SoCal Cities Buck FCC to Create Regional Internet Network

Sixteen cities in Southern California’s South Bay have teamed up to provide cheaper Internet service to their 1.1 million residents. Their effort goes against a common belief that regional collaborations are unlikely to succeed because cities are busy, strapped for resources and competitive. It also irks the FCC, which believes that private companies are doing a great job of delivering Internet at low prices to everyone in America. The FCC has been actively discouraging states from building local Internet networks. Continue reading SoCal Cities Buck FCC to Create Regional Internet Network

Facebook Confirms Plans to Create Internet-Delivery Satellite

Facebook is aiming to launch its “Athena” Internet-delivery satellite early next year for parts of the globe where traditional delivery systems such as fiber optic cables are not feasible. According to an application the company reportedly filed with the FCC under the name PointView Tech LLC, the satellite intends to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world.” Facebook confirmed that Athena is its project, but offered no details. Similar Internet-delivery projects are in development by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and SoftBank-backed OneWeb. Continue reading Facebook Confirms Plans to Create Internet-Delivery Satellite

SoftBank Invests $500M More in Broadband Provider OneWeb

According to a knowledgeable source, Japan’s SoftBank Group plans to invest about $500 million more in satellite broadband provider OneWeb. That brings SoftBank’s total investment in the company to about $1.5 billion. OneWeb is a U.S. startup focused on providing Internet connectivity worldwide that is faster than current space-based or terrestrial systems. OneWeb founder/executive chairman Greg Wyler reports that the company is currently designing and looking for suppliers for its next-generation satellites. Continue reading SoftBank Invests $500M More in Broadband Provider OneWeb

Verizon Plans to Introduce 5G Residential Broadband in 2018

In late 2018, Verizon Communications will begin to sell 5G home broadband services in three to five cities, first in Sacramento, California. All these cities are expected to be outside the Northeast U.S. region where it has a landline business and also offers its FiOS high-speed fiber-optic Internet service. To access the 5G signal, customers will have a box in their windows to convert it to Wi-Fi inside the house. If Verizon succeeds, it could compete in cities where most users have access to only one broadband provider. Continue reading Verizon Plans to Introduce 5G Residential Broadband in 2018

Microsoft to Provide White-Space Broadband in Rural Areas

Microsoft has a plan for providing inexpensive broadband access to underserved areas of the U.S., and its president/chief legal officer Brad Smith just declared the company’s support for that plan. The company has long advocated the use of so-called TV white-space technology — unused TV spectrum — to bring broadband especially to rural areas. As part of the plan, Microsoft would also urge the Trump administration and Congress to make sure that unlicensed white-space spectrum is available in every market in the U.S. Continue reading Microsoft to Provide White-Space Broadband in Rural Areas

Google to Expand Tests of Wireless Internet to 24 Locations

Google has been testing its wireless-transmission technology using the 3.5 GHz band in Kansas City. Now, a redacted Federal Communications Commission filing reveals that the company has plans to set up its experimental transmitters for 24 months at up to 24 locations in the U.S., including Provo, Utah; Omaha, Nebraska; and Boulder, Colorado. The filing shows that Google is asking for authorization to operate in the range of 3.4 to 3.8 GHz, relying on newly available spectrum. Continue reading Google to Expand Tests of Wireless Internet to 24 Locations

Google, Asian Telecoms Build High-Speed Trans-Pacific Cable

Faster, the 5,600-mile undersea fiber-optic cable that was funded by Google and Asian telecoms, and installed by NEC, is now online. The new cable runs from Oregon to two points in Japan. According to Wired, “It’s the fastest, highest capacity trans-Pacific undersea cable ever built. It can theoretically deliver as much as 60 terabits per second of bandwidth — more than half the total bandwidth available between the U.S West Coast and Asia at the end of 2015.” Google plans to speed communications between its own data centers and offer cloud services from Tokyo. Facebook and Microsoft recently announced plans to construct a 160 terabit trans-Atlantic undersea cable from Virginia to Spain. Continue reading Google, Asian Telecoms Build High-Speed Trans-Pacific Cable

Facebook, Microsoft, Telefónica Partner on Trans-Atlantic Link

Facebook and Microsoft have partnered on Marea, a project to build a new fiber optic cable that will run for 4,000 miles under the Atlantic Ocean between Virginia and Spain. Telefónica SA, a Spanish Internet service provider, joins them in the project. The fiber link, composed of eight pairs of strands, will be the highest capacity link across the Atlantic. Marea, the Spanish word for tide, is just the latest such project that Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon have invested in to lower costs of moving massive amounts of data. Continue reading Facebook, Microsoft, Telefónica Partner on Trans-Atlantic Link

Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

By the middle of next year, Verizon customers could be watching over-the-top live channels and on-demand movies through a digital video service. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam told investors at a conference last week that his company was close to reaching deals with major content providers such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, DreamWorks, and AwesomenessTV. Verizon may even use multicasting technology to broadcast live content to smartphones via a single stream of airwaves. Continue reading Verizon Considers Launching a Digital Video Service in 2015

Verizon FiOS Eyes Future with Bump in Bandwidth for Uploads

Verizon’s FiOS TV and broadband service unveiled faster Internet upload speeds yesterday as a next step in competing with the cable industry while attempting to reverse slowing growth. The company is increasing the bandwidth its customers can use for uploading media, at no additional charge. FiOS will provide the same upload speeds as download speeds that subscribers currently have. FiOS plans to complete the rollout by the fall, with 95 percent of customers receiving it automatically. Continue reading Verizon FiOS Eyes Future with Bump in Bandwidth for Uploads

Global Wireless: Google Acquires Alpental in Pursuit of 5G

As part of its inititaive to extend Internet access to countries not yet connected, Google has acquired Alpental Technologies, a small startup focusing on 5G cellular service. Alpental, which was founded by former Clearwire engineers, has developed a cheap, high-speed networking technology that runs on 60GHz spectrum band. The FCC said that this band of spectrum has been used to provide service for buildings a mile apart at speeds up to seven gigabits per second. Continue reading Global Wireless: Google Acquires Alpental in Pursuit of 5G

NASA’s Shadow Internet: 100 Times Faster Than Google Fiber

NASA uses a super-fast shadow network, known as the Energy Science Network (ESnet for short), to connect researchers working on big data projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider or the Human Genome Project. ESnet uses fiber optic lines to reach transfer speeds of 91 gigabits per second, the fastest ever reported for end-to-end data transfer conducted under real world conditions. NASA does not plan on making ESnet available to consumers, but the tech may someday be picked up by Internet service providers. Continue reading NASA’s Shadow Internet: 100 Times Faster Than Google Fiber

Cox Announces Plans to Increase Broadband Service Speeds

As online entertainment grows in popularity, leading to demand for faster access, Cox Communications is planning to make its broadband service for residential customers much faster this year. Cox is planning on offering Internet speeds of 1 gigabit-per-second, which is 100 times faster than the average Web access. This service will closely compete with AT&T and Google who are also trying to introduce fiber-optic broadband services, and offer customers 1 gigabit-per-second speeds. Continue reading Cox Announces Plans to Increase Broadband Service Speeds

AT&T and Chernin Group Invest $500 Million in Online Video

AT&T announced a joint venture with The Chernin Group to commit $500 million to buy and launch Internet video services. Video content is foreign territory for AT&T, while Chernin’s only foothold is a majority stake in anime streaming service, Crunchyroll. Together, the two organizations have pledged to “acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top video services.” AT&T’s move into streaming services comes on the heels of similar projects by competitors such as Verizon and Dish Network. Continue reading AT&T and Chernin Group Invest $500 Million in Online Video

Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks

AT&T announced plans to bring its high-speed fiber optic network, AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, to as many as 100 cities, including some that are already part of Google Fiber’s planned expansion in the next few years. AT&T and Google have fiber optic development planned in several of the same cities, such as San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. Continue reading Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks