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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

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

Is 5G a Race We Want to Win?

There is an interesting article recently published in the English version of a South Korean newspaper, the ChosunILBO, that talks about 5G in China. According to the article, the Chinese 5G rollout is an expensive bust. There are a number of interesting facts disclosed about the Chinese 5G rollout. First, it's clear that the rollout is using millimeter wave spectrum. more

SpaceX Starlink Beta, Phase Two

According to an email, Starlink has moved into the second phase of its beta program, nicknamed the "better than nothing beta," which feels a bit like monopoly hubris to me. It may be better than nothing, but it is not as good as the initial beta, which was free. Participants will pay $99 per month for the service and pay $499 for a terminal, including a tripod and WiFi router. I wonder what the difference is between these "beta testers" and "customers." more

Reaching Critical Mass for Gigabit Connections

The statistics concerning the number of gigabit fiber customers in the US is eye-opening. OpenVault tracks the percentage of customers provisioned at various broadband speeds. At the end of 2019, the company reported that 2.81% of all households in the US were subscribed to gigabit service. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, just after the onset of the pandemic, the percentage of gigabit subscriptions had climbed to 3.75% of total broadband subscribers. more

Apple Buys Into 5G

Apple is coming out with a full range of new 5G iPhones. The phones have been designed to use the full range of new frequencies that the various cellular companies are touting as 5G, up to and including the millimeter wave spectrum offered in center cities by Verizon. In addition to 5G, the phones have new features like a better camera, better ease at using wireless charging, and a lidar scanner. more

Going Postal

When a service is constructed using diverse components, then the way in which service revenues are distributed to the various suppliers of the components of the service can follow a number of quite distinct models. There are various forms of revenue redistribution models where the revenue per transaction is distributed to the various suppliers according to their inputs to support each transaction. more

The Magnitude of the Urban Digital Divide

The web is full of stories of rural areas with no broadband options, and I've spent a lot of time in the last few decades helping rural areas get better broadband. There has not been nearly as much coverage of the huge broadband gap in urban areas. There are a lot of urban homes that can't afford broadband and, in many cases, got bypassed when the telcos and/or cable companies built their networks. more

The Race to Bury Net Neutrality

The Internet is currently full of news articles describing how the FCC will soon be putting to bed the last vestiges of its order a few years ago to eliminate net neutrality rules. The order that is widely being called the net neutrality ruling was a far-reaching change at the FCC that essentially wrote the FCC out of any role in regulating broadband. more