Can You Access Me Now?

David ByrdIn the debate over the availability of broadband and the underserved portions of our country, wireless does not seem to be an important variable. Yet, as CTIA reported, there are more wireless subscriptions than people in the U.S. (322,800,000 vs. 312,781,000) and more than half of those subscribers have smartphones. Interestingly, some are using this number to insinuate that we have reached greater than 100 percent penetration of the wireless market. That would be incorrect. However, I struggled to find a report that allowed me to see what percentage of the U.S. was now covered by either a 3G or 4G wireless system. This is important because most broadband initiatives are developed with the intent of providing access speeds to support Web browsing and the delivery of video. In accordance with that goal, the FCC defines broadband as 4 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. Consider that both 3G and 4G LTE systems can exceed this level of performance. In which case, wireless access should be the determining factor in whether an additional broadband investment is required to meet the FCCs National Broadband Plan goals.

With the advent of smartphones, tablets, MiFi hotspots and LAN extenders, do we need to build out fiber infrastructure to support the broadband needs of the U.S.? The future is clearly wireless. Not only is the consumer moving to wireless over wireline, but businesses are as well. In fact, this trend is growing at such a rate that even cable is now viewed as a wireless offering and its VoIP growth has stymied.

Therefore, if I can surf the Web, access cloud applications and databases, stream video and communicate using a smartphone, tablet, MiFi hotspot or other device at a speed greater than 4 Mbps, then why doesnt that quality as broadband access?

Enjoy Easter Sunday and have a great weekend. Im not sure what I will be cooking this weekend, but it will be good.

David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for


, and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.

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