G.fast means fiber speeds over copper, up to a point

12 December 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

The point where the infrastructure collapses.

A short range, high speed technology standard for broadband over copper phone lines has been approved by the International Telecommunications Union. The G.fast standard is intended to make fiber-class speeds possible over legacy lines, with a maximum distance of 400 meters between the customer and the nearest fiber node.

Practical distances, though, are much shorter. “Service rate performance targets” – total bandwidth which can be split between up and down loads – are…

500-1000 Mb/s for FTTB deployments at less than 100m, straight loops
500 Mb/s at 100m
200 Mb/s at 200m
150 Mb/s at 250m

Bell Labs has succeeded in pushing a gigabit over 70 meters of pristine plant and 500 Mbps over 100 meters of lousy copper, using its implementation of an earlier version of the G.fast… More

Developing countries take the lead in global broadband adoption

Click for the report.

By the end of the year, 3 billion people will be on the Internet, according to the latest projections by the International Telecommunications Union. Of those, three-quarters will be getting broadband access via mobile networks (with or without wireline access, too), a five-fold jump since the end of 2008. The majority of Internet users will be in the developing world, according to the report

The new figures show that, by the end of 2014, there will be almost 3 billion Internet users, two-thirds of them coming from the developing world, and that the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally.


Bullies and nannies alike threaten Internet freedoms

2 February 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

“Everything we’re talking about are threats to authoritarian regimes, and they have the votes”, said Robert McDowell, formerly an FCC commissioner and currently a thinker (or would that be a tanker?) at the Hudson Institute think tank. He was speaking at CES earlier in January. His concern is maintaining the vitality of an open Internet and everyone’s freedom to use it as they please. “A big threat to this is international regulation and governance”, he said, renewing his warning that some governments – via international organisations as well as their own efforts – want to bring online activists and entrepreneurs to heel.… More

The world is getting smarter

11 October 2013 by Steve Blum
, ,

Out of 157 countries rated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 154 had a better information and communication technology (ICT) environment in 2012 than in 2011. Although some countries saw fluctuations in the usage and penetration of one technology or another, taken as a whole international and domestic connectivity is growing virtually everywhere.

The ITU publishes statistics on a range of telecoms and information technology metrics, from plain old telephone lines to home Internet subscriptions to adult literacy.… More

Surprisingly, UN broadband report advocates free speech and competitive markets

25 September 2013 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Best interests. Common good. Benign intentions. And all that.

The United Nations, in particular its education, science and cultural organisation (UNESCO), has often been criticised for kowtowing to authoritarian, repressive and socialist regimes when media, markets and speech are on the table. At best, it tends to offer up meaningless generalities that offend no one.

So it was a pleasant surprise to read The State Of Broadband 2013: Universalizing Broadband, a report prepared by two UN offshoots, the International Telecommunications Union and UNESCO.… More

The Internet faces the dark side of the Force

9 January 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

International telecommunications diplomacy isn't a pretty business.

“It was a little bit like the Star Wars bar scene,” said FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, as he described his experience as a U.S. representative at last month's World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

He was part of a delegation that included private sector companies, like Google, as well as a boat load of diplomats and policy wonks. They were up against a solid wall of countries that wanted the International Telecommunications Union – a United Nations organization – to get into the business of regulating the Internet.… More