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FCC Implements Broadband Labels

The FCC voted recently to implement consumer broadband labels. This was required by section 60504 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The new rules will become effective after the Office of Management, and Budget approves the new rules and after the final notice is published in the federal register. ISPs will then generally have six months to implement the labels. The labels look a lot like the nutrition labels that accompany food. more

Justice Department Recommends That the FCC Deny the Proposed ARCOS Cable Segment Connecting Florida and Cuba

In September 2020, I wrote a post on a proposed 56-kilometer link between the ARCOS undersea cable and the north coast of Cuba, near Havana. The Trump-appointed Justice Department Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector was to conduct a 120-day security review of the proposal. more

My 2023 Broadband Predictions

This is my annual stab at predicting the major trends in the broadband industry in the coming year... This might be the least brave prediction I think I've ever made. The first iteration of the new map just came out, and there is a lot to like and hate about the new maps. Early reports, like from the State of Vermont, are that the new maps are pretty far off in identifying the locations that can buy broadband. more

Starlink Now Covers All of Australia

My colleague, Robert Smallwood in Geraldton, WA at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA Government), has been testing Starlink now since March 2022 and he reports on his experience and in general, provides updates about Starlink and its mother company, SpaceX. He allowed me to use his report to write this article. more

Businesses Are Ready for the Metaverse

The latest technology on the horizon is the metaverse, which, stated simply, is the creation of online environments. While the primary focus of the metaverse is to create alternate realities, an application with a possible immediate big uptake is vertical presence for business meetings. Ciena, a manufacturer of fiber optic transmission equipment, recently did a survey worldwide of 15,000 business people to understand the interests and expectations of the metaverse. more

The Price for Faster Upload Speeds

I've always been impressed by the marketing folks at the big cable companies. They are masters of extracting money from customers willing to pay for better broadband. The latest example comes from Comcast. The company is introducing a new product in the Northeast that offers faster upload speeds -- for a price. Comcast knows that its biggest weakness is upload speeds. more

Update on Satellite Broadband

The first announcement came from OneWeb. The company successfully launched 36 new satellites with rockets supplied by NewSpace India Limited. This new rocket company was formed in 2019 and is a public-sector undertaking sponsored by the Indian Government and an arm of the India Space Research Organization. This launch is a reminder that many parts of the world are now interested in the space business. more

How Are You Solving the Digital Divide

One of the most common questions I'm being asked these days is from local politicians and economic development folks who want examples of other communities that are tackling and solving the digital divide. I'm able to trot out the big-picture stories because they come to my attention in reading about the industry. As an example, just before I wrote this blog, I read an article that says that the State of Maryland will be providing 150,000 laptops to homes... more

The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

Using AM Radio Towers in Designing Wireless Networks

One existing resource that is often overlooked in designing wireless networks is AM radio towers. For the most part, companies deploying fixed wireless and microwave antenna have avoided these towers. This is due to the nature of AM radio, which transmits at such a low frequency that the entire tower is effectively used as the transmitting antenna. The entire tower is energized with the AM signal, and the typical AM tower sits on a base insulator that blocks the tower from being grounded.  more

Is the Defense Innovation Unit’s Hybrid Space Architecture the “ARPANET” of Space and Will It Run on Aalyria Spacetime?

The goal of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense is to strengthen our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and strengthening our allied and national security innovation bases. Space is one of its areas of focus and two of the space "lines of effort" are multi-orbit operations and logistics and hardware-to-software transformation modernization. more

Economy-of-Scale for ISPs

I've worked with a number of small communities that want to explore the idea of having a community-owned ISP. My advice to small communities is the same as with all clients - economy-of-scale really matters for ISPs. Economy-of-scale is the economic term for describing how businesses get more efficient as they get larger. It's fairly easy to understand, and the classic example is to look at the impact of the salary and costs of the general manager of an ISP.  more

Saint Martin Launches Smart-IX Internet Exchange Under CaribIX Project

The recent launch of a new internet exchange point in Saint Martin has propelled the territory towards a better, faster and more resilient Internet. The French Caribbean territory's new IXP, called Smart-IX, was launched in October under the auspices of a recently launched CaribIX project, which is coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), supported by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), funded by the INTERREG Caraïbes programme... more

Rural America is Losing Patience

From all across the country, I'm hearing that communities without broadband are tired of waiting for a broadband solution. Local broadband advocates and politicians tell me that folks with little or no broadband are hounding them about when they are going to see a broadband solution. A large part of the frustration is that folks have heard that broadband is coming to rural America but aren't seeing any local progress or improvement. more

Pinpointing Urban Broadband Gaps

The City of Chicago asked some researchers at the University of Chicago for help to identify the neighborhoods and the number of households that are not connected to broadband. It's been well known that large numbers of people in cities don't have broadband, but there have been no easy ways to pinpoint where solutions are needed. more

News Briefs

Ukraine’s Internet Access and Quality in Rapid Decline Since Russian Invasion

The Internet Infrastructure in Afghanistan (Event)

Google Cloud Lands Grace Hopper Subsea Cable in Bude, Cornwall

18 Million of the 22 Million Net Neutrality Comments Received by FCC in 2017 Were Fake

SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service Has Received 500K Preorders, Says the Company

Beavers Chewing Through Fiber Cable Cause Hundreds Lose Internet in a Canadian Remote Community

ISPs Saw a 30% Increase in Traffic During the Pandemic, 40% During Peak Business Hours

Alphabet to Shut down Loon, its Balloon Based Internet Access Project

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

New Digital Services Act Should Not Disrupt Internet’s Technical Operations, Warn RIPE NCC, CENTR

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

Google to Invest $10 Billion in India to Help Accelerate Its Digital Economy

Alphabet’s Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

Japan Fueling China’s Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX’s Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

SpaceX Launches Another Batch of 60 Starlink Internet Satellites

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

EU Commissioner Calls on Streaming Services to Switch Streaming Videos From HD to Standard Mode

Broadband Companies Take Connectivity Pledge Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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