Categories
Broadband in WNC Latency Relevancy Satellite SpaceX Starlink Transylvania Video Conferencing

Low Earth Orbit Satellites

LEO as a Broadband Solution

Headlines commonly provide updates to Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink program. The SpaceX satellites are low earth orbiting satellites (LEO).

What are the pros and cons of low earth orbit satellites as a potential broadband solution?

Lamar Owen, Chief Technology Officer at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) provides some insights in this series of recordings on the topics of broadband and PARI.

SpaceX Downlink, Uplink, Latency, and Capacity

The internet user experience can be associated with key broadband metrics, including the download, upload, and broadband latency. Additionally, our WNC Broadband project team member, Stagg Newman questions the capacity of a SpaceX satellite and its ability to serve communities.

We need to consider whether Space X can provide the downlink and uplink speeds needed, the low latency, and importantly the capacity to help solve the WNC Broadband challenges.

Stagg Newman, Former Chief Technologist, U.S. National Broadband Team, FCC

Stagg Newman, a WNC Broadband Project Team lead; also provides the link below on capacity and other challenges of SpaceX.

https://conexon.us/conexon-blog/spacex-is-aptly-named-space-pig-in-a-poke-was-apparently-already-taken/

One way to think about SpaceX capacity is to realize that the entire capacity of the SpaceX satellite fleet that will be over the United States at any one time is about the same capacity as one single fiber equipped with the latest and greatest opto-electronics!

Stagg Newman, Former Chief Technologist, U.S. National Broadband Team, FCC

The WNC Broadband Project Team will be hosting a WNC Broadband Summit with UNCA and the Dogwood Health Trust in early March. Stay tuned for details and please contact a member of the WNC Broadband Project Team with any questions.

Also See

Broadband at PARI Series

PARI Website

https://www.pari.edu/

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Fiber Lamar Owen PARI Transylvania

Future of Broadband at PARI

As part 4 of a series of questions for Marc Czarnecki, WNC Broadband Project Team; Lamar Owen, Chief Technology Officer at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute or PARI was ask about the future of broadband for their area.

Resiliency or the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties – completing a fiber loop to Jackson County and Western Carolina University

Lamar Owen, CTO at PARI

Broadband at PARI, the Series

PARI Website

https://www.pari.edu/

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband Technology Digital Inequality

Top 10 Broadband Stories of 2020

Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group. Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Broadband Breakfast has provided continuous text and video content in 2020 on the topic of broadband in America.

As we approach the end of the year, it is good to revisit broadband stories of 2020.

Drew’s ‘top 10’ Broadband Topics

10 – The fall of China, ZTE and Huawei broadband manufacturers

9 – Spectrum sharing, new technologies are enabling radio frequencies to be used in new and more innovative ways

8 – Open access networks, new fiber networks

7 – Traditional telephone network future

6 – Broadband is infrastructure that needs valid maps

5 – Reverse-auctions and rural broadband / RDOF – Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

4 – Big tech lawsuits, consumer & innovation balance

3 – COVID Teleworking / Working and Learning

2 – Digital Inequality

1 – Federal Government & infrastructure investments

In Western North Carolina, state and federal broadband topics will continue to drive how and when broadband improvements will be made.

Please contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project Team with any questions you may have.


Clark, D. (2020, December 30). Drew Clark: The Top 10 Broadband Stories of 2020, and What They Mean for 2021. Broadbandbreakfast.com. http://broadbandbreakfast.com/2020/12/drew-clark-the-top-10-broadband-stories-of-2020-and-what-they-mean-for-2021/

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Transylvania

Transylvania County

Additional $4.2M Funding for Broadband Access

The WNC Broadband Project Team recognizes and celebrates high-speed internet growth funding for Transylvania County.

Congratulations Comporium!

In part thanks to state funds, Comporium will have $4.2 million to expand rural broadband access in Transylvania County. 

Transylvania Times

The Transylvania Times. (2020). Comporium Receives Funds To Help With Broadband Access – Transylvania County, NC. The Transylvania Times. https://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2020/12/28/news/comporium-receives-funds-to-help-with-broadband-access-transylvania-county-nc/47588.html

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding NC General Assembly Policy

Legislative Priority

Broadband Connectivity

January 13th brings the next North Carolina General Assembly session.

In the Carolina Journal article linked below, it suggested lawmakers should consider the following solutions:

  1. Leave broadband service and investments to private providers.
  2. Streamline permitting, remove unnecessary regulations.
  3. Remove obstacles to building wireless infrastructure on public property and public-rights-of-way, allow lease agreements for pole attachments that encourage developing infrastructure.
  4. Find solutions through open markets and competition, rather than government take-over.
  5. Offer a direct consumer subsidy, much like a voucher, that rural residents in unserved and underserved areas can use to purchase discounted broadband or devices.
  6. Put guardrails around the GREAT grant program to encourage innovation, focus on unserved areas, leave room for advancing technologies, provide grants instead of ongoing funding streams.
  7. Minimize and modernize fees at local and state level to avoid duplicative billing and keep costs low.
  8. Protect jobs and investment by upholding the state’s 2011 Level Playing Field Act, which regulates local government competition from private business.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project team is advocating for high speed internet improvements. Contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project team with any questions.


Broadband tops list of legislative priorities for upcoming session  – Carolina Journal. (2020, December 28). Carolina Journal. https://www.carolinajournal.com/opinion-article/broadband-tops-list-of-legislative-priorities-for-upcoming-session

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Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Latency RDOF Rural Satellite Starlink

WNC Red-Green?

FCC Broadband Opportunity Map

RDOF Phase 1 Results

Is your rural Western North Carolina community striving for broadband?

Is Starlink low earth satellite a possibility for your internet needs?

The Federal Communication Committee has developed a drillable map of ‘Rural Digital Opportunity Funding‘ or RDOF – Phase 1 results by:

  • Gigabit: low latency
  • Above baseline; low latency
  • Above baseline; high latency
  • Baseline; low latency
  • Minimum; low latency
  • No Winning Bidder

https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Contact a member of the WNC Broadband Project Team to learn more about getting dependable, high-speed internet in your community.

Also See

5G in WNC

Challenges Facing Satellite-Based Internet

Frequently Asked Questions About Broadband

Latency and Satellite for Internet Service…

Delay is the time that it takes for the bits of information or data to get across the network and back. Delay is typically measured in milliseconds (msec) or 1/1000th of a second. Two-way applications, such as conferencing, are sensitive to delay. Minimal delay is also very important in interactive gaming applications. For today’s Internet access, 20 msec is excellent. Most applications can tolerate delay of two to three times this length without an adverse effect.

Broadband Latency

Nelius, J. (2020, December 11). Here’s Where SpaceX Has Promised to Provide Starlink Internet. Gizmodo; Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/heres-where-spacex-has-promised-to-provide-starlink-int-1845850942

Federal Communications Commission. (2020). Federal Communications Commission. https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Divide Digital Inclusion Digital Inequality Economic Development Education

Homework Gap

Now a Learning Gap In Rural America

I am already shocked. As a father of two digitally-connected children, I know first hand of the significant value of having broadband available. The digital value is having computers available, the knowledge of how to apply computers, with broadband being available on demand, to engage with society for knowledge, communication, health, and more.

Additionally, having volunteered at several area schools and community centers, I see the digital divide. If students don’t have broadband available at home, immediately the student is disconnected from our digital world of learning opportunities.

The pandemic has made getting computers and internet connections to households with school-age children a priority. The “homework gap” is sizable. Before the pandemic, some 16.9 million children under the age of 18 lived in households without wireline internet service and 7.3 million live in homes without a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. What was a homework gap is now a learning gap.

John B. Horrigan

Digital Tools & Learning. (2020, December 10). Benton Foundation. https://www.benton.org/blog/digital-tools-learning

Also See


The author of this article, Marc Czarnecki; helps to minimize the rural divide in America by supporting the WNC Broadband Project.

The WNC Broadband Team advocates for the necessary broadband improvements for our #digitallives.

Categories
Broadband access Hotspot WiFi Wireless

WiFi Hotspot

Internet access is available different forms, for those that can afford access.

In light of the COVID pandemic, WiFi hotspots have become a temporary hardware patch to deliver internet to students that did not have broadband connectivity.

Benefits of Mobile Hotspot

  • Faster speeds than personal hotspots on a smartphone
  • Signal stability
  • Mobility to move the unit easily
  • Typically more secure
  • Several users and devices can be connected

Cons of Mobile Hotspot

  • Speed is dependent on the proximity of the tower
  • Speeds are dependent on the build-out of the carrier in rural areas
  • Weaker signal requires more power
  • Low data caps, when exceeded will cause data throttling

Also See


“What Is a WiFi Hotspot? | CenturyLink.” Centurylink.com, 2020, www.centurylink.com/home/help/internet/wireless/what-is-a-wi-fi-hotspot1.html . Accessed 12 Dec. 2020.

Guzzardo J. Pros and Cons to using Wi-Fi and Cellular Internet – Resource. Resource. Published January 9, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. http://resourcemagonline.com/2020/01/pros-and-cons-to-using-wi-fi-and-cellular-internet/181390/

Categories
Broadband access Smartphone WiFi

Smartphone Personal Hotspot

Individuals that can afford internet are likely to have terrestrial (land) or fixed wireless internet access at home or at public locations. Internet access can also be acquired using a smartphone when the personal hotspot option is turned-on.

Holiday travels and sometimes the need for faster internet maybe available using a smartphone’s hotspot feature. Also, in Western North Carolina with winter weather potential of wind, snow, ice; understanding how to use a smartphone hotspot can an provide internet connectivity alternative provided the smartphone has data time available through the mobile phone provider. Cellular data speeds are dependent on the the proximity of a cellular tower and the network traffic.

With the majority of smartphones run either an Apple iOS or Google Android, how do you use a smartphone’s personal hotspot feature?

Example of an iPhone Personal Hotspot Screen

Consider a practice session and running a speed test to see how it compares to your home’s service. Again, be aware of your cellular providers limitations of usage as they vary by provider and the level of plan that you are using.

Also See

Speedtest Best Practices

WiFi Hotspot

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Economic Development Fixed Wireless Broadband Starlink

Fast Company

FC Is Talking About WNC

Yes Fast Company is talking about Western North Carolina.

What is the Fast Company? They are a leading business media brand, with an editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, creativity, and design.

And Western North Carolina, is rural America; attractive for technology, leadership, changing ideas, creativity, and design.

But, WNC lacks a dependable and fast internet infrastructure for the future for everybody.

WNC – Lifestyle

If broadband can be increased in rural areas, it would have a dramatic impact, both for people currently living in those areas and for people who are looking to shift their lifestyle away from the cities or the suburbs and move to a more rural location.

Brie Reynolds, the Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs

WNC – More Living Space at a Lower Cost of Living

Two-thirds of remote workers are interested in moving out of the city in order to enjoy more living space and a lower cost of living. However, 67% indicate that internet availability affects their decision, and 36% said a lack of access to broadband internet is preventing them from making the move.

Study by SatelliteInternet.com

More About Our Nation’s $80 Billion Problem

https://www.fastcompany.com/90578964/rural-internet-broadband-access

Help the WNC Broadband Project advocate for a brighter future.

Contact a member of the project team today.