Broadband

IPv6 – Tech Talk with customers

Last month there was a little concern in the general media about the Internet running out of IP space and some customers contacted us about their concerns. We love energetic customers with questions.  Below is one of our customers’ comment and question:

“Dice predicted that IPv4 IPs would be completely allocated in the next 18 months.  Obviously (if this is true), they are interested in having people know something about IPv6 so they can have such expertise in their job exchange.

Do we as users of ipHouse need to be concerned about hardware, software, other implications of this — DSL, DNS, etc., etc. …”

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Something touched me deep inside.

A few years back our household went nuts for The Saga Begins, “Weird Al” Yankovics version of Don McLeans’ American Pie. My two sons were experiencing Star Wars from the parody department and would sing along with Weird Al for hours on end.  My ears still ring from “Soon I’m going to be a Jedi”.

What’s interesting is that we had bought a Disney CD years earlier with this song on it but it didn’t become popular with my kids until they discovered the song on Youtube. I guess video didn’t quite kill the radio star.

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Tell me something good?

The FCC released a report this week that makes me wonder what will happen to broadband wireline services in the next 5 years.  The report, titled “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2009.”, explains that 68 percent of connections in the US advertised as “broadband” can’t really be considered broadband.

I know that already, tell me something good?

As many of our customers know, our roots are in the Internet access world.  Some of us around here have been doing the online thing since the mid 80′s. (seriously)  If we’ve learned one thing over the last 25 years is that people will consume data for a fixed amount of time.  It’s roughly 4 hours per day.  Anything more than that and we suggest an intervention.

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Do you hear what I hear?

The FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made a statement today that makes me wonder what took them so long.

In 1997 I spent some time lobbying at the Minnesota Legislature and the Minnesota Public Utilities commission about the differences between a data connection and data communications.  The differences may seem plainly obvious to those of us in the Internet / Cable / Telephone industries, but for those milling around on the hill, they can’t quite grasp the difference between a carrier pigeon and the message tied to it’s leg.  This analogy was too esoteric for those who were approaching dementia so I changed the analogy to a letter carried by a postal service.  They seemed to understand that governments should regulate the postal service, but not the contents of the letter.  You tell me, which part of that analogy resembles a connection and which resembles information?  Pretty obvious, huh?

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Speed Testing Your Connection

Yesterday Minnesota Public Radio did a story on mapping broadband service in Minnesota. Affordable, high-speed Internet connections are becoming a critical component for educational and economic development throughout Minnesota and the world. Both the Blandin Foundation and the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Taskforce are working hard to increase the availability of broadband throughout the state.

Because it isn’t cheap to bring broadband service to rural areas, knowing which areas are most in need is necessary to determine where to best spend limited resources. The Minnesota Commerce Department is working with Connect Minnesota to map Internet connection speeds throughout the state and is promoting the Connect Minnesota Speed Test as a way for consumers to check on the truthfulness of their ISPs. While this is a great goal, there are significant technical problems with the Connect Minnesota Speed Test.

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