BBWN Bites: UK could go Cuckoo for faster Internet
Also in today's roundup: OpenVault reports COVID-19 Internet usage numbers; US House Democrats propose $86 billion broadband bill; ExteNet, Nokia help Cal.net reach rural Californians; and Google bails on Toronto smart city project.
- New data from software and analytics company OpenVault shows just how much more people are relying on broadband during the COVID-19 crisis. In a report tracking broadband subscriber usage data points across the US and Europe, OpenVault confirmed that average consumption reached 402.5 GB at the end of Q1 2020, a 47% increase year-over-year. The data suggests that the pandemic has also accelerated the shift to faster speeds: The areas of sharpest growth during Q1 were "power users" and "extreme power users" in the 1 - 2 TB and up range. The percentage of gigabit-speed subscribers also saw a sharp 97% increase to 3.75% (from 1.9% end of Q1 2019). OpenVault says the growth seen in Q1 was what the company had previously predicted for all of 2020, not aware at the time that everything about human existence would change overnight. It further said that much of that growth concentrated in the last two weeks of the quarter, and that average monthly usage for April 2020 was over 440 GB.
- With all that demand, it's a good thing the US and UK are fully equipped with enough broadband infrastructure to serve everyone, everywhere. Just kidding. Everything is still a mess. But COVID-19 continues to help put that mess front and center to be dealt with, or at least stared at. US House Democrats this week proposed an $86 billion bill to expand the nation's broadband infrastructure. If passed, it would provide $80 billion for underserved and rural areas; $1 billion to create a grant program for schools to enhance broadband and digital capabilities in distance learning; and an additional $5 billion in low-interest loans. Stipulations on the funding would require operators who receive it to provide at least one affordable option for subscribers.
- Speaking of affordability, a new startup called Cuckoo Internet, announced this week that it has raised £470,000 (US$584,506) in seed funding. The service aims to disrupt the UK broadband market with higher speeds and simple pricing, offering one deal only and a one-month rolling contract. Or as it states on its homepage: "Broadband. No contract. No surprises. Forever." The service, founded by former treasury official Alexander Fitzgerald, aims to compete with big UK telcos and is set to launch this summer.
- Nokia and ExteNet Systems announced this week an agreement to package and supply equipment and infrastructure to support a network buildout for wireless service provider Cal.net. Through this partnership, Cal.net will be able to deliver higher speeds of up to 100Mbit/s downlink and 20Mbit/s uplink for customers in rural and underserved regions in Northern California, where fiber rollout isn't an option. The new network will utilize the shared 3.5GHz CBRS spectrum band (previously only open to the US Navy and Department of Defense) and the joint approach may provide a roadmap for the companies to upgrade other wireless ISPs going forward.
- Good old reliable Google has bailed on a much-hyped smart city project in Toronto. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the company said that the project, which was being developed under the Alphabet arm Sidewalk Labs, is being shuttered due to economic uncertainty from the coronavirus. However, the company had faced opposition from local activists since the project's inception in 2017, due to concern over how Google would treat people's data. Regardless, with Google out of the picture, the door is open for other operators to potentially step in with their own plans to pick up where they left off.
— Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Editor, Light Reading
AT&T CEO John Stankey has challenged his execs to explore what it would take to expand AT&T's plan to build FTTP to 30 million locations by 2025. 'Execution and performance' is all that stands in the way, he says.
SCTE, the cable industry's standards-setting organization, has approved standards for enclosures and modules for Generic Access Platform (GAP) nodes designed to support DOCSIS, PON and wireless access technologies.
Financial support for winning bids from more than a dozen smaller broadband players will be disbursed in 120 monthly payments, starting at the end of this month.
The cable operator is seeing a 'little bit of a slowdown in the net adds in the cable business' in the current quarter, but still expects 2021 growth to beat pre-COVID 2019 levels, CFO Mike Cavanagh told investors.
Kuiper Systems, Amazon's satellite broadband unit, counters that concerns about SpaceX's 'Gen2' plan for Starlink has nothing to do with slowing competition, but is about holding SpaceX to FCC rules.
More Industry Announcements
- Honeywell expands small-satellite product offerings
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
- InCoax unveils its D2501 to help solve last-mile challenge
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
- Comcast expands Internet Essentials to Pell Grant recipients
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
- Kinetic bringing fiber to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Monday, September 20, 2021
- DZS, Freedom Fibre deliver fiber access to TalkTalk subs
Thursday, September 16, 2021
- Calix Cloud now fully compatible with 80+ third-party gateways
Thursday, September 16, 2021
- SDC Capital Partners closes IQ Fiber investment
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
11:00 a.m. New York / 4:00 p.m. London
The demand for high-speed broadband services and hyperconnectivity has driven massive surges in network data usage like never before. Due to this trend, the networks of communications service providers (CSPs) are increasingly overburdened. Service providers need to optimize their networks to scale service delivery efficiently, while maximizing the opportunity to innovate at a rapid pace.
Learn how cloud-native containerized solutions can position CSP networks for long-term evolution and sustainable growth. Hear practical steps and flexible options for implementing a cloud-native PON solution in your network. Discover how to maximize operational resources and make way for enhanced applications, innovations and new use cases.
Topics to be covered include:
- How to implement cloud-native containerized PON
- The convergence of fiber and mobile networks