LightBox releases a US broadband map while the FCC fixes its own

The FCC’s more accurate US national broadband map is expected to be a year away, but LightBox is providing one in the meantime.

A previous map of broadband availability used by the FCC was criticised as being inaccurate and greatly overestimating both the coverage and speeds available to Americans.

The inaccuracies – hindering critical decisions like funding allocations – were due to a reliance on data from ISPs themselves who were incentivised to overstate their...

Apple’s new iPhones could feature emergency satellite communications

Apple is reportedly developing at least two features that will enable users to communicate using satellites in a rural emergency.

If you’re high up a mountain, or in the middle of the ocean or dense forest, the likelihood is you don’t have a cellular signal. However, there’s a good chance you’ll be in the range of several satellites—especially if 1,000+ launches per year becomes the new norm.

Cupertino has been exploring the use of satellite technology since at...

OneWeb sends a further 34 broadband satellites into orbit

OneWeb continues to gain momentum after sending a further 34 of its broadband satellites into orbit.

Arianespace launched the satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 21 August at 23:13 BST. The satellites were dispensed in nine batches over a period of three hours 45 minutes and successful contact was made with all satellites.

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, commented:

“Following the successful completion of our ‘Five to 50’ mission, we are building on...

BT signs agreement with UK-owned satellite operator OneWeb to improve rural connectivity

BT has signed an agreement with UK-owned low-earth orbit satellite operator OneWeb to explore how connectivity can be improved in some of the most difficult areas to reach.

OneWeb operates innovative LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites that provide high-speed, low latency connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities around the world. The company continues to go from strength-to-strength, despite OneWeb almost having to shutter its operations following the pulling of...

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...

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...

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...