RCRC Rural Broadband and 5G Update

Rural Broadband Update

This week, Representative Antonio Delgado (D-New York) announced a package of two bills aimed at addressing flawed broadband mapping practices and increasing broadband speeds for rural communities.

The first bill, the Broadband Speed Act (HR 4641), would require internet service providers to annually report data to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide. This will help the FCC determine where advertised speeds match actual speeds. The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act, would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small internet providers to collect information on local broadband service. This will enable communities who are currently incorrectly designated by the FCC as having service to take action to have the information necessary to dispute that status with the FCC.

5G Update

AT&T is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to exclude 5G from its required upgraded data mapping collection. “There is broad agreement that it is not yet time to require reporting on 5G coverage” AT&T said in a statement to the FCC.

AT&T and other mobile carriers want to hide 5G coverage maps from the public while subsequently marketing the pace and breadth of their 5G rollouts. “Service standards for 5G are still emerging, precluding reporting of service-level coverage for 5G networks (other than the 5G-NR submissions already required),” AT&T wrote.

Advertisements

Get Ready: Even as 5G Rolls Out, 6G Technology Is on the Horizon

The Toolbox has the details:

[ . . .]

6G’s focus on big data

The University of Oulu in Finland is leading 6G research. Not surprisingly, the Finns found the emphasis will be on transmitting the huge amounts of data that drive development of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies.
“The bottom line of 6G is data,” Professor Matti Latva-aho, director of 6G Flagship Project at the university, says in a white paper. “The way in which data is collected, processed, transmitted and consumed within the wireless network should drive 6G development.”

A major benefit of 6G will likely be its instantaneous speed. The technology is expected to increase mobile internet speeds to about 1 terabyte per second — enough bandwidth to download 100 movies in a snap of your fingers.

6G will help power communication among machines over the Internet of Things smart devices. The network’s speed will be essential to facilitate development of smart homes and buildings and consumer demand for them.

Researchers at the University of Oulu also expect the capabilities of the 6G system to push communication towards new devices other than smartphones, such as lightweight glasses that can that can provide virtual reality experiences.

Researchers in the United States have also begun work on 6G. In March, the Federal Communications Commission opened ultra-high frequencies ranging from 95 gigahertz to three terahertz for 6G experiments. That will allow researchers to transmit larger blocks of data per time unit, which will increase network speeds.

The full article is HERE.

Tower Firms Feeling Sting of T-Mobile’s 5G Network Spending Slowdown

Report by SUE MAREK, Special Contributor, writing at Light Reading.

American Tower, SBA Communications, Crown Castle and other tower firms in the US are feeling the pinch from what appears to be a 5G network slowdown by T-Mobile. The operator has denied any deceleration of its 5G network plans, but various reports from tower companies and contractors have indicated the carrier is holding off on new cell sites as it awaits the outcome of its proposed $26 billion purchase of Sprint.

In a new report today from Wall Street research firm Wells Fargo, tower companies said T-Mobile’s deployment of new cell sites has slowed down considerably recently, which is primarily impacting macro cell sites but not small cells. Tower companies said that their T-Mobile contacts are telling them that the reason for the slowdown is because T-Mobile’s Sprint acquisition is still not closed — the companies had hoped to close the transaction this summer but delayed that to the end of this year.

Wireless Estimator first reported of the slowdown in T-Mobile’s 5G network deployment last month, citing several network construction contractors that reported the operator was halting new network equipment purchase orders for the remainder of 2019.

T-Mobile’s slowdown is particularly painful for tower firms and construction companies because, over the past 18 months, T-Mobile has been aggressively expanding its network in the 600MHz spectrum. “The build, coupled with T-Mobile’s regular tower activity supporting its other spectrum bands has created a robust driver of revenue growth for the tower cos,” said the Wells Fargo report.

The full report is HERE.

 

5G Won’t Solve the Digital Divide

ILSR: Community Networks Fact Sheet

Since 5G connectivity relies on fiber optics that aren’t available in many rural areas, these communities won’t receive 5G access anytime soon. The same market reality discouraging investment in rural broadband will also discourage 5G investment. Even in urban areas, companies like AT&T and Verizon are unlikely to start investing in the low-income neighborhoods they have neglected for years.

This just one insight provided in the Pocket Guild to 5G Hype

Download HERE.

 

C/NET: We Ran 5G Speed Tests on Verizon, AT&T, EE, and More: Here’s What We Found

Screen Shot 2019-08-04 at 5.13.39 PM

THIS is a long article with interactive graphics. The money quote for rural households:

It will be years until 5G fully replaces 4G, and as you start to become addicted to the new, faster speeds, be prepared for frustration and heartbreak when stumbling into areas with slow coverage, or when traveling to rural areas or countries where the expensive networks are still in development. Living with exponentially faster 5G speeds means you’ll feel it harder when they’re gone.

Continue reading at C/NET

 

RCRC: Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act

RCRC has conveyed its support to the Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act (Act), authored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. The Act would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s order and restore the authority of local governments to make important determinations regarding the siting of wireless facilities in their respective communities.

RCRC believes local officials are best equipped to assess the impacts of new telecommunication facilities on their residents. Federal policies that preempt the application review process and lessen discretion presents significant concerns to California’s rural counties. RCRC supports a regulatory framework that not only empowers local governments to determine the best pathway to viable broadband service in their communities, but also incentivizes broadband deployment to those rural areas that remain unserved and underserved.

RCRC’s support letter can be accessed here. Please contact Tracy Rhine, RCRC Legislative Advocate, at (916) 447-4806 or trhine@rcrcnet.org for more information.

 

In his report at Brookings on 5G Tom Wheeler, former FCC Commissioner identified local control as one of the five hidden issues here. He indicated that 5G would be slow coming to rural communities and the resort to local control would slow the process even more.  More on the local control issue here.

 

5G’s Waveform Is a Battery Vampire

As carriers roll out 5G, industry group 3GPP is considering other ways to modulate radio signals

IEEE Spectrum has the details:

But Release 16, expected by year’s end, will include the findings of a study group assigned to explore alternatives. Wireless standards are frequently updated, and in the next 5G release, the industry could address concerns that OFDM may draw too much power in 5G devices and base stations. That’s a problem, because 5G is expected to require far more base stations to deliver service and connect billions of mobile and IoT devices.

“I don’t think the carriers really understood the impact on the mobile phone, and what it’s going to do to battery life,” says James Kimery, the director of marketing for RF and software-defined radio research at National Instruments Corp. “5G is going to come with a price, and that price is battery consumption.”

And Kimery notes that these concerns apply beyond 5G handsets. China Mobile has “been vocal about the power consumption of their base stations,” he says. A 5G base station is generally expected to consume roughly three times as much power as a 4G base station. And more 5G base stations are needed to cover the same area.

So how did 5G get into a potentially power-guzzling mess? OFDM plays a large part. Data is transmitted using OFDM by chopping the data into portions and sending the portions simultaneously and at different frequencies so that the portions are “orthogonal” (meaning they do not interfere with each other).

Continue reading HERE.

 

5G Gets Boost in Controversial FCC Spectrum Vote

C/NET Has the details.

On Wednesday, the agency voted 3-2 to auction spectrum in the 2.5GHz band. This sliver of airwaves, known as the Educational Broadband Service, had been set aside for educational purposes during the 1960s. License holders had to be either educational institutions or nonprofits supporting education. These entities, which have gotten access to the spectrum for free, can lease the spectrum to wireless carriers. Sprint uses leased spectrum in the 2.5GHz band for its existing 4G network and these leases are a key reason why T-Mobile proposed spending $26 billion to buy the company, so it could use this so-called midband spectrum to build a 5G service.

The FCC voted to change the rules for the spectrum and is planning to auction unused or underused spectrum in the band directly to wireless carriers. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the vote “a major step toward freeing up critical midband spectrum for 5G.”

Continue reading HERE.

This spectrum will work better in rural applications, with more reach at reasonable speeds.

And House Takes Up 5G Airwaves

— A whopping eight witnesses, including representatives for the FCC, NTIA and other officials involved in the fight over prime 5G airwaves known as the C-band, are set to testify this morning before the House Energy and Commerce telecom subcommittee. (Read all their written testimony here). A reminder: Satellite companies, which currently occupy the C-band, want the FCC to let them sell the spectrum privately, while Google, cable and wireless players, as well as some on Capitol Hill, are pushing for an FCC-run auction that they argue would provide more public interest benefits.

— We’re watching for what subcommittee chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) says about his new spectrum draft bill now circulating among industry players. “The goal is to free up spectrum for the wireless industry, so we can deploy 5G,” Doyle told John, adding that lawmakers need to ensure “the money from that spectrum benefits American taxpayers and becomes a source of funding for broadband deployment in rural and underserved areas.”  [Emphasis Added]

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech