Items tagged with Broadband

The U.S. is far behind other counties when it comes to broadband internet speeds and availability. Much of the rural U.S. lack access to broadband, or only has speeds that don't qualify as broadband. The Trump Administration wants to change that and is putting big money into a fund that aims to ensure that rural America has access to 5G wireless broadband networks. President Trump and FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced this week that a 5G-spectrum auction would be held on December 10th to open airwaves that can be used to deploy commercial 5G wireless networks. The wireless spectrum auction will be the largest in U.S. history and will cover three different radio frequency bands that operate at 3,4000... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission would have us believe that everything is hunky-dory in the land of broadband, that speeds and availability are improving at a steady clip in the United States, and that 'only' around 25 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet. Microsoft is calling BS on the data, though, saying the mapping data the FCC relies on for its annual broadband reports is "inaccurate." "The government’s most current broadband statistics come from the FCC and suggest 25 million Americans lack access to a broadband connection. There’s strong evidence, though, that the percentage of Americans without broadband access is much higher than the figures reported... Read more...
If you are itching to be one of the first on the block with 5G wireless connectivity, AT&T is getting ready to turn on its network in a few select cities. Unlike Verizon's 5G service, which is using proprietary technology -- at least initially -- AT&T says that its 5G network is "standards-based". At the moment, there is only one device that is certified for use on AT&T's 5G network, and that's the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot. This little device will allow your notebook, tablet, or any other Wi-Fi capable device to hop on AT&T's network and enjoy the faster data speeds and incredibly low latency. Unfortunately, AT&T isn't giving us any concrete details on how fast... Read more...
The FCC upset a lot of people when it voted to repeal net neutrality rules. The Commission then wanted to reduce the speed that is considered to be broadband in some areas, however, the backlash to that move saw the FCC step back and stop its attempts to reclassify broadband speeds in some areas. The FCC has worked to ensure that it's easier for broadband providers to get their speedy services to more people; Google Fiber in particular benefitted from a change in FCC regulations regarding utility pole usage. The FCC has now announced that it is launching an investigation into one or more major wireless carriers. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced that the agency is launching an investigation... Read more...
Alphabet says that going into the ambitious rollout of its Google Fiber internet that it knew things would be costly, hard to pull off, and slow-going. What the search giant didn’t expect going into Google Fiber rollout was how hard it would be to gain timely access to space on a utility pole to install its equipment. Google says that one of the bigger challenges it encountered with utility poles had to do with making the poles ready for the new attachments. Google says that the "Make Ready" portion of the install currently involves a sequential process that means multiple crews coming out to the pole several times over many months. That process means lengthy delays and inflated costs... Read more...
Over the past week, we've reported quite a bit about the rise of cord-cutting and how big cable and satellite TV companies are adapting to the changing landscape. Comcast in particular lost 96,000 customers last quarter, and is looking for new ways to stop defectors from moving to cheaper alternatives. Last week, Comcast responded by raising internet speeds out of the blue for customers in specific regions of the United States: Houston, Oregon, and Southwest Washington. We don't know if these areas in particular have seen heavy defections from Comcast's TV packages, but customers in these regions are seeing some massive increases in their internet download speeds.  What's even more... Read more...
Google at one point has aspirations of ushering in a new era of broadband connectivity, and specifically high-speed connections of 1Gbps and higher. This initiative was given a name, Google Fiber, with roll outs in select parts of the country. For a period of time, it was not difficult to imagine a future in which Google and its partners would dominate the high-speed Internet infrastructure, but it was not to be. The promises Google made fell by the wayside, in part because competing ISPs made things difficult. Before Google changed its trajectory to wireless, it met with resistance in trying to deploy fiber connections in some areas. For example, AT&T fought a decision by a Louisville council... Read more...
Just a little over a week after making history with the successful launch of Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is once again in the news. This time around, the company has gained FCC approval to lay the groundwork for a satellite-based internet service called Starlink. When we think of satellite internet, problems with latency often crop into our minds. This is because traditional satellites that are capable of delivering internet and TV service operate in a geostationary orbit (GEO) at an altitude of around 36,000 kilometers. However, the satellites that will form the backbone off Starlink will orbit the earth at an altitude of around 1,200 kilometers. This will drastically cut the latency measured from... Read more...
The FCC has been catching heat in its current form for making changes to existing regulations governing broadband internet access. The big change the FCC made was to eliminate the net neutrality rules that forced ISPs to treat all traffic equally, no matter the service or application. Another place where the FCC was considering a big change was with a plan that could have weakened the definition of what speed and type connection qualifies as "broadband."  Thankfully, the FCC is stepping away from a new classification that would change the definition of broadband. The draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report has now been issued by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The good news is that the FCC has chosen... Read more...
It's our job to be impartial and report on the news from an unbiased perspective, but boy does the Federal Communications Commission and its chairman Ajit Pai make that difficult. Apparently it was not enough that the FCC voted 3-2 to erase net neutrality regulations, ignoring popular opinion as well as pleas from the Internet's pioneers. Now the FCC wants to lower the broadband speed standard in a roundabout sort of way. The wireless standard proposed is 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up. That's less than half of the current land-based broadband standard, which was bumped up to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up in 2015, amid groans from ISPs. At the time, service providers argued that 25Mbps down / 3Mbps up was... Read more...
AT&T is testing out a new way of delivering ultra-fast Internet connectivity to customers that is on par with fiber-optic networks, only AT&T's solution is over the air. Called "Project AirGig," this first-of-its-kind system consists of a contraption that clamps onto existing power poles, negating the need to build new towers or run lines under the ground. According to AT&T, it only takes a few minutes to train an electrical worker how to install these devices. Project AirGig is the result of over a decade of research by AT&T Labs. More than 300 patents and patent applications are involved. AT&T says it represents a potential new era in connectivity where turbocharged data... Read more...
For Australians, access to truly high-speed broadband isn't exactly easy to find. We Americans might complain about broadband monopolies and slow internet speeds (especially in rural areas), but the United States still ranks 11th in the world with average download speeds of 74.68 Mbps. Australia, on the other hand, ranks in 55th place at 25.18 Mbps according to Speedtest. So, you would think that Australia would be doing everything in its power to expand its national telecommunications infrastructure. Well, the country is definitely trying, but mother nature is threatening to thwart its plans. In fact, one particular type of bird is chewing through cables, causing tens of thousands of dollars... Read more...
Microsoft is celebrating now that that its undersea cable between the United States and Spain has been completed. The cable is called the Marea subsea cable, with Marea being the Spanish word for tide. Microsoft and partners ran the cable between the US and Spain to help upgrade the global internet infrastructure to meet the demand for internet and cloud services. The cable was quite the undertaking, as it resides more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the ocean in some places. Microsoft says that Marea is the most technologically advanced subsea cable crossing the Atlantic. However, Microsoft wasn't alone in funding the cable and working on the project; it also credited Facebook... Read more...
The only people who think data caps are a good things are the ISPs that make huge amounts of money by charging customers each month for overages. While ISPs with data caps are in the minority, new research from a company called BroadbandNow has surveyed every internet provider out there and found that out of all the ISPs in its database (over 2,500), 196 of them have imposed data caps. The data caps vary regionally, meaning that some providers will have smaller or larger data allotments in different areas. While 196 providers out of around 2,500 sounds small, the carriers on the list imposing data caps are some of the largest in the country, meaning that large numbers of Internet users are subject... Read more...
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