FRAMINGHAM (04/27/2000) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission says it is concerned enough about the way some local carriers are deploying digital subscriber line (DSL) that it will hold a public forum on the subject May 10 to examine the key technical issues. Local carriers are deploying DSL via line cards in neighborhood remote terminals connected via fiber back to the central office.
Announcing the forum, the FCC said it "commends" efforts by big carriers to deploy fiber closer to end users but added that remote terminals often leave "little or no space available for collocation" by competitors.
The FCC says it also wants to explore "lifeline heat and power limitations" in remote terminals and "the complexity of developing back-office systems to manage these proposed network configurations," especially since several competitors' traffic could be mixed together on the fiber backhaul.
Competitive local exchange carriers in particular have complained about these and other potential hurdles in SBC Communications Inc.'s Project Pronto DSL rollout, which is based on up to 20,000 remote terminals.
Lucent Technologies Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. have demonstrated wireless technology that will boost wireless data speeds tenfold.
The technology, a variant of Code Division Multiple Access, supports 153K-bps wireless data speeds and is scheduled to be tested this summer by Bell Atlantic's wireless division, the newly named Verizon Wireless.
If those tests prove successful, customers could be using smart phones with faster Internet access by next year. Current wireless data speeds range up to 14.4K-bps.