Declaring that local US governments are in “dire need of universal fiber plans,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a white paper this week outlining why Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) will remain the superior choice over cable and emerging 5G networks from here to eternity.
On a performance and operations basis, there’s little argument that FTTP holds a multitude of advantages over these other wired and new wireless/mobile platforms. But the EFF made the point that transitioning the “last mile” of the network will “require a massive effort from industry and government” while also criticizing the stunted FTTP rollouts of major telcos such as AT&T and Verizon.
The EFF, a non-profit tasked with “defending civil liberties in the digital world,” is also critical of the US telecommunications industry at large for positing that 5G or current DOCSIS infrastructure is “more than up to the task of substituting for fiber.” It contends that such arguments have “confused lawmakers, reporters, and regulators into believing we do not have a problem.”
Virgin Media has switched on the UK’s fastest gigabit home broadband services across Greater Manchester offering connectivity 26 times faster than the current local average.
It is the second city to benefit from the company’s plan to bring gigabit speeds to nearly 15 million homes by the end of 2021 – the entire Virgin Media network.
Virgin Media’s Gig1 is now available to around 500,000 homes in Greater Manchester, following the initial launch in Southampton, with another major UK city set to follow soon. As well as Manchester city center and surrounding areas such Wythenshawe, Sale, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Old Trafford, towns including Altrincham, Warrington, Bury, Bolton, Stockport and Knutsford will also benefit from these hyperfast speeds.
Verizon will expand its 5G Home broadband offering to Chicago, but unlike four initial launch cities, the Chicago service uses the global 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard.
Verizon first rolled out its in-home fixed wireless 5G service in parts Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento last October, but at the time used its own proprietary 5G TF standard before 3GPP-compliant equipment became available.
Verizon’s 5G home broadband product in Chicago is compatible with the mobile 5G NR network that the carrier has been deploying in select cities. A Verizon representative said existing 5G Home customers’ equipment will be upgraded to the latest technology at no additional charge, as previously promised.
Technical support and other customer care areas, typically a cost center for most broadband service providers, can evolve to become a profit center for ISPs as Internet of Things (IoT) devices keep multiplying and smart homes become increasingly complex.
That is one key aim of Sweepr, a Dublin, Ireland-based startup that is using AI and machine learning techniques to help power a “contextually adaptive” tech support platform for ISPs that automatically relays problem-solving information based on the customer’s level of technology competency. A non tech-savvy consumer, for example, would receive a simpler set of instructions and suggested fixes than would a more tech-savvy one.
And by tying this platform into smart home hubs powered by systems such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, the user can start the problem-fixing process by simply stating the basic nature of the issue. For example, the consumer could just say, “Alexa, my Netflix is blurry,” to kick off that process.
Tennessee Millions: broadband desires helped by stellar rural boost
Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $2,856,167 in high-speed broadband infrastructure to create or improve e-Connectivity for 347 rural households in Tennessee. This is the first of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.
“Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America,” Secretary Perdue said. “We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America.
Broaden your knowledge BASe: Broadband World Forum 2019 presentations are now available for download!
Created by technology innovators for technology leaders, the workshops illustrated how to meet the consumer connectivity demands of tomorrow, as well as providing exclusive insight into Broadband Forum standards and open source initiatives that underpin the ground-breaking demonstrations.
Presentations from 5G BASe include topics such as ‘5G Overview, Convergence, and Next-Gen Access Networks’ and ‘The Path Forward to 5G’, part of an exploration of the impact and opportunity of 5G, a view from all angles and an outlining of the steps necessary to ensure the mass market success of the promising technology.
The Connected Home BASe workshop – which leveraged Broadband Forum’s expertise in the market to dive deep into the most timely and important topics that will define the ultimate success of Connected Home strategies and laid out a path for harnessing the market’s potential – featured presentations including ‘Consumer Demands Shaping the Connected Home Market’ and a panel discussion on ‘What Strategic Benefits Can Open Standards Provide to the Connected Home?’.
A Series of Fortunate Events – by Broadband Forum
Broadband Forum will once again host its BASe North America Summit on Saturday, October 26 on-site at Calix ConneXions 2019 in Las Vegas. The Summit, which is free to ConneXions registrants, will run from 10am to 5pm PT and focus on three of the hottest technology topics – 5G, Connected Home and security. Attendees can register for the event and the associated ConneXions conference here. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch up on the latest technology updates and best practices across 5G, Connected Home, Security, and Next Generation Access.
Total Telecom Congress will be held at the Business Design Centre, London, on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October, which features eight streams of content, with 300 industry-leading speakers delivering thought leadership on how the modern Telco can reinvent itself, covering topics including AI in future business models, software-izing the network, reimagining customer service, 5G, and much more.
The event includes the World Communication Awards (WCAs), of which Barbara Stark of AT&T has been shortlisted in acknowledgement for her pioneering work for Broadband Forum’s globally-deployed TR-069 standard, its User Services Platform (USP), and a myriad of additional contributions to the Forum, as well as other global standards organizations. For more information about the event, please visit here.
Registration for Broadband Forum’s fourth quarterly meeting, Q4 2019, taking place from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 December in Panama City, Panama, is now open. For more information about the unmissable event, bringing together the world’s largest and most influential service providers and broadband ecosystem participants, please visit here.