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Starlink Now Covers All of Australia

My colleague, Robert Smallwood in Geraldton, WA at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA Government), has been testing Starlink now since March 2022 and he reports on his experience and in general, provides updates about Starlink and its mother company, SpaceX. He allowed me to use his report to write this article. 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

Using AM Radio Towers in Designing Wireless Networks

One existing resource that is often overlooked in designing wireless networks is AM radio towers. For the most part, companies deploying fixed wireless and microwave antenna have avoided these towers. This is due to the nature of AM radio, which transmits at such a low frequency that the entire tower is effectively used as the transmitting antenna. The entire tower is energized with the AM signal, and the typical AM tower sits on a base insulator that blocks the tower from being grounded.  more

Is the Defense Innovation Unit’s Hybrid Space Architecture the “ARPANET” of Space and Will It Run on Aalyria Spacetime?

The goal of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense is to strengthen our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and strengthening our allied and national security innovation bases. Space is one of its areas of focus and two of the space "lines of effort" are multi-orbit operations and logistics and hardware-to-software transformation modernization. more

Broadband Satellite Issues

One of the most interesting aspects of serving broadband from low-orbit satellites is that it brings issues related to space into broadband discussion. Space issues were less important for high earth orbit satellites that sit 20,000 miles above the earth. Other than an occasional impact from sunspots, there wasn't much of note. But there are two recent events that highlight our new focus on low-earth orbit satellites. 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

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

LunaNet – Developing the Internet for the Moon

The NASA-sponsored Artemis program is the first step in the next era of human exploration. Together with a large number of international government and academic partners as well as businesses -- and based on international standards -- NASA will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon. 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

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

News Briefs

SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service Has Received 500K Preorders, Says the Company

Government of India Gives the Go-Ahead for 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials, Avoids Chinese Firms

Alphabet to Shut down Loon, its Balloon Based Internet Access Project

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

UK Bans Huawei 5G Equipment, Also Orders 5G Kit to Be Removed From UK Networks by 2027

Alphabet’s Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

Japan Fueling China’s Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

Department of Commerce to Allow US Companies Work With Chinese to Develop 5G and Other Standards

SpaceX Launches Another Batch of 60 Starlink Internet Satellites

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

FCC Gives Google, Sony and Others Full Authorization for Commercial Deployment of 3.5 GHz Spectrum

New York City Releases Internet Master Plan For City’s Broadband Future

Germany’s New Rules for Developing 5G Mobile Networks Will Not Exclude China’s Huawei Technologies

EU Member States Release Report on Coordinated Risk Assessment on Cybersecurity in 5G Networks

Wi-Fi Alliance Launches Wi-Fi 6 Certification Program

Study Reveals U.S. Carriers Throttle Online Video on Their Mobile Networks Even When Not Congested

OneWeb Fails in Latest Attempt to Get Russian Approval for Its Worldwide Internet Coverage Plan

Telesat and the Government of Canada Join Forces to Tackle Canada’s Digital Divide

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WiMAX vs. WiFi

Examining Two Well-Known Attacks on VoIP

Verizon Mandates IPv6 Support for Next-Gen Cell Phones

WiMAX vs. LTE

Convergence: ENUM is a Big Deal

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