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Where are the Gigabit Applications?

I remember that soon after the City of Chattanooga launched its citywide fiber network, the company held a competition seeking web applications that would benefit from gigabit speeds. I don't recall if anything useful came out of that effort, but I know that there are still today almost no big bandwidth applications on the web online aimed at the average household. more

New Innovations in Free Space Optics

I read an article on the Finley Engineering blog that talks about new research with free-space optics. For those not familiar with the term, this means communication gear that communicates directly using light without any wires. The article talks about a Chinese team of scientists who have used light to transmit ultrahigh-definition video signals between high-rise buildings. more

Elon Musk Interview: SpaceX, Starlink and His Motivation and Philosophy

Elon Musk packed a lot about SpaceX and Starlink into a 32-minute interview at the 2021 Mobile World Congress and ended with a discussion of his motivation and the roles of his three companies - SpaceX, Starlink, and Neuralnk. Let's start with the SpaceX and Starlink update and conclude with the philosophy and motivation. (Scroll to the end of the post for the video of the interview). more

The Infrastructure Guessing Game

As U.S. Congress inches closer to an infrastructure bill, the industry is feverously speculating how a broadband infrastructure plan might work. There is still a lot of compromise and wheeling and dealing to be done, so nobody knows how a final broadband program might work, or even definitively if there will be one. But since this is the billion-dollar question for the industry, it's worth a review of the possibilities. more

Deadline of July 2 to Nominate People for Jonathan B. Postel Service Award

Do you know of someone who has made the Internet better in some way who deserves more recognition? Maybe someone who has helped extend Internet access to a large region? Or wrote widely-used programs that make the Internet more secure? Or served in some capacity behind the scenes in Internet services? Or maybe someone who has been actively working for open standards and open processes for the Internet? more

Capping Broadband Internet by Design

FIOS by Verizon, is a bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service that operates over a fiber-optic communications network with over 5 million customers in nine U.S. states -- providing Fiber to the Home (FTTH). One of the first service areas was a Northern Virginia community known as Ashburn -- which is also is the cloud data center capital of the world. It literally sits on top of the most massive mesh of high bandwidth, low latency fiber in existence. more

NTIA's New Broadband Map

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration surprised the broadband industry by issuing a new broadband map for the whole U.S. The map differs in dramatic ways from the FCC's broadband map, which is derived from broadband speeds that are reported by the ISPs in the country. It's commonly understood that the FCC broadband map overstates broadband coverage significantly. The NTIA map draws upon varied sources in an attempt to create a more accurate picture of the availability of broadband. more

The U.S. Fiber Expansion Craze

I've written several times recently in blogs that there is a growing backlog in buying fiber cable. Some of the backlog is due to the general supply chain malaise that seems to be affecting almost everything we buy. During the recent gas shortages in North Carolina, I found out that there is a shortage of truck drivers. Apparently, many truck drivers found something else to do during the pandemic, and now there is a shortage of drivers to deliver the many goods that are shipped by truck. more

New Hair-Like Plastic Polymer Cable Can Transmit Data Ten Times Faster Than Copper

Scientists and engineers are always looking for ways to speed up and more efficiently configure computing devices to maximize data flow. There are a lot of applications today that require the exchange of huge volumes of data in real-time. MIT scientists have created a hair-like plastic polymer cable that can transmit data ten times faster than copper USB cables. more

SpaceX Starlink vs. Telesat Lightspeed

With 1,675 satellites launched and 500,000 requests for service in the United States alone, SpaceX Starlink clearly leads all would-be providers of low Earth orbit (LEO) internet service to consumers. However, it is arguable that Telesat Lightspeed is in the lead, or contending for the lead with SpaceX, in non-consumer enterprise, government, mobile backhaul, mobility and rural community markets. more

Industry Updates