Politico: Once More, With Broadband?

— FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks is calling on the commission to “conduct a data driven 10-year look-back on how our [broadband subsidy] program has effectively performed in bringing broadband to our remote areas,” as he put it during recent remarks before the Broadband Communities Conference: “I don’t want to wake up in 10 years and live in a world where the FCC does not have any better understanding of how and why we still find significant numbers of our communities left out of our digital world.” The Democratic commissioner said such an assessment would help the FCC develop its planned Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

OneWeb Update

Decmber 19, 2019 
Soyuz • OneWeb 2
Launch time: TBD [Will up date when known]

Launch site:
 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch approximately 32 satellites into orbit for OneWeb, which is developing a constellation of hundreds of satellites in low Earth orbit for low-latency broadband communications. The Soyuz-2.1b rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Delayed from Nov. 20. [Oct. 4]
Source: Spaceflightnow.com

OneWeb Needs Another Billion for Launches

UK Telegraph:

British satellite maker OneWeb is preparing to tap investors for another $1bn (£770m) as the cost of its plan to launch hundreds of advanced orbiters into space next year rockets.

City sources said OneWeb, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Airbus, is aiming to raise the sum as it prepares to launch 30 satellites per month from December in what will be the largest launch programme in history.

Around half the money is expected to be stumped up by SoftBank and spread over two years. The raise is expected to be a mix of fresh equity and debt, although the final amount and timeline could still change.

The discussions are underway just six months after a $1.25bn capital injection in March that valued OneWeb at $3.25bn.

The company’s chief financial officer, Tom Whayne, revealed last month that it was in “active discussions on a new round of equity financing from a combination of existing and new investors”.

A company spokesman declined to comment further.

OneWeb, is spending billions on launching a constellation of 650 small satellites to offer world-spanning internet connectivity.

Emphasis added.  Continue reading HERE.

See highlighted text.  I think that SpaceX with the launch of 60 satellites on a single Falcon 9 holds the largest launch claim. SpaceX is planning two launches per month in 2020 of 60 satellites per launch, which beats OneWeb’s 30 per month.

RCRC: Rural Broadband Update

Last weekend, the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) approved performance testing procedures for carriers receiving Connect America Fund.  This would apply carriers to deploy fixed broadband networks to unserved Americans living in rural areas, helping to ensure that rural Americans have access to the same high-quality networks as Americans in urban areas.

The Connect America Fund provides support for broadband and voice service in rural areas where service would not be available or affordable without such support. This approval by the FCC also ensures that carriers remain accountable to consumers, taxpayers, and the commission, while also delivering the network performance they have committed to provide.  The flexibility in these new testing procedures will enable carriers of all sizes and technical capabilities to meet testing requirements without unnecessary costs, while maintaining proper accountability.

Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s

A new Benton Institute for Broadband & Society report recommending policies it says would help ensure that every American can access high-speed internet.

The broadband revolution is sparking broad social and economic change. We see three overarching benefits that High-Performance Broadband can deliver in the next decade:

• . Growing the American Economy. High-Performance Broadband transforms industries that are basic to everyday life, positively impacting agriculture, education, healthcare, energy, and more.

•   Empowering Workers. High-Performance Broadband advances skills training to boost individual opportunity, helping to overcome income inequality and economic frustration.

•   Strengthening Communities. High-Performance Broadband spurs economic growth and jobs. It can enable civic participation. It can improve the health, education. and learning of community members.

Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s collects, combines, and contributes to a national broadband agenda for the next decade. Our work is built on the lessons of communities, public-interest advocates, government officials, and industry experts that have labored to expand broadband’s reach to everyone in the United States. They deserve credit for their investments and innovations, and we have attempted to reflect their accomplishments and ideas, while contributing Benton’s own insights — insights built on a body of work stretching back to the 1980s.

This publication is a part of a discussion on how public policy can close the digital divide and extend digital opportunity everywhere.

Download Report HERE

CPUC Approves Gold Country Broadband Consortia Work Plan and Funds

Resolution T- 17669 CD/LL3

GCBC represents Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Alpine counties

 

Work Plan and Performance Metrics Plan

GCBC proposes to focus on assisting CASF infrastructure grant applicants in project development, partnering with municipalities and counties on broadband plans, and working with local ISPs to find unserved and underserved areas to connect.
Specifically, GCBC will continue to collaborate with the Commission and other stakeholders to deploy broadband; provide data and information about broadband availability; updated speed tests, best practices, and methods of matching funds to ISPs; and assist the Commission in updating the California Broadband map by communicating with communities to find volunteers for wireline testing. GCBC’s Work Plan and Performance Metrics Plan are directly related to AB 1665 goals and objectives, and consistent with program requirements defined in D.18-10-032. Its detailed Work Plan and Performance Metrics Plan are available at the Commission’s webpage.
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Budget

GCBC requests $423,010 for a three-year grant. Of its total budget, GCBC allocates approximately 11% to conduct marketing/outreach and develop strategies (Objective 1), 67% to assist in developing CASF infrastructure applications (Objectives 2, 3, and 4), 14% to assist in publicizing wireline testing requests (Objective 5), and 8% to grant administration. GCBC’s budget is cost-effective and consistent with budget requirements defined in D.18-10-032.

Download full-resolution HERE.

FirstNet October Newsletter

Link to the October Newsletter is HERE

Network Status Map Enhancements

  • The new Advanced Map View, which became available in early October, will provide eligible personnel access to a detailed view of unplanned network outages, including cell site locations. Eligible personnel must be designated by their agency as a Communications Lead, Emergency Support Function 2, Communication Coordinator, 911 Coordinator or similar role. Contact your agency administrator for FirstNet Services to apply for access.

[Emphasus Added]

SpaceX Starlink Broadband Services in Mid-2020

Engineering Today has the details in this video

SpaceX’s Starlink division is on track to offer satellite-broadband service in the United States in mid-2020, the company’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22. Getting there will require the company to launch six to eight batches of satellites, said Shotwell.

The video reveals that Starlink is being tested by the US Air Force. it shows a possible terminal configuration, similar to that proposed by OneWeb which is he first shown in the video, then one which could be the Starlink terminal.