Broadband

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The Birth of the Digital Divide

A lot of the money being spent on broadband infrastructure today is trying to solve the digital divide, which I define as a technology gap where good broadband is available in some places but not everywhere. The technology divide can be as large as an entire county that doesn't have broadband or as small as a pocket of homes or apartment buildings in cities that got bypassed. more

OneWeb and Intelsat Sign the First Multi-Orbit Broadband Agreement – More to Come

Last October, I reviewed multi-orbit tests and plans of several low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), and Geostationary (GEO) broadband satellite companies and quoted Neil Masterson, CEO of LEO operator OneWeb as saying, "Interoperability with GEO satellites must happen - it's common sense ... Customers don't care whether it's a LEO satellite or a GEO satellite - all they want is connectivity." 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

Bigger, Faster, Better (and Cheaper!)

Let's take a second to look back some 50 years to the world of 1972 and the technology and telecommunications environment at that time. The world of 1972 was one populated by a relatively small collection of massive (and eye-wateringly expensive) mainframe computers that were tended by a set of computer operators working around the clock and directed by specialized programmers, trained in the obscure symbol set used by the job control systems on these computers. more

Starlink Sales Are Straining Capacity in Parts of the U.S. And Canada

On June 5th Elon Musk said SpaceX had nearly 500,000 customers in 32 nations and 9 languages. By now, there must be 500,000 customers, most of whom are in the U. S. and Canada, and their performance is suffering. In the first quarter of this year, OOKLA reported that the median Starlink download speed fell from 104.97 to 99.55 Mbps in the U.S. and from 106.64 to 97.4 Mbps in Canada. more

The Impact of Open Connectivity

The Internet hints at the much larger possibilities of open connectivity in enabling discoveries such as the web but for the physical world. The ideas themselves go to a deeper level of thinking about how we build systems and how we can enable the future. This post is aimed at people building systems and devices which can be interconnected to create systems and meta-devices. more

No Love for the Big ISPs

It's the time of the year when the results come out for the American Customer Satisfaction Index that asks customers to rate their satisfaction with a wide range of industries and the larger companies within those industries. This is a huge nationwide poll that ranks the public's satisfaction with 400 large companies in 45 sectors. more

Is Cable Broadband Equal to Fiber?

As I have blogged over the years, I have to give kudos to the folks at the big ISPs who have steadily provided controversial quotes that are worth writing about. The latest comes in an article by Linda Hardest at FierceTelecom. She quotes Charter's CEO Tom Rutledge talking about comparing cable broadband to fiber. She quotes Rutledge as saying... more

The Internet as a Public Good

It is time to recognize the Internet as a public good - freely available like other basic infrastructures such as roads and sidewalks. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web by taking advantage of open connectivity available among universities and research institutions. Today we see that same open connectivity within corporations, in our homes, and on university campuses. more

Ten SpaceX Starlink Updates

Starlink now has nearly 500,000 users and is available in 32 countries and nine languages. It is either available, wait-listed, or coming soon in every nation except Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela. There are now 15,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine with service throughout the nation through connections to ground stations in Poland, Lithuania, and Turkey and they have made a significant contribution in the war with Russia. more

Can SpaceX Launch Version 2 Starlink Satellites This Year?

The answer to the question in the title depends on the availability of SpaceX's new Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster rocket, collectively referred to as Starship. Elon Musk says he is highly confident about getting Starship to orbit this year. He also says, "At SpaceX, we specialize in converting things from impossible to late." Starship is critical to Starlink because the version 2 satellites are seven meters long and weigh about 1.25 tons... 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

Putin’s Iron Firewall Is Porous

In 1946 Winston Churchill declared that Russia had lowered an iron curtain across Europe, and in 2022 Vladimir Putin created an iron firewall between the Russian Internet and media and the rest of the world, but, like its precursor, it is porous. Information wants to be free. more

Broadband for Communities

When talking about the benefits of broadband, it's easy to overlook how broadband has become the glue that brings people and communities together. This is becoming particularly important for rural communities but matters to people everywhere. Rural communities have been rapidly losing other forms of media that were the focal point in the past. 2004 was the peak of the newspaper business in terms of readership and revenues. more