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NARUC: Give Individual States Lead Role in Broadband Stimulus

Regulators from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will be in Washington later this month to urge that states be given the responsibility of using federal funds to be earmarked for broadband deployment. The group, whose members come from state government agency regulators, will meet in Washington beginning Feb. 15, and the regulators are expected to press their requests at the time. The Obama administration has listed stepped-up deployment of broadband as an important part of its plan to help the economy. more

Economics and Common Sense Deprecates the Common Argument for Lower Spectrum Prices

Outside of China, very few governments would expect a saving in spectrum costs would mostly go to investment. Corporations have other priorities, including advertising and executive salaries. Stockholders come above everything at most companies. Rarely would even 1/3rd of the saving go to capital spending. The U.S. under Trump had a massive tax cut, worth literally billions to Verizon and AT&T. Verizon actually cut investment. AT&T's increase in capex was far lower than the tax saving. more

Buzz About Mobile WiMax Heating Up

The buzz from vendors and carriers about the broadband wireless technology called mobile WiMAX is heating up, fueled by new chipsets and radio products and fanned by some huge carrier investments, reports Network World. "Clearwire in the summer rounded up $900 million, including $600 million from WiMAX zealot Intel, to upgrade its growing wireless broadband net to support the IEEE's 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard. And Sprint Nextel in August became the first U.S. cellular provider to announce plans to deploy a nationwide mobile WiMAX net in the licensed 2.5GHz frequency band." more

UK Government Looking at Cost Effective Ways to Reach 1 to 10 Gbps Broadband Speeds

The UK government is spending £1m to develop technologies to boost future broadband speeds. The money is being spent on research that could boost browsing speeds to between 1 and 10 gigabits per second. The technologies being researched are all to do with broadband delivered by fibre-optic cables... more

5G for Fixed Connectivity in Cuba

ETECSA reports that over 110,100 Cuban households have DSL connectivity using their Nauta Hogar service. There are also shared facilites – 986 WiFi hotspots (127 in Havana) and 347 Navigation Rooms (44 in Havana) with 1,309 computers (304 in Havana). These services are dead-ends on the road to hoped-for "computerization." The Cuban population is around 11 million so, after three years, roughly one person in 100 lives in a Nauta home and the services are limited geographically... more

Fiber-to-the-Home Installations Expected to Grow 30% Annually

Fiber to the home (FTTH) installations are expected to shoot up 30 percent annually over the next five years, according to a report released Thursday by Heavy Reading. Growing from 36 million households with fiber hookups last year, a record 130 million are likely to have fiber by 2013, according to a summary (PDF) of the report from Heavy Reading, the market research arm of Light Reading, an event company serving the worldwide communications market. more

Broadband a Priority for UK, Planning for 2mbps to Every Home by 2012

Communications minister Lord Carter has pledged to deliver 2mbps broadband to every UK home by 2012. The interim Digital Britain report, published last week, outlines a wide-ranging 22-point action plan that examines both broadcasting and the UK's digital infrastructure. "We are developing plans to move towards a historic universal service commitment for broadband and digital services to include options up to 2 Megabits per second, building on the approach to postal services and telephone services in centuries past," media secretary Andy Burnham told the House of Commons. more

Broadband Adoption Slowest in Years Among U.S. Providers

Broadband adoption among U.S. consumers seems to be slowing, with the three largest broadband providers in the U.S. posting the lowest subscriber increases in years during the second quarter of 2008.
AT&T and Verizon, in particular, reported increases in broadband subscribers that were a small fraction of numbers in past quarters, with growth in the tens of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands. Comcast reported a less dramatic drop-off. The three providers deliver service to more than half of the broadband subscribers in the U.S. 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

Broadband Benefitting US Households by Over $30 Billion Annually, According to Study

According to a recent study, broadband Internet access is now considered by many US households a necessity and they turn to broadband Internet during recession. The study released by Jonathan Orszag, Robert Willig, and Mark Dutz suggests that with $32 billion gains in 2008, consumers increasingly benefit from using broadband at home. "Once people get a taste of the entertainment, educational opportunities, social networking and everyday services that broadband access facilitates, they grasp the immense value it can add to their lives as a powerful tool, regardless of where they come from," said Co-Chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance Bruce Mehlman. "Once a broadband user, always a broadband user." more

Broadband and Food Safety

I recently saw a presentation that showed how food safety is starting to rely on good rural broadband. I've already witnessed many other ways that farmers use broadband like precision farming, herd monitoring, and drone surveillance, but food safety was a new concept for me. The presentation centered around the romaine lettuce scare of a few months ago. The food industry was unable to quickly identify the source of the contaminated produce and the result was a recall of all romaine nationwide. more

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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief Technology Officer John Paul Farmer today announced an Internet Master Plan for the City aimed to chart a path for internet providers in the private sector to work in partnership with the City in order to address market gaps and deliver universal broadband to New Yorkers. 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

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

Damage to a single submarine cable has left the entire Red Sea region disconnected from the Internet. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Ethiopia have all suffered from the last week's cut of the so-called Falcon cable. 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