FCC announces rules for $20 billion allocation of rural broadband funds

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on rules later this month for the distribution of over $20 billion in rural broadband funds.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced the rules on Wednesday for the funds that will not only support rural broadband providers, but also companies that have previously been ineligible for subsidies including wireless firms, electric co-ops, and cable providers.

The funds will be distributed over 10 years with the intention of finally closing the digital divide when it...

Tech groups petition US court to reconsider net neutrality ruling

Groups representing major tech firms have asked a US court to reconsider an October ruling which largely upheld the 2017 repealing of net neutrality rules.

The subject of net neutrality consistently made the headlines during 2017 and 2018 – we know, we wrote many of them – but it's become a less hot topic this year.

Part of the reason for the decline in debate is that the FCC ruled against net neutrality in December 2017 and repealed...

Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee lays out 'contract' to save it

The web is not in a healthy state and its creator is stepping in with a "contract” to help save it.

British pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for what became the World Wide Web in 1989. In a list of 80 cultural moments that shaped the world, chosen by a panel of 25 eminent scientists, academics, writers, and world leaders, the invention of the World Wide Web was ranked number one.

The entry stated, "The fastest-growing communications medium of all time, the internet has changed...

By Ryan Daws, 26 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks.

Labour’s free state broadband pledge causes widespread concern

Several figures and bodies have warned about the potential impact of Labour’s free state broadband pledge ahead of the UK general election.

For the world’s fifth-largest economy, Britain’s broadband is pitiful. Research conducted by Cable ranks the UK 34th globally with a mean download speed of 22.3Mbps. Even worse, around 10 percent of households are still unable to access fibre broadband.

With the UK’s general election looming,...

By Ryan Daws, 18 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Fiber Optic, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks, Operators.

SpaceX successfully launches 60 improved Starlink satellites

SpaceX has successfully launched 60 improved Starlink satellites which pack a number of upgrades.

The main addition is increased spectrum capacity for end-users by making full use of the Ka- and Ku-bands. SpaceX's initial 60 satellites only supported Ku-band antennas.

Another change, aimed at quelling fears about space junk, is that more components of each satellite will burn up entirely in Earth's atmosphere at the end of their life.

With the original batch of satellites, SpaceX promised 95 percent...

By Ryan Daws, 11 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Networks, Satellite.

BT launches Halo plans to provide converged 5G and fixed broadband

BT has merged its “Halo” and “No Limits” mobile plans, which aims to combine the power of 5G mobile and fixed line home broadband (FTTC, FTTP, G.fast) networks. This will help the telecom provider’s subscribers enjoy the benefits offered by the convergence.

The existing 5G customers with BT Plus plans will be automatically upgraded to reap from Halo.

BT...

By Telecoms, 11 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Cloud, Connectivity, Europe, Wireless.

SpaceX asks ITU for permission to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX is doubling-down on its orbital broadband project and has filed paperwork with the ITU to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites.

The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is a global body which governs the allocation of international bandwidth. Any launch requires the ITU's permission to ensure fair, safe, and responsible satellite deployments.

SpaceX already has permission for 12,000 satellites to be launched. If the request for further launches is granted, a constellation of 42,000...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Infrastructure, Innovation, Networks, Rural, Satellite.

Huawei and Sunrise set 5G network speed record of 3.67Gbps

Sunrise and Huawei have reached a record download speed of 3.67Gbps by using multiple 5G-enabled smartphones in one 5G cell in Zürich. This speed was achieved during a testing that was performed on C-Band 100MHz bandwidth, which was compatible to 3GPP standards.

Earlier, a single user smartphone speed was recorded up to 2Gbps.

Sunrise is the first telecommunication company in...

By Telecoms, 11 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity.

UK government pledges £5bn for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025

During the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged £5 billion for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025.

Standing on the steps of Downing Street following his election in July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the rollout of gigabit broadband one of his key pledges. The chancellor has now committed public money to help achieve Johnson’s pledge.

"We are setting out plans to invest £5bn to support the rollout of full-fibre, 5G and other gigabit-capable networks to...

By Ryan Daws, 30 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, Europe, Fiber Optic, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Rural.

Inmarsat launches GX Aviation in-flight WiFi on AirAsia planes

Satellite broadband provider Inmarsat is launching its new “gold standard” GX Aviation in-flight WiFi on AirAsia planes.

AirAsia will benefit from the world’s first and only global broadband network. Passengers will be offered a free trial on equipped aircraft until the end of this month.

GX Aviation integrates with AirAsia’s entertainment and e-commerce platform to provide passengers with access to a variety of free entertainment, music, games, news and shopping using their personal...

By Ryan Daws, 24 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Asia, Broadband, Connectivity, Entertainment, Infrastructure, Innovation, Networks, Satellite, Wireless.

The Connectivity Index reveals the world’s 34 most connected countries

Research conducted by Carphone Warehouse has led to The Connectivity Index, a ranking of the world’s 34 most connected countries.

The index takes into consideration things such as broadband access and mobile speeds, but also social and political factors.

Here are the factors Carphone Warehouse took into account when creating their index:

  • Information: number of 5G deployments, number of internet hosts, mobile speeds and electricity production.

  • Movement: number of air passengers, number of tourists, rail infrastructure quality and road...

UK broadband chiefs warn PM Johnson's full-fibre plan unachievable without major changes

UK broadband chiefs have warned that PM Johnson's full-fibre plan is unachievable without major legislative changes.

Full-fibre broadband by 2025 is one of the new prime minister's key pledges, made on the steps of Downing Street in his maiden speech. The new target is eight years earlier than the previous target of 2033 which Johnson called "laughably unambitious".

Johnson's pledge was quickly welcomed by broadband provider Virgin Media which said it was ready to get working with the...

By Ryan Daws, 05 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Europe, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks, Regulation.

Virgin Media chief is enthused by UK PM Johnson’s pledge to speed up gigabit broadband rollout

Virgin Media COO Jeff Dodds has voiced his enthusiasm for UK PM Boris Johnson’s pledge to speed up the rollout of gigabit broadband.

Johnson, who took office on Wednesday, pledged on the steps of Downing Street in his first speech to make full-fibre broadband across the country.

The current government target set by the outgoing administration is for gigabit broadband to be available across the country by 2033. Johnson called the existing target “laughably unambitious” and promised to deliver...

Three says it will have the UK’s fastest 5G in 25 cities this year

Three UK has proclaimed it will provide the nation’s fastest 5G when it launches in 25 cities later this year.

Despite being the UK’s smallest operator by subscribers, Three has achieved significant milestones. The carrier was the first to launch a 3G network and continues to focus on its data offerings.

Dave Dyson, CEO at Three, said: “It’s clear that consumers and businesses want more and more data. We have the UK’s best network for data and we have led the market on customer...

By Ryan Daws, 10 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, Networks, Operators, Spectrum, Wireless.

Vodafone 5G gets UK launch date, first to offer European roaming

Vodafone UK has set a date for its 5G network launch in addition to being the first operator to offer roaming in four European countries.

The operator will switch on its 5G network for consumers and businesses on the 3rd July 2019. Initially, it will be available in seven major cities.

Here are the first cities to go live:

  • Bristol

  • Birmingham

  • Cardiff

  • London

  • Glasgow

  • Manchester

  • Liverpool

A further 12 cities are due to go online later this year: Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

John Delaney, Associate VP of Mobility at IDC, said:

“It is clear that Vodafone is determined to be a leader...

BT launches ‘stay fast’ speed guarantee with 24/7 monitoring

British Telecom (BT) has launched a ‘stay fast’ speed guarantee for its broadband customers with 24/7 monitoring.

Upon signing up or extending their contract, a customer will now be provided with an upfront personalised speed.

BT will attempt to remotely optimise the line if the speed falls below this mark or will dispatch an engineer to further investigate why the expected speed is not being delivered.

The company says it will monitor customers’ speeds 24/7 to be proactive if service is...

By Ryan Daws, 03 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, Europe, Fiber Optic, Industry, Networks, Operators.

Amazon plans to launch a 3,236-strong constellation of satellites

Amazon has confirmed plans to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites for global internet connectivity.

GeekWire first discovered the plans known as ‘Project Kuiper’ which refers to the name of an icy asteroid belt situated between Neptune and Pluto. 3,236 satellites would be deployed across three altitudes of earth's orbit under Amazon's plans.

In an emailed statement, Amazon wrote:

“Project Kuiper is a...

T-Mobile pledges to take on ‘the cableopoly’ in Sprint merger bid

T-Mobile has promised it will take on cable firms as part of its latest attempt to woo regulators into authorising the Sprint merger.

In a blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere claims the combined firms will be able to solve the lack of broadband connectivity in some rural areas:

“With the New T-Mobile and our unique 5G capabilities, we’ll be able to offer a fast and reliable alternative for in-home broadband –...

Satellite: Bridging the digital divide between urban and rural communities

Opinion Despite significant investment over the years, there are still ‘black spots’ in connectivity – not only in rural areas, but even in the heart of London. With data-intensive applications an expected part of mobile life, these black spots can have significant implications.

For instance, a business looking to relocate within the UK will most likely make the level of connectivity...

By Evan Dixon, 20 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Networks, Satellite, Wireless.