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SpaceX Reports Significant Broadband Satellite Progress

SpaceX delayed last Wednesdays Starlink launch due to high winds and on Thursday they decided to do a software update and postpone the launch until next week, but they revealed significant progress in their Starlink mission press release and in tweets by and a media call with Elon Musk. The mission press release said SpaceX has significantly reduced the size and weight of their satellites. more

Satellite Internet Service Progress by SpaceX and Telesat

This has been a busy week in the race to deploy constellations of low-earth orbit (LEO) Internet-service satellites. In their quarterly report, Telesat mentioned progress in two, disparate markets. As I noted earlier, they have signed their first LEO customer - Omniaccess a provider of connectivity to the superyacht market. more

Amazon's Orbiting Infrastructure

I have been following satellite Internet service since the 1990s, but I was surprised when I learned last week that Amazon had filed an application for a 3,236-satellite constellation of low-earth orbit Internet service satellites - Project Kuiper. I shouldn't have been surprised - Amazon was an infrastructure company from the start. In his first post-IPO letter to shareholders in 1997, Jeff Bezos pointed out that their distribution center capacity grew from 50,000 to 285,000 square feet and said their goal remained... more

Are Inter-Satellite Laser Links a Bug or a Feature of ISP Constellations?

I hope each of these companies has someone in charge of thinking about what might go wrong with a single, satellite-based network providing fast, low-cost links anywhere on the global Internet. OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat and Leosat all aspire to be global Internet service providers using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Their success will require still-unproven technological innovation, but there are also political stumbling blocks. more

Google and ETECSA Will Agree to Exchange Internet Traffic Without Charge

Google and ETECSA have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to negotiate a peering agreement that would allow cost-free data exchange between their networks once an undersea cable physically connects them. Google has worked hard to establish a relationship with ETECSA and the Cuban government. In recent years, Cuba, not the US, has limited the Cuban Internet. This agreement telegraphs a change in Cuban policy. more

SpaceX's Starlink Internet Service Will Target End Users on Day One

Starting with Teledesic in 1990, would-be Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations have been justified to the FCC, other regulators, and the public as a means of closing the digital divide. Teledesic's goal was "providing affordable access to advanced network connections to all those parts of the world that will never get such advanced capabilities through existing technologies." Today's low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite companies make the same claim, but Telesat, OneWeb and Leosat seem to be targeting commercial markets first. more

Google Baloons and Telesat Satellites

Telesat will use Google's network operating system. Telesat is making progress. Within the last month, they announced a launch contract with Blue Origin, a successful antenna test with Ball Aerospace and completion of system requirements reviews, but perhaps more interesting is an agreement to use the software defined network (SDN) platform Google has developed for their Project Loon. more

Electronically Steerable, Flat-Panel Antennas for Satellite and Terrestrial Connectivity

What will the cost and capability of these antennas be in ten or twenty years? What would be the applications and implications of ubiquitous wireless networks? You might have some short-term guesses, like smart cities, but farther out it's science fiction -- Gaia, the Noosphere, 1984? ... Three companies, OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat, plan to provide global, low-latency broadband Internet service using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. more

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

News Briefs

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

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

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

Entire Broadband Industry Sues California Over New Net Neutrality Law

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

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

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

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