Also, Michigan offers millions in grants; a verdict in Orange CEO case; Europe penalizes Belgian broadband initiative; Telefónica wholesaler expands offerings; solar powers network vendor and WISPA's new directors.
Faster Internet is on its way in several US states. First, Watch Communications teamed up with the Microsoft Airband Initiative to bring broadband access to about 17 million people in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois by July 2022. This ongoing program taps unused broadcast TV frequencies and local service providers to deliver connectivity to rural regions and unserved populations, which Microsoft estimates at about 162 million people across the nation (the FCC says 21-plus million Americans don't have broadband). The two organizations expect to reach 50 counties in Indiana, 22 counties in Illinois and most Ohio counties, according to Microsoft.
On the Road to Connectivity
The Microsoft Airband Initiative is one route to resolving the digital divide, the developer says. (Source: Microsoft)
And Consolidated Communications is launching gigabit services to 12,000-plus residential and SMB premises via its new FTTP deployment, available to 500,000 Northern New England customers. This, of course, accelerates subscribers' symmetrical speeds for increasingly popular add-on services like video, cloud-based services and other more margin-rich, differentiating offerings available via Consolidated Communications' portal.
In related news, Michigan is offering $20 million in grants to service providers as part of its Connecting Michigan Communities program. Operators can apply for up to $5 million per grant for wiring unserved and under-served areas; the deadline is Aug. 31, 2019, and awardees will be announced in April 2020.
A French court has cleared Orange CEO and Chairman Stephane Richard of complicity in fraud, ending a drawn-out legal case and enabling him to stay at the helm of the international operator. Allegations go back to 2008; that's when government officials accused Richard of working with convicted businessman Bernard Tapie to cheat the French government out of about €403 million (US$455 million).
The sun is now powering about 90% of the Anaheim, Calif.-based headquarters of networking and broadband vendor Zyxel, according to Solar Power World. Partners SunPower and Renova Energy worked with Zyxel over about seven months, from design to deployment, as part of the vendor's plan to cut its carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency (plus save money).
The European Commission ordered Belgium to pay €5,000 per day for its failure to implement an EU mandate on high-speed Internet deployment. The European Commission started legal action against the country two years ago when the directive had not been translated into Belgian law. This directive, which lays out rules for high-speed broadband rollouts across the bloc, intends to reduce pricing for consumers and was required to be transposed into national law by Jan. 1, 2016 at the latest.
Telefónica International Wholesale Services (TIWS) expanded its offerings into more than 30 European and Latin American countries. TIWS, Telefónica's wholesale business unit, provides Internet services to operators looking to deliver cloud apps, high-definition video streaming and other offerings to customers outside their footprints.
WISPA, an association of wireless ISPs and companies that support fixed wireless, today announced that Dave Giles, Todd Harpest and Daniel White each won three-year terms to its 2019 board of directors. Giles is general manager for fixed wireless at operator Midco; Harpest is director, External Affairs and Regulatory at MetaLINK Technologies, which he co-founded 23 years ago as a dial-up ISP (it now uses fiber and wireless of course); and White is co-founder of white-label voice-over-IP and IPTV provider Atheral.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results