Also on this Friday edition of BBWN Bites, NBCUniversal reveals Peacock's launch dates and pricing, BT's head honcho talks turkey with UK PM, while operator hopes deal with Google Stadia floods its networks bandwidth-hungry gamers, cut sub-cable disconnects some South African subs and more.
As Australia's devastating bushfires destroyed 42 million acres, more than half a billion animals and thousands of structures, they also took out mobile masts, 100-plus basestations and other high-end networking equipment. This is leading to calls to keep the country's legacy copper access network -- which relies on ADSL, VDSL and in some cases upgrades to Gfast -- for landline and broadband connectivity, writes Robert Clark in Light Reading. This vulnerability is something the country's National Council for Fire and Emergency Services has warned of for the last two years, ever since NBN began swapping out copper for fiber, the agency told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Pride of the Peacock Network & Beyond
Peacock pricing tiers will include an ad-supported premium subscription for $4.99 per month as well as an ad-free version for $9.99, said NBCUniversal's Steve Burke.
Peacock, the streaming service from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, will debut for Comcast X1 and Flex customers on Tax Day (a.k.a. April 15) and nationally on July 15. The service includes two paid subscription tiers and one free, ad-based offering. Interested in pricing, hours of content and more? Check out Jeff Baumgartner's full story on Light Reading: NBCU's Peacock to Stream Free Tier, 2 Premium Tiers .
BT CEO Philip Jansen told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the PM's promise of nationwide fiber requires a "single rural network" plan so operators don't overlap in the 20% to 30% of unserved and underserved areas where ROI is challenging for large providers. The government must, however, create a framework to avoid breaking the law forbidding rivals from collaborating in case they fix pricing or otherwise use their position to hurt consumers, he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Until the end of January, subscribers to BT Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 250 services can get a free Google Stadia Premiere Edition bundle (including Stadia controller, Chromecast Ultra and three-month subscription to cloud-based gaming platform Stadia Pro). This makes BT the first European distribution partner for Stadia, according to BT, and gives it a differentiator and a reason for subs to buy into higher speeds.
The South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) cable -- linking Portugal and Spain to South Africa -- and West Africa Cable System (Wacs) -- connecting South Africa and the UK -- encountered problems on Thursday that slowed Internet speeds to a near-stop for some South Africans, Business Insider South Africa reported.
The Navajo Nation hired Magellan Advisors to head development of a broadband plan across 26,000 miles and four states -- Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. Magellan will review the Nation's broadband and IT assets, develop recommendations for improvements to expand coverage for fixed-access and mobile wireless, 4G and 5G cell and public safety, lower pricing and locate areas where additional development or coverage is required.
Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute or Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) published new guidelines for deployment of, access to and shared use of broadcast and telecom infrastructure. The agency wants to contribute to more efficient use of existing infrastructure by promoting sharing among operators; establish a way to resolve any differences providers have related to sharing existing resources, and promote infrastructure deployment via incentives, especially in underserved and unserved areas of Mexico.
It faces an uphill climb, but Viasat is exploring a plan to build 300 low-earth orbit satellites that could deliver low-latency broadband service and qualify for the US Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
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