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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

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

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