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Simulation of OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's Proposed Global Broadband Constellations

Inigo del Portillo and his colleagues at MIT have run a simulation comparing OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's proposed low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations. The models are based on the initial FCC filings by the companies and demand and data-rate estimates by the authors. I will mention subsequent amendments to the filings below later in the post. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2018

At the end of 2017, I posted a review of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments. I've been updating those posts during the year and have also added the following new posts in 2018. ... SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat are planning to offer Internet-service from LEO, but O3b is already providing connectivity to relatively large customers like mobile phone companies, government organizations, and cruise ship lines using a constellation of medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites.  more

OneWeb’s Offer to Sell a Share of Their Satellite Internet Service to Russia

OneWeb has a contract to launch Internet-service satellites on Russian-made Soyuz rockets and has a joint venture with Gonets, a Russian satellite operator, as a marketing partner in Russia. However, the Russian government has expressed concerns about security, dragged their feet on spectrum allocation and complained about US sanctions. This led OneWeb to make two concessions. more

Lessons from the O2 Network Outage: The Real Cost of Manual Processes

More than 30 million people lost their data connectivity on December 6, 2018, in the United Kingdom as O2's network suffered from a nationwide service outage. Based on several reports, the incident was caused by a human error at Ericsson, the telecoms supplier responsible for operating certain parts of the O2 network. To compensate for the downtime and tarnished reputation, the O2 management is now reportedly seeking damages of up to a hundred million pounds from Ericsson. more

The Case for Making 3G Mobile Internet Access Free in Cuba

Last week ETECSA began offering 3G mobile access to Cuba's national intranet and the global Internet and President Diaz-Canal tweeted the news. His tweet has received 216 comments so far and reading through them, many are effusively positive... Others were critical, noting that the prices are high relative to Cuban incomes (one said "absurd") and the technology is obsolete -- "Congratulations, but they're 20 years late." more

Cuba Rolls Out 3G Mobile Access

After several months of trials, ETECSA announced the availablity of third-generation mobile access to their national intranet and the global Internet in a televised "round table." The prices are quite steep for a typical Cuban and I suspect there would be relatively few subscribers among the 34% of the population that is not yet covered. Furthermore, many users will have to buy new phones to use the service. (There are still 1,084 second-generation mobile base stations in Cuba). more

Rural Home Connectivity in Cuba

Cuba's government monopoly ISP ETECSA in October announced special home connectivity rates for some of the poorest towns in rural Cuba. The monthly charge for 30 hours of 512/256 Kbps DSL access in those towns will be 5 CUC. In other areas where home connectivity is available, the minimum monthly charge is 15 CUC for 30 hours of 1,024/256 kbps service and faster, more expensive, plans are available. more

A Cool Simulation of SpaceX’s Revised Satellite Broadband Plan

On November 15, the FCC approved a revision to the plan for Starlink, SpaceX's forthcoming broadband satellite service. The new plan reduces the number of satellites from 4,525 to 4,409 and lowers the altitude of the phase-1 satellites from 1,100 to 550 km. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has created videos based on simulations he ran of both the original and revised phase 1 plans. more

BGP Hijacks: Two More Papers Consider the Problem

The security of the global Default Free Zone (DFZ) has been a topic of much debate and concern for the last twenty years (or more). Two recent papers have brought this issue to the surface once again - it is worth looking at what these two papers add to the mix of what is known, and what solutions might be available. The first of these traces the impact of Chinese "state actor" effects on BGP routing in recent years. more

Obstacles in OneWeb's Negotiations with Russia

This case illustrates the fact that political, security, and financial negotiations may be as difficult as designing satellites and rockets for a would-be global Internet service provider. OneWeb is investing billions of dollars in a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) Internet-service satellites. In 2015 they placed launch orders for 21 Russian-made Soyuz rockets. more

Google Signs Memoranda of Understanding With Four Cuban Organizations

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel addressed the first annual meeting of Cuba's IT professional society, the Unión de Informáticos de Cuba. In his talk, Díaz-Canel announced that four Cuban organizations - the Havana City Historian's Office, the University of Computer Sciences (UCI), Infomed, Cuba's medical network, and the Ministry of Culture had signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Google. more

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel's Meeting With Tech Company Executives

While Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel was in New York to address the United Nations, he met with members of Congress and executives from the agriculture, travel and information and communication technology (ICT) industries. The ICT meeting was at Google's New York office and ten other companies attended. In addition to Díaz-Canel the Cuban ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Communications were at the meeting. more

Might CubeSats Provide Broadband Internet Connectivity One Day?

In November, 2016, SpaceX filed a request for approval to launch 4,425 Internet-service satellites using the Ku and Ka frequency bands. The satellites were expected to measure 4 x 1.8 x 1.2 meters. In February, 2018 SpaceX launched two Internet-service test satellites - TinTin A and B - that measured only 1.1 x .7 x .7 meters. Why the size difference? more

Cuba's 3G Mobile Access Trial - Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

On August 14 at 11 AM ETECSA, Cuba's monopoly ISP, began a 9-hour, nationwide test of 3G mobile Internet access -- anyone near a 3G-equipped cell tower with a compatible phone and a prepaid mobile telephony account could get free access until 8 PM. As far as I know, the only notification was this post on the ETECSA Facebook page, but word of the test and instructions for getting online spread by word of mouth. more

Cuba Testing 3G Internet Access

ETECSA, Cuba's monopoly ISP, has been running free tests of their forthcoming mobile access. It seems that the latest test is over for now, but Andy Garcia (@Dancuba96) ran a speed test before it ended... ETECSA has not announced when commercial 3G service will commence, where it will be available at first and what it will cost, but the following image at the start of the @ETECSA_Cuba Twitter page suggests that service will begin soon they are serious about mobile #Internet access. more

News Briefs

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

SpaceX Wins FCC Approval to Deploy 7,518 Satellites for Broadband Communications

China Telecom Accused of Misdirecting Internet Traffic

New Analysis by Web Foundation Shows Dramatic Decline in Internet Access Growth

Internet Society Partnering With Facebook to Develop Internet Exchange Points Throughout Africa

For the First Time in Recent Internet History a Subsea Cable Across South Atlantic Activated

Alphabet's Loon Balloons Can Now Cover 1000km of Internet Connectivity via 1 Access Point

China Continues to Be at the Forefront of Fibre Adoption, Saw 26% FTTH Growth in Past 12 Months

Internet Traffic Slowed for Popular Video Apps by Wireless Carriers in US, New Research Indicates

Toughest State-Level Net Neutrality Bill in the US Approved by California Senate

China Has Reached 802 Million Internet Users, According to Country's Internet Development Report

In an Eight-Hour Test, Cuba Makes Internet Access Available Nationwide

Escalating War in Yemen Dividing Country's Internet

Google's Loon Announces First Commercial Deal With Telkom Kenya to Provide Internet-by-Balloon

Protests in Iraq Lead to a Two-Day Internet Shutdown by the Government

Cuba Starts Providing Internet on Mobile Phones

Researchers Warn Buried Internet Cables at Risk as Sea Levels Rise

California Senate Passes Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Regulations

FCC Says Net Neutrality Rules to Cease on Jun 11

Over 100 US Mayors Sign Pledge to Hold ISPs Accountable for Net Neutrality Violations

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