FCC wants the public to help measure actual broadband speeds

The FCC is encouraging the public to download and use its Speed Test app to help the regulator gain a greater understanding of the speeds consumers are actually receiving.

Data used by regulators is often not representative of real-world experiences. The FCC’s broadband coverage maps, for example, have come under repeated scrutiny for being inaccurate—predominately due to what internet access advocates claim is a weak definition of coverage by the FCC which allows carriers to...

White House says broadband ‘is the new electricity’ as it pledges connectivity for all

President Joe Biden is returning to where his campaign started in Pittsburgh to launch a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, including a pledge to ensure connectivity for all.

The eight-year plan will see $100 billion spent on deploying broadband to underserved communities across rural America.

In a release, the White House wrote:

“President Biden believes that building out broadband infrastructure isn’t enough. We also must ensure that every American who...

Inmarsat helps the Australian Defence Force to become a satellite operator

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is now using Inmarsat’s satellites for its operations following an AUS$221 million contract.

As a virtual satellite operator, the ADF is able to control its service use directly. Inmarsat says it has enabled the ADF to increase efficiency by 300 percent while reducing operating costs by 70 percent.

Brigadier Gregory Novak, Commander of the ADF’s Defence Strategic Communications Branch, said:

“Inmarsat has supported ADF...

Tim Berners-Lee: Improve connectivity of the young to ‘build a better world’ post-COVID

World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee is using the 32nd birthday of his invention to call for a global push to improve the connectivity of the young post-COVID.

In a blog post today, as part of the #WebChampions campaign, Berners-Lee celebrates the young people who are stepping up to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges from COVID-19, to inequality, to climate change.

https://twitter.com/webfoundation/status/1370331794789130240

However, many...

Starlink expands its satellite broadband service to all UK regions

SpaceX’s satellite broadband service Starlink has expanded to all regions of the United Kingdom.

The service, currently still in beta, was previously only available in southern England. Today, the company has announced an expansion to cover parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England.

Starlink says users should currently expect data speeds to vary between 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s over the next several months, with brief periods of no connectivity...

EE announces major rural 4G coverage expansion plan

BT-owned EE has announced plans to expand its 4G coverage in more than 500 areas this year to boost rural connectivity.

The expansion is part of the government’s Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative signed by the UK’s four major operators: EE, Vodafone, O2, and Three.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said:

"I'm delighted to see the great strides EE is making to boost 4G services in countryside communities as part of the Shared Rural...

Vodafone, Three, and O2 commit to building 222 masts together

Three of the UK’s four major telcos have committed to building 222 new masts as part of an endeavour to address rural coverage issues.

Vodafone, O2, and Three UK will build and share the new masts to improve rural 4G coverage across all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said:

“We know connectivity is vital and the only way to fill the holes in the UK’s mobile coverage is to work together.

Our unique collaboration...

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...