Items tagged with Broadband

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...
One of the biggest challenges that major technology firms have committed to solving is extending broadband Internet service into remote areas. Facebook and Google are both actively involved in connecting the world, and now Microsoft is joining the fray with a unique solution. What Microsoft wants to do is utilize the unused channels between television broadcasts—these are known as white spaces—to bring online broadband connectivity to rural spots in America. Microsoft's effort is part of a $10 billion program to close the broadband gap. Fittingly enough, the Redmond outfit announced its massive investment at an event at the Willard Hotel in Washington, the same place Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated... Read more...
The space above Earth is about to get a little more crowded. The FCC has recently granted approval to OneWeb to launch over 720 Internet-beaming satellites into orbit. OneWeb is “the first satellite constellation of its kind to receive approval from the full commission.” The low-Earth orbit satellites will employ on-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) technology. OneWeb as a company is backed by some industry heavy-hitters as well, with Dr. Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm and Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, among others residing on its Board of Directors. Image from: OneWebOneWeb was granted 7 GHz of spectrum in 1997 by the United Nations International Telecommunications... Read more...
AT&T is putting the word out that it is "creating a 5G network that will change the world," only it's not really a 5G network. It is more like a rebranded 4G network that AT&T is calling 5G Evolution, a fancy marketing term that is supposed to make customers think of real 5G, the next generation successor to 4G LTE that will offer significantly faster speeds than what is available today. To be fair, that's also the pitch from AT&T—the company says its 5G Evolution network "offers twice the speeds" of its 4G LTE network, at least in Austin, Texas. And that may very well be true, but make no mistake, 5G Evolution is not the same as 5G no matter how much AT&T wants customers to think... Read more...
Living far away from a major city center can offer a huge number of perks (like peace and quiet), but quality Internet access is rarely one of those perks. While many of us might curse at our meager 50Mbps connections from time to time, there are many others who are still at the mercy of latency-ridden satellite or glacier-slow dial-up. Fortunately for some, a real solution might be right around the corner: Super Wi-Fi. One ISP already taking advantage of Super Wi-Fi is Cal.net, which caters to those living in rural parts surrounding Sacramento. With it, customers can do a lot more than just read and reply to email, including taking advantage of the ultimate luxury: Netflix. Flickr: James Cridland... Read more...
The future of Google Fiber is anything but crystal clear. It was reported in October of last year that Google Fiber had put a halt on its plans to expand in 10 cities and that job cuts loomed as it looked to make a shift from ultra high-speed wired broadband service to wireless deployments. It was mostly quiet after that, until now—Google Fiber is bringing on new blood to lead to the division.Things can get a little confusion because of the way Google's business is broken down. There is Alphabet at top, the parent company of Google and several other businesses that used to fall under the Google umbrella. One of them is called Access. It's a division of Alphabet that includes Google Fiber, and... Read more...
Our neighbors to the north are looking to make sure that all of its citizens have access to high-speed internet. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) this week announced that it is investing an additional $750 million (which will complement existing and future commitments) to upgrade broadband infrastructure across the country. This initiative not only applies to fixed broadband connections to homes and business, but also to mobile wireless technology (particularly along Canadian roadways). The primary focus will be to ensure that “underserved areas” are connected, like citizens that live in rural sections of the country. These Canadians “do not have access to... Read more...
Google has taken a small but potentially important step towards improving Internet speeds in Cuba. To that end, the Mountain View firm announced today that it has signed an agreement with Cuba's state-run telecommunications company to deploy servers in the region to boost speeds to Google's services, such as Gmail and YouTube. The deal will provide Google's Global Cache service to Cuba. By allowing the government-run telecommunications company ETECSA to use its technology and local servers, it can serve up access to Google's services at reduced latencies by caching some of its more popular high-bandwidth content at a local level. "This in turn means Cubans who already have access to the internet... Read more...
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