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The Problem Of 5G Hype

I'm writing this as the 5G hype cycle reaches a new crescendo. What is most striking is how few of those touting 5G (or "private 5G") is how little technical detail there is beyond saying it is the next generation of cellular protocols. Yes, one can look at volumes of specifications with myriad options and flavors but no sense of 5G as such. That alone should make one suspicious - why does one have to eschew wires to get 5G? more

Do You Know Someone Who Should Be in the Internet Hall of Fame? Nominations Now Open Until March 24

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for helping build the Internet in their region or country? Or someone who made the Internet more secure through the work they've done? Or someone who made some major technical innovation that made the Internet faster or better? more

Businesses Are Ready for the Metaverse

The latest technology on the horizon is the metaverse, which, stated simply, is the creation of online environments. While the primary focus of the metaverse is to create alternate realities, an application with a possible immediate big uptake is vertical presence for business meetings. Ciena, a manufacturer of fiber optic transmission equipment, recently did a survey worldwide of 15,000 business people to understand the interests and expectations of the metaverse. more

The Fibre Optic Path

In August 1858, Queen Victoria sent the first transatlantic telegram to U.S. President James Buchanan. The cable system had taken a total of four years to build and used seven copper wires, wrapped in a sheath of gutta-percha, then covered with a tarred hemp wrap and then sheathed in an 18-strand wrap, each strand made of 7 iron wires. It weighed 550kg per km, with a total weight of over 1.3Mkg. more

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

Rural America is Losing Patience

From all across the country, I'm hearing that communities without broadband are tired of waiting for a broadband solution. Local broadband advocates and politicians tell me that folks with little or no broadband are hounding them about when they are going to see a broadband solution. A large part of the frustration is that folks have heard that broadband is coming to rural America but aren't seeing any local progress or improvement. more

The Hack Will Be a Costly Affair for Optus

More and more information is becoming available about the breach of Optus (Australia's second-largest telco). It looks like the hacker is more of an amateur than a professional criminal or a "state actor." This makes the hack even more worrisome. It looks as though Optus didn't have its security house in order. This makes the issue all the more painful for the company. It will dent its reputation, and customers could become somewhat wary about dealing with the company. 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

The 12 GHz Battle

A big piece of what the FCC does is to weigh competing claims to use spectrum. It seems like there have been non-stop industry fights over the last decade on who gets to use various bands of spectrum. One of the latest fights, which is the continuation of a battle going on since 2018, is for the use of the 12 GHz spectrum. The big wrestling match is between Starlink's desire to use the spectrum to communicate with its low-orbit satellites and cellular carriers and WISPs... more

Satellite Cell Service: What’s Coming

T-Mobile and Starlink made a joint announcement recently about an arrangement where Starlink will enable voice and texting capabilities to T-Mobile cellphones by the end of 2023. This is a service that would work with existing cell phones and would supposedly kick in when a phone can't find a signal from a cell tower. Starlink said the technology would be enabled by new satellites that have significantly larger antennae than the current satellites in the constellation. more