Valley Vision Broadband News

Click on the links to get the latest updates.

Addressing Digital Deserts of Rural California Can Lift Entire Economy

Cities and Counties Sue FCC Over 5G Vote

Net Neutrality Delay: California Agrees to Suspend Law Until After Cases

Opinion: Why San Jose Kids Do Their Homework in Parking Lots

Digital Cities Survey Awards Includes 10 from California

California Rural Education Network Launches to Help Isolated Teachers Share Resources

What is the Role of Higher Education in the Gig Economy?

California Representative Unveils Internet Bill of Rights

Rural Wi-Fi Project Improves Wildfire Monitoring in Southern California

Smartphone-Only Internet Users Grow to 20% 

Five Digital Inclusion Trends in the United States

Transforming Digital Deserts

Broadband Partnerships: A Key to High-Speed Success for Rural Electric Co-Ops

Is the Internet of Things Full of Hot Air?


Broadband Space News

SpaceX wants to lower the bar for its first batch of Starlink broadband satellites, with the aim of beginning deployment by the end of 2019.

The revised plan is laid out for regulators at the Federal Communications Commission in filings that seek a lower orbit for 1,584 of the more than 4,400 satellites it envisions launching. The new target orbit would be 550 kilometers (342 miles) in altitude, as opposed to the 1,150-kilometer (715-mile) orbit described in SpaceX’s initial round of filings.

The FCC signed off on SpaceX’s original plan in March, and would have to approve the revisions after putting them through a public comment period.

In its filings, SpaceX said it was changing the plan based on its experience with Tintin A and B, the two prototype satellites it put into orbit in February.

Full Article is HERE.

“SpaceX intends to launch its first batch of satellites to begin populating a new orbital shell before the end of 2019,” it said. At least half of the 4,400-plus satellites are required to be in operation by March 29, 2024.


Having the satellite in low Earth orbit as opposed to a much higher geostationary orbit reduces the lag time, or latency, for data transmissions. In May, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the response time for the Tintin satellites was “pretty good,” with latency amounting to 25 milliseconds. “Good enough to play fast-response video games,” he tweeted.

When the low-orbit constellation is fully deployed, latency could be reduced to as little as 15 milliseconds, “at which point it would be virtually unnoticeable to almost all users,” SpaceX said in today’s filing.


Public Knowledge on Rural Broadband

For too many Americans, communications tools are either not accessible, not affordable, or both. After years of emphasis and bipartisan rhetoric around the need to serve all Americans with high-speed broadband, 31 percent of rural Americans continue to lack access. Many Americans in urban areas are also underserved by their local broadband providers. A lack of access to high-speed broadband means lost economic, employment, health, and educational opportunities for Americans in these unserved and underserved communities, and an increasing divide between those who are thriving in the current economy and those who are not. Congress must act and listen to new ideas and voices beyond industry lobbyists to make the benefits of broadband access a reality for all.

Link to Public Knowledge HERE.

What 2018 Midterm Election Means for Rural Broadband

According to POLITICO Morning Tech:

A Democratic House and Republican Senate have a bipartisan shot at legislating on tech issues, but it’s a limited one. The two chambers “show signs that they could align around two issues: imposing privacy rules on the country’s tech giants and directing new funds to improve internet service in rural parts of the country,” John reports . “But with a tight window for legislating and the 2020 presidential election looming, the political climate doesn’t favor robust cooperation, making any breakthroughs challenging.”

Strong Rural Broadband Advocate:

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce tech subcommittee defeated Democrat Phil Bredesen in the election to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Bob Corker. Blackburn has been a strong advocate for rural broadband and it should help to have a strong voice in the Senate.

RCRC: Rural Broadband Update – No 5G Acceleration

In Verizon’s quarterly earnings call with media and shareholders, the nationwide carrier revealed it does not intend to accelerate the buildout of its 5G network. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently finalized a rule and order that will preempt local government oversight of broadband deployment to promote 5G buildouts but the latest news from Verizon suggests the rule has minimal impact on carriers’ 5G plans. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also claimed the rule would facilitate 5G deployment in rural areas, but the FCC’s lone Democrat, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, said the new rule will do nothing to change “the hard economics of rural deployment.”

The FCC pointed to complaints from Verizon as justification for their controversial rule that preempts local fees and regulations of broadband deployment. The FCC passed the rule over the fierce objection of RCRC and other state and local government groups. The rule is estimated to save nationwide carriers over $2 billion in regulatory fees but it appears these savings will not lead to more broadband deployment.

Source: RCRC The Barbed Wire [Highlight Added]

This is why rural America is not going to see 5G anytime in the near future, the cost is too great for the population density.  If you do not have 4G now, you are not going to see 5G for a long long time, if ever. Rural America needs to join the Community Network movement and take control of their own destiny and not rely on big telco to bring them high-speed internet.

New Websites Launched For Northeast And Upstate Broadband Consortium

Learning about rural broadband efforts is easier than ever before, thanks to new websites for the Northeastern California Connect Consortia and Upstate California Connect Consortium–programs of the California Public Utilities Commission and led by our partners at the Geographical Information Center at California State University, Chico. The Consortium are focused on improving broadband availability and performance within the region through information sharing, assessment of current broadband performance, incorporation of broadband into local government planning and procedures, developing partnerships and collaborating to generate broadband infrastructure proposals and more.

To learn more, visit the Northeastern Consortia site HERE:

Screenshot 2018-11-01 14.28.22

Visit the Upstate Consortia site HERE:

Screenshot 2018-11-01 14.31.30

Please check out the Broadband Resources – Technology Options links on the web pages, which includes a summary of the current technologies for deploying broadband, along with some emerging technologies.  I did see any mention of 5G, though there is a section on mmWaves.

5G Airwaves Auction

— AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are among the companies the FCC has deemed qualified to bid in its upcoming auction for 5G spectrum licenses. The FCC on Wednesday released the list of 40 companies that have qualified and made upfront payments to bid in the 28 GHz auction, set to begin Nov. 14. In addition to the wireless companies, DISH — filing under the name Crestone Wireless — and Frontier Communications also made the cut.

— Back to back auctions: The FCC plans to auction off airwaves in the 24 GHz band after the 28 auction ends. The agency also released a list of 58 companies that it says filed complete applications, including Cox Communications and Starry. Sprint also intends to participate, under its ATI Sub subsidiary, a spokeswoman said.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech