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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 Cara├»bes 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

Broadband Satellite Issues

One of the most interesting aspects of serving broadband from low-orbit satellites is that it brings issues related to space into broadband discussion. Space issues were less important for high earth orbit satellites that sit 20,000 miles above the earth. Other than an occasional impact from sunspots, there wasn't much of note. But there are two recent events that highlight our new focus on low-earth orbit satellites. more

Google Fiber to Push Speed Limits Again

Dinni Jain, the CEO of Google Fiber, posted a blog last week that talks about dramatically increasing the top speeds available on fiber. He says the specific announcement will come in the coming months to dramatically expand Google Fiber's gigabit offerings. The blog gives a hint at what might be coming. Included in the blog is a speed test from the home of a Google Fiber employee in Kansas City who is receiving 20.2 Gbps. more

Aalyria, a Space Internet Startup With Nearly a Decade’s Worth of Intellectual Property From Alphabet

Aalyria, a new space Internet company, just burst out of stealth mode. It is based on work done on Alphabet's "moonshot" Project Loon and Alphabet transferred almost a decade's worth of technology IP, patents, office space, and other assets to Aalyria in return for an equity stake in the company. Spacetime is Aalyria's intelligent network orchestration technology, and Tightbeam is its advanced atmospheric laser communications technology. more

Broadband Deserts

Perhaps it's because the death of Queen Elizabeth has been everywhere in the news, but somebody sent me an article from the BBC from 2008 where then Prince Charles warned that the lack of rural broadband in the UK was going to eventually result in broadband deserts. The now King Charles III was quoted as saying that lack of broadband puts too much pressure on the people who live without broadband and that if a solution wasn't found... more

Why Facebook Is Not a Common Carrier

The ever-entertaining Fifth Circuit has recently upheld a strange Texas law that forbids most kinds of social media moderation. (Techdirt explains many of the reasons the court is wrong, so I won't try.) This brings us to the trendy question of whether Facebook, Twitter, et al. should be treated as common carriers. You can make a good argument to separate the point-to-point data transport from the ISP and make the former common carriage. more

Satellite Cell Service: What’s Coming

T-Mobile and Starlink made a joint announcement recently about an arrangement where Starlink will enable voice and texting capabilities to T-Mobile cellphones by the end of 2023. This is a service that would work with existing cell phones and would supposedly kick in when a phone can't find a signal from a cell tower. Starlink said the technology would be enabled by new satellites that have significantly larger antennae than the current satellites in the constellation. more

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