Not all broadband is created equal

To the editor:

In a recent issue of the Ledger­Transcript there was a small article announcing that FairPoint Communications had expanded “broadband” service to 47 additional homes and businesses in Peterborough. I see these FairPoint press releases every time they expand their “broadband” service to another town in the Monadnock region.

In reality, FairPoint is conditioning the copper lines they own for use with Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), which is an older, distance and speed­ limited technology for getting access to the Internet.

As defined by the Federal Communications Commission, broadband means having four megabits per second of download speed and 1Mbps of upload speed. If you look at FairPoint’s residential “broadband” Internet service offerings on their website, only one of the four choices provides 1Mbps of upload speed. And because it is paired with a higher download speed, it’s availability will be severely restricted by the customer’s distance from FairPoint’s local equipment office.

FairPoint claims they are providing broadband service because they use the NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) definition of broadband, which calls for a minimum of 768 Kilobits per second of download speed and 200Kbps of upload speed.

These are very slow, sub­Megabit speeds. I should know because I had two of these FairPoint “broadband” DSL connections for several years. They were better than nothing, but let’s not pretend they are good enough for our homes and businesses in the 21st century. They are not.

We need better than the slowest and oldest “broadband” technology being offered by FairPoint.

Today, I’m connected to an open­access, fiber­optic network built by New Hampshire FastRoads with Internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services provided by Wi­Valley. This fiber­ optic network will meet our communication needs today and far into the future.

Tim Wessels


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