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What Will 2021 Have Install for the ICT Industry?

While 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same time, we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing fiber deployment, and the recovery over 2021 will be slow and uncertain because of the many lockdowns and travel restrictions. more

Is Starlink the Tesla of Broadband Access? I Have a Chance to Find Out

Starlink is satellite internet access from SpaceX, one of Elon Musk's other companies. If it lives up to its hype, it will cure the problem of broadband availability in rural areas, although affordability will still be an issue. Most satellite-based Internet access sucks (that's a technical term). If based on geostationary satellites (ones you can point a dish at), the distance to the satellite is so great that the round-trip time for data is forever; this problem is called latency. more

Looking Back at the Broadband Industry in 2020

I periodically take a look at broadband trends into the future. But as I was thinking about how unique 2020 was for everybody, I realized that there were some events during the year that we're going to look back on a decade from now as important to the broadband industry. Interestingly, most of these events were not on anybody's radar at the beginning of the year. more

The Legacy of the Pai FCC

As is normal with a change of administration, there are articles in the press discussing the likely legacy of the outgoing administration. Leading the pack in singing his own praises is former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who recently published this document listing a huge list of accomplishments of the FCC under his Chairmanship. Maybe it's just me, but it feels unseemly for a public servant to publish an official self-praise document. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2020

I posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017, 2018 and 2019. I've updated those posts during the years and have 18 new posts for 2020. In 2020 we saw increased effort from China, OneWeb's bankruptcy and restructuring with new ownership and prospects, Amazon investng in space-related infrastructure, Telesat making steady progress, SpaceX making rapid progress and satellite and debris tracking and collision-avoidsnce service startups. The following are brief summaries of and links to the 2020 posts. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 7: Articles 20-21

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded on guiding principles from which all policymaking is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide policymaking than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This article, Part 7 of a series, looks at Articles 20 and 21 and explores how principles in the UDHR and lessons learned over the last half-century help define the rights and duties of one's engagement in the digital spaces of the Internet ecosystem. more

One More Trump 5G Minefield

As the saying goes, it's not over until it's over. So, it wasn't surprising that Trump's minions just got one last 5G minefield out the door. On 15 January, his followers at Dept. of Commerce's NTIA published the "National Strategy to Secure 5G Implementation Plan". The 40-page document consists of a fairly standard Washington policy playbook of 18 activities with six annexes that "details how the United States along with like-minded countries will lead global development, deployment, and... more

Trump's Parting NTIA 5G Debacle

As Trump's horrific Administration of non-stop debacles and self-serving gambits headed toward the exit over the past few weeks, one last regulatory grab after another has been pushed out the door while the toddler-in-chief rants. Sure enough, the last of the 5G debacles just appeared in the Federal Register courtesy of the President's policy instrument, the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). It was titled the 5G Challenge Notice of Inquiry. more

SpaceX Starlink Beta and Beyond

SpaceX began public beta testing of the Starlink Internet service late last October. At that time, testing was restricted to locations in the US, near 53 degrees north latitude, where coverage was concentrated. Since then, they have made many software updates based on the beta experience and have expanded the uninterrupted-coverage area by launching new satellites. more

Technology Trends for 2021

The following are the most important current trends that will be affecting the telecom industry in 2021. Fiber Construction Will Continue Fast and Furious in 2021. Carriers of all shapes and sizes are still building fiber. There is a bidding war going on to get the best construction crews and fiber labor rates are rising in some markets. The Supply Chain Still has Issues. The huge demand for building new fiber had already put stress on the supply chain at the beginning of 2020... more