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Advocacy Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Dan Gerlach Education Federal Efforts Greg Vogt Jeff McDaris Jeff Sural Local Government Local Government North Carolina Paul de Sa Stagg Newman Walter Johnson

WNC Broadband Leadership Summit

March 2, 2021

Meet the Experts, Get Broadband Industry Updates, and Closing The Digital Divide in 2021


You’ve been asking questions- we’re paying attention. 2021 will bring a host of changes to policy, funding, technology, and more.

Join us on March 2nd for our annual broadband leadership summit as we hear from local, state, and national leaders on what those changes will bring.

We will be hearing from:

Paul de Sa- “Perspectives on the new FCC directions and Internet Policy and Funding in the Biden Administration”

Paul was part of the leadership team at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2009-12 and 2016-17, serving as Chief of its Office of Strategic Planning, with a focus on merger reviews, spectrum policy, and broadband, including work on the National Broadband Plan. He is now a senior partner with Quadra Partners consulting and a member of President Biden’s Broadband Transition Team.

Walter Johnston- “Broadband Technology in 2021”

Walter was Chief of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Division of the FCC from 2009 to Jan. 2019. He is now a senior partner with Danu consulting. He is a leading expert in new broadband technologies.

Dan Gerlach- “Foundations and funding questions”

Dan has served the public for 25 years as a budget advisor to Gov. Easley, President of the Golden Leaf Foundation, and interim Chancellor of East Carolina University. He currently is president of Dan Garlach LLC and a consultant to the Dogwood Health Trust.

Jeff Sural- “What to expect at the state level”

Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Western Michigan University. Since January 2015 he has been the Director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO). BIO leads the statewide initiative to expand high-speed internet access for all North Carolinians.

There will also be information from several providers in the region including Charter, Skyrunner, ERC, and French Broad Electric Co-op.

And more……

This event will be held from 10-noon with optional breakout sessions from noon-1pm.

Breakout Sessions

  • Education – led by Jeff McDaris – will hear what K-12 and colleges have done to meet the pandemic and respond to the digital divide. Barry Pace of Buncombe Schools will provide an update on their experience.
  • New Technologies – led by Stagg Newman and Walter Johnston will continue the conversation about 5G expansion, satellite services, and the future.
  • State & Local Funding for Broadband – led by Jeff Sural and foundation partners – will look at the potential for state and local funding for broadband.
  • Federal Policy Changes – Greg Vogt and Paul de Sa will continue the conversation about what the Biden administration and Democratic control of Congress means for broadband improvements and regulations.

Register for this virtual event today! Spaces are limited.

Date: March 2nd
Presentations: 10-12
Breakout sessions: 12-1
Cost: Free

Zoom Registration Link

For questions related to this event reach out to


Does your organization have a digital inclusion activity it offers?

We want to know!

2020 escalated the conversation around digital inclusion and we want to make sure we know what’s going on across WNC. Please let us know who you are and what your organization is doing by completing this brief survey. We will present an update to this project at the March 2nd Summit. 

Digital Inclusion Survey Link

Categories
Speed Test Video

Video Speedtest

Ookla Speedtest App – iOS

New to the Ookla Speedtest app on iOS is a feature to specifically test your broadband network’s ability to stream video.

The Apple iPhone (iOS) Ookla Speedtest app has a feature measuring the ability to stream video and at what resolution:

  • Adaptive bitrate
  • 1080p
  • 1440p
  • 4K

Feedback on Marc’s iPhone 7 on the Speedtest app – Video:

  • Maximum resolution of 2160p (4K) is good for video on:
    • Large phones
    • Large tablets
    • Large laptops
    • Large TVs
Project team member Marc’s iPhone 7 Ookla Speedtest app, NEW VIDEO feature – screen recording

Download the Speedtest iOS app by Ookla here


Porter, J. (2021, February 8). Speedtest app now measures your network’s ability to stream video. Theverge.com; The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2021/2/8/22272018/speedtest-video-streaming-benchmark-4k-1440p-1080p-ookla-ios

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 Technology Lamar Owen Latency PARI Satellite Transylvania

Broadband Enabled

What has broadband enabled at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)?

PARI Satellite Dish

As part 3 of the WNC Broadband Project’s inquiry around high speed internet at PARI, Chief Technology Officer Lamar Owen provides insights in this video recording to Marc Czarnecki.

Also see – PARI Broadband Series

Part 1 – Introduction to Lamar

Part 2 – History of Broadband at PARI

Categories
Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Data Education Lamar Owen PARI Transylvania

Broadband History

PARI’s Internet Connectivity

NO, broadband did NOT fall out of the sky and land in Rosman, NC; although PARI does have an impressive collection of artifacts from outside of our planet earth.

World-Class Collection of ‘Things from the Sky’

In part 1 of this series, Lamar Owen, Chief Technology Officer at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute continues to answer Marc Czarnecki’s inquiry about the history of broadband at PARI.

Part 3 – What has broadband enabled at PARI?


More about PARI’s World Class Facility, including their exhibit galleries – https://www.pari.edu/about/our-facility/

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 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
5g Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Data FCC WiFi Wireless

Learn About 5G

1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and coming soon 5G.

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.

FCC Chairman Pai explains the FCC’s work on the 5G FAST Plan.

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.

LinkedIn Learning – Free in Buncombe County

In addition to LinkedIn Learning providing a free 1-month trial for new subscribers, Buncombe County Public Libraries offer free, unlimited access to Lynda.com; now called Learning from LinkedIn.

Complete this course and earn a certificate for your professional development.

5G Technology Strategy

Next-Generation Mobile Networking

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/5g-technology-strategy-next-generation-mobile-networking/welcome-to-5g

5G Topic Email in WNC

Stay abreast with 5G topics in Western North Carolina.

Request to be added to our 5G Google email group 5G@WNCBroadband.org.

Please state your location and why you are interested in joining this email group.

Categories
Broadband Technology SpaceX Starlink

SpaceX Starlink Train

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

Train of SpaceX satellites passing over the UK

Recorded in Europe

Train of SpaceX Starlink satellites visible from 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.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites.html

Please email spacex@wncbroadband.org and share your SpaceX experiences, photographs, videos, stories, and more.

Categories
Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology FCC Fiber Gigabit Latency

Future-Proof Tech

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.

RDOF Broadband Tiers

  • Minimum > 25/3
  • Baseline > 50/5
  • Above baseline > 100/20
  • Gigabit > 1 Gbps/500 Mbps

Read more about the tier details at: An Overview Of The FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund