Technology

Rise of Fiber Infrastructure Paper – 11 October 2017

Paper on the complexity to coming fiber networks to support 5G mobile broadband is HERE: https://pages.questexweb.com/rs/294-MQF-056/images/RiseOfFiberInfrastructure_October2017_Final_update.pdf


CPUC Wants to Collect Actual Broadband Speeds – 3 September 2017

In December 2016 the California Public Utilities Commission published Decision 16-12-025, Analyzing The California Telecommunications Market And Directing Staff To Continue Data Gathering, Monitoring And Reporting On The Market

The Commission recognizes that advertised broadband speeds are not what consumers are receiving for their money, and the Commission needs to take some action to collect actual speed data.

6.1.5. Broadband Speeds – Advertised vs. Actual
In reporting fixed broadband speeds in this report, we are largely reliant on what the carriers report. Unlike mobile broadband, where the CPUC has a robust testing program, this Commission does not have sufficient data to draw conclusions about non-mobile broadband quality and speeds. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology, on the other hand, has placed measuring devices147 in the homes of over 5,000 “panelists” across the U.S., to measure actual fixed broadband speeds.148 Based on this Measuring Broadband America study, the FCC has “continue[d] to find that consumers’ broadband services using cable, fiber or satellite technologies are close to or exceed advertised speeds, while consumers’ broadband services from certain DSL-based ISPs experience actual speeds that are on average below the advertised ‘up-to’ speed.”149 In order to obtain such data, the Commission would either need a program like the FCC’s, or a program to encourage the public to use the CalSPEED application for residential broadband.

In February of 2016, I had introduced the Raspberry Pi broadband recorder to the Owen Rochte at the CPUC.   Owens response in February 2016 :

Russ, This. Is. Incredible.

I particularly like the feedback loop to the ISP. It tweets the results to the ISP support account whenever it falls below your tier!? Wow… those tweets can then be geotagged. Perhaps the concept of overbooking will start to come to the forefront if this catches on among other things like consumer protection.
I’ve forwarded this to our team as we continue to develop the CalSPEED apps.

Time for me to order a Raspberry Pi.

Thank you,
-Owen

On 1 September 2017 I received the following email from Owen:

We have taken your input into account and have indeed adapted this concept into our plans. We are doing this. Commission Decision 16-12-025 ordered the Communications Division to report on consumer broadband speed experience by December 2018.

The main reason you have not heard much from me is that we are in the early stages of development on this and don’t yet have much to share in terms of a final product. We did begin with the Raspberry Pi and our team is now putting together a similar box based on a number of hardware configurations including the A20-OLINUXINO-LIME2.

I have volunteered to be a beta tester of the latest version of the CPUC data recorder. More on this subject as the project progresses.


Microsoft Looks To Play In Rural Broadband – 10 July 2017

Microsoft is rolling out a plan to expand broadband access in rural areas – and it involves capitalizing on TV white spaces spectrum – a move that broadcasters have been none too happy about. TV white spaces spectrum is

Microsoft is rolling out a plan to expand broadband access in rural areas – and it involves capitalizing on TV white spaces spectrum – a move that broadcasters have been none too happy about. TV white spaces spectrum is

Microsoft is rolling out a plan to expand broadband access in rural areas – and it involves capitalizing on TV white spaces spectrum – a move that broadcasters have been none too happy about. TV white spaces spectrum is a spectrum between television stations that is currently unused.

– The tech company argues that taking advantage of this unused spectrum would help spur the expansion of broadband to rural regions and cut costs while doing so. “A technology model that uses a combination of the TV white spaces spectrum, fixed wireless and satellite coverage can reduce the initial capital and be operating costs by roughly 80 percent compared to the cost of using fiber cables alone and by approximately 50 percent compared to the cost of current fixed wireless technology,” Microsoft says in a white paper out today.

– Using this method, Microsoft has a goal of establishing broadband connectivity for two million people in rural areas by 2022. It intends to work with telecom companies to have projects off the ground in 12 states within the next year, plans to set up digital skills training programs in these regions and aims to share patents and source code that it has for using TV white spaces spectrum. Microsoft President Brad Smith is due to speak about the company’s strategy later today at a Media Institute event.

– Meanwhile, the National Association of Broadcasters published a scathing takedown of Microsoft’s approach to white spaces spectrum last week. To make its plan work, Microsoft is asking the FCC to ensure that three channels in the 600 MHz band are available for wireless users across the country. The NAB post argues that reserving this spectrum for Microsoft’s purposes is one way for the tech company to access the spectrum it needs without having to pay the necessary fees like everybody else. “Microsoft is trying to convince the commission to give Microsoft a back door frequency allocation with exclusive access to that spectrum for free, and on better terms than winning auction bidders received,” NAB’s Patrick McFadden writes.

Microsoft Rural Network Strategy is HERE: Rural Broadband Strategy – Microsoft Whitepaper FINAL 7-10-17