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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

The Benefits of Thinner Fiber

Fiber manufacturers are always trying to make it easier to deploy fiber. One of the most interesting trends is the increasing migration from 250-micron fiber to 200-micron fiber. For those not familiar with the metric system, a micron is one-thousands of a millimeter. A 250-micron fiber has a diameter of 0.25 millimeters, while a 200-micron fiber has a diameter of 0.2 millimeters. 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

Net Neutrality: What Is Old Is New Again

On July 22, the FCC's open Internet order - which transforms Internet access service from a lightly regulated information service into a heavily regulated telecommunications service - will take effect. This article describes the policies and legal theories underlying the Order and the Order's effect on consumers of Internet services and providers of the service, including a number of entities that had previously escaped FCC regulation. more

New York City’s Broadband Reversal

New York City has done a 180-degree turnaround on the concept of the City providing broadband to low-income households. In 2020, then-May Bill de Blasio announced a plan to bring affordable broadband to low-income households. That Master Plan said that the City would make a $157 million infrastructure investment to provide broadband to around 600,000 homes that includes 200,000 residents of public housing. more

Loving and Hating Starlink

I'm such an industry nerd that I sometimes read customer reviews of large ISPs just to see how the public perceives them. Most ISPs have more negative reviews than positive ones, and that's to be expected since people are more likely to complain when things go wrong than give praise when things are working as promised. more

Damaged Internet Subsea Cables Repaired in Red Sea Amid Militant Attacks on Ships

Repairs on three crucial subsea telecommunications cables in the Red Sea, damaged since February, have begun despite ongoing militant attacks. The AAE–1 cable, a significant 25,000-kilometer fiber optic link between Asia and Europe, was repaired by E-Marine. more