Telecom / Featured Blogs

Important Developments on Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Internet Service (2017 Review)

The internet is unavailable and/or unaffordable by about 50% of the world's population. The situation is worse in, but not confined to, developing nations where the service is typically sub-standard when it is available.Geostationary satellite connectivity is available globally, but it is slow and expensive because the satellites are high above the Earth. Low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites can deliver speeds comparable to terrestrial links, but constellations of many satellites would be needed to serve the entire planet. more

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After Net Neutrality Ruling

Primary suppliers see sales go up. ADTRAN's sales in the most recent nine months were $445M, up from $399M the year before. Calix sold $372M, up from $327M. At analyst meeting this year, both said demand had picked up. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8%. Pai claimed, "the impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." It was a primary justification for his Net Neutrality decision. more

Net Neutrality Not a Serious Issue Outside America

Most countries, don't have to fear internet quality problems in the same way as would be possible in the USA. The US competition watchdog has little power to hold telcos accountable to the nature of their broadband services. Back in 1996 broadband was classified as a content service and not a telecom service. So, for example, if a telco wants to provide preferred access to Google, it can sell them a superior broadband services which could create a two speed internet service... more

"Restoring" Internet Freedom for Whom?

Recently, a colleague in the Bellisario College of Communications asked me who gets a freedom boost from the FCC's upcoming dismantling of network neutrality safeguards. He noted that Chairman Pai made sure that the title of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is: Restoring Internet Freedom. My colleague wanted to know whose freedom the FCC previously subverted and how removing consumer safeguards promotes freedom. more

Innovation Today is IN the Network

The largest and most important global information infrastructure today by any measure is clearly the global mobile network and all of its gateways, services, and connected devices. That network is standardized, managed, and energized by a combination of the 3GPP and GSMA. The level of 3GPP industry involvement and collaboration today probably exceeds all other telecom, internet, and assorted other bodies put together... and then some. more

An Example of Effective Government Support for New Communication Technology

The October Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the commercial satellite industry provides a current example of effective government support of new communication technology. The hearing focused on broadband access, primarily from low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Witnesses from four companies - Intelsat, OneWeb, ViaSat and SpaceX - testified and the tone of the hearing was set by the opening statements of Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson. more

Google Now a Target for Regulation

The time was - way back around the turn of the century - when all Internet companies believed that the Internet should be free from government regulation. I lobbied along with Google and Amazon to that end (there were no Twitter and Facebook then); we were successful over the objection of traditional telcos who wanted the protection of regulation. The FCC under both Democrats and Republicans agreed to forbear from regulating the Internet the way they regulate the telephone network; the Internet flourished, to put it mildly. more

Why 5G Is in Trouble (and How to Fix It)

I have a somewhat unconventional view of 5G. I just happen to believe it is the right one. It is trapped inside a category error about the nature of packet networking, and this means it is in trouble. As context, we are seeing the present broadband Internet access model maturing and begin to reach its peak. 5G eagerly anticipates the next wave of applications. As such, 5G is attempting to both extend and transcend the present "undifferentiated data sludge" model of mobile broadband. more

The FCC Robocall Proceeding: International Insularity

In March of this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an initial Notice of Inquiry (CG No. 17-59) to mitigate robocalls. In July, it adopted a Second Notice. Mitigating spoofed telephone calls is a global problem which every country in the world has been addressing as part of a global ecosystem for many years in intergovernmental and industry bodies, in academic R&D and patent filings, and industry products with ongoing activity continuing today. more

Net Neutrality 101: Why 'Title II' Doesn't Apply to Internet Transmissions

No baby boomers had been born when Congress enacted Title II of the Communications Act in 1934 as a means of regulating the Bell telephone monopoly, and the first Millennials were in elementary school when that monopoly was broken up in 1983. Title II was set to die along with plain old telephone service until the Obama administration decided Title II should be used to implement net neutrality -- the principle that consumers should have reasonable access to internet functionality. more