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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

UK to Implement Broadband Tax

Millions of households in UK will be paying a "broadband tax" in order to fund increase and improvement of broadband access in the country according to the Digital Britain white paper launched yesterday. BBC today reports: "One of the biggest surprises in the Digital Britain report was the news that everyone with a fixed line telephone would pay a broadband tax. At 50p a month the amount is unlikely to break the bank but experts are already questioning what it will buy." 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

Google Fiber Launches 5-Gig Service in 4 of Its 12 Existing Metro Markets

Google Fiber is boosting its internet speeds and availability by offering a new 5-gig tier in four of its existing markets. Nick Saporito, Head of Multi-gig and Commercial Product, made the announcement in a blog post on Valentine's day titled: Fall in love with fast -- 5 Gig is here! more

Unintended Consequences of Satellite Constellations

Astronomy & Astrophysics published a research paper recently that looked at "Unintended Electromagnetic Radiation from Starlink Satellites." The study was done in conjunction with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in the Netherlands. The LOFAR telescope is a network of over forty radio antennas spread across the Netherlands, Germany, and the rest of Europe. more

Using 42 GHz Spectrum for Broadband

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission circulated draft rules to govern the lower 42 GHz spectrum (between 42-42.5 GHz). This is within the range of spectrum referred to as millimeter wave spectrum. This is one of the more unusual FCC spectrum deliberations because this spectrum is totally empty -- there is nobody currently authorized by the FCC to use the spectrum band. The FCC is starting this deliberation with a clean slate. 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

U.S. Officials Asking Cuba to Speed Up Its Internet Infrastructure Build Out

A number of Senior U.S. officials and business leaders visited Cuba last week and urged the government to speed up its build out of Internet infrastructure and to make it more widely available, Mario Trujillo reports in The Hill. more

Internet Capacity Is Keeping Pace With Traffic Growth, Says Research Firm

According to new data from TeleGeography research group, international Internet traffic grew 53% between mid-2007 and mid-2008, down from 61% the preceding year. Traffic growth between the US and Latin America was especially fast, surging 112%. In contrast, traffic on internet backbones between major cities in the relatively more mature US market rose a modest 47%. For the second consecutive year, according to the study, total international Internet capacity grew faster than total Internet traffic, leading to lower utilization levels on many internet backbones. Between 2007 and 2008, average traffic utilization levels decreased from 31% to 29%... 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

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

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

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

Getting Serious About Satellite Texting

One of the more interesting telecom announcements at the CES electronics show in Vegas was the announcement from the partnership of Qualcomm and Iridium of plans to bring satellite texting capability to many more cell phones and other devices. We've already seen a few other announcements recently of the ability to make emergency text calls when out of reach of cell coverage. more

Experience is Paramount at the 2017 ANGA COM

Right as May turned into June, we joined thousands of attendees at the latest edition of ANGA COM in Cologne, Germany. Over the course of three days, I had the opportunity to listen and gain insights on the challenges faced today in the industry. As we're already aware, data consumption and demand continue to march upwards. This is further evident by the sheer amount of FTTx-related vendors and solutions present at the show. Cable service providers can look at DOCSIS 3.1 or tilt their HFC towards FTTx. more