The FCC is expected to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules when the agency returns to Democratic control next year.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to move to restore net neutrality rules after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, undoing the agency’s deregulation of the broadband industry during the Trump administration.
The key regulatory underpinning would be a reclassification of broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That reclassification would enable the agency to reinstate rules requiring that companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. treat all internet traffic equally, and take other actions to regulate broadband providers’ business practices amid the pandemic.
When you take an internet speed test you are provided with 1) Upload, 2) Download, and 3) Latency/Ping data speed information.
Children at home that connect to schools, play games in the cloud, video share via cell phones; and, home workers that have files to upload and video conferences; these are upload uses of available broadband.
Additionally, Machine to Machine (M2M) is the data of connectivity for your home’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) connected devices. This upload data continues to consume growing upload bandwidth with our devices.
But did you know the Federal Communications Commission and many ISPs did not anticipate the significant degree of bandwidth use and upload speeds necessary for these our current COVID environment?
The Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team continues to advocate for improving high speed internet. Current FCC broadband standards of 25Mbs down and 3Mbs up will not sustain our future of economic growth and education.
Biden’s plan for rural America specifically references spending $20 billion in expanding rural broadband infrastructure, tripling funding for Community Connect broadband grants to expand access in rural areas, and reforming the Lifeline program, which subsidizes internet and phone services for low-income participants.
the Biden administration could expand universal access by subsidizing service in underserved rural and urban areas and helping those without access purchase the connections they need. He noted that this should be a high priority because people cannot apply for jobs, make online transactions, or access government services without high-speed broadband
Darrell West, VP & Director at the Brookings Institution
Nearly one-fourth of Americans who live in rural areas lack access to fixed broadband services, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress report.
The Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team advocates for high-speed internet for education, healthcare, economic growth, and more. Can your internet service become better? Let your community policy makers know.
Wikipedia says 5G is the 5th generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current smartphones.
Our future will see the growth of 5G small cells that are lower to the ground and will cover smaller areas. Thus rural America will see less of 5G and it will take longer to be able to leverage 5G benefits.
Wireless technology is the ability to communicate between two or more entities without the use of wires or cables. Encyclopedia indicates “wireless technology involves transmitting electromagnetic signals over the air. Interference and obstacles that block RF signals are common problems with wireless technology. Wireless technology allows users to communicate simultaneously over the same medium without their signals interfering with one another.”
With 5G wireless stations reaching >20 times more of the workload of the predecessors and beamforming for signals directed to the receiver; 5G will provide full duplex abilities to speak and listen with much greater efficiency allowing expansion and acceleration; provided volumes of 5G networks are available.
Additionally 5G will reduce latency, handle large digital transfers, and provide for security. As Ryan Spence indicates in the LinkedIn Learning module noted below, the value of 5G is not a new wireless technology, but as a ‘change agent’ for what it will enable in our futures.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) has taken actions to make additional wireless high, mid, and low spectrum and unlicensed bands available with the ‘5G FAST Plan.’ Included with this plans is the modernizing of regulations including one-touch make ready, IP transition, business data, and supply chain regulations. 5G product manufacturers are also building the hardware and security solutions for smartphones, Internet of Things, and home WiFi. And, unlike current WiFi systems, 5G WiFi can associate with unlimited devices.
5G in WNC
5G will likely have the greatest impact in the fabric of IoT, AR/VR, and AI. In Western North Carolina, industries including manufacturing (example – jet engines), retail (example – Amazon logistics), transportation (examples – Uber, Lyft, city/state municipalities), utilities (example – French Broad Electric Coop), and entertainment (example Asheville’s music scene) could be some of the forerunners of the future of 5G. A future of 3D models for real estate will be possible. Healthcare with tremendous amount of information exchanged is yet another evolution. Your home’s grocery stock will be efficiently stocked through IoT.
The WNC Broadband Leadership Team has had dialogue with Rosman North Carolina’s Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI); and they mentioned SpaceX Starlink’s light pollution. We take for granted the view of stars on a clear night, but with low earth orbit satellites, there are some brighter objects visible.
LEO – Low Earth Orbit
Wikipedia defines Starlink as a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers.
SpaceX ‘Satellite Train’ Recordings
Recorded in the UK
Recorded in Europe
Initially there will be three to four thousand satellites in orbit with plans to have approximately 30,000 in the future. Because each satellite will be limited to service a certain number of dishes, the more satellites in orbit, the more users can be served. The more satellites, the better the broadband experience; and, the fewer users the better. More users will put more demands on the limitations of the available satellites.
As funds are planned for improving high-speed internet or broadband, policy makers will want to ‘future-proof’ technology and service investments.
Putting a priority on network development with faster downloads & uploads speeds, but also lower levels of latency; the time it takes for data to be transferred between its source and its destination, measured in milliseconds. Network latency affects satellite internet, cable, and some WiFi connections.
This will ideally create forces toward more fiber technologies to “ensure that those benefiting from the networks will be able to use tomorrow’s internet applications as well as today’s.”
The FCC or Federal Communications Committee uses a weighted scale of internet performance tiers with the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding.
Your WNC Broadband Project team continues to be engaged in community, city, WNC county, and regional broadband topics. Our activism needs your support. How?
The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate the critical need for universally available and affordable high-speed broadband internet access for delivering quality remote education, telemedicine, and work-from-home capability.
Policy makers must lead an initiative to solve the WNC “digital divide” between the wealthy and the under-resourced and between our urban and non-urban residents.
Given the importance of broadband and the growing digital divide in our region, policy makers must create enabling legislation and policy that will ensure universally available and affordable broadband now.
Your Broadband CTA
A broadband policy maker is someone who sets the plan pursued by a government or business.
For broadband topics, your Call-To-Action or CTA is to communicate and follow-up with your network of policy makers including:
Government Officials in the City, County, Region, or State
Community Leaders in Education, Economic Development, Healthcare Professionals
All policy makers need to effectively create plans. The acceptance of a plan is based on the feasibility including the financial and legal considerations.
What are the broadband issues that should be on a policy-maker’s radar?
Top 5 WNC Broadband Issues
The WNC Broadband Project Leadership team has summarized the top five WNC broadband issues.