When it comes to the possibility of home broadband competition, we want to believe. And in the case of 5G mobile broadband, wireless carriers want us to believe, too. But whether or not technological and commercial realities will reward that faith remains unclear. As with 5G smartphones, the basic challenge here sits at the intersection of the electromagnetic spectrum and telecom infrastructure economics.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees broadband policy, on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, which would require the government to collect granular information about which areas in the U.S. have access to high-speed internet and which do not.
Access to reliable and fast internet service is a foundational element for the modern economy. Since the advent of broadband service its delivery has been highly divided between urban and rural areas. Many states are continuing to address this divide and took action in 2019. Several states repealed laws prohibiting local electric companies and co-ops from providing broadband services, other states initiated official planning efforts to expand internet services, and many approved and dispersed funding to develop broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
It has been a quiet fall for SpaceX, which launched a Falcon 9 rocket early August before taking a break to prepare for future missions. Now, SpaceX has successfully deployed a new batch of Starlink internet satellites, and the Falcon 9 that delivered them made history in the process.
ARPANET was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the forerunner of DARPA today. ARPANET was the ancestor of the modern internet. It was the first packet-switching network to implement the TCP/IP protocol. The TCP/IP protocol was designed to be latency and fault-tolerant in a way that existing telephone networks were not. The major goal of the project was to allow for the more efficient sharing of computer resources.
SpaceX wants to add 30,000 Starlink broadband satellites to the 12,000 it already plans to put into orbit, despite concerns being raised about 'space junk' trapping us on Earth. Elon Musk's company recently filed the request with the International Telecommunication Union. Starlink is a project that intends to put over 12,000 satellites into the Earth's orbit so they can provide cheap WiFi to the entire world.
On Oct. 1, the Washington DC circuit court of appeals rejected arguments to reinstate net neutrality protections repealed last year by the Republican-led US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Telecom companies will now only be subject to “light-touch” federal regulation and are free to block, slow, or otherwise discriminate against content and services. FCC Chairman and ex-Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai welcomed the ruling as a “victory for consumers, broadband deployment, and the free and open Internet.”
Swarm had asked federal regulators for permission to launch and operate in space, as all American companies must do. Its application was rejected. The satellites launched anyway. When they crossed the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, Spangelo instantly became a space outlaw. The case of the rogue satellites was a first in the United States.
A federal appeals court upheld on Tuesday the government’s repeal of strict regulations for the companies that connect consumers to the internet. But the court also said the Federal Communications Commission had overstepped by broadly stopping state and local governments from writing their own rules.
How many Americans can’t buy home broadband because no ISP offers service in their area? You might think the answer to this question would be straightforward. The FCC releases reports on the state of US networks (wireless and wireline) on a regular basis, including the number of US citizens, principally in rural areas, who lack broadband service.