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The History of Broadband Price Competition

It's sometimes easy to forget that the broadband business is just over twenty-five years old. The telephone companies had a monopoly on copper-based technologies until Congress passed the Telecommunication Act of 1996, which forced the big telephone companies to allow competition for copper-based broadband services. more

May 13 Deadline to Nominate People for 2022 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award

Do you know someone who has made outstanding contributions in service to the Internet community? Someone who has made the Internet better in some way who deserves more recognition? Maybe someone who has helped extend Internet access to a large region? Or wrote widely-used programs that make the Internet more secure? Or served in some capacity behind the scenes in Internet services? more

Using LEOs and GEOs

Once you head away from the areas serviced by modern terrestrial cable infrastructure, the available digital communications options are somewhat limited. Some remote areas are served using High-Frequency radio systems, using radio signals that bounce off the ionosphere to provide a long-distance but limited bandwidth service. Or there are satellite-based services based on spacecraft positioned in geostationary orbital slots. more

The Death of Millimeter-Wave Cellular?

Apple recently announced that it is not building millimeter-wave spectrum antennas into the next generation SE iPhone. Interestingly, this is a phone sold by Verizon, which spent a year advertising on TV and showing us speed tests on cellphones that were receiving gigabit speeds. more

What Duopoly?

For the last twenty years, the industry has talked about broadband in cities as a duopoly, meaning there was competition between cable companies and telcos -- competition between cable modem broadband and DSL broadband. Twenty years ago, there was a true duopoly when the speeds on DSL and cable modem were close in capability. The market at that time demonstrated real duopoly behavior. more

Five Thousand SpaceX Starlink Terminals for Ukraine

On March 1, I wrote that a small number of SpaceX Starlink terminals had arrived in Ukraine, and they would be an important asset for distribution to selected government and resistance leaders and journalists. I didn't know who would get the terminals or how many there were, but it was a single truckload. A week or so later, we learned that two more shipments of terminals had arrived and fifty of them went to DTEK, a company struggling to repair Ukrainian electrical infrastructure. more

Truth in Broadband Advertising

We're all used to crazy advertising about telecom products that make industry folks shake their heads -- many of the ads about 5G come to mind. Most people don't realize that carriers in the industry routinely challenge the claims made by competitors to force them to modify or drop deceptive ads. Most of the largest corporations in the country belong to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is part of the Better Business Bureau and arbitrates disputes about advertising between participants in the plan. more

Can Satellite Broadband Be Affordable?

When we first heard of the possibility of broadband from low-orbit satellites, there was a lot of speculation that the technology could bring affordable broadband to the masses around the globe. The latest announcement from Starlink shows that affordable broadband is probably not coming in the immediate future. Starlink announced a premium tier of service with a $500 monthly fee for 150-500 Mbps. more

Voice Over IP – an Inflection Point

Voice over IP (VoIP) represents a sharp break from the traditional telephony. The story of VoIP is important in helping us think beyond the simplistic framing of a "digital transition". The first stage of any technology is emulating the old. Indeed, digital telephony was just like traditional analog telephony -- just FBC (Faster, Better Cheaper) but not fundamentally different. Merely changing from analog to digital isn't transformational in itself. But it creates the opportunity for transformation. more

The Battle for IoT

There is an interesting battle going on to be the technology that monetizes the control of Internet of Things devices. Like a lot of tech hype, IoT has developed a lot slower than initially predicted -- but it's now finally becoming a big business. I think back to a decade ago when tech prognosticators said we'd soon be living in a virtual cloud of small monitors that would monitor everything in our life. According to those early predictions, our farm fields should already be fully automated, and we should all be living in the smart home envisioned by the Jetsonsmore