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A Brief Primer on Anti-Satellite Warfare Tactics

Satellites make it possible for governments to provide essential services, such as national defense, navigation, and weather forecasting. Private ventures use satellites to offer highly desired services that include video program distribution, telecommunications, and Internet access. The Russian launch of a satellite, with nuclear power and the likely ability to disable satellites, underscores how satellites are quite vulnerable to both natural and manmade ruin. more

Lies, Damn Lies, and Selective Statistics About Our Great Wireless Marketplace Thanks to the T-Mobile

In the February 13th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Thomas W. Hazlett offers a breathless endorsement of market concentration with the T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint, his go-to example. Apparently, mergers and acquisitions benefit consumers because they enhance competition and generate all sorts of positive outcomes that could not possibly have occurred but for the reduction in the number of industry players. more

The End of Rural Landlines?

Recent coverage by CBS News on Channel 13 in Sacramento, California documented how AT&T had cut off landline telephone from 80-year-old Patricia Pereira in Camp Seco. She called at the beginning of 2023 to ask if landline service could be transferred from a neighboring home to hers. Instead of transferring the service, AT&T cut the copper lines dead on both properties. more

Unveiling the Lead Legacy: Addressing the Challenges of Abandoned Telephone Cables

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the possible contamination of copper telephone cables with outer lead sheathing. I'm not linking to the article because it is behind a paywall, but this is not a new topic, and it's been written about periodically for decades. The authors looked at locations around the country where lead cables are still present around bus stops, schools, and parks. more

EU “Fair Share” Contagion: Caribbean Telecoms Operators Seek to Deepen Their Monopoly Strangleholds

On Friday, 23rd June, Caribbean telecommunications operators (telcos) held a meeting in Miami to fine tune their strategy to force Big Tech companies to contribute financially to regional telecoms network infrastructure. Hosted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), and taking a similar perspective to the "fair share" proposal currently being debated in the European Union, regional network operators are arguing that over-the-top (OTT) service providers are responsible for 67 percent of the total Internet traffic in the Caribbean, but make no contributions or investments toward local delivery networks. 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

RIPE 86 Bites: Gigabits for EU

Rudolph van der Berg presented on the latest updates from the ongoing tensions in the Internet industry between carriage infrastructure providers and content providers, with a European perspective. The carriage providers in the EU region are asserting that they're making major capital investments in augmenting the access network infrastructure to carry gigabit traffic volumes, which is largely streaming content, while at the same time the content providers were getting a free ride, or so goes the argument. more

FCC Touts 6G

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has seemingly joined forces with the marketing arm of the cellular industry in declaring that the spectrum between 7-16 GHz is now considered to be 6G. Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel recently announced that the agency would soon begin looking at the uses for this spectrum for mobile broadband.  more

The Internet as a Public Utility

I recently attended a workshop on Lessons Learned from 40 Years of the Internet, and the topic of the Internet as a Public Utility in the context of national regulatory frameworks came up. For me, 40 years is just enough time to try and phrase an answer to the big policy question: Has the Internet been a success in the experiment of using market forces to act as an efficient distributor of a public good? Or has it raised more issues than it has addressed? more

The Trade War for Undersea Fiber

A recent article by Joe Brock for Reuters describes a new geopolitical battle over undersea fibers. There are about 400 undersea fiber routes that cross oceans and that connect the world with fiber. This is a huge business, and about 95% of all international broadband traffic passes through the undersea fibers. more