How One Small Missouri City is Handling Small Cell Rollouts

Local governments, especially those in Missouri, have been preempted from many decisions on the deployment of small cells to support new connectivity standards. Here’s how the city of Rolla is navigating those waters.

Details HERE.

 

Advertisements

American Broadband Initiative to Expand Connectivity for all Americans

White House announces the initiative on the White House Blog

Expanding America’s broadband connectivity is critical to our nation’s economy, and a top priority for President Trump and the Department of Commerce. Today, we join with our partners in government to announce the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), a comprehensive effort to stimulate increased private sector investment in broadband.

NTIA is proud to share leadership of the ABI, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Offices of American Innovation, Management and Budget, Science and Technology Policy, and the National Economic Council. In a report released today, over 20 federal agencies set out strategies for streamlining federal permitting, leveraging federal assets, and maximizing the effectiveness of federal funding for broadband.

We congratulate the Department of Interior on the launch of the new Joint Overview Established Location Map, which pulls data related to federal lands and assets from multiple agencies into a single map. This map will help the broadband industry more easily identify the location of available assets. It is an important first step in one of the Initiative’s core priorities: making it easier for the private sector to leverage federal assets to promote investment.

More details and links at the Broadband USA Blog

 

 

SpaceX Starlink One Million Ground Stations

ARS Technica has the detail:

SpaceX is seeking US approval to deploy up to 1 million Earth stations to receive transmissions from its planned satellite broadband constellation.

[. . .]

A new application from SpaceX Services, a sister company, asks the FCC for “a blanket license authorizing operation of up to 1,000,000 Earth stations that end-user customers will utilize to communicate with SpaceX’s NGSO [non-geostationary orbit] constellation.”

[. . .]

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites
If each end-user Earth station provides Internet service to one building, SpaceX could eventually need authorization for more than 1 million stations in the US. SpaceX job listings describe the user terminal as “a high-volume manufactured product customers will have in their homes.”

“These user terminals employ advanced phased-array beam-forming and digital processing technologies to make highly efficient use of Ku-band spectrum resources by supporting highly directive, steered antenna beams that track the system’s low-Earth orbit satellites,” SpaceX’s new application says. “Consistent with SpaceX’s space station authorization, these Earth stations will transmit in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band and receive in the 10.7-12.7 GHz band… SpaceX Services seeks authority to deploy and operate these Earth stations throughout the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.”

[. . . ]

“The proposed user terminal is a flat phased array capable of steering its beams to track SpaceX’s NGSO satellites passing within its field of view,” the application also says. “As the terminal steers the transmitting beam, it also adjusts the power to maintain a constant level at the receiving antenna of its target satellite, compensating for variations in antenna gain and path loss associated with the steering angle.”

[. . .]

In addition to user terminals, SpaceX plans a smaller number of gateway Earth stations to “provide the necessary communications links back from the SpaceX satellites to the global Internet,” according to a previous SpaceX filing. SpaceX has estimated that it will deploy “several hundred” of these gateway stations across the US to be “co-located with or sited near major Internet peering points to provide the required Internet connectivity to the satellite constellation.” SpaceX also plans two tracking telemetry and control (TT&C) stations in the US, one on the East Coast and another on the West Coast.

Additional details HERE. [Emphasis added]

Launches are scheduled for mid-2019 with service starting in 2020. I am looking forward to having a terminal on my roof. Stay Tuned for more details.

 

NTIA Partners with 8 States on Improvements to Broadband Availability Map

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 12, 2019
News Media Contact:
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-7002, press@ntia.doc.gov
Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it is collaborating with eight states to broaden and update the national broadband availability map. The eight states – California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia – will contribute data and other inputs to the map.

“In order to ensure that all Americans have access to broadband, we need a more precise picture of the current services and infrastructure that are available,” said David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “NTIA’s work on an updated map, in partnership with these initial states, will help policymakers around the country make better decisions as they devise broadband expansion plans.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 directed NTIA to update the national broadband availability map using its previously developed state partnerships. The initial eight state partners were chosen because they reflect geographic diversity, participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, have active state broadband plans or programs, and were willing to contribute data that can be combined with nationwide data sources to give policymakers a deeper understanding of broadband availability.

NTIA expects to seek participation from additional states, territories and federally recognized tribes that have broadband programs or related data-collection efforts. The initial map will include available nationwide data for every state combined with state-level data from the eight states.



California Public Utilities Commission has an active program to collect data from the field with the CalSpeed Program. They are looking for 500 volunteers to collect this vital data for improving the accuracy of the broadband maps. More details HERE and HERE.

Properly collected data at the user level is the gold standard for accurate broadband maps.

AIRWAVES, Take Two

— Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is working to reintroduce his AIRWAVES Act, a bill previously filed as S. 1682. The original legislation, backed by the wireless industry, would have identified spectrum bands for unlicensed use, freed up mid-band airwaves and set aside funds from spectrum auctions for expanding rural broadband.

— Gardner is working with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) on a new version , he told reporters Monday night. Some of the initial elements of the bill have been “picked up by the FCC” while other issues like satellite “have been brought to our attention,” Gardner said, adding adding that he wants lawmakers to get the legislation “right and to make sure this is something that can pass.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech [Emphsas added]

Broadband Campaign Issue?

Broadband on the brain: Even before launching her presidential bid on Sunday, Klobuchar was already talking up the importance of rural broadband as a 2020 campaign issue. The Minnesota senator told The New Yorker in December that Democratic candidates could “run on” and even “win on” issues like expanding broadband access in rural areas. In Congress, Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Broadband Caucus, has co-sponsored bills aimed at boosting federal agencies’ efforts to widen broadband access.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

What do you think, is rural broadband is a winning campaign issue?

FCC Pai on 5G Future at NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association Conference

Source: telecompetitor.com:

The interview also touched on 5G, where Pai suggested that a promising future for rural markets awaits. Bloomfield pressed Pai on the importance of wired networks, particularly fiber-based, to the future of 5G. Pai agreed and even took it a step further.

“I’ve consistently said that the 5G future isn’t necessarily a wireless one, it’s actually a wired one,” Pai said. “Part of our 5G fast plan, as I’ve called it at the FCC, that’s facilitating America’s superiority [for] 5G technology, involves modernizing our regulations to encourage much more fiber deployment.”

Bucking some conventional wisdom regarding the promise of 5G for rural markets, Pai says he actually sees a promising future there, with one catch though. That promise is largely a fixed 5G promise in Pai’s view, which can help complement carriers who can’t make a business case for fiber everywhere.

“Contrary to what some people have suggested, I actually think 5G has a very promising future in rural America and part of the reason is, in terms of the possibilities of fixed wireless, given the fiber penetration that some of your members have,” he said. “I think the ability of rural telecom carriers to think broadly about the future of these networks and how to extend this great fiber penetration you’ve got, there’s a huge amount of promise there.”

Pai also discussed spectrum management, where he pointed to the FCC’s efforts to make spectrum auctions more accommodating to smaller carriers by reducing the geographic size of spectrum licenses, and thus making spectrum more affordable. He pointed to the upcoming 3.5 GHz auction as an example and told the crowd to stay tuned.

“Stay tuned, there’s a lot of spectrum work yet to be done this year and next, and our hope is more of you will be able to participate,” he said.

Read the full article HERE.

5G in rural America is wishful thinking at mmWave bands. Microsoft Airband has more potential in forested rural regions. SpaceX Airband will be available long before we see 5G in rural America.