U.S. Lags as Britain Introduces 100 Mbps Broadband

Virgin Media, a U.K.-based cable company, has introduced a 100 Mbps broadband connection at reasonable prices. It might not be as cheap as broadband in Japan, but at least it’s better than what we’ve got in the U.S.

WirelessCos Want $169.6M in Stimulus Bucks. What About Wireline?

[qi:015] KeyOn, a wireless broadband provider in Omaha, Neb., said this morning that it’s applied for $150 million in broadband stimulus funds in order to expand its WiMAX network and cover an additional 4 million people — a cost of $37.50 each. KeyOn, which uses WiMAX and its nationwide license for 3.65GHz spectrum to provide broadband, satellite television service and VoIP calling packages under the brand names SpeedNet and Siris, currently serves 2.5 million people in 11 states.
It’s joined by fellow wireless providers Yonder Media and Leap Wireless (s leap), the operator behind the Cricket brand of prepaid cell phone service, which on Monday filed for $8.6 million in broadband stimulus funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Authority’s program. So where are all the wireline providers? Read More about WirelessCos Want $169.6M in Stimulus Bucks. What About Wireline?

Comcast to Twin Cities: Want WideBand? Gonna Cost You Big

Comcast, the largest cable company in the US announced today that it is going to start selling a 50 megabits per second (down) connection in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region. The connection with 5 megabits/second upstream capability is based on DOCSIS 3.0 technology and will cost $150 a month. Cablevision, Surewest and Verizon have been offering similar high-speed yet very expensive connections for a while now.

The so-called Wideband connection is getting a lot of attention today, though the service is unavailable in larger Comcast markets like San Francisco, where 16 Mbps is as fast as you can go. Comcast promises that it will make Wideband available in 20% of the market it serves by 2009 and rest of the country in 2010. Talk is cheap! Since we are still waiting for TiVo on Comcast and instead suffering through a painful DVR experience, I am not holding my breath about WideBand showing up on my doorstep anytime soon.

Just a random observation: these expensive Wideband connections are attractive for a demographic that Comcast may label “bandwidth hogs” who might see their connections throttled.