Faster, cheaper fiber microtrenching gains acceptance

3 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Verizon’s microduct ready to be installed near Sea Ranch in Sonoma County.

In what could lead to the first large scale urban use of fiber microtrenching in the U.S., Verizon and the City of New York have agreed to test it at 12 sites. Verizon has used microtrenching for other fiber projects, including one last year in a rural part of California.

You can see a video of the process here. It involves sawing a narrow trench – 2 cm wide and up to 30 cm deep – into the roadway, inserting thin, flat microduct, and then sealing it back up.… More

CPUC's second field test building consistent picture of mobile broadband performance

6 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Spring up, Fall back.

More mobile broadband performance measurements are available and accessible to Californians, thanks to field testing done by the California Public Utilities Commission and mapping and analysis done by Jim Warner at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Warner, who is a network engineer for the University and chair of the Central Coast Broadband Consortium’s technical expert group, took the data collected in the CPUC’s first and second rounds of mobile data field testing and fed it into Google maps.… More

More unlicensed spectrum on the way

21 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Super-sized WiFi too.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a big step towards fulfilling a promise that Chairman Julius Genachowski made at CES in Las Vegas last month. Yesterday, commissioners voted unanimously to start the process of opening up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz range to unlicensed uses such as WiFi. (H/T to UCSC’s Jim Warner for tipping me off).

“WiFi congestion is a very real and growing problem,” Genachowski said. “Like licensed spectrum, demand for unlicensed spectrum threatens to outpace supply.… More

FCC crowdsourcing mobile broadband measurements

20 December 2012 by Steve Blum
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Can y’all hear me now?

Via Jim Warner, U.C. Santa Cruz network engineer and chair of the Central Coast Broadband Consortium’s technical expert group: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will ask the public to download an app and take mobile broadband coverage measurements…

The FCC and its contractor SamKnows will soon be announcing a program to collect crowd source data on mobile broadband performance. A program will trigger tests like iperf and ping and report the results along with handset and location information to a central database.