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A Mature Broadband Market? (Implications and Industry Shifts)

It is becoming clear that the broadband market is reaching maturity. This is already causing havoc in the industry for ISPs that relied on year-over-year customer growth to prop up stock prices. Earlier this year, the New Street Research, a company that specializes in research in the telecommunications and technology sectors, said that it estimated that new broadband customers would grow by about 1 million this year. more

Two New Chinese Internet Service Constellations and Their Market

China’s plans for low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations began with two projects, Hongyun (156 satellites) and Hongyan (864 satellites). These were eventually sidelined for Guowang, an ambitious, 12,992 satellite constellation that is expected to begin launching satellites this year. But, that is old news. China’s five-year plan designates satellite Internet as a strategic emerging industry and two new constellations have emerged, G60 (12,000 satellites) and Honghu–3 (10,000 satellites). more

Satellites Directly to Cellphones

AT&T and satellite company AST SpaceMobile announced a partnership to provide satellite cellular service directly from satellites to cellphones. This will provide a service that is much needed for the billions of remote users who are not in the range of a cell tower. This is an emerging industry that is still being referred to by different acronyms. more

Solar Storms Threaten Broadband and Power Grids: Understanding the Impacts and Preparations

Many readers will have seen recent news that the aurora borealis, or northern lights, were visible deep into the South for several days. This phenomenon is caused by a geomagnetic storm that is caused by strong solar flares. Solar flares can cause problems on Earth by emitting clouds of magnetized particles and hot plasma. more

Building Resilient Broadband Networks: Lessons from the Power Industry’s Transformation

It's almost impossible to talk about broadband at the community level without talking about resiliency and redundancy. It's hard to find rural communities that haven't experienced a broadband outage due to a fiber being cut somewhere. The issue hits the news when there are reports of regional or national broadband outages. more

ISPs and AI: Enhancing Customer Experience and Network Efficiency

One of the most common questions I've been asked lately is what I think the impact AI will have on the broadband industry. All of the big ISPs in the industry have actively been pursuing the use of AI. For example, AT&T Labs says it is investigating the use of AI to optimize the customer experience and auto-heal the network. Comcast says that it is using AI to help process petabytes of data every day. more

Starlink Service Is Great on (Some) Cruise Ships

I recently used Starlink on a cruise along the coast of Northwest Africa, and I'll summarize my experience below, but first let me explain why I put some in the title of this post. I posted the following request on the Reddit Cruise group: "What has been your experience of Starlink Internet service on Seabourn or other cruise lines? How was latency? Do video chats work smoothly? Games? etc." more

How the Pandemic Changed Broadband

The Washington Post recently published an article with a series of graphs showing the impact of the pandemic on various economic indicators, including unemployment, wages, air travel, grocery prices, home prices, and consumer sentiment. The article got me thinking about the impact of the pandemic on the broadband industry, and several important changes emerged from our collective pandemic experience. more

U.S. Cable TV Industry’s Rapid Decline Continues: Over 6.9 Million Customers Cut the Cord in 2023

at the end of 2023. LRG compiles most of these numbers from the statistics provided to stockholders, except for Cox and Mediacom - they now combine an estimate for both companies. Leichtman says this group of companies represents 96% of all traditional U.S. cable customers. I suspect there are regular blog readers who wonder why I post these statistics every quarter. more

Massive African Internet Outage and the Fragility of Undersea Cables

Eight countries in West Africa reported Internet outages after damage was reported to four different undersea fiber cables. The most affected countries are Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Benin, with additional problems caused in Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Lesser impact was felt in South Africa, Senegal, and Portugal. There has been no official word on what caused the problem, but it's likely due to the shifting of the seabed due to seismic activity. more

Remote Learning and Preschoolers

A recent article in the MIT Technology Review described the benefits that remote learning can bring to preschoolers. The article described a study by the MacArthur Foundation that has not yet been peer-reviewed. The research described the results of bringing preschool to Syrian refugees. more

Starlink Has Begun Delivering Promised Latency Cuts

In his January 12 SpaceX update, Elon Musk said the biggest goal for Starlink from a technical standpoint is to get the mean latency below 20 ms. He expanded by saying that given the speed of light, 8 ms is the absolute minimum latency for a satellite at 550 km. He believes they can optimize terrestrial and inter-satellite links, and minimize queueing delays and dropped packets, to recude the the rest of the time to below 10 ms. more

Civilian Tech Mobilization in Ukraine

As was the case in the US during World War II, civilian volunteers are making important contributions to the Ukrainian war effort. On February 8, 2022, the first truckload of Starlink terminals arrived in Kyiv. A week later they were being used. By April 2022, there were 5,000 terminals in Ukraine, and 42,000 as of April 2023. (At this point, SpaceX and Ukraine have gone silent. Neither ChatGPT4, Gemini, Copilot, Perplexity, nor I could not find a current terminal count). more

Lies, Damn Lies, and Selective Statistics About Our Great Wireless Marketplace Thanks to the T-Mobile

In the February 13th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Thomas W. Hazlett offers a breathless endorsement of market concentration with the T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint, his go-to example. Apparently, mergers and acquisitions benefit consumers because they enhance competition and generate all sorts of positive outcomes that could not possibly have occurred but for the reduction in the number of industry players. more

Supporting Rural Cell Towers

I work with a lot of ISPs that own rural fiber. Some rural network owners have been successful in providing fiber to cell sites near their networks over the last decade. A few sell directly to a cellular carrier, but most of these connections are sold to an intermediate carrier that bundles together cellular connections across a large geographic area. more

News Briefs

Yemen’s Submarine Cable Repairs Hindered by Political Dispute

New FCC Rule Mandates Transparent Broadband Labels to Aid Consumer Choice

Scientists Set New Internet Speed World Record: 4.5 Million Times Faster Than Average Broadband

FCC Updates Broadband Speed Standard, Aims for Nationwide High-Speed Internet Acces

Subsea Cable Breaks Sever Internet Connectivity Across South Africa

Houthis Blamed for Disrupting Asia-Europe Communications by Damaging Underwater Cables

China’s Satellite Internet Ambitions: A Quest to Rival SpaceX

Widespread Network Outages Disrupt AT&T Services Across the US

Amazon’s Project Kuiper Successfully Tests Laser-Based Satellite Communication

China Reports Record-Breaking 1.2 Terabit-Per-Second Internet Speed Spanning 3,000km

Amazon Launched Its First Two Internet Satellites Into Orbit

FCC Chairwoman Wants Broadband Standard Boosted to 100Mbps Across the United States

SpaceX Set to Launch Jupiter 3, the World’s Largest Commercial Communications Satellite, on Falcon Heavy Rocket

Amazon Propels Into the Satellite Internet Race With New $120 Million Florida Facility

IEEE Approves 802.11bb Standard, Boosting Global Adoption of Light-Based Li-Fi Communications

White House Announces Historic $42 Billion Investment in Nationwide Broadband Access

Scientists Transmit Terabits Per Second Through Air, May Replace Undersea Cables

Satellite Spectrum Showdown: Musk’s Starlink vs. Ambani’s Reliance Jio in the Race for India’s Broadband Future

SpaceX and Indonesia Launch SATRIA-1 Satellite: A $540 Million Leap Towards Comprehensive Internet Connectivity

U.S. Government Invests $930 Million in Expanding Nationwide Internet Connectivity: Bridging Digital Divide in Remote and Underserved Regions

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