Comms regulator unveils broadband maps for USA

A wide shot of The Statue Of Liberty.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates interstate and international communications through cable, radio, television, satellite and wire in the US, has unveiled the pre-production draft of its new broadband maps.

These maps provide the best picture available to date of where broadband is and is not available across the country, and the FCC believes the maps will only get better from here.

Broadband consumers are empowered like never before. Maps that...

Australia’s NBN secures further $1.5B for its full-fibre rollout

The Australian government has announced a further $1.5 billion (AUS$2.4 billion) for the NBN to support its full-fibre rollout.

NBN (National Broadband Network) is an Australian national wholesale open-access data network that is operated by the NBN Co.

The state-owned NBN Co was established in 2009 and had connected 6.7 million homes and businesses as of February 2020. However, Australia’s largest infrastructure project has been widely perceived as failing to offer...

Ofcom politely asks ISPs not to raise broadband prices

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has given a polite notice to ISPs not to raise their broadband prices.

Self-inflicted economic chaos aside, the UK is – like many countries – in the grips of a cost-of-living crisis. Inflation is expected to hit 11 percent in October and food inflation is at the highest rate ever recorded.

Overall, the hit to UK household spending power is the biggest for at least 30 years.

Most companies are under strain from higher running...

OneWeb seeks £3B for GEN2 satellites that could support navigation

OneWeb is looking to raise around £3 billion to expand its constellation with second-generation satellites that could support navigation.

The British firm is part-owned by the UK government and currently has 428 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) at around 1,200km. By the end of 2023, OneWeb aims to have increased the size of its constellation to 648.

OneWeb is already able to provide speeds exceeding 100Mbps and with sub-100ms latency. While impressive, OneWeb can’t...

FCC authorises nearly $800M from RDOF to Nextlink, Starry and others

The FCC has announced the approval of nearly $800 million from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) that will go to providers including Nextlink and Starry.

Fixed wireless access (FWA) providers are the main beneficiaries of the RDOF fund as the FCC bets on their ability to achieve rural broadband availability targets.

"We are excited to partner with the FCC to deploy gigabit connectivity to households across rural America," said Nextlink CEO Bill Baker in a...

US Air Force hands SpaceX $1.9M for battle-tested Starlink services

The US Air Force has awarded SpaceX with a $1.9 million contract for its now battle-tested Starlink satellite broadband services.

As part of the contract, the US Air Force will use Starlink to support operations at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. SpaceX will provide Starlink terminals and service access for both fixed sites and mobile users.

Starlink is currently designed for use at fixed sites. A new ‘Portability’ feature was launched earlier this year – for an...

BT staff begin strike action over below-inflation pay rises

BT staff have begun strike action across the country in a row over below-inflation pay rises.

UK RPI inflation has reached 11.7 percent and is set to increase further later in the year. Many employers have offered pay rises to help ensure their staff aren’t left substantially worse off at the end of each month.

BT, for its part, offered its staff a £1,500 pay increase to help with the cost of living crisis. However, it’s been called a “weak, insulting” pay deal...

Virgin Media O2 increases data-free services list to help with the cost-of-living crisis

Virgin Media O2 has boosted its list of services that customers can access for free as part of its efforts to support people during the cost-of-living crisis.

Virgin Media O2 customers will now be able to access the National Debtline, Business Debtline, Turn2us, Debt Advice Foundation, and National Energy Action without using any of their mobile data.

National Energy Action Chief Executive Adam Scorer says: “The energy crisis is already making life difficult for...

Vodafone is now the UK’s largest full-fibre provider

Vodafone has become the UK’s largest provider of full-fibre broadband.

Full-fibre is up to 25 times faster than copper broadband and five times more reliable. Vodafone’s full-fibre services are now available to over eight million homes—more than TalkTalk, Sky, BT, and Virgin Media.

Broadband provider (consumer sales)Number of premises Full Fibre (FTTP or FTTH) is available atVodafone8,007,839TalkTalk7,918,492Sky7,361,859BT7,267,221Virgin Media1,104,862

Max...

AT&T achieves 20Gbps speeds on a production fibre network

AT&T has achieved 20Gbps symmetric speeds on a production fibre network, an industry-first.

The operator’s Hyper-Gig service is already the fastest in the US, offering 5Gbps symmetric speeds to consumers and businesses.

AT&T has been working to further increase its speeds to ensure its network is prepared for whatever future applications are thrown at it. Earlier this year, the operator announced that it had achieved 10Gbps speeds in its labs.

Lab...