Chinese telecoms equipment removal will cost the US around $1.8bn

US telecoms regulator the FCC has estimated the removal of Chinese equipment will result in a fairly substantial bill.

On Friday, the FCC released a report (PDF) which highlighted that operators in the US have already applied for around $1.6 billion in reimbursement funds as part of the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act of 2019.

However, Congress is yet to approve the much-needed funds to support the predominantly small operators.

Ajit Pai, Chairman...

FCC chairman used known bad data from ISP now facing a fine

FCC chairman Ajit Pai cited data from BarrierFree to boast of improved rural broadband access, despite warnings that it was overinflated.

The FCC has been on a mission to improve broadband access for rural Americans with the launch of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund last year.

On its website, the FCC highlights the scale of the issue:

“In urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. In rural areas, that number falls...

FCC greenlights Amazon’s Kuiper 3,236 satellite broadband constellation

The FCC has greenlit Amazon's plans to deploy a constellation of 3,236 broadband satellites into the night sky.

Amazon is calling its project Kuiper (named after the belt in the outer solar system which extends from the orbit of Neptune at 30 AU, to approximately 50 AU from the Sun.)

“We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don’t have reliable internet at home,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice...

Trump extends Huawei ban order until at least May 2021

President Trump has extended an executive order banning Huawei’s telecoms equipment until at least May 2021.

The executive order, first issued last year, bans US companies from using Huawei’s equipment over alleged security risks.

While the renewed order does not specifically name any company, US lawmakers have repeatedly shared their concerns that Chinese telecoms vendors like Huawei and ZTE are controlled by Beijing and pose a national security threat – an...

Elon Musk: SpaceX’s internet service will go live in around six months

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he expects the company's satellites to be delivering internet connectivity in around six months.

A private beta of the service is expected in around three months. The public beta, in around six months, will start with high latitude satellites.

SpaceX first launched its operational high latitude satellites in May 2019. The high latitude means connectivity may be intermittent and speeds will be relatively slow.

Last year, the company...

Satellite internet firm OneWeb files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

OneWeb has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it seeks a new buyer to continue its satellite internet ambitions.

The promising startup was forced into filing for bankruptcy after its attempts to get financing was unsuccessful.

OneWeb says it was “close” to receiving the crucial financing but the unexpected coronavirus pandemic resulted in the prospective deal being cut short amid market turbulence.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows OneWeb to keep its existing work...

SpaceX asks ITU for permission to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX is doubling-down on its orbital broadband project and has filed paperwork with the ITU to launch 30,000 more Starlink satellites.

The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is a global body which governs the allocation of international bandwidth. Any launch requires the ITU's permission to ensure fair, safe, and responsible satellite deployments.

SpaceX already has permission for 12,000 satellites to be launched. If the request for further launches is granted,...

uSwitch: 5G launch won’t solve the UK’s rural connectivity problems

Research from uSwitch suggests Britain’s rural connectivity problems will not be solved by 5G connectivity.

The research found a third of adult smartphone users still have trouble connecting to 4G at least once a week. As shown in the chart below by OpenSignal, every region of the UK still has 4G availability issues with the South West suffering most:

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch, says:

“With so many of us completely...

UK government pledges £5bn for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025

During the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged £5 billion for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025.

Standing on the steps of Downing Street following his election in July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the rollout of gigabit broadband one of his key pledges. The chancellor has now committed public money to help achieve Johnson’s pledge.

"We are setting out plans to invest £5bn to support the rollout of full-fibre, 5G and...

Satellites will deliver fiber-like connectivity across the Arctic in 2020

Fiber-like connectivity will be available across the entire Arctic from 2020 thanks to a network of low-orbit satellites.

While a number of satellite providers have announced expansions into the Arctic, OneWeb claims to be "the only one capable of providing true high-speed, low-latency internet, at far lower costs than existing suppliers and before any other planned systems."

OneWeb's satellites deliver 375 Gbps of capacity to every country above the 60th...