Broadband

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Broadband Now or Later?

I just heard about a U.S. County that is using its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to build fixed wireless broadband. This is a traditional fixed wireless broadband technology that will probably deliver speeds of 100 Mbps to those close to the towers, slower speeds to homes further away, and which will not reach all homes in the County. more

A New Busy Hour – One of the Many Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the many consequences of the coronavirus is that networks are going to see a shift in busy hour traffic. Busy hour traffic is just what it sounds like -- it's the time of the day when a network is busiest, and network engineers design networks to accommodate the expected peak amount of bandwidth usage. Verizon reported on March 18 that in the week since people started moving to work from home that they've seen a 20% overall increase in broadband traffic. more

Consumers Worldwide Getting Better Deals on Broadband Access, Says New Study

According to a report released today by market research company Point Topic, consumers worldwide are getting better deals on broadband. Out of the three main broadband technologies, DSL, Cable, and Fiber, DSL has seen the largest worldwide fall in average price for a subscription which dropped from $66.75 in first quarter of this year to $53.32 in third quarter. That is a 20% drop in the first 3 quarters of the year. In comparison average subscription prices for cable are down just over 12% and for different versions of fiber (often called FTTx) down by 6.5%. more

Study Projects Broadband Sign-Ups to Fall by 12 Percent in 2009, Economic Downturn Blamed

The result of the economic downturn will force cable industry and telephone companies to face some unsettling prospects in terms of customer growth and revenue increases, according to a forecast by research firm, Pike & Fischer. According to the report released today, Pike & Fischer anticipates approximately 5.7 million U.S. households to become new high-speed Internet customers this year, marking a 12% decline in subscriber growth compared to 2008. The report also suggests that the cable industry will capture about 75% of new broadband subscribers. more

SpaceX Starlink Comes to South America

SpaceX has roughly 90,000 Starlink beta test customers in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and now they have one in South America -- in Sotomó, an isolated town at 41.6° South in Chile's Lake Region. Chile's second terminal will be online at a school in Caleta Sierra in a few days and other pilot locations will follow. Twenty families live in Sotomó and it is only accessible by private boats or subsidized services that navigate the Reloncaví Estuary on which it is located. 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

Using Bigger Bandwidth Applications

The recent Cisco Annual Internet Report for 2018–2023 had one chart that I found intriguing. The purpose of Cisco's report is to look at the future of broadband usage, and the report included a chart showing the amount of bandwidth needed for various web functions. To me, this list was reminiscent of the list that the FCC made in 2015 when they set the definition of broadband at 25/3 Mbps -- except that all of the items on this list require more bandwidth than the functions the FCC foresaw just five years ago. more

The Big Questions Facing the Telecom Industry

I took a pause the other day to think about the big issues facing the telecom industry. When I've done that in past years, I always came up with a few major issues and more smaller ones. But we are in such turmoil right now that I rattled off the following list quickly. I can't remember a time when our industry was wrangling with so many major issues at the same time. The industry's performance over the next decade is going to depend upon how we handle these issues. more

Broadband Benefitting US Households by Over $30 Billion Annually, According to Study

According to a recent study, broadband Internet access is now considered by many US households a necessity and they turn to broadband Internet during recession. The study released by Jonathan Orszag, Robert Willig, and Mark Dutz suggests that with $32 billion gains in 2008, consumers increasingly benefit from using broadband at home. "Once people get a taste of the entertainment, educational opportunities, social networking and everyday services that broadband access facilitates, they grasp the immense value it can add to their lives as a powerful tool, regardless of where they come from," said Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance Bruce Mehlman. "Once a broadband user, always a broadband user." more

It’s Time to Change the US’ Cuba-Internet Strategy

In a post last week, I advised Cuban President Díaz-Canel that investment in fixed broadband Internet would benefit both the Cuban people and his regime. This week, I've got advice for US President Biden -- don't try to out-pander the Republicans and call President Díaz-Canel's bluff by offering support for fixed broadband. What won't work... more

Truth in Broadband Advertising

We're all used to crazy advertising about telecom products that make industry folks shake their heads -- many of the ads about 5G come to mind. Most people don't realize that carriers in the industry routinely challenge the claims made by competitors to force them to modify or drop deceptive ads. Most of the largest corporations in the country belong to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is part of the Better Business Bureau and arbitrates disputes about advertising between participants in the plan. more

Let’s Get the Politics Out of Infrastructure

I believe the infrastructure of our country, states, and counties is critically important to our future. If we can get focused on infrastructure and global warming, the future for our kids and grandkids will be bright. All it takes is vision, leadership, and investment. Unfortunately, the issues have become politicized. In the case of infrastructure, the politicians have a tough time just defining what infrastructure is. 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

Ireland’s Solution to the Rural Divide

The pandemic has given the whole world a pause to consider if we should return to business as usual when the pandemic is behind us. Ireland has a unique reaction and is something that could make sense here. Ireland plans to provide incentives to lure people from cities back to smaller rural towns. Like much of the world, Ireland has seen decades of young people moving to cities to find work, leaving behind shrinking and aging rural towns. more

Let’s Not Forget the Lobbyists

Common Cause recently released a report, Broadband Gatekeepers, that describes the influence that lobbyists have on broadband policies. The numbers are staggering -- the ISP industry spent $234 million lobbying the 116th Congress (2019 and 2020). That number is likely understated since the rules on reporting lobbying are lax, and enforcement is almost nonexistent. That number doesn't include the huge amounts of lobbying efforts at State legislatures. more