For customers not offered broadband services by cable companies or ILECs.
Satellite and wireless broadband Internet access to consumers.
By early 2002,DirecPC and StarBand used geostationary satellites that orbit the earth 36,000 kilometers(22,000 miles) above the equator at the same speed as the earth’s rotation to communicate with fixed-orientation dish antennas attached to customers’ homes.
As with satellite TV,trees and heavy rains could affect reception of the Internet signals.
This networking protocal(standard) governed wireless local area networks that could transfer data at speed of up to 11 Mbs., faster than the less 1Mbs. That DSL provided, and far faster than the 144Kbs. data transmission rates that 3G mobile service providers planned.
Users communicated with WiFi transmitters or base stations, known as “hot spots,” via small antennas connected to devices such as desktop or laptop computers and personal digital assistants.
Providers emerged offering subscription-based WiFi broadband Internet access via a growing network of hotels, coffee shops, airports and other facilities.
Almost 90% of the market was controlled by and other large players such as cable MSOs and RBOCs
EarthLink’s customers or dealt directly with EarthLink, which in turn leased access lines from ILECs or cable companies.
Broadband access was a big problem for EarthLink.
EarthLink pays between $125 million and $150 million each year each year for access to the four largest ILECs.But that figure is still too small to get their attention. They continue to make decisions about pricing without consulting EarthLink.
EarthLink now had access throughout the Time Warner cable system.
Broadband, along with Voice Over Internet Protocol(VoIP), coexisted awkwardly with the Internet, access to which straddled two highly regulated industries, cable companies and RBOCs, which themselves were undergoing fundamental regulatory and technological changes.
In 2004, long distance carriers MCI, Sprint and wrote down a total of $19 billion of phone assets.
The RABOC’s revenue from local phone services declined by $15 billion between 2001 and 2004, falling 7% a year.