation's
telecom policy. In March of 1994, the Canadian government
announced plans to establish an advisory council to help
formulate and implement the national network, guided by
three policy objectives: "to create jobs through innovation
and investment in Canada, to reinforce Canadian sovereignty
and cultural identity, and to ensure universal access at
reasonable costs" (47).
Given the economic situation in the US and worldwide,
the huge expense necessary to create the infrastructure to
support the Net may not be justified unless tangible
benefits to society can be identified. A program of
empirical research might give as much attention to
"community rights" as "individual rights" by examining how
benefits to the individual manifest themselves in the
collectivity. With such an approach, theory may be
supported by evidence rather than supposition.
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the Curb the switch bandwidth fiber is Technologi
(FTTC) to the option the most es, NYNEX.
home. capable of expensive
155 Mbps cable
to and upgrade,
from the typically
home. $1K-$2K to
(8 to 12).
Direct Ku Band. Broadcast Satellite Hughes
Broadcast only deployment Network
Satellite applicatio . Reaches Systems.
ns. areas too
Local 28 Ghz Primarily Practical Bell
Multipoint microwave broadcast. in high- Atlantic,
Distributi and Interactiv density CellularVi
on System microcell e services areas that sion.
architecht planned. are
From "Broadband in the Local Loop" by Barry W. Phillips in
Telecommunications, November 1994, p.38
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1 For a comparison table of high-speed, local-loop
technologies, see Appendix 1.
2In "Contrasting Models: Two states blaze trails on the
high-tech frontier," Mike Mills examines the experiments of
North Carolina and California, the former following the
public-access model and the latter following the
3 "The debate about universal service has been reopened
precisely because it is feasible to offer these features,
and a consensus seems to be emerging that they are also
desirable" (Hadden, "Written Testimony").
4Both of these concepts carry collectivity implications in
that each is part of a kind of collectivity, e.g., consumer
access may be essential to an effective "consumer society."
5See "The Battle for the US Airwaves, 1928-1935" by Robert
W. McChesney in Journal of Communication, volume 40.