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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

Industry Updates