When we begin with the requirements we quickly find that there are many ways to satisfy them. At this point it’s more prudent to continue to rely on innovation to meet needs rather than declare one and only one technology the permanent victor.
The way forward is to prioritize urgent needs over long term visions. In cases where a new wireline network is the only solution that will get a rural community online, of course that network needs to be all fiber and potentially symmetrical. But such cases are rare.
While we have work to do in rural and poor America, we are not at a point where we can afford to turn our backs on emerging technologies in favor of a zombie broadband plan born in the last millennium.
As the pandemic starts to fade, we won’t return to the old normal but we’ll reach a new normal with more broadband of all kinds, especially mobile, with less TV watching. Against that background, the efforts of Congress to shore up the old normal are going to fail.
Barring the advent of some new technology that allows you and your neighbors to use the same band at the same time with absolutely no interference, this is all there is. We will have have such a technology someday, but we quite have it yet.
I’m proposing that the FCC releases 480 MHz of bandwidth in the 6 GHz band for a pilot project. The terms of the pilot are as specified, three high speed, indivisible 160 MHz channels supported by ongoing work on inter-access point coordination.
More than anything, we need network components that are inexpensive and capable of taking part in a comprehensive system of self-checking. We’re more likely to get such a system by building it collaboratively.