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Are There any Cable Companies Left?

Are there any companies left that we can still call cable companies? Everything in the business press still refers to Comcast and Charter as cable companies and AT&T and Verizon as telephone companies. It's getting harder to justify using these traditional labels, and maybe the time is finally here to just start calling them all ISPs. After all, these four companies collectively have 80 million broadband customers... more

A Look at the Big Guys - Putting the Telecom Sector Into Perspective

You can't put the telecom sector into perspective without looking at the performance of the biggest players in the industry. The pandemic has been an interesting year for both big ISPs and telecom vendors. Smaller ISPs should care about big ISP performance for many reasons. For many smaller companies, the big companies are the competition, and the big providers' strength or weakness can foretell stiffened competition or increased opportunity. more

What Will 6G Look Like in a Geopolitical Divided World

A recent session of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) masterclass on 5G, featured Dr. Ian Oppenheimer, the NSW Government's Chief Data Scientist and one of the country's most respected experts in radio technology. Ian is also the Chair of the scientific advisory board of the 6G Flagship organization, a global research organization based in Finland. This organization has just published a range of fascinating research papers on 6G. more

OneWeb Is Out of Bankruptcy, but Not Out of the Woods

OneWeb, which declared bankruptcy in May, has reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy. Bharti Global, an Indian telecommunication conglomerate, and the British government each own 42.2% of the new company, and most of the rest is owned by previous investors SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems. Hughes will continue work on ground infrastructure and marketing and the original joint venture with Airbus, which designs and manufactures OneWeb satellites... more

The End of Broadband Networks as We Know Them

A group of major telecommunications companies -- Vodafone, BT, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom -- recently announced something a bit unexpected. In the Open BNG Operator Position Paper, they call for a fundamental, industry-wide change to the way broadband networks are built. Specifically, they advocate for collaboration throughout the telco world, with a convergence around open broadband network gateways (BNGs). more

A Winning Biden 5G Strategy: Flatten the Curve

No, not the COVID curve - the curve of U.S. engagement in global industry 5G activities. Let me explain. What is known as 5G actually consists of a broad array of fundamentally revolutionary virtualization platforms that are constantly, collectively developed by industry in several dozen open global bodies. These bodies meet every few weeks, and several score companies around the world process scores to hundreds of input documents to produce many hundreds of effectively mandatory... more

What Does an Administration Change Mean for the FCC?

Just as the last change in administration changed the course of the FCC, so will the swing back to a Democratic administration. If you've been reading me for a few years, you know I am a big believer in the regulatory pendulum. Inevitably, when a regulatory agency like the FCC swings too far in any direction, it's inevitable that it will eventually swing back the other way. more

Starlink Will Be Priced to Be Affordable

SpaceX is now serving customers (aka beta testers) in the northern United States. They will soon be doing so in Southern Canada and recently announced that Germany, where they have applied for permission and have begun construction on two ground stations, will probably be next. Early customers in the US are paying $499 for their user terminals and $99 per month for Internet service. more

Network Outages Go Global

On August 30, CenturyLink experienced a major network outage that lasted for over five hours and disrupted CenturyLink customers nationwide as well as many other networks. What was unique about the outage was the scope of the disruptions as the outage affected video streaming services, game platforms, and even webcasts of European soccer. more

The Upload Speed Lie

In the 2020 Broadband Deployment Report, the FCC made the following claim. "The vast majority of Americans -- surpassing 85% -- now have access to fixed terrestrial broadband service at 250/25 Mbps". The FCC makes this claim based upon the data provided to it by the country's ISPs on Form 477. We know the data reported by the ISPs is badly flawed in the over-reporting of download speeds. Still, we've paid little attention to the second number. more