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Kyiv Independent Reports on Starlink in Ukraine

"Saint Elon" is a bit much but ... It started with a tweet from Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation. The quoted text below is excerpts from How Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet keeps Ukraine online in The Kyiv Independent. "Among the Ukrainian military, Elon Musk, the richest tech entrepreneur in the U.S., is often half-jokingly referred to as 'Saint Elon.'. The reason is Starlink, Musk's satellite communication system that keeps many Ukrainians, most importantly the military... more

LunaNet – Developing the Internet for the Moon

The NASA-sponsored Artemis program is the first step in the next era of human exploration. Together with a large number of international government and academic partners as well as businesses -- and based on international standards -- NASA will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon. 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

The Politics of Submarine Cable in the Pacific

There was a naive idealism in the early days of the Internet that attempted to rise above the tawdry game of politics. Somehow, we thought that we had managed to transcend a whole set of rather messy geopolitical considerations that plagued the telephone world and this new digital space that the Internet was creating was simply not going to play by the old rules. 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

A Disturbing View of Future Cable Broadband

There was a recent article in FierceTelecom that quotes a leading cable company consultant as saying that cable companies are not likely to universally upgrade broadband networks in the future. The consultant is Sean McDevitt, a partner at Arthur D. Little, a consulting firm that largely works for the giant ISPs. In the past, when a cable company migrated from DOCSIS 1.0 to 2.0 and to 3.0, everybody in a community was upgraded to the latest technology. more

Starlink to Go - Stress Tested in Ukraine and Now Available to You

Russians have targeted Ukrainian electricity and communication infrastructure. In some areas, there may not be any utility poles left standing, and underground conduits may have been bombed to oblivion. Starlink has been an important tool for these brave people to coordinate their resistance to Putin's brutal invasion. Satellite communication doesn't require any middle-mile infrastructure. more

An Easier Way to Define Broadband

Our broadband policies always seem to lag the market. If and when the FCC seats the fifth Commissioner, it's expected that the agency will raise the definition of broadband from 25/3 Mbps to 100/20 Mbps. That change will have big repercussions in the market because it will mean that anybody that can't buy broadband speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps would not have broadband. That's how an official broadband definition works -- you either have broadband, or you don't. more

SpaceX to Launch Satellites for Competitor OneWeb

On March 2, Russia covered the US flag on the Roscosmos Space Agency rocket that was scheduled to launch 36 OneWeb broadband satellites on March 5. The Russians made two obviously untenable demands -- that OneWeb guarantee that the satellites would not be used for military purposes and the United Kingdom government remove its investment in the company. OneWeb declined, and the satellites were removed from the rocket. more

Network Requirements for the Metaverse

I've often joked that I don't play computer games because I'm holding out for a holodeck. While that may sound ridiculously far-future, we're on the verge of seeing the web-based virtual reality that will be a major step towards a holodeck. There is already some awesome virtual reality software and games where a person can get immersed in another world using a headset. more

Telstra’s OneWeb Deal Caught Up in the Russian War

Telstra might regret having signed a commercial deal with London-based OneWeb as this company has now become a pawn in the war between Russia and Ukraine. Telstra agreed to host two OneWeb gateway Earth stations in Australia, one in the west and one in the north, which would also cover the APAC region, with a third Earth station currently under discussion for the east coast. more

Why Over Compliance With Sanctions at Internet Infrastructure Level Can Have Devastating Effects on Ordinary People

On Friday, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's digital transformation minister, asked Cloudflare and Amazon to stop serving Russian web resources and protecting Russian services. He said in a tweet that Ukraine was "calling on Amazon to stop providing cloud services in Russia." He also said that "Cloudflare should not protect Russian web resources while their tanks and missiles attack our kindergartens." more

The Explosive Growth of Worldwide Broadband Usage

Sandvine gathers data from the 160 largest fixed and wireless ISPs on the planet to understand Internet usage trends. The statistics discussed below come from the Sandvine January 2022 Global Internet Phenomena Report. Sandvine identifies several current industry trends... more

Starlink’s zoomready Rating Is Going Down

zoomready is open-source shareware I wrote to measure the suitability of an internet connection for teleconferencing. As you can see above, Starlink had an average zoomready rating of 2.66 out of a possible 3.0 over the four measured days. The problem is NOT bandwidth, which has fluctuated but stayed above the minimums needed for good teleconferencing. The problems are failures (most of them short), latency, and jitter. more

Why Did Russia Test an Anti-Satellite Missile and Why Doesn’t China Condemn the Test?

On November 15th, Russia used an anti-satellite missile to destroy COSMOS 1408, a defunct spy satellite. The explosion quickly created over 1,500 pieces of trackable debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces. As a precautionary measure, the astronauts on the International Space Station, two of whom are Russians, took shelter in escape shuttles during two orbits. The anti-satellite test was widely criticized, but the Russian defense ministry released a statement saying... more

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