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What is Light-Touch Regulation?

One thing I've noticed recently is that a lot of people are climbing on board the idea of building better broadband to rural America. Many people seem to think that the FCC can somehow act to fix a lot of the shortcomings of rural broadband - but in doing so, they have missed the entire point of what the FCC calls 'light-touch' regulation - because, from a practical perspective, broadband is not regulated at all. more

Can SpaceX Launch 30,000 Second-Generation Starlink Satellites? Maybe

The bottom line is that success is not guaranteed, but neither is failure -- there is a non-zero probability of success. On May 26th, SpaceX applied for permission to launch 30,000 "second-generation" Starlink broadband Internet satellites. (Note that the software on Starlink satellites is updated about once a week). The application narrative states that the second-generation satellites will be configured... more

Hassle Over LEOs

Every second, 4.5 billion people using computers and other electronic devices send 100,000 gigabytes of information to each other. Around 60% of the world's population has an Internet connection. North America and Europe have penetrations of 95% and 87%. But Asia and Africa do not yet get beyond 54% and 40%. On those continents, there are many remote areas where there is no Internet yet. At least no affordable Internet. more

Canada Caves to the US, Blocks Huawei 5G (Inference)

Huawei is the strong favorite of Canadian network builders, for good products and extraordinary support. It displaced the incumbents at Bell Canada years ago and has a joint "Living Lab" in Vancouver with Telus. Huawei had already won the 5G contracts. It has a thousand researchers and spends a quarter billion dollars on Canadian R&D. It was a government decision. more

A New U.S. National Broadband Plan?

United States Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) introduced a bill that would require that the FCC create a new National Broadband Plan by July 2021. This plan would lay out the national goals needed for broadband going forward and also provide an update on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted Internet access. I am not a big fan of the concept of a national plan for many reasons. more

The Costs of Trump's 5G Wall

Over the past three years, Trump and his followers around Washington have begun to erect the equivalent of his Southern Border Wall around the nation's information network infrastructure - especially for 5G. The tactics are similar - keep out foreign invaders who are virtually sneaking across the borders to steal the nation's information resources and controlling our internet things. The tactics and mantras are almost identical. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

Public and Private Infrastructure Investment Alternatives

Eric Yuan, CEO of the Zoom teleconferencing service, stated that the average number of daily meeting recipients increased from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020 in a webinar last month. I've been teaching 21 students using Zoom as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the audio and video are smooth, and switching between speakers is seamless. Offhand, I cannot think of any technology that has scaled so well so fast. more

Is Teleworking Here to Stay?

Broadband networks are stretched thin today due to the large numbers of adults and students working from home. There are many stories on the web that indicate that a lot of employees are not going to be going back to the office when the pandemic is over. Here are two stories about a trend towards more teleworking from the dozens that a Google search uncovered. more

The Upload Crisis

Carriers continue to report on the impact of COVID-19 on their networks. One of the more interesting statistics that caught my eye was when Comcast reported that upload traffic on their network was up 33% since March 1. Comcast joins the rest of big ISPs in saying that their networks are handling the increased traffic volumes. By 'handling' the volumes, they mean that their networks are not crashing and shutting down. But I think there is a whole lot more to these headlines than what they are telling the public. more