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My 2023 Broadband Predictions

This is my annual stab at predicting the major trends in the broadband industry in the coming year... This might be the least brave prediction I think I've ever made. The first iteration of the new map just came out, and there is a lot to like and hate about the new maps. Early reports, like from the State of Vermont, are that the new maps are pretty far off in identifying the locations that can buy broadband. more

Starlink Now Covers All of Australia

My colleague, Robert Smallwood in Geraldton, WA at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA Government), has been testing Starlink now since March 2022 and he reports on his experience and in general, provides updates about Starlink and its mother company, SpaceX. He allowed me to use his report to write this article. more

Businesses Are Ready for the Metaverse

The latest technology on the horizon is the metaverse, which, stated simply, is the creation of online environments. While the primary focus of the metaverse is to create alternate realities, an application with a possible immediate big uptake is vertical presence for business meetings. Ciena, a manufacturer of fiber optic transmission equipment, recently did a survey worldwide of 15,000 business people to understand the interests and expectations of the metaverse. more

The Price for Faster Upload Speeds

I've always been impressed by the marketing folks at the big cable companies. They are masters of extracting money from customers willing to pay for better broadband. The latest example comes from Comcast. The company is introducing a new product in the Northeast that offers faster upload speeds -- for a price. Comcast knows that its biggest weakness is upload speeds. more

The Fibre Optic Path

In August 1858, Queen Victoria sent the first transatlantic telegram to U.S. President James Buchanan. The cable system had taken a total of four years to build and used seven copper wires, wrapped in a sheath of gutta-percha, then covered with a tarred hemp wrap and then sheathed in an 18-strand wrap, each strand made of 7 iron wires. It weighed 550kg per km, with a total weight of over 1.3Mkg. more

Update on Satellite Broadband

The first announcement came from OneWeb. The company successfully launched 36 new satellites with rockets supplied by NewSpace India Limited. This new rocket company was formed in 2019 and is a public-sector undertaking sponsored by the Indian Government and an arm of the India Space Research Organization. This launch is a reminder that many parts of the world are now interested in the space business. more

Cloud Gaming

Gaming is a huge business. In 2021, gaming generated $214 billion in revenues worldwide. That represents over 6% of all spending on entertainment. Gaming market experts are predicting that this will grow to over 10% during this decade. The pandemic triggered a growth spurt in gaming, with revenues almost tripling since 2019. During that time, there was also a big change in the dynamics of the industry, where many games are offered for free. more

The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

Using AM Radio Towers in Designing Wireless Networks

One existing resource that is often overlooked in designing wireless networks is AM radio towers. For the most part, companies deploying fixed wireless and microwave antenna have avoided these towers. This is due to the nature of AM radio, which transmits at such a low frequency that the entire tower is effectively used as the transmitting antenna. The entire tower is energized with the AM signal, and the typical AM tower sits on a base insulator that blocks the tower from being grounded.  more

Is the Defense Innovation Unit’s Hybrid Space Architecture the “ARPANET” of Space and Will It Run on Aalyria Spacetime?

The goal of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense is to strengthen our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and strengthening our allied and national security innovation bases. Space is one of its areas of focus and two of the space "lines of effort" are multi-orbit operations and logistics and hardware-to-software transformation modernization. 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

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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