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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

Amazon Project Kuiper vs SpaceX Starlink

In 2019, I wrote that Amazon would be a formidable satellite-ISP competitor. I still think so, but I didn't expect it would be over four years until they launched the first test satellites. In the meantime, SpaceX has put over 5,000 satellites in orbit and has over two million Starlink customers. Amazon has permission to launch 3,236 satellites. more

An Update on Satellite Broadband

Ookla recently published a blog that looks at the speed performance of satellite broadband, focusing mostly on Starlink. I haven't looked at this broadband sector for a while and thought it was time for an update. Starlink has had a busy year. At the end of November, the company had 5,500 satellites in orbit, up from over 3,200 at the end of 2022. The first constellation is still slated to reach almost 12,000 satellites, and the company has tentative permission from the FCC to extend to 42,000. more

The Trajectory of the Broadband Industry

For well over a decade, it was fairly easy to understand the trajectory of the broadband industry. In the residential market, cable companies snagged all the growth while telcos shrank as customers abandoned DSL. Other technologies like fiber or fixed wireless gained customers but were a blip on the national scale. more

It’s the Latency, FCC

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 orders the FCC to "encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans." On October 25, The FCC issued a notice of inquiry (NOI) into how well we are doing and invited comments. The NOI points out that COVID and the concomitant increase in the use of interactive applications has "made it clear that broadband is no longer a luxury... more

Is Broadband Essential?

For many years, I've heard people say that broadband is essential. I read it in articles. I hear it on broadband panels and webcasts. I see it said in comments on social media. It's obvious that a whole lot of people think broadband is essential. But what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that broadband is important in a lot of people's lives, or does it mean that broadband is something that society can't live without? more

A Peek Inside the FCC

I write a lot about the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but I imagine a lot of folks don't realize the many functions the agency handles. Like any regulatory agency, the FCC staff and Commissioners have been tasked by Congress with a wide range of responsibilities. The public gets to hear from the FCC formally once each month ... more

From Loon to Taara: Google’s Moonshot Delivering Wireless Backhaul

You may recall a number of years ago when Google experimented with delivering broadband from balloons in an effort labeled Project Loon. The project was eventually dropped, but a remnant of the project has now resurfaced as Taara - broadband delivered terrestrially by lasers. more

Space-Ground Optical (Laser) Communication

SpaceX is equipping its new satellites with inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs). They now have over 8,000 optical terminals in orbit (3 per satellite) and they communicate at up to 100 Gbps. The other low-Earth orbit Internet service providers will follow SpaceX's lead. more

Is There a Role for ICANN in Satellite Internet Governance?

A recent invitation to participate in a webinar to discuss ICANN's Role in Satellite Internet Governance as an enabler of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 prompted me to consider this issue. As a legal scholar with expertise in telecommunications infrastructure, I had much to say and discuss about the new mega-constellation phenomenon and its potential role in achieving SDG9, which, for me, is a multifaceted and fascinating subject. more

Satellite Broadband Rivals: Beyond Starlink’s Dominance

Starlink gets almost all of the satellite press in the U.S., which is fair since the company now serves many homes and RVs with broadband. The company currently has over 4,600 active satellites in orbit, and if it sticks with its original business plan, it will eventually have 30,000. But there are a few other satellite companies working in the broadband space that don't get the press. more

FCC Gives Final Approval to Broadband Label Requirements, with Minor Modifications to 2022 Rules

At the end of August, the FCC gave final approval to the requirement that ISPs must provide broadband labels. The FCC had originally approved the broadband labels in November 2022 but then received three petitions to further modify the rules. The recent order makes a few minor changes to the original order but largely leaves the original broadband label rules intact. more

In Search of the Killer 5G App

AT&T and Comcast recently joined forces and joined the 5G Open Innovation Lab. This is a venture that has been funding start-ups and others working in 5G research. Along with looking to improve 5G edge technology, a primary goal of the OAI Lab is to search for killer apps for 5G. The two big companies join the other founding members of the effort, which includes Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Deloitte, and Nokia. more

Will Telesat Survive?

In 2017, Telesat, an established Canadian geostationary satellite operator, announced a planned low-Earth orbit Internet service constellation. The plan called for 117 satellites with inter-satellite laser links in a mix of inclined and polar orbits, enabling global coverage. more

News Briefs

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

Google Fiber Ramps Up Testing of Its 20 Gigabit Internet Service

China Developing Cyber Weapons to Gain Control of Enemy Satellites

Norwegian Cruise Line Joins the Fleet of Cruise Liners to Adopt Starlink Satellite Broadband Service

US-China Tech War Threatens Global Internet Infrastructure: China Plans $500 Million Subsea Cable Rival

Meta Spells Out Absurdity of EU’s Plan to Tax Big Tech for Broadband Expansion

China Takes on SpaceX: 13,000 Satellites to Compete With and Monitor SpaceX’s Starlink Constellations

Copper Thieves in New Brunswick Impacting Bell Aliant Customers

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