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A Simple Suggestion for President Biden Regarding the Cuban Internet

Last September, I asked what had happened to the proposal for a branch connecting the ARCOS undersea cable, which has a landing point in North Miami Beach, to Cojimar, Cuba. The consortium that operates the cable had applied for permission to connect Cuba in July 2018, and the FCC granted a request for streamlined processing, which should have taken less than 45 days, but nothing happened until September 2020 when the application was referred to a Justice Department committee... more

Let's Bring Telecom Manufacturing Back to the US

President Biden recently signed an executive order that will require that the federal government buys more goods produced in the United States. This was done to promote American jobs and to keep profits at home. It's a great idea, but it suffers from one big flaw -- we don't manufacture a lot of things in the US anymore. Statistics are hard to pin down, but something like 40,000 US factories have shut down over the last decade. more

Macquarie Group Is Set to Shake Up the Digital Infrastructure Market

A few months ago, I reported on the broader market of which telecommunications infrastructure is a part. I mentioned data centers, cloud computing and data analytics (big data). All together, we can perhaps best call this digital infrastructure. While the importance of this merged set of infrastructures will benefit all economies and societies, I recently focused on regional developments as basically every region and every mid-size town will need to have a digital hub for local computing workloads and storage. more

SpaceX Starlink Is Coming to Low-Income Nations

Beta testers in the US and Canada paid $500 for a terminal and are paying $99 per month for the service. The beta tests began in high-income countries, but SpaceX is beginning to roll Starlink out and will include low-income nations, for example, India. Last September, SpaceX responded to a request for consultation on a roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed from TRAI, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India. more

ECFiber: Building a Fiber-to-Premises Network in the Rural United States

Nestled in the northeastern part of the United States is the small state of Vermont, the 14th State to join the United States in 1789. Its name comes from the French, in which 'vert montagne' means 'green mountain.' and it is known as the Green Mountain state. With only about 625,000 inhabitants, it is the 45th state out of 50 in size, and 49th of 50 in number of people, even less populated than Alaska. more

Why Fiber?

As much as I've written about broadband and broadband technology, it struck me that I have never written a concise response to the question, "Why Fiber?". Somebody asked me the question recently, and I immediately knew I had never answered the question. If you're going to build broadband and have a choice of technologies, why is fiber the best choice? more

5G a Fizzle With Consumers

The cellular companies have made an unprecedented push to get customers interested in 5G. Back in November, I recorded a college football game that enabled me to go back and count the twelve 5G commercials during the game. Advertising during sports events is relatively expensive, so these ads were not purchased at bargain-basement prices. The amount of money being spent on advertising 5G must be gigantic. more

Let's Not Forget About Solar Flares

As the world becomes more and more reliant on electronics, it's worth a periodic reminder that a large solar flare could knock out much of the electronics on earth. Such an event would be devastating to the Internet, satellite broadband, and the many electronics we use in daily life. A solar flare is the result of periodic ejections of matter from the sun into space. Scientists still aren't entirely sure what causes solar flares, but they know that it's somehow related to shifts in the sun's magnetic field. more

Starlink Broadband Service – More on the Beta Plus Exciting Video

If you have last-generation satellite internet access, broadband from a wireless ISP (WISP), or even satellite television from DISH or DIRECTV, an installer came and carefully aimed a dish antenna for you. Starlink, a broadband access service from Elon Musk's SpaceX company, reimagines the install process and, in most cases, eliminates the need for an installer. The Starlink dish can sit on the ground or the peak of your roof; more importantly, it aims itself, as you see in the accompanying video. more

Consumer Technology vs. 5G

5G represents a threat to the level playing field and innovation of the Internet. It is the new face of the battle over network neutrality. At its inception in the 19th-century, the talking telegraph (AKA the telephone) was an amazing feat of engineering using analog technology. One could speak into a microphone in one city and be heard in another city. Accomplishing this required a very large investment in technology. The customers were consumers of the service. more

Taking the Long View: Will This Be the Year ISPs Rethink Their Business Plans

I have to wonder if this year is making the big ISPs rethink their business plans. For years, many big ISPs have foregone making long-term investments in broadband and instead chased the quick return. A good example is CenturyLink. Before the merger with Level 3, the company had started a program to replace the copper plant in urban markets with fiber aggressively. At the peak, the company built fiber to pass 700,000 homes a year. more

My Experience With Starlink Broadband, It Passes "Better Than Nothing" Beta Test

May become the access answer for many at the end of the road. The icicle dripping dish in the picture is the antenna for Starlink, a satellite-based broadband service from SpaceX -- one of Elon Musk's other companies. It came Saturday, just before the snow arrived here in Stowe, VT. It's heated, so I didn't have to shovel it out, and it's working despite its frozen beard. The pandemic has shown us that it is socially irresponsible to leave any family without broadband access. more

SpaceX Is First With Inter-Satellite Laser Links in Low-Earth Orbit, but Others Will Follow

When SpaceX first announced plans for Starlink, their low-Earth orbit Internet service constellation, they said each satellite would have five inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs) - two links to satellites in the same orbital plane, two to satellites in adjacent orbital planes, and one to a satellite in a crossing plane. They subsequently dropped the crossing link as too difficult and, when they finally began launching satellites, they had no laser links. Last year they tested ISLLs on two satellites. more

What Will 2021 Have Install for the ICT Industry?

While 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same time, we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing fiber deployment, and the recovery over 2021 will be slow and uncertain because of the many lockdowns and travel restrictions. more

Is Starlink the Tesla of Broadband Access? I Have a Chance to Find Out

Starlink is satellite internet access from SpaceX, one of Elon Musk's other companies. If it lives up to its hype, it will cure the problem of broadband availability in rural areas, although affordability will still be an issue. Most satellite-based Internet access sucks (that's a technical term). If based on geostationary satellites (ones you can point a dish at), the distance to the satellite is so great that the round-trip time for data is forever; this problem is called latency. more

News Briefs

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

China Accuses Washington of Damaging Global Trade With Huawei Sanctions

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

UK Bans Huawei 5G Equipment, Also Orders 5G Kit to Be Removed From UK Networks by 2027

Alphabet's Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

Japan Fueling China's Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX's Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

Department of Commerce to Allow US Companies Work With Chinese to Develop 5G and Other Standards

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Broadband Companies Take Connectivity Pledge Amid COVID-19 Crisis

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

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

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

Germany's New Rules for Developing 5G Mobile Networks Will Not Exclude China's Huawei Technologies

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

US Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal But Says States Can't Be Barred from Passing Own Rules

Huawei Founder in a Staff Memo Warns Company Is Facing a 'Live-or-Die Moment'

Study Reveals U.S. Carriers Throttle Online Video on Their Mobile Networks Even When Not Congested

Telesat and the Government of Canada Join Forces to Tackle Canada's Digital Divide

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Introductory Remarks from Innovation '08

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Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective

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Industry Updates

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