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The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

Aalyria, a Space Internet Startup With Nearly a Decade’s Worth of Intellectual Property From Alphabet

Aalyria, a new space Internet company, just burst out of stealth mode. It is based on work done on Alphabet's "moonshot" Project Loon and Alphabet transferred almost a decade's worth of technology IP, patents, office space, and other assets to Aalyria in return for an equity stake in the company. Spacetime is Aalyria's intelligent network orchestration technology, and Tightbeam is its advanced atmospheric laser communications technology. more

SpaceX Introduces Affordability-Based Starlink Pricing

When SpaceX announced the price of the Starlink service, Elon Musk said it would be the same everywhere but I wrote that eventually it would be priced to be affordable in different nations. (If you predict enough things, you are bound to get something right). The fixed cost of a satellite Internet constellation is high -- satellites are expensive to make and launch -- but the cost of adding and servicing a new customer is low, and the market is global. more

Kyiv Independent Reports on Starlink in Ukraine

"Saint Elon" is a bit much but ... It started with a tweet from Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation. The quoted text below is excerpts from How Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet keeps Ukraine online in The Kyiv Independent. "Among the Ukrainian military, Elon Musk, the richest tech entrepreneur in the U.S., is often half-jokingly referred to as 'Saint Elon.'. The reason is Starlink, Musk's satellite communication system that keeps many Ukrainians, most importantly the military... more

“Africa & Latin America, It’s All Huawei” – End-To-End Manufacturing Drives the Cost Down

A rival tells me how hard it is to compete with Huawei because they manufacture so many products. “We had a good opportunity at one customer. Our software is just right for them. “They wanted to buy a complete system. We bundled our software with $4 million of equipment and bid aggressively at $7 million. Huawei came in with a bid of $4 million for hardware and software combined. They manufacture their own servers at a much lower cost than he could buy servers. 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

FCC Nixes Starlink and LTD Broadband

On August 10, the FCC issued a press release denying the long-form applications of Starlink and LTD Broadband in the RDOF reverse auction. This is big news because these are two of the biggest winners of the reverse auction. LTD Broadband was the largest winner of the auctions at $1.32 billion, while Starlink had claimed over $885 million in the auction. 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