Also in today's fixed-access broadband news, AWS and Iridium team on satellite-based CloudConnect to Amazon Web Services to 80% of the unconnected world; House Dems to unveil five-year, $760 billion, unfunded infrastructure program that includes broadband plan; Calix posts Q4 revenue rise; and more.
SpaceX sent off another 60 Starlink satellites at 9:06 a.m. ET today, the second production batch to launch this year alone and the fourth in its set of orbital communication spacecraft designed to ultimately deliver affordable, high-speed and low-latency broadband around the world. If all Starlink satellites function as planned once they arrive at their extra-terrestrial destinations, SpaceX should have about 420 satellites in orbit.
Watch a replay of the launch, which SpaceX live-streamed, below:
Of course, SpaceX is not unchallenged. On January 27, Amazon's Project Kuiper submitted a 24-page letter to the FCC responding to objections SpaceX, OneWeb and others had raised against Kuiper's desire for an "expeditious grant" of its application to launch and operate its broadband satellites. Late to the satellite broadband party, Amazon asked the FCC for permission to skip a regulatory step that competitors, including SpaceX, OneWeb and other long-standing sat-providers, completed.
The clog-up in DC did not, however, stop Iridium from deploying CloudConnect in collaboration with Amazon Web Services. The partnership blends Iridium's network features and AWS' IoT services to create a satellite cloud-based solution that provides a communications platform that manages connected devices globally. It leverages Iridium's constellation of satellites to extend AWS' services to 80%-plus of locations without broadband or cell coverage.
House Democrat leaders are set to share their $760-billion, five-year infrastructure plan that's heavy on climate change and New Green Deal proposals. The Departments of Energy and Commerce are expected to contribute a section on broadband infrastructure improvements, although no part of this "plan" addresses funding, according to Politico, which reported on the plan ahead of its release.
Eight months ago, House Democrats released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan; President Donald Trump originally agreed to the deal -- before he didn't.
Calix reported Q4 2019 revenue of $120.19 million, versus year-ago revenue of $115.52 million. CEO Carl Russo described the company's return to revenue growth in the last quarter of 2019 as a "milestone" that demonstrates Calix' successful transition to a platform company.
Lots of news in AT&T's Q4 earnings call earlier today, but one of many interesting broadband standouts: "AT&T Fiber continues to grow adding nearly 200,000 customers. That brings us to nearly 4 million AT&T Fiber customers and we have lots of room left to grow," AT&T Chief Operating Officer John Stephens said on the call.
Everstream plans to invest more than $250 million this year to buildout its dense fiber network. It will use organic and acquisition strategies to continue growing its business-only fiber network, looking to reach more than 15,000 route miles of fiber deployed by year-end. This includes entry into five new Midwest markets, including Chicago; St. Louis; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Louisville, Ky.
Paul Rainford, one of our Light Reading colleagues across the pond, tells a tale of broadband brawling in Bristol. Virgin Media is accusing incumbent BT of spouting "broadband bunkum" (aka BS) on its billboards. In response to these "dubious, unsubstantiated" claims, Virgin is parking mobile billboards in front of BT's signs. Only problem: Virgin's mobile signs block traffic, apparently. Guess now the bobbies are involved in this broadband brouhaha.
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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.
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.