Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Internet users in the U.S. pay more for broadband and have fewer choices than Europeans. According to findings from the Center for Public Integrity, Americans pay 3.5 times the amount that French people do for Internet access, for example, and most U.S. residents can only choose from two Internet providers. That’s because broadband companies carve out their own territories to offer service. Cable providers do the same thing, but Internet TV may finally force them to compete. Continue reading Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Comcast applied for a trademark last week for a high-speed Internet service named “True Gig.” The company already offers an expensive high-speed Internet service known as the “Extreme 505” with 505Mbps download speeds, but Comcast plans to eventually launch an even faster gigabit Internet service. The company also wants to use the phrase to describe online video streaming. The company’s previous video streaming service is no longer being offered as a standalone service. Continue reading Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

The Los Angeles city government put out a request for information regarding the construction of a citywide fiber and Wi-Fi network. Dutch company Angie Communications was the only one to make its full response public. It responded to the RFI with an ambitious plan to build an entire LA fiber network within five years, including the infrastructure for metro and street access. In addition, the company proposes a nationwide 4G cellular network and Wi-Fi network. Continue reading Los Angeles Requests Plans to Build Fiber Broadband Network

Nitero WiGig Chip Brings Multi-Gigabit Speeds to Smartphones

Last week, wireless startup Nitero unveiled its first WiGig radio silicon. The low-power WiGig chip is targeted at smartphones, tablets and TVs, specifically to transfer large files in a short range at extremely fast speeds. For example, the WiGig chip can stream 4K video from a TV to a smartphone using high frequency 60GHz waves. Nitero’s 28-nanometer WiGig chip reportedly consumes 10 times less power than competing chips from Wilocity. Continue reading Nitero WiGig Chip Brings Multi-Gigabit Speeds to Smartphones

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that works with a high-speed wireless technology called WiGig, which operates at a much higher frequency than Wi-Fi. WiGig has been considered as a potential replacement to wires for sending videos between components in the same room. It could transfer multiple 4K video streams, while Wi-Fi can only handle one. The bet is that WiGig will also become a standard feature on smartphones and other mobile devices. Continue reading Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity in Pursuit of WiGig Technology

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

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler on the Power of Community Broadband

Tom Wheeler met this week with Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to discuss the power of networks in driving economic growth. In an FCC Blog post titled “Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband,” Wheeler writes about Chattanooga’s history and Berke’s recognition that tomorrow’s economic growth will be reliant upon effective high-speed networks, which is why the city “invested in building out one of the nation’s most robust community broadband networks.” Continue reading FCC Chair Tom Wheeler on the Power of Community Broadband

Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Unlike Google, Microsoft is not trying to connect the entire Earth by using drones or balloons. Instead, the company hopes to utilize television white space, an unused part of the broadcast spectrum, to provide more Internet access to people living in Africa. After running cost-effective pilot programs in the U.S. and Kenya, Microsoft has found that the challenge for Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is to persuade governments to lift regulations to allow them to utilize white space. Continue reading Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to allow broadband providers to charge fees for high-speed Internet for faster delivery of video and other data, essentially allowing a premium Internet fast-lane for companies that can pay. Small content providers may not be able to compete because they do not have the resources to pay for high delivery speeds. The regulations would also prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing down individual websites. Continue reading Will Proposed FCC Regulations Create a Two-Speed Internet?

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

NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) uses a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from Earth to the moon. The record-setting laser recently made history by sending data 239,000 miles at a download speed of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). Radio frequency has been the main method of communication, but does not have the data capacity and speed of laser. If the laser program is successful, NASA plans to use it on future missions. Continue reading NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 70 percent of Americans 18 and older have high-speed broadband connections in their homes. Results of the survey, released yesterday, indicate that 20 percent of adults in the U.S. are still without broadband or smartphones for Internet access, while 3 percent are still using dial-up connections. Broadband adoption — still influenced by age, education, income, location and race — may also now be impacted by mobile substitution. Continue reading Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

LTE Networks in Asia Could Set the Stage for U.S. and Europe

Carrier aggregation allows for splicing and rearranging of the electromagnetic spectrum to create a super-charged network connection. A number of companies are experimenting with the technology, while networks in Asia are already touting faster speeds and breakthroughs in 4G. In June, SK Telecom announced its LTE-Advanced service with speeds two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G. South Korea’s LG U+ followed in July, leaving Europe and North America to play catch up. Continue reading LTE Networks in Asia Could Set the Stage for U.S. and Europe

Google Chromecast Could Be Challenge to Pay TV Providers

Google’s Chromecast, which wirelessly connects mobile devices and computers to television, is the latest potential challenge to pay TV. While it may not immediately disrupt the current business model, it offers a glimpse of Google’s vision to make the Internet a platform for TV. The TV industry has dealt with the disruption of Internet TV despite mounting pressure. However, media companies, broadcasters, pay TV providers and advertisers may need to redefine how they interact with one another. Continue reading Google Chromecast Could Be Challenge to Pay TV Providers

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