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Status of Broadband Access in Florida


FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION DIVISION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Clayton Lewis, Engineer September 1999
Bureau of Service Evaluation
Division of Telecommunications
Florida Public Service Commission
Tallahassee, Florida
Executive Summary

Executive Summary
The purpose of this project is to evaluate whether basic local exchange service should include access to broadband services. Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandates the Florida Public Service Commission to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability to all Floridians in a reasonable and timely fashion.With the rapid increase in the use of the Internet and the resulting demand for faster transmission speeds, staff examined the issues surrounding broadband access. Local Exchange Carriers(LECs) are in the beginning stages of deploying broadband services in Florida through the use of xDSL technologies. This (xDSL) is a generic term for Digital Subscriber Line equipment and services (see Appendix A).
Based upon information provided by the LECs, staff believes that 60% of the wire centers in Florida are not currently capable of providing xDSL services. Until the LECs are further along with the deployment of this capability, no redefinition of local exchange service should be considered. Ultimately, access to xDSL services depends upon the implementation of the Carrier Serving Area (CSA) concept which categorizes local loops by length, gauge and subscriber distribution in order to determine how a specific geographic area can best be served. The CSA concept is used by LECs in Florida when provisioning outside plant facilities. Consequently, as LECs incorporate the CSA model in their outside plant facilities, the average data rate available to consumers will rise to 56 Kbps (which will provide access to broadband services). Furthermore, there should be no major differences between provisioning rural and urban areas. However, economic considerations will impact the deployment of xDSL services and staff should continue to monitor the situation to determine whether a redefinition of basic service might be appropriate in the future.
It should be noted that states are preparing and passing legislation to promote access to the Internet. The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill (Senate Bill 622) whereby a "Telecommunications Infrastructure Account" would be established to be funded by the telecommunication carriers that opt out of rate of return regulation. This account would be used (upon approval by the State) for "projects that provide increased bandwidth between communities, route diversity and access to advanced communications services in an expedited manner." The Georgia Legislature has approved a Universal Access Fund and has begun implementing plans to provide broadband access to all citizens of the state. The telecommunications industry in Florida feels that the market should drive the deployment of broadband services and intervention by the Commission is not necessary at this time.
This report is an initial step in assessing the status of deployment of advanced telecommunications (broadband) services and subscriber demand within Florida. As part of staff’s service quality evaluation procedures, tests of subscriber loops to measure data transmission rates will be conducted in order to calculate an average data transmission rate for a wire center. This will provide the Commission with a "snap shot" of how the LECs are progressing in provisioning for broadband access. Staff will continue to monitor the deployment of advanced telecommunication services in Florida by continuing to meet with the various telecommunications sub-industries. The goal of these discussions is to find ways to reduce barriers to providing access to broadband services to residential and small business subscribers.
I. Background
Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, "Advanced Telecommunications Incentives" defines "advanced telecommunications capability" as "high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology." Accordingly, the FCC defined broadband "as having the capability of supporting, in both the provider-to-consumer (downstream) and the consumer-to-provider (upstream) directions, a speed (in technical terms, "bandwidth") in excess of 200 kilobits per second (Kbps) in the last mile." This is approximately four times faster than the Internet access received through a standard telephone line (56 Kbps). "In telecommunications, bandwidth is the width of a communications channel." Therefore, a telephone line that has been conditioned to be capable of a minimum 56 Kbps data transmission rate would be considered broadband accessible.
Increasingly, staff has received complaints from residential and small business subscribers concerning the data transmission rates being provided by Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, Internet service is not considered to be part of basic telephone service and there are many different levels and variations available to consumers. Transmission speeds vary by the brand, type and model of the computer equipment and modems being used. Unfortunately, this does not explain the difference in transmission speeds when a consumer has purchased identical equipment to their neighbor and utilizes the same ISP but cannot attain the same transmission speeds. This is the main source of frustration stated by consumers. Because of these complaints and in accordance with the 1996 Telecommunications Act (Section 706), staff began investigating the status of Advanced Telecommunications Services within Florida.
Section 706 states "The Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over the telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary, and secondary schools and classrooms)..." As a result staff prepared and sent two data requests to LECs, Alternate Local Exchange Companies (ALECs), Interexchange Companies (IXCs), Cable Television providers and ISPs in order to determine the status of broadband access within Florida. In addition, a workshop entitled "Broadband Access and Internet Telephony" was conducted at the FPSC (Florida Public Service Commission). The purpose of the workshop was to identify major issues concerning the deployment of broadband services and the impact of the Internet on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The overall goal was to gather information and ideas on how to ensure that business and residential subscribers in Florida have access to modern telecommunications technologies and networks. Internet Telephony will be discussed in a subsequent report.
In order to assess the availability of broadband access, staff investigated how the local network has changed over the years. Staff discovered that as LECs have upgraded their networks they have adopted certain requirements that ensure efficiency. These upgrades establish the potential for better quality of service and greater digital transmission speeds. However, access to broadband services is dependent upon the condition of local subscriber loops. An examination of how LECs provide "basic service" is required to understand whether data transmission standards (speeds) should be included in the definition of basic local exchange service.
II. Should a minimal data transmission speed be set to facilitate high-speed data services for connection to the Internet or other data-retrieval services?
With the push for higher access speeds to the Internet from the public, staff requested comments on whether a minimal data transmission speed should be set for a regular telephone line. Most companies stated that this should not be done due to factors not in their control and that it would be very difficult if not impossible to enforce a minimum data transmission speed in local loops. In addition, the electrical characteristics of the loop which include the length and gauge of telephone cable being used affect data transmission speeds. Other problems stated are associated with intervening electronics such as the type of computer equipment being used which is a factor outside of the LEC’s control. Furthermore, GTE noted that a customer’s inside wire may not support 28.8 Kbps or higher speeds.
Although most companies do not believe that a minimum transmission speed can be guaranteed, some do offer guaranteed rates (speeds). Some companies will guarantee data transmission rates only as high as 9.6 Kbps while others state the average data transmission rate available to the end user without any conditioning of their loop should be 14.4 Kbps. Other companies will offer data transmission services for residential subscribers that provide higher transmission rates than normally provided for voice transmission. However, most give no assurances as to the error rates or transmission rates that may be attained. To provision these services the companies make measurements between the end user’s demarcation point and the central office (subscriber loop) to determine actual digital transmission rates. The condition of the loop is the responsibility of the LEC. The Carrier Serving Area (CSA) model addresses the areas that are within a LEC’s control.
Since the early 1990's, LECs have adhered to the CSA concept or model when designing new outside plant facilities and when upgrading existing facilities. "A CSA is designed so that customers can have access to 64 Kbps service (DS-0 level) anywhere within the area once the CSA is activated." Therefore, the characteristics of the CSA model should be considered the characteristics of "basic service". The concept requires strict design rules because of the move from analog to digital equipment in telephone networks. The deployment of broadband services by LECs depends upon the implementation of these requirements which categorize local loops by length, gauge and subscriber distribution in order to determine how a specific geographic area can best be served.
"The Carrier Serving Area (CSA) concept is to sectionalize the wire center area into discrete geographical areas beyond 12,000 feet (3657.6 m) of the central office. This sectionalization is done during the long-range outside plant planning (LROPP) process described in Section 2 of this handbook. Each CSA will ultimately be served via a remote terminal (RT) which houses the digital carrier equipment and divides the feeder from the distribution network. The boundaries of the CSA are based on resistance limits of 900 ohms for the distribution plant beyond the RT. The limits basically equate to 9,000 feet (2743.2m) of 26-gauge cable and 12,000 feet (3657.6 m) of 19-, 22-, or 24-gauge cable including bridged tap. After the CSAs are established, when relief is required in a route and it is economical to deploy digital carrier, the RT sites can be activated. Digital carrier is also applicable to individual customer buildings or groups of buildings such as a campus environment, industrial areas, shopping centers, and condominium and apartment complexes."
By utilizing the CSA standard in a geographical area that includes a digital loop carrier (DLC) located at a remote terminal, a Telco should be able to provide voice-grade message service and digital data service. The boundaries of a CSA are determined by the following considerations:
A. A conservative determination of the maximum unrepeatered transmission range for the worst case digital service, 56 kb/sec DDS.
B. The distance that currently available DLC systems could provide acceptable Message Telephone Service on unloaded cable pairs.
Subsequently, staff believes it is possible to determine the average data transmission rate for a wire center. Due to the responses to the data requests, staff believes that only 40% of the subscriber loops are capable of supporting broadband services. Therefore, no minimum data transmission standard should be established at the present time. Staff is investigating the necessity of requesting a rule revision to incorporate an average data transmission speed of 36 Kbps (or higher) per exchange to be established within 3 to 5 years.

III. Current Ability of the Telecommunications Industry to Provide Advanced Telecommunications Services
To determine what is required for broadband access, staff looked at the basic physical elements of local telecommunications service. With the utilization of fiber in feeder and distribution cables, problems associated with broadband access are isolated to the condition at the end of the local subscriber loop (the last mile). Once the basic considerations were determined staff made inquiries to LECs and IXCs concerning the status of deployment of broadband services within the state.
A. Condition of the Local Loop
The conditioning of local loops for access to advanced telecommunications services, the cost of upgrading or installing new electronics, and the availability and quality of service for Dial-up access users are the main concerns of the industry. In the last 20 years, the industry has converted to digital switching equipment and in many areas the only analog portion in the network is the connection between the end user and the telecommunications company’s equipment (subscriber loop). Since end users must have loops that meet the criteria for the CSA model to provide access to xDSL services, the local loop must be kept in optimum condition. xDSL is a generic term for Digital Subscriber Line equipment and services (see Appendix A ).
Consequently, LECs must remove load coils or excessive bridge taps that exist in the loop for DSL services to work. Load coils are employed in loops in excess of 18,000 feet in length to strengthen and amplify analog voice signals. They compensate for wire capacitance and boost voice grade frequencies over copper facilities. Unfortunately, this causes problems in digital systems since the introduction and/or amplification of noise will interfere with the signal which causes telephone calls to be dropped (disconnected). A bridge tap is multiple appearances of the same cable pair at several distribution points. In digital transmission, bridge taps attenuate the signal which results in signal loss which again can result in calls being dropped. A miniature example of a bridge tap is the existence of multiple outlets within a home for the same telephone line.
On the large scale, telephone cables were historically installed to serve at multiple locations thus maximizing the use of facilities. A new customer could be hooked to the cable at any point and the total copper resistance would not change. Bridge tap is the extra copper that extends the cable beyond the subscriber location. Technicians will disconnect the other locations where the cable pair terminates. It is economically inefficient for telephone companies to locate and disconnect all instances of bridge tap from a feeder cable. The direct termination in new plant avoids the excess copper resistance and provides superior transmission as a result.
However, LECs state the cost of expediting the upgrade of subscriber loops should not be their burden exclusively and small LECs express concerns relating to the recovery of installation cost of equipment for which there is little or no customer demand. In other words, the means of recouping such cost could be higher than what customers are willing to pay. The LECs believe that all telecommunications carriers should contribute to the cost of any mandated expansion of broadband access. On the other hand, IXCs, ALECs, and ISPs believe LECs are not adequately provisioning subscriber loops to attain access to broadband services. Furthermore, ALECs state that LECs are either charging them high fees to condition local loops to access broadband services or are stating that facilities are not in place. As a result, because of the expense, ALECs are only able to market their services mainly large business entities.
In summary, ALECS, IXCs and ISPs agree that the LECs have a great amount of control over where and when broadband services will be introduced. Residential subscribers who are able to obtain broadband services do so because they live in new development areas or in older areas that have been upgraded to the CSA environment. Furthermore, there is no control over what type of computer equipment the end user or ISP chooses to purchase. However, if the assumption is that when the Carrier Serving Area model has been applied, then the condition of the twisted copper pair between the end user’s demarcation and the central office (or remote terminal) becomes the controlling factor for available data transmission speeds.
B. Current Status of Deployment
LECs are in the beginning stages of introducing broadband services through the use of xDSL technologies. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a technology that assumes digital data does not require conversion from analog to digital form and back. Digital data is transmitted to a computer directly as digital data which allows telecommunications companies to use a much wider bandwidth for transmitting. The signal can be separated so that some of the bandwidth is used to transmit an analog signal which allows the end user to operate a telephone and computer at the same time on the same line. The maximum range for DSL without repeaters is 5.5 km or 18,000 ft and as distances decrease toward the central office or remote terminal the data transmission speed increases. The range increases with the introduction of Fiber-In-The-Loop (FITL).
Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is the most likely xDSL service that will be offered to residential and small business users by LECs. It is asymmetric because most of its duplex (two-way) bandwidth is devoted to the downstream direction toward the end user. Up to 640 Kbps upstream and up to 6.1 Mbps can be sent downstream which allows the telephone line to carry motion video, audio, and 3-D images to the end user’s computer or TV set. Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAMS) technology is designed to concentrate traffic in ADSL implementation through Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and are located at the central office or remote terminal with Digital Loop Carriers (DLC).
Inquiries were sent to LECs concerning the status of current facilities to meet data transmission standards required for xDSL (see Appendix B). The companies reported the following percentages of local loops that are presently capable of carrying xDSL services: ALLTEL - 30%, GTE - 50 to 70%, Northeast Florida - 100%, Sprint - 33%, TDS Telecom - 67%, Vista-United - 5%. BellSouth, Frontier, GT Com and Indiantown did not provide responses. Based upon the information provided, staff believes that at least 40% of the wire centers within Florida are capable of providing xDSL services. In September 1998, BellSouth began offering ADSL service in Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville. Cities scheduled for 1999 include Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola and West Palm Beach. GTE began offering ADSL service on May 31, 1998 and Sprint is currently engaged in technology field trials of Fiber-To-The-Curb (FTTC) technologies in Bonita Springs. All three intend to market these services to ISPs and ALECs.
Small LECs have no plans at this time to deploy xDSL services in their respective service territories. However, most are currently evaluating the feasibility of deploying advanced high-speed data services that will be targeted at residential and small business customers. They state their markets are mostly rural and believe the primary application of xDSL services is for providing Internet access. The large IXCs are offering high-speed data services to large business customers with dedicated access to their networks. No responses were received from Cable Television Providers. ALECS, small IXCs and ISPs intend to resell the LECs’ xDSL services once they finish field trials. As a whole the LECs believe that if the FPSC mandates upgraded transmission speeds, the industry should be given the ability to recover these expenses.

IV. Expediting Deployment
Should the FPSC create a mechanism to provide financial assistance for upgrading telecommunications facilities if market forces are not sufficient to provide "all" Floridians access to broadband services? Could a graduated charge based upon the average rate of transmission available per wire center in addition to monthly service charges help condition the local loop? Will market forces be sufficient to encourage increased access to broadband services? Companies were asked to express their concerns about the best way to upgrade outside plant facilities in the network (see Appendix B ).
A. What type of assistance if any is required to upgrade facilities?
Non LECs believe that assistance is not needed and that broadband services should be deployed only to meet customer demand because not all customers need or desire these services. LECs also state that if a charge were used to offset the cost to the provider, only a small number of end users would be benefited. Therefore, those that desire to use these services should pay the costs for them to be provisioned. Furthermore, since companies have begun incorporating the Carrier Serving Area model for provisioning feeder and distribution cables, staff believes the average transmission rate will rise to 56 Kbps which will in turn provide access to xDSL services to residential and small business consumers. Based upon the large LECs 1994 and 1995 depreciation studies, this will occur by the year 2010. However, with the introduction of cable modems by cable companies into the market place, staff believes that the LECs will speed up deployment of their fiber feeder which will speed up broadband access.
Should the basic service charge reflect the difference in data transmission speeds? Should there be an additional prorated charge for an average transmission rate above a set standard? Companies were asked to comment on whether or not the Commission should allow LECs to collect an additional fee from the local subscriber based upon the average data transmission rate available within a wire center. If the average data transmission rate available in wire centers were used to determine monthly basic service charges, would this improve the condition of the local subscriber loops to access xDSL services? The companies felt that it would be difficult to monitor and enforce different transmission rates for individual customers and that it would be cumbersome at best. Staff will continue to investigate the feasibility of such a plan.
B. Market Competition
The overall industry response to the data request is that the market should determine the rate at which broadband access is deployed. The ALECs and IXCs agree with the LECs’ assertion that the market place should dictate the speed by which companies upgrade their high-speed networks. ISPs also agree that market forces should drive deployment of broadband services but are concerned that Dial-up users will have restricted access due to local loops that cannot handle the transmission speeds required for xDSL services.
Historically, when market forces are allowed to drive the expansion of new technologies in the utility industry, rural areas are the last to receive the new services associated with these technologies. An example is cable television which was introduced 40 years ago but service offerings in rural areas are almost non-existent today. Likewise, new telephone services are introduced much later in rural and low income urban areas. Staff believes that it is preferable that market forces determine when, where and how advanced services are offered to the public and believes requirements should not be put on the industry that may favor one technology or sub-industry over another. However, access to advanced technologies for all Americans has been mandated by Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Therefore, FPSC staff should investigate ways to ensure that the majority of Dial-up access users will have unrestricted access to local loops that can handle the transmission speeds required for broadband services.

V. Rural vs. Urban Areas
Are there differences in providing service in urban versus rural areas? There was industry consensus that there are no differences between provisioning rural vs urban areas. However, small rural LECs are concerned that the cost to provide access to high-speed data services may be very expensive and would result in higher basic local service costs to all customers in the companies’ serving areas. For this reason, it would probably be cost prohibitive for a small rural LEC to maintain the expense associated with providing the required facilities necessary to offer access to high-speed data service. However, staff does not believe that this is a barrier due to programs initiated by the Rural Utility Service.
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a department of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which provides technical assistance to rural electrical, water and telecommunication companies. In addition, the RUS acts as a federal credit agency that provides a source of financing for rural telecommunication systems. It is the policy of the RUS that every State have a Modernization Plan which provides for improvement of the states’ telecommunication infrastructure. Each Public Utilities Commission (PUC) was eligible until February 13, 1996 to develop a proposed Modernization Plan and deliver it to the RUS. The RUS suggests, but does not require, the long-term goals of each Modernization Plan include universal availability of digital voice and data service (56 -164 kb/sec) over switched networks for subscribers that desire the service. Furthermore, the service should provide transmission and reception of high bit rate (no less than 1Mb/sec) data, presumably by some data protocol such as that use in IP (Internet Protocol) Technology.
The RUS requirements for the Modernization Plan are as follows:
"(A) The plan must provide for the elimination of party line service."
"(B) The plan must provide for the availability of telecommunications services for improved business, educational, and medical services."
"(C) The plan must encourage and improve computer networks and information highways for subscribers in rural areas."
"(D) Subscribers in rural areas should be able to receive through telephone lines Conference calling, Video images and Data rate of at least 1,000, 000 bits per second"
Northeast Florida Telephone Company stated that until the beginning of 1999, it had been a recipient of loans from the RUS. In accepting loans, Northeast agreed to certain requirements and as a result, their subscribers should be able to receive a data rate of at least 1 Mbps through regular telephone lines. Northeast was the only LEC to report 100% of its subscriber loops capable of access to xDSL services. Staff notes the next highest percentage reported, TDS Telecom - 67%, is also by a small rural LEC. Since it appears small-rural LECs have the ability to upgrade their outside plant, staff again does not believe further financial assistance is needed at this time.

VI. Social and Economic Impacts
Internet users are shopping, trading stocks, conducting research and communicating with people from around the world daily. The Internet industry expects that 100 million Americans will be online by the year 2000. It has been estimated that the "Internet economy" generated 300 billion dollars in 1998 (124 billion in the U.S.) and is responsible for 1.2 million jobs in the United States. Worldwide electronic commerce for the 1999 holiday season is projected to surpass $12.2 billion, up from $4.5 billion in 1998. In the United States, Internet commerce is expected to exceed $250 billion a year by 2002. To take advantage of the economic opportunities, states are beginning to take steps to ensure that their citizens have broadband access to the Internet. Oregon is contemplating initiating programs similar to that of the RUS to provide increased bandwidth between communities (Senate Bill 622).
In addition Georgia is proposing a Universal Access Fund (Senate Bill 137, Docket # 5825-U). The docket involves establishing and implementing a fund to ensure that universal access is available to all Georgia citizens at a reasonable rate without excluding those located in rural or remote areas. At the present, over $22.5 million has been deposited into the fund through assessments from LECs, ALECs and IXCs. Therefore, it is imperative that the FPSC stay abreast of the needs of Internet commerce to ensure an overall positive impact to Florida’s economic growth.

VII. Future Staff Activity
FPSC staff will monitor the implementation of broadband access within the state to determine whether certain areas are being inhibited by the lack of broadband access to the Internet or other data services. Engineers will conduct tests from residential subscribers demarcation points to the local central offices to determine the average data transmission speeds available from various locations within exchanges. Staff will also begin evaluating methods to promote access to broadband services.
In addition, staff will continue to meet with the various telecommunications sub-industries to discuss ways to reduce barriers incurred by residential and small business subscribers to broadband access. This report is an initial step and will be followed by additional reports on the status of deployment of advanced services within Florida.

VIII. Appendix
Appendix A xDSL Services
XDSL services enable high-speed data on a single twisted copper pair used in local subscriber loop. The technology is being installed by local phone companies in order to provide faster access for their subscribers to the Internet and to counter competition from the CATV industry’s. cable modem. Actually, xDSL is a generic term for Digital Subscriber Line equipment and services, including ADSL, HDSL, IDSL, SDSL, and VDSL. These technologies provide extremely high bandwidth over the twisted-pair that runs from the central office to the business or residential end user.
XDSL technologies are designed to be used with Synchronous Optical Networks (SONET) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches. SONET is a designation of a class of transmission rates over fiber optic cable from 51.84 Mbps to 13.21 Gbps. ATM is a switching technology that organizes digital data into cells or packets and transmits them over a medium (SONET) using digital signal technology. Individually, a cell is processed asynchronously relative to other related cells and is queued before being multiplexed over the line. ATM provides processing speeds of 155.52 Mbps or 622.08 Mbps and can reach 2.5 Gbps. Some xDSL technologies are symmetrical which means the same bandwidth is available in both directions. Descriptions of the various versions of xDSL service are described in the following table (see page 14).
Types of xDSL services
DSL Type Description Data Rate Downstream; Upstream Distance Limit Application
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 1.544 to 6.1 Mbps downstream;
16 to 640 Kbps upstream
1.544 Mbps at 18,000 feet;
2.048 Mbps at 16,000 feet;
6.312 Mpbs at 12,000 feet;
8.448 Mbps at 9,000 feet
Used for Internet and Web access, motion video, video on demand, remote LAN access
G-Lite aka DSL - Lite "Splitterless" DSL without the "truck roll" From 1.544 Mbps to 6 Mbps , depending on the subscribed service 18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire The standard ADSL; sacrifices speed for not having to install a splitter at the user’s. home or business
HSDL High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line 12,000 feet on 24 gauge wire T1/E1 service between server and phone company or within a company; WAN, LAN, server access
IDSL ISDN Digital Subscriber Line 128 Kbps 18,000 feet on 24 gauge wire Similar to the ISDN BRI service but data only (no voice on the same line)
RADSL Rate-Adaptive DSL from Westell Adapted to the line, 640 Kbps to 2.2 Mbps downstream;
272 Kbps to 1.088 Mbps upstream
Not provided Similar to ADSL
SDSL Single-line DSL 1.544 Mbps duplex (U.S. and Canada);
2.048 Mbps (Europe) on a single duplex line downstream and upstream
12,000 feet on 24 gauge wire Used for Internet and Web access, motion video, video on demand, remote LAN access
VDSL Very high Digital Subscriber Line 12.9 to 52.8 Mbps downstream;
1.5 to 2.3 Mbps upstream;
1.6 Mbps to 2.3 Mbps downstream
4,500 feet at 12.96 Mbps;
3,000 feet at 25.82 Mbps;
1,000 feet at 51.84 Mbps
ATM networks; Fiber to the Neighborhood
Appendix B Data Request and Workshop Topics
1. October 19, 1998 Data Request
  1. Please outline your current deployment of advanced, high-speed data services targeted toward the residential and small business market (e.g,, cable modems, xDSL services, etc.) Include both intrastate and interstate services, exchanges where the services will be available within the next year, the number of subscribers, and recurring charges for the service(s). If no intrastate services are being offered, please explain why not.
  2. Please describe other services that would constitute "advanced services" under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Include intrastate and interstate ser vices both currently offered and planned for deployment within the next year.
  3. Would these services be marketed directly to end users, or to businesses such as ISPs that would market them to end users?
  4. Do you provision services to ISPs in such a manner that they may provide their customers xDSL service? If yes, please describe how the service is provisioned.
  5. What percentage of your local loops are presently capable of carrying xDSL services? Please provide a list, by exchange. Recognizing that different DSL standards (e.g., ADSL vs. HDSL, etc.) may result in different maximum transmission lengths, please provide an answer for the DSL-based service or services your company offers or is most likely to offer.
  6. What would be necessary for all of your local loops to be xDSL-capable?
  7. Do you have any central offices in Florida that are presently incapable of accepting xDSL capability (e.g., technical incompatibility with DSLAM or other xDSL equipment, or lack of floor space, etc.)? If so, which offices, and what would be required to make them xDSL-capable.
  8. If not included in your response to No. 1, have you deployed, or do you have plans to deploy, xDSL service, or a functional equivalent, in Florida?
  9. Is your company deploying these services at a rate that is consistent with your optimal business plan? If not, what are the major obstacles to a move to a more rapid deployment of advanced services?
  10. Some parties argue that access to high-speed data services for connection to the Internet on for connection to other data-retrieval services should be included under the definition of basic local telecommunications service. Do you agree or disagree with this position? Please explain your answers in detail.
2. February 9, 1999 Data Request
  1. With the current push for higher access rates to the Internet from the public sector, should a minimal data transmission speed be set for a POTS line. (Example: 9.6 Kbps, 14.4 Kbps, 28.8 Kbps, 33.6 Kbps, 56 Kbps, 256 Kbps, ....etc.)
  2. 2. Should the basic service charge reflect the difference in data access rates? (ie.. Should the charge reflect to the average rate for a wire center? Should there be an additional prorated charge for an average transmission rate above the standard?)
    Example: 9.6 Kbps Standard
    14.4 Kbps $3.00 per month
    33.6 Kbps $5.00 per month
    56.0 Kbps $8.00 per month
    256 Kbps $12.00 per month
  3. To expedite deployment of advanced telecommunications services such as xDSL, should the industry be allowed to collect a universal service charge to upgrade the present network to acquire higher digital transmission speeds?
  4. If higher transmission speeds are attained through means such as Fiber- To-The-Curb (FTTC) or ADSL, should this be considered basic service or a premium service?
  5. Should any other digital transmission standards be included in the definition of basic exchange telecommunications service? (Please explain your answer in detail.)
  6. Please provide a listing of data transmission speeds that are presently attainable in each wire center in your service territory. If different rates exist within a wire center, please explain?
3. June 30, 1999 "Broad Access and Internet Telephony Workshop" Topics
I. Redefining Basic Local Telecommunications Service (Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS))
A. What standard for data transmission is required for POTS under the definition in Section 364.02(2), Florida Statutes?
B. Should the definition of POTS cited above be changed to include a minimum standard for data transmission?
II. Technical considerations associated with including a data transmission standard in the definition of Basic Local Telecommunications Service.
A. What must be done to the local loop in order to establish a minimum data transmission standard?
B. What are the requirements for the provisioning of advanced services, such as ISDN and xDSL?
C. What are the technical considerations associated with switch limitations?
III. Equal Access
A. Availability of high-speed data transmission capabilities (ie. xDSL) to all subscribers
B. Differences in providing service to Urban vs. Rural areas
C. Connectivity between different technologies. (Compatibility)
A. Breaking down technological barriers
B. Collocation of competing equipment
IV. Upgrade of current facilities to meet data transmission standards
A. If required, how should public switched telephone network (PSTN) upgrades be funded?
B. Should monthly service charges reflect the average rate of transmission available per wire center? (Graduated Service)
C. Should market forces drive the upgrade of outside plant facilities?
V. Role of the Commission in monitoring data transmission standards
A. Interconnection enforcement (Carrier Services)
B. Wire Center monitoring (Service Evaluation)
4. Workshop Participants
The following made presentations and provided comments:
BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.
Mr. Steve Inman, Director - Federal Regulatory
Mr. Michael Goggin, General Attorney
Florida Office of Public Counsel
Mr. Earl Poucher,Legislative Analyst
GTE Florida
Ms. Kim Caswell, Attorney
MCI Worldcom
Mr. David Porter, Vice President, Government Affairs
Network Tallahassee
Mr. Ed Perrine, Operations Manager
Northeast Florida Telephone Company
Mr. Mike Griffis, Marketing & Public Relations Administrator
Northpoint Communications
Mr. Norman Horton, Attorney
Sprint LD
Mr. Michael West, Director - Industry & Technology Planning
TDS Telecom / Quincy Telephone
Mr. Tom McCabe, Manager - State Regulatory Affairs

IX. BIBLIOGRAPHY
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