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Are the LEOs Going to Disrupt the Telco Market?

We are getting closer to using alternative broadband solutions offered by international companies. Local telecommunication entities will, in this respect, be relegated to resellers. The reality of accessing low Earth-orbiting satellite (LEO) services is now clearly on the horizon. Most of the telcos and governments are not prepared for the potential shock this might cause to the structure of local telecommunications markets. more

Cord Cutting in the US Continues in 4Q 2020

The largest traditional cable providers collectively lost over 1.3 million customers in the fourth quarter of 2020 -- an overall loss of 1.7% of customers. To put the quarter's loss into perspective, the big cable providers lost 14,158 cable customers per day throughout the quarter. The numbers below come from Leichtman Research Group, which compiles these numbers from reports made to investors, except for Cox, which is estimated. more

Guowang Starnet Will Be China's Global Broadband Provider

In an earlier post, I described what looked like two forthcoming Chinese broadband constellations, Hongyun and Hongyan and in another post, I described a third, identified as "GW" at the time. All three were projects of state-owned enterprises China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC). There was pushback from those contending that a broadband constellation was redundant ... more

A Look at Cuba's Digital Revolution

In spite of having a slow, expensive, government-controlled Internet infrastructure, Cuba is undergoing what Ted Henken and Sara Garcia Santamaria refer to as a digital revolution. The digital revolution might be said to have begun in 2007 when Yoani Sánchez launched her blog "Generation Y." Internet access was difficult -- she would get illegal connectivity at tourist hotels, and the blog was initially hosted in Germany. Soon, the Huffington Post began publishing her posts, and she has subsequently received many international awards, including the Ortega y Gasset Award for Digital Journalism in 2008. more

The WiFi 6 Revolution

We're edging closer every day to seeing WiFi 6 in our homes. WiFi 6 will be bolstered by the newly approved 6 GHz frequency, and the combination of WiFi 6 and 6 GHz spectrum is going to revolutionize home broadband. I don't think many people understand how many of our home broadband woes are caused by current WiFi technology. WiFi has been an awesome technology that freed our homes from long category 5 wires everywhere, but WiFi has a basic flaw that became apparent when homeowners started to buy hordes of WiFi-enabled devices.  more

Is Fiber a Hundred Year Investment?

I think every client who is considering building a fiber network asks me how long the fiber will last. Their fear is having to spend the money at some future point to rebuild the network. Recently, my response has been that fiber is a hundred-year investment -- and let me explain why I say that. We're now seeing fiber built in the 1980s becoming opaque or developing enough microscopic cracks that impede the flow of light. more

Keep Politics Out of 5G International Standardization

For the past hundred years or so, the world's vendors of communication networks and services have collaborated -- largely among themselves -- with great success. That paradigm continues today for 5G with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and an ecosystem cluster of related organizations where industry and affected government agencies worldwide successfully work on a massive scale. more

SpaceX's Starlink Service in Cuba Would Benefit the Cuban People, SpaceX and the US

SpaceX has begun the process of securing licenses to operate its Starlink Internet service in the Caribbean. I don't know which nations they are considering, but would advise them to seriously consider Cuba -- Starlink service in Cuba would benefit the Cuban people, SpaceX, and the US. What's in it for Cuba? Fixed home and commercial connectivity in Cuba are limited, slow, and expensive, but they do have shared connectivity... more

Quantifying the Benefits of Fiber

Dr. Bento J. Lobo, an economist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga undertook a study to quantify the benefits of the municipally-owned fiber network in Chattanooga. Any citywide fiber network brings economic development to a community, but a municipally-owned system brings additional benefits because of the way that the business is more deeply integrated into the community. more

Why Do We Assume Cable Broadband is Always Good?

One of the oddest aspects of FCC monitoring of broadband is that the agency has accepted the premise that any broadband product faster than 25/3 Mbps is adequate broadband. This means that the FCC has completely accepted that broadband provided by cable companies is adequate and is something the agency doesn't have to be concerned with. The FCC makes the automatic assumption that broadband from cable companies is good broadband... more