Terabit satellites to supercharge remote internet access

Matt Brian

Despite the growth of fiber and mobile networks, satellite broadband is now more important than ever. Google and Facebook already plan to beam internet connectivity to remote parts of the globe and airlines are in the process of upgrading their equipment to provide faster WiFi aboard flights.

While there are roughly 400 commercial satellites orbiting the earth, output is limited. US communications firm ViaSat believes it can change that, so it’s teamed up aerospace giant Boeing to launch three new satellites that will deliver twice the total combined network capacity of all the connected satellites already in space.

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FCC Narrowly Misses Its Gigabit Deployment Goal

by Karl Bode

Back in 2013, then FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a “1 Gbps challenge”: basically a pledge to ensure there was at least one gigabit network operating in all fifty states by 2015. As we noted at the time it was kind of a show pony goal; notorious fence-sitter Genachowski was simply setting a goal he knew the industry would probably meet with or without’s government help, so that government could come in at a later date and insist it played an integral role.

Well, 2015 has come and gone, and while there is at least one gigabit network planned for every state, we narrowly missed Genochowski’s goal by most estimates:

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We combed through our archives and other online resources and, by our tally, at least one network operator has announced plans to offer gigabit service in every state. Not all of these networks are actually deployed or supporting service yet. But generally network operators don’t announce specific markets more than a year or two in advance of when they expect to deliver service.


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All Residents Need A Broadband Choice

English: The Penmynydd high-speed broadband tr...

English: The Penmynydd high-speed broadband transmission mast viewed from the churchyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite the fact that Internet access speeds are increasing on average, there are still almost 40% of Americans without broadband service. I know this because my parents live just a few minutes out of a state capital and do not have any access to any wired broadband service. There is no easy answer to this solution because serving these rural areas is expensive.

Building the last-mile infrastructure is the most costly part of the build. Carriers are challenged to be profitable building out rural areas even if they had a 100% market share. This is why the Universal Service Fund was created. Instead of all customers subsidizing rural communities, local governments and carriers should be allowed to form a public/private partnership to build an open-access last-mile fiber infrastructure. All carriers could then utilize this infrastructure to provide competitive communications services to potential customers no different than in densely packed urban areas. This method is fairer to all parties and does not put taxpayers at as much risk. Continue reading

FCC Chair: 39% Of Rural America Lacks Broadband Access

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If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service.

This is according to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, who will issue his latest annual Broadband Progress Report later this month. Continue reading

Fiber Optics Now Seen as Default Technology Even for Deployment of Rural Broadband, Says FCC Official

, Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 16, 2015 – Fiber-optics is now the default mode for deploying high-speed internet throughout the country, even including rural areas, said the head of the Federal Communications Commission‘s office of strategic planning.

Everywhere the country has been able to get an electric line, it ought to be able to get a fiber cable, said Jonathan Chambers, chief of the office, widely regarded as the FCC think tank for technological advancement. Continue reading

Google considering bypassing its ‘fiber’ – only to replace it with ultra-fast wireless!

Aspen Communication's wireless access point in...

Aspen Communication’s wireless access point in Tyler, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google is known across the world as the company whose best, perhaps only, interest is to get as many people online as possible. It is perhaps due to this reason that it has launched its highly-revered high-speed ISP service in select US locations where demand seems to be extremely high.

In its latest initiative, Google is about to test new technology that will deliver ultra-fast wireless internet by bypassing the physical fiber cables that are needed for their high-end internet service. Google has filed an application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission wherein it has asked the agency for permission to perform tests over various wireless spectrums across California. The filing has also requested the utilization of rarely-used millimeter-wave frequency that has the potential to transmit substantial amounts of data. Continue reading

Wyoming Town Creates Broadband Bonanza

How does a town of 5000 people in a sparsely populated region get its own fiber-to-household broadband system — WITHOUT relying on federal funding? Powell, Wyoming, is one of the great broadband success stories of the decade.

By Craig Settles

Powell, Wyoming, at first glance may appear to be the typical rural community that large and even some small broadband service providers avoid. The town has just over 5,000 residents in a county with a population density of four people per square mile. The last place for a fiber network, right? Wrong! Powell’s community-owned network, Powellink, is one of the great success stories in broadband.

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