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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