In today's fixed-access news, UK doubles fiber availability, rural US gets more gigs, suspicious snips in FTTx, DISH hops onto Nest wagon and more in our final BBWN Bites of 2019.
Apple has about a dozen engineers from the worlds of satellite, aerospace and antenna design secretly working on satellite technologies, seeking ways to directly connect their devices to the Internet, Bloomberg reported today, citing people familiar with the work. The project is in very early stages and may not advance far, although Apple CEO Tim Cook "has shown interest," giving it some precedence in the corporation, the report said. Former aerospace engineers Michael Trela and John Fenwick, formerly of Skybox Imaging lead Apple's satellite initiative; both stayed with Skybox after Google bought the firm in 2014, where they led Google's satellite and spacecraft work before heading to Apple in 2017, Bloomberg wrote at the time.
About 3 million UK homes and businesses (10%) have access to full-fiber broadband connections, double the 2018 number, according to Ofcom's "Connected Nations" report, released today. The number of homes with access to speeds of at least 30 Mbit/s (referred to as 'superfast') grew more than 500,000 in the past year, taking overall UK superfast coverage to 95% of all premises (about 29 million), the UK regulator found.
This year, 25.3% of rural-telco subscribers have gigabit broadband available to them compared with 23.4% in 2018, according to the latest NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association research. An additional 35.5% of rural residents connect at speeds of between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps versus 33.9% last year, NTCA found.
Simultaneous fiber-cable cuts in Bulgaria, Iran and Turkey caused a two-hour Internet outage in that region, the BBC reported. Because these fibers were cut at the same time, the news outlet described them as a "highly unusual thing to happen." BBWN agrees, putting the odds of this occurring "naturally" at about 1 gazillion to 1.
Pay-TV provider DISH now supports the Google Nest Hello Video doorbell with its Hopper and Wally receivers. When the doorbell rings, subscribers see an on-screen notification and image on their televisions. This is the first of several Google Nest integrations planned for the Hopper platform, DISH said.
This is the last BBWN Bites of 2019, although Broadband World News will have new stories as we end one year and begin another. BBWN and Light Reading wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and the best of everything in 2020 and beyond. - Alison
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
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.