Tag: Broadband

12
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

Elon Musk’s space internet gives Native American tribe access to high-speed broadband for first time

A remote Native American tribe is among the first users of Elon Musk’s Starlink space internet project after it connected to SpaceX’s constellation of satellites.



a sign on the side of a building


© Provided by The Independent


The Hoh Tribe in Washington State said Starlink’s high-speed broadband enabled remote learning and telehealth appointments during the coronavirus pandemic for the first time. 

“We’re very remote. The last eight years I felt like we’ve been paddling up river with a spoon and almost getting nowhere with getting internet to the reservation,” said Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe.

“It seemed like out of nowhere, SpaceX came up and just catapulted us into the 21st century.”

There are currently around 800 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit, offering internet connectivity to northern areas of the US and Canada. SpaceX eventually plans to launch tens of thousands more satellites to provide “near global coverage of the populated world by 2021”.

The Hoh Tribe were introduced to Starlink through the Washington State Department of Commerce, which sits within the current reach of the Starlink network.

It is one of several early testers of Starlink , with emergency responders in Washington State also recently using the network to set up a WiFi hotspot for residents of Malden after 80 per cent of the town was destroyed by wildfires.

The Hoh Tribe revealed that internet speeds prior to  Starlink ranged from between 0.3 and 0.7 megabits per second (Mbps) – a long way off the 100Mbps advertised by SpaceX.

Responding to a tweet from the

11
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

Washington state’s broadband guru on an internet moonshot and being a metaphorical prom king

Russ Elliott in his man-cave COVID-19 workspace. (Photo courtesy of Russ Elliott)

When a buddy of Russ Elliott‘s asked if he’d join him in starting a telecom company, he flat out said no. While his friend had been a great help building a website he needed, the venture didn’t have any financial backing and Elliott wasn’t versed in internet connectivity.

But when his friend took the unusual step of sending him a motivational postcard — something with an iceberg and a corny message about not knowing what’s out there unless you took a risk — it played on his mind. Elliott had an MBA. He had drive. He decided to embrace the inspirational cliché.

With that, some 20 years ago Elliott helped launch what became a successful business in Colorado called Brainstorm Internet, serving as its president for 13 years.

“We were nimble and quick and had smart people on our team and started DSL in our area,” Elliott said. They applied scrappy, creative solutions to deliver connectivity to rural areas in parts of Colorado and New Mexico.

 It certainly is a moonshot, but it is not unattainable.

There were other ventures mixed in, but the job with Brainstorm Internet wound up prepping him for his current role as the first director of the recently created Washington State Broadband Office, an organization within the state’s Department of Commerce. Elliott has the challenge of providing high-speed internet connectivity — 150 megabits per second for both downloading and uploading data — to all residents and businesses in the state by 2028.

“That really does set us on a different path. It is the most aggressive goal in the country today,” Elliott said. “It certainly is a moonshot, but it is not unattainable.”

He estimates that half of Washington’s population currently lacks fast,

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Elon Musk: SpaceX’s Starlink broadband public beta ready to go after latest launch

After several delays, SpaceX has finally launched its 12th Starlink Mission, which brings its internet-beaming satellite constellation to just under the 800 it needs to deliver moderate coverage in North America.  

With this latest launch at Tuesday, 7:29 am EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX has now launched 775 Linux-powered Starlink satellites. But, via CBS News, only 728 Starlink satellites remain in orbit, according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell’s latest Space Report.  

As noted by Space.com, before Tuesday’s successful Starlink launch, SpaceX had scrubbed four attempted launches due to weather and other issues. SpaceX integration and test engineer Siva Bharadvaj said Tuesday was “a happy end to Scrub-tober”.

SEE: Network security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

More importantly for broadband-starved potential customers in the US, this latest batch of 60 Starlink satellites clears the way for a public beta in northern US and possibly southern Canada. 

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US and hopefully southern Canada. Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval,” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

Starlink has been running a private beta since July in parts of northern US and while it has had coverage of southern Canada, services there are pending regulatory approval. However, the private beta was largely limited to SpaceX employees, according to TechCrunch. 

One group Musk said SpaceX has prioritized is emergency services. Last week, the Washington state military’s emergency-management unit revealed it had been using seven Starlink end-user terminals for connectivity since early August in fire-ravaged parts of the state.    

In an update after Tuesday’s launch, SpaceX said the way Washington’s first responders deployed Starlink in Malden, just south of Spokane, Washington, is “representative of how Starlink works best – in

02
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

We Need a National Investment in Broadband Internet. $100 Billion Is a Good Start.

Imagine if we could put every area of America on an even playing field when it comes to high-speed internet.



a man and a woman looking at the camera: Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.


© Provided by Slate
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.

In the months after World War I, Dwight Eisenhower—who had been stuck stateside during the conflict—accepted a relatively modest assignment: He was tasked with overseeing the first transcontinental military convoy and reporting to his superiors the state of America’s roads, bridges, and byways. The trip, consisting of 79 Army vehicles and 297 personnel, crossed 3,200 miles. The experience was an eye-opener for the young officer.

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The convoy was repeatedly slowed by roads in terrible condition. Many were unpaved. Bridges were old and often too low for trucks. Eisenhower could see clearly how road quality directly affected the mobility of a moving army—or any vehicle. The lessons never left him, and his fascination with highways, logistics, and national defense led him, as president four decades later, to champion and launch the interstate highway system.

Today’s internet is as critical—if not more so—to our nation’s economy and security as roads and highways were in Eisenhower’s time. And our internet infrastructure is similarly ragged and uneven. Even now, it’s choked by slow speeds or no access at all in significant portions of the country. While a great number of Americans are relying on high-speed broadband to conduct meetings, see their doctors, study with their teachers, and stream the latest shows, roughly 21 million Americans in 2019 had no fixed broadband service and therefore are stuck on the backroads with no on-ramp to the highway nearby. For many of them, it’s a simple fact of geography: They live in rural areas where broadband providers say it’s too expensive to serve. Or, alternatively and commonly, they can’t afford it.

This