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Civilian Tech Mobilization in Ukraine

As was the case in the US during World War II, civilian volunteers are making important contributions to the Ukrainian war effort. On February 8, 2022, the first truckload of Starlink terminals arrived in Kyiv. A week later they were being used. By April 2022, there were 5,000 terminals in Ukraine, and 42,000 as of April 2023. (At this point, SpaceX and Ukraine have gone silent. Neither ChatGPT4, Gemini, Copilot, Perplexity, nor I could not find a current terminal count). more

A Transport Protocol’s Perspective on Optimizing Starlink Performance

Digital communications systems always represent a collection of design trade-offs. Maximizing one characteristic of a system may impair others, and various communications services may choose to optimize different performance parameters based on the intersection of these design decisions with the physical characteristics of the communications medium. more

China Takes on SpaceX: 13,000 Satellites to Compete With and Monitor SpaceX’s Starlink Constellations

China plans to send almost 13,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit to compete with and monitor SpaceX's Starlink constellations. The project, codenamed "GW," is being run by a newly established group called China Satellite Network Group Co, whose goal is to launch a total of 12,992 small satellites into orbit quickly. more

SpaceX and Indonesia Launch SATRIA-1 Satellite: A $540 Million Leap Towards Comprehensive Internet Connectivity

In a joint venture worth $540 million, SpaceX and Indonesia have successfully launched SATRIA-1, the nation's largest telecommunication satellite, to improve internet connectivity in remote regions of the archipelago. more

Will Electronically Steered Antennas Replace Parabolic Antennas in Satellite Ground Stations? (ChatGPT-Assisted Version)

In a previous post, I asked whether electronically steered antennas (ESAs) would replace parabolic antennas in satellite ground stations. I read a few articles suggested by others and by Google search, used some common sense, produced a list of advantages of ESAs, and concluded that it was likely they would eventually replace parabolic antennas for many applications. more

Let’s Not Forget the Lobbyists

Common Cause recently released a report, Broadband Gatekeepers, that describes the influence that lobbyists have on broadband policies. The numbers are staggering -- the ISP industry spent $234 million lobbying the 116th Congress (2019 and 2020). That number is likely understated since the rules on reporting lobbying are lax, and enforcement is almost nonexistent. That number doesn't include the huge amounts of lobbying efforts at State legislatures. more