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Rural Home Connectivity in Cuba

Cuba's government monopoly ISP ETECSA in October announced special home connectivity rates for some of the poorest towns in rural Cuba. The monthly charge for 30 hours of 512/256 Kbps DSL access in those towns will be 5 CUC. In other areas where home connectivity is available, the minimum monthly charge is 15 CUC for 30 hours of 1,024/256 kbps service and faster, more expensive, plans are available. more

A Cool Simulation of SpaceX’s Revised Satellite Broadband Plan

On November 15, the FCC approved a revision to the plan for Starlink, SpaceX's forthcoming broadband satellite service. The new plan reduces the number of satellites from 4,525 to 4,409 and lowers the altitude of the phase-1 satellites from 1,100 to 550 km. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has created videos based on simulations he ran of both the original and revised phase 1 plans. more

BGP Hijacks: Two More Papers Consider the Problem

The security of the global Default Free Zone (DFZ) has been a topic of much debate and concern for the last twenty years (or more). Two recent papers have brought this issue to the surface once again - it is worth looking at what these two papers add to the mix of what is known, and what solutions might be available. The first of these traces the impact of Chinese "state actor" effects on BGP routing in recent years. more

Obstacles in OneWeb's Negotiations with Russia

This case illustrates the fact that political, security, and financial negotiations may be as difficult as designing satellites and rockets for a would-be global Internet service provider. OneWeb is investing billions of dollars in a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) Internet-service satellites. In 2015 they placed launch orders for 21 Russian-made Soyuz rockets. more

Google Signs Memoranda of Understanding With Four Cuban Organizations

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel addressed the first annual meeting of Cuba's IT professional society, the Unión de Informáticos de Cuba. In his talk, Díaz-Canel announced that four Cuban organizations - the Havana City Historian's Office, the University of Computer Sciences (UCI), Infomed, Cuba's medical network, and the Ministry of Culture had signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Google. more

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel's Meeting With Tech Company Executives

While Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel was in New York to address the United Nations, he met with members of Congress and executives from the agriculture, travel and information and communication technology (ICT) industries. The ICT meeting was at Google's New York office and ten other companies attended. In addition to Díaz-Canel the Cuban ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Communications were at the meeting. more

Might CubeSats Provide Broadband Internet Connectivity One Day?

In November, 2016, SpaceX filed a request for approval to launch 4,425 Internet-service satellites using the Ku and Ka frequency bands. The satellites were expected to measure 4 x 1.8 x 1.2 meters. In February, 2018 SpaceX launched two Internet-service test satellites - TinTin A and B - that measured only 1.1 x .7 x .7 meters. Why the size difference? more

Cuba's 3G Mobile Access Trial - Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

On August 14 at 11 AM ETECSA, Cuba's monopoly ISP, began a 9-hour, nationwide test of 3G mobile Internet access -- anyone near a 3G-equipped cell tower with a compatible phone and a prepaid mobile telephony account could get free access until 8 PM. As far as I know, the only notification was this post on the ETECSA Facebook page, but word of the test and instructions for getting online spread by word of mouth. more

Cuba Testing 3G Internet Access

ETECSA, Cuba's monopoly ISP, has been running free tests of their forthcoming mobile access. It seems that the latest test is over for now, but Andy Garcia (@Dancuba96) ran a speed test before it ended... ETECSA has not announced when commercial 3G service will commence, where it will be available at first and what it will cost, but the following image at the start of the @ETECSA_Cuba Twitter page suggests that service will begin soon they are serious about mobile #Internet access. more

Community Networks Could Help Strengthen the Caribbean Internet

By some estimates, only half of the world's population has internet access, leaving the other half at a sizeable competitive disadvantage. This profound connectivity gap is especially significant in the unserved and underserved areas of developing and least-developed countries. For people who live in these places, Internet connectivity is not just about the Internet. It is a lifeline that gives access to electronic commerce and telehealth services, distance learning, social and political engagement, government services... more