Will South Dakota Get 5G?

Apparently the answer is NO, according to POTs and PANs Doug Dawson.

I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t say that somebody won’t invest in 5G in states like South Dakota. But I understand business plans and paybacks and I can’t foresee any of the current big ISPs in the industry making the needed investments where housing density is low. Smaller ISPs can’t raise the huge amount of needed money. It’s certainly possible that some of the neighborhoods a few cities in the state might see some 5G, but that’s probably not going to be on anybody’s radar for a while. I’m skeptical because I just can’t see a way to make the math work.

Full Post by Doug Dawson is HERE.

Doug makes some excellent points that can be applied to any sparsely populated areas. Take the census maps and look a the population density and you will see where G5 is not going to go. It takes customers to pay off the investment, and 5G when you consider the cost of the required infrastructure rural communities are going to get left at the altar once again by big telco. If you do not have 4G in your neighborhood now, you will most likely never see 5G either.

FCC Falsely Claims Community Broadband an ‘Ominous Threat to The First Amendment

In reality, the real threat posed by community broadband is to big telecom’s monopoly revenues.

More than 750 such networks have been built in the United States in direct response to a lack of meaningful broadband competition and availability plaguing America. Studies have routinely shown that these networks provide cheaper and better broadband service, in large part because these ISPs have a vested interest in the communities they serve.

In his speech, O’Rielly highlighted efforts by the last FCC, led by former boss Tom Wheeler, to encourage such community-run broadband networks as a creative solution to private sector failure. O’Rielly subsequently tried to claim, without evidence, that encouraging such networks would somehow result in government attempts to censor public opinion

The full article is HERE.

Community networks are a better solution than waiting for the 5G that will never come.

Wireless Lawsuits Pile Up Against FCC 5G Order

— It turns out Sprint was not the only wireless giant to feel shortchanged by the FCC’s September order aimed at helping carriers deploy 5G small infrastructure. AT&T filed its own legal challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as did Puerto Rico Telephone Co. in the First Circuit . “AT&T is affected by the determinations in the Order because delays on requests for authorization to construct postpone deployment of wireless facilities,” the carrier wrote. “AT&T is thus aggrieved by the Order and has standing to challenge it.”

— Although wireless companies were seen as the big winner at the expense of local government authority in the FCC’s order, industry is complaining that the commission should have included a provision to automatically grant their applications for installing small cell facilities if local governments fail to act in a timely fashion. As for what’s next: With these companies filing in the D.C. Circuit, 1st Circuit and 10th Circuit, and big cities like Los Angeles and Seattle challenging the order in the 9th Circuit, watch for a court lottery to determine which judges will ultimately handle the case.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

The question is will these court cases slow down the installation of 5G infrastructure?

RCRC: Broadband Update

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted this week to revise the rules for the Citizen Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). The decision received mixed reviews among advocates for rural broadband. Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps blasted the rule in a tweet where he accused the Commission of granting a “handout to bloated wireless carriers at [the] expense of rural and unserved Americans.”

CBRS was a popular source of spectrum for small rural carriers for many years but the FCC’s decision will invite new competition from nationwide carriers. CBRS spectrum is highly sought after by carriers building 5G nationwide networks. The FCC’s order frees up new spectrum for 5G nationwide networks at the expense of small carriers that continue to struggle to deliver 4G connectivity to rural customers.

The source is HERE.

The irony in all this is that 5G will not be coming to rural areas in the near future, yet the FCC is taking away a resource that ISPs use today to serve rural customers.

Deploying 5G: Bringing the Next Generation of Wireless to Life – but it’s no Panacea

By Doug Dawson

Doug Dawson is the owner and president of CCG Consulting, a telecommunications consulting firm in the country with over 700 clients. CCG’s clients include ILECS, CLECS, cable companies, ISPs, municipalities and wireless carriers. His insight is a valuable asset to the 5G discussion.  Note the link to POTs and PANs in the right-hand column.


To summarize, a 5G network need transmitters on poles that are close to homes and also needs fiber at or nearby to each pole transmitter to backhaul these signals. The technology is only going to make financial sense in a few circumstances. In the case of Verizon, the technology is reasonably affordable since the company will rely on already-existing fiber. An ISP without existing fiber is only going to deploy 5G where the cost of building fiber or wireless backhaul is reasonably affordable. This means neighborhoods without a lot of impediments like hills, curvy roads, heavy foliage or other impediments that would restrict the performance of the wireless network. This means not building in neighborhoods where the poles are short or don’t have enough room to add a new fiber. It means avoiding neighborhoods where the utilities are already buried. An ideal 5G neighborhood is also going to need significant housing density, with houses relatively close together without a lot of empty lots.

This technology is also not suited to downtown areas with high-rises; there are better wireless technologies for delivering a large data connection to a single building, such as the high bandwidth millimeter wave radios used by Webpass. 5G technology also is not going to make a lot of sense where the housing density is too low, such as suburbs with large lots. 5G broadband is definitely not a solution for rural areas where homes and farms are too far apart.

5G technology is not going to be a panacea that will bring broadband to most of America. Most neighborhoods are going to fail one of the needed parameters – by having poles without room for fiber, by having curvy roads where a transmitter can only reach a few homes, etc. It’s going to be as much of a challenge for an ISP to justify building 5G as it is to build fiber to each customer. Verizon claims their costs are a fraction of building fiber to homes, but that’s only because they are building from existing fiber. There are few other ISPs with large, underutilized fiber networks that will be able to copy the Verizon roadmap. With the current technology the cost of deploying 5G looks to be nearly identical to the cost of deploying fiber-to-the-home.

The Full Article is HERE

Rural neighborhoods will low density housing are not going to qualify for 5G.  It is time for rural communities to start thinking and planning for a better solution — Community Networks.

Sprint Taking FCC To Court Over 5G Order Cities Seeking Local Control

— A swathe of Western cities including Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas and San Jose are suing to challenge the FCC over its September 5G wireless deployment order that, they argue, unfairly trampled on city governments’ rights, John reported Thursday . The wireless industry largely celebrated this FCC action and said its federal pre-emption is vital to ensure carriers can roll out 5G wireless infrastructure in a timely and affordable manner.

— Not all carriers are satisfied. Sprint, the fourth-largest carrier in the nation with a $26 billion T-Mobile merger pending before the commission, is taking the FCC to court to challenge the order . A Sprint spokeswoman says that while the carrier backs much of the order, “in one area, we believe the final order did not go far enough.” Its challenge argues that the FCC “declines to adopt a ‘deemed granted’ remedy when siting authorities fail to act on siting applications within the shot clock timeframes established by the Commission.” Local government advocates were pleased that the FCC order left out this so-called “deemed granted” provision, in which the federal government could have mandated city governments automatically approve a carrier’s infrastructure siting application if they had not acted on it by a certain time. In other words, Sprint wants the FCC to be more aggressive in granting wireless industry wishes.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

Space Month at the FCC and Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission is launching “Space Month” in November to focus the agency’s attention on the role of satellite communications, its chairman, Ajit Pai, writes in a new blog post previewing the upcoming agenda for its monthly meeting.

“The FCC will take up nine items to ensure that America leads in the New Space Age, with an emphasis on cutting through the red tape,” he writes, including “voting on a package of orders that would give the green light to companies seeking to roll out new and expanded services using new non-geostationary satellite constellations.”

Source: POLITICO Space

Speaking of constellations, we’ll also be voting on a package of orders that would give the green light to companies seeking to roll out new and expanded services using new non-geostationary satellite constellations. Kepler is looking to create a new satellite system for the Internet of Things, and LeoSat would like to offer high-speed connectivity for enterprises and underserved communities. We’re aiming to approve both requests. And we’ve also targeted for approval the requests of SpaceX and TeleSat Canada to expand the frequencies they can use so that their fleets of low Earth orbit satellites can offer even better broadband service.

Source: FCC Blog [Emphsis Added]

FCC Expands 3.5Ghz Band To 5G And Opens 6Ghz Band To Future Wi-Fi

Two votes from the FCC today resolved longstanding questions regarding the future of so-called “mid-band” radio spectrum in the United States. In a 3-1 vote, FCC commissioners opened the 3.5GHz band up for use in 5G networks, with a separate unanimous vote expanding the 6GHz band to next-generation Wi-Fi devices. Collectively, the FCC’s orders set the stage for dramatically better mobile devices and wireless routers than what’s available today.

As carriers and chipmakers prepare for global launches of high-speed 5G cellular networks, understanding the 3.5GHz order is particularly important. Previously, the 3.550-3.700 GHz band was reserved for U.S. naval radar use, but it’s a suboptimal allocation of radio spectra — the Navy doesn’t use it at all locations and times. So the FCC is creating 15 channels within that band, auctioning seven to “priority access licenses” and offering eight for general access, with the Navy getting priority across the band wherever and whenever it needs it.

While the specifics of the 3.5GHz order aren’t of interest to most people, the upshot is that the private sector will get access to useful and largely unused midrange spectrum for use in 5G networks. Researchers and regulators in Europe and Asia have identified the 3.5GHz band as ideal for 5G signaling, as it offers an excellent combination of wireless signal distance, building penetration, and bandwidth; the only challenge has been reallocating previously-reserved spectrum for 5G. Now, that can happen, and 5G devices can be built to support the same 3.5GHz ranges across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Full Article is HERE. [Emphasis added]



C|NET: FCC leaders say we need a ‘national mission’ to fix rural broadband





This is part of CNET’s “Crossing the Broadband Divide” series exploring the challenges of getting internet access to everyone.

Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel may disagree on the net neutrality angle, but they do agree on finding inspiration in the 1930s.

As anyone who’s ventured beyond major cities or population centers in the US can tell you, high-speed internet access is a luxury that millions of people don’t experience. According to data from the Federal Communications Commission, roughly 39 percent of people living in rural regions of this country lack access to high-speed broadband, compared with just 4 percent of urban Americans.

What’s more, the internet that rural Americans can access is slower and more expensive than it is for their urban counterparts. To add insult to injury, rural residents generally earn less than those in urban areas.

So how are policy makers working to solve this problem? I [
Marguerite Reardon] traveled to Washington last month to talk about this topic with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the only Democrat on the commission. Specifically, I wanted to know what they see as the cause of this divide and how they think it can be bridged.

Full Report HERE.

I am highlighting this insight, as it is vitally important and a real challenge which I will cover in more detail in a future post.

But before you can really get things going, you have to address one key issue, Rosenworcel said.

“Our broadband maps are terrible,” she said. “If we’re going to solve this nation’s broadband problems, then the first thing we have to do is fix those maps. We need to know where broadband is and is not in every corner of this country.

It is impossible to effectively allocate resources if policymakers cannot identify the real problem. The logic used to create the current broadband maps is seriously flawed in two aspects, it is based on self-reporting by ISPs of advertised speeds and a single user in a census block the mappers assumes that all in the census block has similar service. Both of these flaws seriously distort reality.