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Blocking or Metering Broadband Access is a False Choice, Says New Report

n a report released today by the Free Press, Derek Turner, Research Director argues that, in light of recent FCC ruling against Comcast, it is a "false choice" to believe that "because application blocking is out of bounds, providers now will be forced to use some type of 'metering' to control network congestion." In other words, if ISPs are not allowed to block applications, then usage-based pricing is NOT their only other viable option, asserts Turner. more

Is Fiber Growth Slowing?

In a recent article in LightReading, Mike Dano cites data from industry analyst Cowan that shows that some of the largest fiber builders in the United States have already trimmed back their construction plans for 2023. AT&T has the largest retrenchment and is trimming 2023 plans from 3.5 to 4 million passings back to 2 to 2.5 million. The company says that it is not changing its long-term goal to reach 30 million passings with fiber, but a cutback of this size means it won't likely reach that target in 2025. more

Cable Companies Tout Speed Increases

Last month, NCTA -- The Internet and Television Association -- posted an article on its website touting the big increases in broadband speeds since the start of the pandemic. NCTA is the industry trade and lobbying association for medium-sized and large cable companies. The article touts that the average U.S. download speed has grown from 138 Mbps in March 2020, the first month of the pandemic, to 226 Mbps in June 2022. more

Internet Connection Speeds Up by 11% Globally Since Last Quarter of 2008

In the "Sate of the Internet Report" released by Akamai for the first quarter of 2009, the company reports that, on a global basis, the average connection speed increased by approximately 11% and more than 120 countries had average connection speeds under 1 Mbps (report based on date Q4 2008 through Q1 2009). Through Akamai's view of the Internet traffic (reported at approximately 1 billion users per day), the company also notes that in the first quarter of 2009, Japan had the highest percentage of connections (57%) at speeds above 5 Mbps while South Korea fell to second place for high broadband connectivity in the first quarter. more

Facebook Announces Plan to Make Internet Access Available to All, Launches Internet.org

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, on Tuesday announced the launch of internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people. more

China Developing Cyber Weapons to Gain Control of Enemy Satellites

According to a leaked US intelligence report, China is developing capabilities to "deny, exploit or hijack" enemy satellites as a core part of its goal to control information.  more

Broadband and Food Safety

I recently saw a presentation that showed how food safety is starting to rely on good rural broadband. I've already witnessed many other ways that farmers use broadband like precision farming, herd monitoring, and drone surveillance, but food safety was a new concept for me. The presentation centered around the romaine lettuce scare of a few months ago. The food industry was unable to quickly identify the source of the contaminated produce and the result was a recall of all romaine nationwide. more

Supporting Rural Cell Towers

I work with a lot of ISPs that own rural fiber. Some rural network owners have been successful in providing fiber to cell sites near their networks over the last decade. A few sell directly to a cellular carrier, but most of these connections are sold to an intermediate carrier that bundles together cellular connections across a large geographic area. more

WiFi QoE Assurance with TR-069 - Part 2: Optimizing a Single Access Point

As we have seen in the first installment of this series, TR-069 offers unprecedented visibility into the customer premises network to highlight devices beyond the gateway, and in the case of WiFi, the issues affecting service quality. Insights into the surrounding WIFI landscape alone provide ample data to provision the access point (AP) to operate in a part of the spectrum with the least amount of interference. more

Coalition for Digital Africa Announces IXP Initiative

This latest initiative announced by the Coalition for Digital Africa will focus on strengthening the Internet infrastructure across the continent by enhancing five existing Internet exchange points (IXPs). The initiative is supported by a grant from ICANN and will be implemented by the Internet Society (ISOC) and will involve identifying five IXPs based on their potential to make a high impact on the respective local and sub-regional markets. more

FCC Introduces Broadband Labels

The Federal Communications Commission has introduced new broadband labels in order to provide consumers of mobile and fixed broadband Internet service with an easy-to-understand information about price and performance. "These labels provide consumers clarity about the broadband service they are purchasing, not only helping them to make more informed choices but also preventing surprises when the first bill arrives," said Chairman Wheeler. more

An Update on Satellite Broadband

Ookla recently published a blog that looks at the speed performance of satellite broadband, focusing mostly on Starlink. I haven't looked at this broadband sector for a while and thought it was time for an update. Starlink has had a busy year. At the end of November, the company had 5,500 satellites in orbit, up from over 3,200 at the end of 2022. The first constellation is still slated to reach almost 12,000 satellites, and the company has tentative permission from the FCC to extend to 42,000. more

Are You Ready for WiFi 7?

It wasn't that long ago that we saw a major update to WiFi standards with the release of WiFi 6 in 2019 and WiFi 6E in 2020. But we're on the verge of the next generation of WiFi with the official launch of the new WiFi 7 standard in November 2022. There has already been a soft release of WiFi 7 routers in China, and we'll start seeing the new routers in the market here sometime this year. more

Suspected Chinese Interference Causes Internet Outages in Taiwan

Residents of Matsu, an outlying island of Taiwan, have been relying on a very limited internet connection for the past month after two submarine cables leading to Taiwan's main island were cut. This disruption to their lives has also caused significant implications for national security. more

Amazon Propels Into the Satellite Internet Race With New $120 Million Florida Facility

In an ambitious move, Amazon, in collaboration with state officials, has declared its plans to erect a high-tech satellite processing facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Backed by $120 million budget, this expansive 100,000-square-foot complex will be the keystone of Amazon's Kuiper initiative. more