Month: June 2012

Reinventing the Wheel

When the Amgen Tour of California rolls into Santa Rosa, provides critical speed.

As a 3rd year stage sponsor, delivered more speed than ever before to keep up with the race production team’s needs. Uplink speed was needed most, and this year we provided our FlexLink Ethernet 30/30Mbps symmetric link. This is roughly twenty times as fast as the typical consumer upstream connection. This fast link was used to power data and video uplinks that help deliver the ToC media experience.

Rolling Broadband! and the ToC Team used unconventional methods to deliver the necessary speed. Our connection had to be delivered to the on-site network, comprised of production vehicles in the middle of Mendocino Avenue.

We designed a new kind of wheel for the race: a rolling Internet connection. A cable spool with onboard FlexLink Ethernet over Copper equipment was staged in the City Hall telecom room, then rolled out before dawn to the race production vehicles as they deployed.

The hub, a video production trailer, connected various vehicles for the two day event to’s FlexLink Ethernet link. is proud to be an Amgen Tour of California stage sponsor, providing the fast Internet access to help make this event a speedy success.

Need an Ethernet link at your enterprise? Check out our FlexLink Ethernet services:

For more product updates, check us out on Facebook:


Broadband powered Tour of CA iPad App

The Site-LAN production hub



Death and taxes

Chart of FUSF rates from 1998 to 2012, rising from four percent to fifteen percent

The Federal Universal Service Fund fee has spent the last decade climbing upward without any apparent end in sight. This next quarter it is set to drop a little, but this isn’t an indication of a change in the overall trend: upward. A Fusion customer pays roughly $2.40 monthly toward the Federal Universal Service program today.

The goals of universal service are laudable. In particular, connecting schools which lack adequate broadband access and computers can only pay dividends through better education. However, the Universal Service fund and E-Rate programs have seen plenty of waste, fraud and abuse. Tens of millions of dollars have been misspent under the E-Rate program. And, three US carriers have received subsidies (pg32) of over $10,000 for every home phone line per year!

This program cannot continue to grow without an upper bound. The first two years of the FUSF program were reasonable and consistent, with a contribution factor of around 4%. Then, as the scope of the program increased, and as carriers learned how to dip deeply into the system, costs began to rise.

The FCC is working to reform the programs, with a cap on the size of the program. But, I believe we should push for rates to return to much lower levels. The reforms of the universal service system address support levels, price caps and inter-carrier billing methods. Hopefully as these changes are finally implemented, we will begin to see a more consistent rate. Reversing this chart is long overdue.