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Broadband in China

For years I've been hearing how we are losing the broadband battle with China, so I decided to take a look at the current state of broadband in the country. The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) publishes statistics about the state of broadband in the country, and I used the Statistical Report on Internet Development in China from August 2019 in writing this blog. more

LEO Broadband Will Create Millions of Jobs

Earlier this month, Elon Musk tweeted an invitation to a job fair at the new SpaceX production and launch facility near Boca Chica, Texas. As shown here, the tweet says they want hard-working, trustworthy people with common sense. They are not looking for specific skills or education, but certain character traits – "the rest we can train." That tweet reminded me of hiring practices when I graduated from college. more

Can 5G Replace WiFi?

Verizon recently posted a webcast with investors where Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of the Verizon Consumer Group said that he believed that 5G hotspots using millimeter wave spectrum would eventually displace WiFi in homes. He cites major benefits of 5G over WiFi. He believes that a 5G network will be more reliable and more secure. He thinks that people will value the safety that comes from having traffic inside their home being encrypted... more

Deep Sea Diving: The State of Submarine Cable Technology

There is something quite compelling about engineering a piece of state-of-the-art technology that is intended to be dropped off a boat and then operate flawlessly for the next twenty-five years or more in the silent depths of the world's oceans! It brings together advanced physics, marine technology, and engineering to create some truly amazing pieces of networking infrastructure. more

5 Broadband Predictions for 2020

The 2010's have been nothing short of transformative in the broadband space. Despite disappointing deployment rates across the U.S., the past decade has been a period of exponential change and innovation. As we look toward the new decade, here are five key predictions based on current trends and developments in the broadband industry. more

A Reality Check on 5G in Rural America

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently told the crowd at CES that 5G would be a huge benefit to rural America and would help to close the rural broadband divide. I have to imagine he's saying this to keep rural legislators on board to support that FCC's emphasis on promoting 5G. I've thought hard about the topic, and I have a hard time seeing how 5G will make much difference in rural America – particularly with broadband. more

China on Its Way to Becoming a Formidable Satellite Internet Service Competitor

In a study of the Internet in China in the late 1990s, my colleagues and I observed that "China has been able to execute plans effectively by allocating resources to competing, government-owned enterprises," and Kai-Fu Lee shows that they have pursued a similar strategy with respect to AI. Now they are doing the same with low-Earth orbit (LEO) broadband satellite constellations. more

The Role of FttH in the Development of 5G

As the rollout of fiber to the home project (FttH) remains a slow process, it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative. Obviously, mobile communication has improved over recent years in providing excellent access to broadband. It has also become more affordable. At the same time, there is the hype surrounding 5G, and the public relations and media machines of the vendors involved makes you believe that this will become a real competitor to the slow-moving FttH developments. more

Broadband and Presidential Politics

For the first time in my memory, broadband has entered into U.S. presidential politics. This is an important milestone for rural broadband – not because of the proposals being made by candidates, but because it indicates that the voices of those without rural broadband have reached upward to the top of the political system. I'm sure that when the presidential candidates go to rural areas, they are asked if they can help find a solution for the lack of broadband in many rural counties. more

U.S. Has Poor Cellular Video

Opensignal recently published a report that looks around the world at the quality of cellular video. Video has become a key part of the cellular experience as people are using cellphones for entertainment, and since social media and advertising have migrated to video. The use of cellular video is exploding. Netflix reports that 25% of its total streaming worldwide is sent to mobile devices. The new Disney+ app that was just launched got over 3 million downloads of their cellular app in just the first 24 hours. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2019

I posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017 and 2018. I've been updating those posts during the years and have 16 new posts for 2019. In 2019 we saw four inciteful simulations, Leosat suspending operations and Amazon announcing the availability of a new ground station service and plans for a LEO constellation, progress in phased-array antennas but a lowering of expectations for inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs), new competition from China... more

The Power of Data in Smart City Developments

A few weeks, I attended a one-day conference at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at the occasion of the launch of their new $7.5 million Centre for Data Science. This laboratory is also the lead node of a new Australian Data Science Network, bringing together data science organizations from across the country. The new center aims to support data-led decisions across key areas like health, environment, business, government and society -- in short, data for the good. more

Spectrum and Weather Forecasting

There is currently a brewing controversy over the allocation of various radio frequencies for 5G that could have a negative impact on weather forecasting. Weather forecasting has become extremely sophisticated and relies on masses of data gathered from weather satellites and other data-gathering devices. The masses of data, along with modern supercomputers and data center computing, have significantly improved the ability to predict future weather. more

My Telecom Predictions for 2020

There is already a growing shortage of fiber resources that includes engineers, construction companies, and fiber consultants. The upcoming $16.4 billion RDOF program will create a resource shortage in 2020 for those who can help companies seek grant funding. Once the grants are awarded, the size of the program will add stress to the resources needed to build networks. Companies that don't line up their experts early might find themselves without help. more

Starlink Simulation Shows Low Latency Without Inter-Satellite Laser Links

Handley's simulation shows that, while not as fast as an equivalent ISLL path, long bent-pipe paths would typically have lower latency than terrestrial fiber routes between the same two points. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has made two terrific videos based on runs of his simulation of the first – 1,584 satellite – phase of SpaceX's Starlink Internet-service constellation. I discussed the first video, which assumes that the satellites have inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs), in recent post. more

News Briefs

Red Sea Region Suffers From Multi-Day Internet Outage Following an Undersea Cable Cut

New York City Releases Internet Master Plan For City's Broadband Future

Fiber Infrastructure in China Has Grown Nine Times Faster Than in the U.S. Since 2013

Wi-Fi Alliance Launches Wi-Fi 6 Certification Program

OneWeb Fails in Latest Attempt to Get Russian Approval for Its Worldwide Internet Coverage Plan

Telesat and the Government of Canada Join Forces to Tackle Canada's Digital Divide

Google Announces a New Private Subsea Cable Connecting Africa With Europe

Loon Balloons Restore Internet After a Massive Earthquake Strikes Remote Parts of Peru

Critics Say FCC's New Report Declaring US Broadband Healthier Than Ever is Based on Flawed Data

SpaceX Succeeds in Launching Its First Full Batch of Starlink Internet Satellites

American Households Estimated to Save Over $30 Billion a Year on Broadband With LEO Satellites

World's Growing Refugee Population Requires Access to Broadband to Mitigate Problems, Says Report

Trump Administration Announces Its Big 5G Push: Largest-Ever Spectrum Auction and a 20.4B Fund

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Close to Half of America Not Using the Internet at Broadband Speeds, Says Microsoft

Article Expresses Concern That Google and Other Tech Giants are Quietly Buying Up Undersea Cables

Amazon Joins the Race to Offer Broadband Access from Orbit, Uncovered Filings Show

Facebook Enters Wholesale Fiber Business, Plans to Sell Unused Capacity on New Fiber Routes

High-Speed Fibre Makes Up One-Quarter of Fixed Broadband Internet Connections in OECD Countries

Microsoft’s New Study Reports Over 162 Million in US Lack Broadband, FCC Says Only 24.7 Million

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