Also today, Ireland approves $3.3 billion for broadband, poor Internet costs UK SMBs about $4,332, two satellite companies separately advance their broadband missions -- plus more.
Folks in West Virginia are celebrating: The party was at Tamarack in Beckley, where Governor Jim Justice commemorated the start of a major broadband development project that Facebook will soon start. Through its subsidiary middle-mile infrastructure, the social media and content corporation will deploy 275 miles of high-capacity fiber-optic cable for new infrastructure along interstate 77. It will cross part of West Virginia as Facebook invests in a larger infrastructure build that spans Virginia to Ohio.
Not Your Father's Mining
West Virginia Governor Jim Joyce is ready to dig in to help Facebook bring fiber to the state as part of the social networking giant's multi-state infrastructure investment.
The Irish government today approved a €3 billion ($3.3 billion) National Broadband Plan contract to initially deploy an average €100 million-plus in each local authority across Ireland, plus 300 broadband connections in community areas like public libraries, community centers and the popular Gaelic games clubs, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today.
Poor Internet service cost UK-based small- and midsized businesses an average £3,351 each ($4,332) in lost business over the past three years, according to a poll of 208 small and midsize firms conducted in May 2019 by Consumer Intelligence for ISP Onecom. More than one-fifth (22%) claimed losses of more than £5,000 ($6,458) each. Although the survey-size was small, it generated some interesting data: 39% are looking to switch broadband providers in the next 12 months; 32% determined their poor service was due to their rural location and 22% put the blame squarely on their provider's shoulders, Onecom wrote.
SES will provide managed connectivity services from its high-capacity, low-latency O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite-based data communications broadband system to Verizon and Nokia's Operation Convergent System (OCR) 2019 event. The confab, held in Perry, Ga., provides law enforcement, EMT, fire, first responders and others an opportunity to get first-hand experience with advanced technologies and how they perform in live-action simulated crises in realistic, but controlled, environments. SES' fiber-like environment will provide carrier-grade, cloud-ready WiFi connectivity to those participating in the simulated emergencies, which include a wildfire, cyberattack on critical infrastructure, tunnel emergency, complex terror attack, airport under multiple crises, plus a gas pipeline leak and explosions.
In related news, Amos-17 completed its in-orbit testing at the 17 degrees east orbital slot, fueling industry expectations it will start commercial operations in the next few days, according to Reuters. Israel's Space Communications launched the satellite in August to provide communication and broadband services to Africa. SpaceCom now has three satellites that will soon provide the continent with telecom, broadband and broadcast offerings. Amos-17 has C-band HTS, Ka-band and Ku-band, and will provide connectivity between Africa, the Middle East, Europe, India, China and parts of Latin America.
Alaska Communications completed the first segment of its broadband network, hitting a customer-approved milestone in its deal to construct a high-capacity network in Alaska and provide network services to a tier one international provider and its unnamed end-customer. The master contract, signed in July 2019, entails provisioning two secure broadband network routes which are slated for completion early next year, plus ten-year service agreements and the chance to extend them another decade. Alaska Communications has been fully paid for the completed route and the telco gave a service order for the second route. (Look for a BBWN story this week on a different Alaska network: AlCan ONE from MTA Fiber Holdings, a coop that relied extensively on local subcontractors and businesses to get the job done on time and on budget.)
Russian cable operator ER-Telecom entered the B2C market when it acquired several Moscow-based companies including Kronix Plus, one of the city's oldest ISPs, wrote ComNews. Kronix Plus has about 40,000 active B2B and B2C broadband subs, giving it a measly 1% market share, the publication said. However, this share is in the Central Administrative District where, in some instances, it holds a monopoly. The price of the deal is believed to have been about R200 million to 250 million ($3.14 to $3.92 million).
NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association recently named ISP Lynxx Networks of Camp Douglas, Wis., a Smart Rural Community Provider.
Despite Brexit and the specter of an industrialized industry, Robert Chequer and James Bull launched Prestige Communications Swindon Ltd., aka PCSL, a service provider focused on bringing broadband services such as superfast and fiber, data cabling, security doors and access systems, two-way radio and CCTV to businesses. PCSL incorporates Swindon-based Prestige Communications, also owned by Chequer and Bull, which addressed wireless. Bull also will continue running managed-services provider IT Support 365. "The introduction of 5G will be an important development for businesses, said Bull. He added: "With some areas of Wiltshire not connected for fiber-broadband, we look at the best ways to ensure businesses have the tools they need to thrive. Whether that's using 4 or 5G networks or superfast or fiber-optic broadband, we ensure that customers get the right products and services to keep business running smoothly."
Facebook says it has developed a 'technology solution' that enables fiber to be deployed along electrical grid infrastructure in a very cost-effective way and has licensed that solution for free to startup NetEquity Networks.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.