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Telecom / Featured Blogs

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

Is Technology the Problem?

We do live in turbulent times. There is such a lot happening, with many people feeling overwhelmed and lost. One of the reasons given why we do have these problems is technology. I would argue against that. In all reality, technology is a tool that we can use, and yes, we all know that we can use it for the wrong reasons (cars kill people, atom bombs, killer robots, chemical and biological warfare and so on). However, we have learned to live with it, and in general, the outcome from science, innovation and technology has been positive. more

Top Broadband Stories of 2021

Every year I write a blog talking about the trends that I think we're likely to see in the coming year. But 2021 was such an unusual year for all of us that I thought it would also be useful to talk about what we accomplished in the industry over the last year while fending off a pandemic. All in all, it was quite a year. more

Fixed Cellular Broadband Performance

One of the first in-depth reviews I’ve found for T-Mobile’s fixed cellular broadband was published in the Verve. It’s not particularly flattering to T-Mobile, and this particular customer found the performance to be unreliable – fast sometimes and barely functioning at other times. But I’ve seen other T-Mobile customers raving about the speeds they are receiving. We obviously can’t draw any conclusions based upon a single review by one customer... more

My Broadband Predictions for 2022

It's that time of the year for me to get out the crystal ball and peer into 2022... I have no idea why it took a year for the administration to tee up a new Chairman and recommend a fifth FCC Commissioner. But once a new Commissioner is seated, the new FCC will tackle reinstating some version of Title II regulation, accompanied by net neutrality regulations. For yet another year, this won't come from Congress, which is the only permanent solution. more