In this podcast, Heather “Mo” Williams, Manager of Solutions Engineering at Ruckus Networks, discusses the history and fundamentals of Wi-Fi, as well as our overly optimistic hopes for 5G technology and the FCC’s wireless policies. To hear this podcast, visit the Community Networks Broadband Bits Podcast.
The high cost of laying fiber the “last mile” to the home has left many communities without adequate, or any, connection to the internet. This problem has been made even more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic, as families in rural and under-served areas struggled to support their children’s online learning needs or to address their remote work demands. A recent Wall Street Journal article, “A Partisan Debate Emerges Over Internet Dead Zones,” explores the promise, and limits, of 5G technology to meet our growing connectivity requirements, particularly for that last mile. To learn more, visit the Wall Street Journal.
One of the major obstacles communities face in building out or expanding broadband infrastructure in their areas is the high cost of laying fiber. A relatively new construction approach to address this barrier to digital service is mircrotrenching, digging a narrower and shallower trench to accommodate conduit and fiber-optic cable. CCG, a telecommunications consultancy in business since 1997, offers a concise introduction to this practice in “The Pros and Cons of Microtrenching,” first published in 2017. To learn more about microtrenching, visit the CCG Consulting blog.
In the popular imagination, 5G (or fifth generation) network technology promises higher digital speeds, transformative transmission capacity, expanded access, and a host of amazing new applications and services for consumers and businesses alike. Kevin Werbach, professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and author of The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust, offers a more restrained assessment. In “The ‘Race to 5G’ Is a Myth,” Werbach argues that 5G, like 3G and 4G before it, will take at least a decade to make its true impact. Moreover, while the change it brings may eventually be great, its implications for the average end-user of the internet might be much more modest. To learn more, visit CNN Business Perspectives.
This past December, the United Nations reported that more than half of the world’s population–almost 4 billion people–are still without internet access. According to the FCC’s Eighth Broadband Report, 6% of Americans lack access to high-speed internet at “threshold speeds,” and one-fourth of rural residents lack any service. Many in the tech industry, however, have pointed to improved satellite-based internet as a means of providing affordable high-speed service to those who have been excluded. As CNN Business reports, Elon Musk’s SpaceX project Starlink may be the first effort in satellite-based internet that has a shot of being both technologically feasible and economically viable. Read more…
Everyone, from the business community to the casual broadband user, is excited about the advent of 5G technology. A recent CNN Business article notes many benefits for the coming transition, including…Read More