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How Safe is Your Fiber Network?

There was a major attack launched against long-haul fiber networks outside of Paris, France, on April 27 of this year. It appears that there was a coordinated attack by vandals to cut three long-haul fiber routes simultaneously. Fibers were cut with what seemed like a circular saw, and sections of fiber were removed to make it hard to make repairs. These were backbone fibers that were shared by multiple ISPs. more

SpaceX Starlink’s Variable Pricing Pilot in France Is Good Business and Good Karma

Starlink is available in 37 nations, and the price for best effort service was the same everywhere until August 3, when variable pricing with throttling became available in France. I predicted they would eventually shift from uniform to affordable pricing some time ago, but why did they do it now? Starlink first became available in the U.S. and Canada, and sales are beginning to outrun the available capacity. more

Reusing Existing Easements for Building New Fiber Networks

Casey Lide and Thomas B. Magee of Keller & Heckman highlight an issue that anybody building fiber on utility poles should be aware of. A recent article on their website notes that in some cases, an easement obtained for using private land to bring electric service might not automatically allow an easement for bringing fiber. more

Starlink Sales Are Straining Capacity in Parts of the U.S. And Canada

On June 5th Elon Musk said SpaceX had nearly 500,000 customers in 32 nations and 9 languages. By now, there must be 500,000 customers, most of whom are in the U. S. and Canada, and their performance is suffering. In the first quarter of this year, OOKLA reported that the median Starlink download speed fell from 104.97 to 99.55 Mbps in the U.S. and from 106.64 to 97.4 Mbps in Canada. more

The Proliferation of Microtrenching

There is an interesting new trend in fiber construction. Some relatively large cities are getting fiber networks using microtrenching. Just in the last week, I've seen announcements of plans to use microtrenching in cities like Mesa, Arizona, and Sarasota Springs, New York. In the past, the technology was used for new fiber networks in Austin, Texas, San Antonia, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. more

A New Definition of Broadband?

FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel has circulated a draft Notice of Inquiry inside the FCC to kick off the required annual report to Congress on the state of U.S. broadband. As part of preparing that report, she is recommending that the FCC adopt a new definition of broadband of 100/20 Mbps and establish gigabit broadband as a longer-term goal. I have a lot of different reactions to the idea. more

The Impact of Open Connectivity

The Internet hints at the much larger possibilities of open connectivity in enabling discoveries such as the web but for the physical world. The ideas themselves go to a deeper level of thinking about how we build systems and how we can enable the future. This post is aimed at people building systems and devices which can be interconnected to create systems and meta-devices. more

No Love for the Big ISPs

It's the time of the year when the results come out for the American Customer Satisfaction Index that asks customers to rate their satisfaction with a wide range of industries and the larger companies within those industries. This is a huge nationwide poll that ranks the public's satisfaction with 400 large companies in 45 sectors. more

How Fast is Starlink Broadband?

We got a recent analysis of Starlink broadband speeds from Ookla, which gathers huge numbers of speed tests from across the country. The U.S. average download speeds on Starlink have improved over the last year, from an average of 65.72 Mbps in 1Q 2021 to 90.55 Mbps in 1Q 2022. But during that same timeframe, upload speeds got worse, dropping from an average of 16.29 Mbps in 1Q 2021 to 10.70 Mbps in 1Q 2022. more

Is Cable Broadband Equal to Fiber?

As I have blogged over the years, I have to give kudos to the folks at the big ISPs who have steadily provided controversial quotes that are worth writing about. The latest comes in an article by Linda Hardest at FierceTelecom. She quotes Charter's CEO Tom Rutledge talking about comparing cable broadband to fiber. She quotes Rutledge as saying... more

The Internet as a Public Good

It is time to recognize the Internet as a public good - freely available like other basic infrastructures such as roads and sidewalks. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web by taking advantage of open connectivity available among universities and research institutions. Today we see that same open connectivity within corporations, in our homes, and on university campuses. more

Bringing Broadband to the Arctic

The Arctic region has largely been left out of the broadband arena in the past due to the high cost of building last-mile broadband infrastructure. The primary broadband available in the region has been provided for decades by Iridium Communications, which provided only low-bandwidth connections capable of supporting satellite phones and low-bandwidth monitoring devices. more

Ten SpaceX Starlink Updates

Starlink now has nearly 500,000 users and is available in 32 countries and nine languages. It is either available, wait-listed, or coming soon in every nation except Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela. There are now 15,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine with service throughout the nation through connections to ground stations in Poland, Lithuania, and Turkey and they have made a significant contribution in the war with Russia. more

Content vs Carriage – Who Pays?

There was a common catch cry in the early 1990s that "the Internet must be free!" Some thought this was a policy stance relating to the rejection of imposed control over content. Others took this proposition more literally as "free, like free beer!" It might sound naive today, but there was a widespread view at the time that the Internet was able to cast aside conventional economics and operate the Internet infrastructure without charging end-users at all! more

Can SpaceX Launch Version 2 Starlink Satellites This Year?

The answer to the question in the title depends on the availability of SpaceX's new Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster rocket, collectively referred to as Starship. Elon Musk says he is highly confident about getting Starship to orbit this year. He also says, "At SpaceX, we specialize in converting things from impossible to late." Starship is critical to Starlink because the version 2 satellites are seven meters long and weigh about 1.25 tons... 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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