Broadband 101 Class

August 5 – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm


David Reed

University of Colorado: Scholar in Residence

Broadband 101 Session – The Basics of Broadband

This pre-conference session will cover the basic concepts of broadband networking technology, economics, and public policy that all industry managers, public policy and government decision makers need to know. The session is geared to all levels of technical expertise using straightforward, non-technical language.

Learning Objectives – After this session, you should be able to:

  • Give a description of broadband networks
  • Understand the different broadband wireline and wireless access network technology options, along with their strengths and weaknesses in carrying high-speed data services.
  • Describe underlying trends and economic trade-offs in the deployment of the different broadband network options, and prospects for competitive deployment.
  • Understand key spectrum management regulations of the Federal Communications Commission to reduce the cost of Internet connectivity.
  • Discuss key broadband policy principles and the significant new policy developments impacting Broadband as a Universal Service, Net Neutrality, and Internet performance metrics that are shaping the deployment of broadband infrastructure today.

Session Outline (4-hours duration)

Part I: Wireline Broadband Networks (first two hours)

  • Understanding Broadband Networks
    • Basic network components and software systems
    • The “layered” Internet architecture
  • Future Trends in Wireline Broadband Networks
    • Copper, Coax, and Fiber Networks
  • Future Trends in Wireless Broadband Networks
    • Wi-Fi, 5G, Fixed Wireless Access, Satellite Mega Constellations, and Small Cells


Coffee Break (20 minutes)


Part II: Broadband Policy Topics (second two hours)

  • Spectrum Management Basics
  • Regulations to Open Network Access: New Net Neutrality Rules
  • Broadband as a Universal Service
    • Broadband Plans and Government Subsidies (BEAD Program, Digital Equity Act)
  • Putting It All Together Via the Definition of Broadband – Role of Internet Performance Metrics