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How Safe is Your Fiber Network?

There was a major attack launched against long-haul fiber networks outside of Paris, France, on April 27 of this year. It appears that there was a coordinated attack by vandals to cut three long-haul fiber routes simultaneously. Fibers were cut with what seemed like a circular saw, and sections of fiber were removed to make it hard to make repairs. These were backbone fibers that were shared by multiple ISPs. more

SpaceX Starlink’s Variable Pricing Pilot in France Is Good Business and Good Karma

Starlink is available in 37 nations, and the price for best effort service was the same everywhere until August 3, when variable pricing with throttling became available in France. I predicted they would eventually shift from uniform to affordable pricing some time ago, but why did they do it now? Starlink first became available in the U.S. and Canada, and sales are beginning to outrun the available capacity. more

Bigger, Faster, Better (and Cheaper!)

Let's take a second to look back some 50 years to the world of 1972 and the technology and telecommunications environment at that time. The world of 1972 was one populated by a relatively small collection of massive (and eye-wateringly expensive) mainframe computers that were tended by a set of computer operators working around the clock and directed by specialized programmers, trained in the obscure symbol set used by the job control systems on these computers. more

The Impact of Open Connectivity

The Internet hints at the much larger possibilities of open connectivity in enabling discoveries such as the web but for the physical world. The ideas themselves go to a deeper level of thinking about how we build systems and how we can enable the future. This post is aimed at people building systems and devices which can be interconnected to create systems and meta-devices. more

No Love for the Big ISPs

It's the time of the year when the results come out for the American Customer Satisfaction Index that asks customers to rate their satisfaction with a wide range of industries and the larger companies within those industries. This is a huge nationwide poll that ranks the public's satisfaction with 400 large companies in 45 sectors. 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

Is Cable Broadband Equal to Fiber?

As I have blogged over the years, I have to give kudos to the folks at the big ISPs who have steadily provided controversial quotes that are worth writing about. The latest comes in an article by Linda Hardest at FierceTelecom. She quotes Charter's CEO Tom Rutledge talking about comparing cable broadband to fiber. She quotes Rutledge as saying... more

The Internet as a Public Good

It is time to recognize the Internet as a public good - freely available like other basic infrastructures such as roads and sidewalks. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web by taking advantage of open connectivity available among universities and research institutions. Today we see that same open connectivity within corporations, in our homes, and on university campuses. 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

Can SpaceX Launch Version 2 Starlink Satellites This Year?

The answer to the question in the title depends on the availability of SpaceX's new Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster rocket, collectively referred to as Starship. Elon Musk says he is highly confident about getting Starship to orbit this year. He also says, "At SpaceX, we specialize in converting things from impossible to late." Starship is critical to Starlink because the version 2 satellites are seven meters long and weigh about 1.25 tons... more

Getting Ready for the Metaverse

In a recent article in LightReading, Mike Dano quotes Dan Rampton of Meta as saying that the immersive metaverse experience is going to require a customer latency between 10 and 20 milliseconds. The quote came from a Wireless Infrastructure Association Connect (WIAC) trade show presentation. Dano says the presentation was aimed at big players like American Tower and DigitalBridge, which are investing heavily in major data centers. 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

Putin’s Iron Firewall Is Porous

In 1946 Winston Churchill declared that Russia had lowered an iron curtain across Europe, and in 2022 Vladimir Putin created an iron firewall between the Russian Internet and media and the rest of the world, but, like its precursor, it is porous. Information wants to be free. more

Broadband for Communities

When talking about the benefits of broadband, it's easy to overlook how broadband has become the glue that brings people and communities together. This is becoming particularly important for rural communities but matters to people everywhere. Rural communities have been rapidly losing other forms of media that were the focal point in the past. 2004 was the peak of the newspaper business in terms of readership and revenues. 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

News Briefs

Ukraine’s Internet Access and Quality in Rapid Decline Since Russian Invasion

Google Cloud Lands Grace Hopper Subsea Cable in Bude, Cornwall

18 Million of the 22 Million Net Neutrality Comments Received by FCC in 2017 Were Fake

SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service Has Received 500K Preorders, Says the Company

Beavers Chewing Through Fiber Cable Cause Hundreds Lose Internet in a Canadian Remote Community

ISPs Saw a 30% Increase in Traffic During the Pandemic, 40% During Peak Business Hours

Alphabet to Shut down Loon, its Balloon Based Internet Access Project

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

ICANN Introduces Pandemic Internet Access Reimbursement Program

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

U.S. Department of Energy Unveils Blueprint for the Quantum Internet

UK Bans Huawei 5G Equipment, Also Orders 5G Kit to Be Removed From UK Networks by 2027

Google to Invest $10 Billion in India to Help Accelerate Its Digital Economy

Alphabet’s Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

Japan Fueling China’s Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX’s Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

SpaceX Launches Another Batch of 60 Starlink Internet Satellites

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

EU Commissioner Calls on Streaming Services to Switch Streaming Videos From HD to Standard Mode

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WiMAX vs. WiFi

Introductory Remarks from Innovation ‘08

WiMAX vs. LTE

Three Undersea Cables Cuts Cause Significant Disruption in Europe and Asia

Verizon Mandates IPv6 Support for Next-Gen Cell Phones

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