News Alert: Open Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) February 21st, 2008

Contact info below.

“Open Infrastructure Alliance (OIA)” Experts Propose “The Broadband Opportunity Plan for New York State”
to Fund and Deliver 100 Mbps-1 Gigabit Services for Every New Yorker, and No New Taxes.

In December 2007, the State of New York announced a “Universal Broadband Access Grant Program”, that seeks to deploy high-speed Internet service — 100 Mbps service to urban areas and 20 Mbps or higher connectivity in rural and underserved areas by 2015. This connectivity would be neutral and open to all competitors.

New York Grant: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/oft/universalbroadband/overview.htm

Open Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) is new, loosely formed coalition of experts covering telecommunications, wireless, broadband, Internet, technology, content, software, and as well as policy, regulatory and legal issues.

List of Experts. http://www.newnetworks.com/OIAexperts.htm

OIA supports the Governor’s plan and offers new, important, practical, innovative solutions that would accomplish the state’s goals, (though OIA believes the State’s target should require 1 Gigabit services,) without raising new taxes or requiring matching state or private investment. This plan is applicable for any state wishing to help its citizens get high-speed Internet access.

The Broadband Dilemma

Throughout America, many state governments, organizations and even Congress are grappling with the issue: America is 15th in the world in broadband — How do we create a state and National Broadband Strategy to compete in the world economy? While the FCC has defined broadband with a speed of 200Kbps, countries in Asia are already offering 100 Mbps residential services, with Hong Kong offering 1 gigabit services in some areas. (NOTE: 200 Kbps is 1/5 of 1Mbps. 1 Gigabit=1000 Mbps.)

The Bush Administration claims that America is a “broadband success story,” but many experts, including two current FCC commissioners, disagree.

Governor Spitzer’s New York State analysis outlines that the Empire State’s networks are not adequate for even current speeds.

“New York State has an inadequate infrastructure for the Information Age”… “Nearly two-thirds of people living in New York City lack access to affordable, high-speed broadband. Some neighborhoods, like Sunset Park, Red Hook and Hunts Point, don’t even have affordable access beyond a dial-up connection.”


And these types of statements are occurring in virtually every state. California Governor Schwarzenegger’s new report also points to serious holes in deployment.

“Only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps (including both upstream and downstream speeds).”…”Broadband infrastructure is deployed unevenly throughout the state, from state-of-the-art to nonexistent.”


Almost all state and federal plans being formulated create new taxes or new federal and state funds to fund broadband deployment. Ironically, the bulk of these taxes are being directed to existing telecom and cable company incumbents–exactly those companies that have failed in raising the US beyond 15th in the world.

With over 10 million households and businesses in New York State alone, at current estimates, the state will need to spend over $10-$20 billion. And in the US, with over 110 million homes, over $100-$200 billion is required.

OIA Proposes “Broadband Opportunity Plan for New York State”

To address this significant problem, OIA’s grant submission proposes “The Broadband Opportunity Plan for New York State.” Key features of the plan are:

Part 1: New Revenue Sources to Fund Broadband Deployment — OIA has uncovered numerous areas where the State could recover hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Some are based around public interest perks given to incumbent telecom companies viewed as utilities, where now those companies are operating in a competitive market. They also include telecommunications expenditure overcharging for municipalities, new network revenues, and other potential revenue streams from the states’ previous broadband plans.

Part 2: Accurate Data and Analysis — OIA proposes that the State collect its own data and does not rely on 3rd parties like the FCC or even the incumbent companies. The State admits it has not created most of the required baseline data to answer basic questions about competition, the current price of service, the cost of offering service, much less the condition and location of wiring plant in the State, including the current networks’ ‘dark’ fiber optic (not in use currently).

See http://www.newnetworks.com/nystatebroadbandanswers.htm

Part 3: Design and Implementation — OIA calls for a comprehensive examination of the successful broadband models to follow and models to avoid. These international successful models brought speeds of 100 Mbps for only $40.00. What forms of regulation are necessary to create these new models? How were they funded? Most importantly, we must examine the models to avoid — and thus answer why the U.S. ranks 15th in broadband?

Part 4: Next Steps to Implementation: A New Vision — OIA envisions New York, and even the U.S., becoming a world leader in technology and broadband, thus helping the economy, education, healthcare and closing the Digital Divide. Taking off the blinders of the current regulatory failures is the firsts step in this process. New visions presented include:

  • Lighting up the dark, unused fiber optic wiring today – 40% of New York fiber is not in use.
  • Using wireless and next generation spectrum to supplement the wiring plan to provide universal broadband.
  • Building from the ground up — the municipality plan and using public assets for deploying services.
  • Opening the networks to full competition — Is “Divestiture II” or “structural separation” required?
  • Innovative Solutions: “Community Clusters”, “yo-yo-nets”, “stupid network” principles, mesh networks, removing micro-billing, topologies for high-speed access peering points.
  • New Areas of Economic Development in New York State; merging video and broadband technology and NY arts.

For more information contact;

Bruce Kushnick, [email protected]

Executive Director, New Networks Institute