BBWN Bites: Australian Fires Spark Reconsideration of Copper Infrastructure
Also on this Friday edition of BBWN Bites, NBCUniversal reveals Peacock's launch dates and pricing, BT's head honcho talks turkey with UK PM, while operator hopes deal with Google Stadia floods its networks bandwidth-hungry gamers, cut sub-cable disconnects some South African subs and more.
As Australia's devastating bushfires destroyed 42 million acres, more than half a billion animals and thousands of structures, they also took out mobile masts, 100-plus basestations and other high-end networking equipment. This is leading to calls to keep the country's legacy copper access network -- which relies on ADSL, VDSL and in some cases upgrades to Gfast -- for landline and broadband connectivity, writes Robert Clark in Light Reading. This vulnerability is something the country's National Council for Fire and Emergency Services has warned of for the last two years, ever since NBN began swapping out copper for fiber, the agency told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Peacock, the streaming service from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, will debut for Comcast X1 and Flex customers on Tax Day (a.k.a. April 15) and nationally on July 15. The service includes two paid subscription tiers and one free, ad-based offering. Interested in pricing, hours of content and more? Check out Jeff Baumgartner's full story on Light Reading: NBCU's Peacock to Stream Free Tier, 2 Premium Tiers .
BT CEO Philip Jansen told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the PM's promise of nationwide fiber requires a "single rural network" plan so operators don't overlap in the 20% to 30% of unserved and underserved areas where ROI is challenging for large providers. The government must, however, create a framework to avoid breaking the law forbidding rivals from collaborating in case they fix pricing or otherwise use their position to hurt consumers, he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Until the end of January, subscribers to BT Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 250 services can get a free Google Stadia Premiere Edition bundle (including Stadia controller, Chromecast Ultra and three-month subscription to cloud-based gaming platform Stadia Pro). This makes BT the first European distribution partner for Stadia, according to BT, and gives it a differentiator and a reason for subs to buy into higher speeds.
The South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) cable -- linking Portugal and Spain to South Africa -- and West Africa Cable System (Wacs) -- connecting South Africa and the UK -- encountered problems on Thursday that slowed Internet speeds to a near-stop for some South Africans, Business Insider South Africa reported.
The Navajo Nation hired Magellan Advisors to head development of a broadband plan across 26,000 miles and four states -- Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. Magellan will review the Nation's broadband and IT assets, develop recommendations for improvements to expand coverage for fixed-access and mobile wireless, 4G and 5G cell and public safety, lower pricing and locate areas where additional development or coverage is required.
Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute or Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) published new guidelines for deployment of, access to and shared use of broadcast and telecom infrastructure. The agency wants to contribute to more efficient use of existing infrastructure by promoting sharing among operators; establish a way to resolve any differences providers have related to sharing existing resources, and promote infrastructure deployment via incentives, especially in underserved and unserved areas of Mexico.
Pride of the Peacock Network & Beyond
Peacock pricing tiers will include an ad-supported premium subscription for $4.99 per month as well as an ad-free version for $9.99, said NBCUniversal's Steve Burke.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News
(Home page image: GFDL 1.2, Wikipedia
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.