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Broadband News for 2004 and 2005

December, 2005

U.S. Senate passes bill to convert to digital TV

The Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that would complete the transition from analog to digital television by 2009 and create a federal program to help millions of households pay for equipment so that their analog television sets could continue to work. The Senate and an earlier House vote were praised by the High Tech DTV Coalition, a group of telecommunications, equipment and software companies. Some of the companies have been seeking the spectrum licenses that the broadcasters must return to the government when the transition is completed. The licenses are in high demand because they are for highly coveted slices of the spectrum that could be used to expand a variety of wireless and broadband services. They are to be sold in a government auction in 2008 that is expected to raise billions of dollars for the Treasury and provide some money for millions of households to purchase converter boxes so their television sets can continue to work. New York Times_ 12/22/05  (logon required)

Media, tech companies team up on high-definition TV
Several media and electronics companies on Wednesday said they are developing technology guidelines that could make it easier for people to enjoy high- definition television programing throughout their home- entertainment systems.  The guidelines would allow people to transfer high- definition TV and movies, audio and other entertainment between their television sets, computers and other gadgets without the hassle of multiple connecting wires and remote controls, the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance said.  The group's founders include Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal television networks.  Other participants include cable operator Charter Communications Inc., electronics manufacturer Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Inc., JVC and server computer-maker Sun Microsystems Inc.  Full Story_ Reuters 12/14/05

Broadband sat blasts off
INMARSAT has launched a long-awaited service to provide cheaper voice and high-speed internet access anywhere in the world. Inmarsat said its new Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) would allow data transfers at speeds of up to 492kbps. "BGAN is probably our most significant (revenue) growth opportunity in a decade," Inmarsat chief operating officer Michael Butler said.  The company expects governments, aid agencies and corporates to be interested in the service, which can used in situations where conventional communications are difficult or non-existent, or when they have been disrupted by disasters.  Full Story_AustralianIT 12/8/05

Cingular activates wireless broadband
Cingular Wireless has switched on a broadband wireless service to help laptop users access business applications and download e-mail and large files when they are out of the office.  BroadbandConnect uses a modem card and software to access the mobile giant's third-generation (define) network. Additional devices and services, such as audio and video transmissions, will be available in 2006.  "We're giving customers the ability to securely access information and applications at broadband speeds in the office, on the road or at home," Cingular COO Ralph de la Vega said in a statement. "With our 3G service, almost any spot in a city is a hotspot."  The new service promises speeds of 400 kilobits per second to 700 kilobits per second on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.  Full Story_InternetNews 12/7/05

Telenor satellite broadband operational

Telenor Satellite Services global broadband is up and running across much of the world, the company reported
The company's Broadband Global Area Network Service is provided in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with the Americas scheduled to come online in the second quarter of 2006.   The service includes simultaneous voice and broadband data capabilities at rates up to 256 kilobits per second and is the result of a five-year collaboration between Telenor and satellite operator Inmarsat.   Full Story_Physorg.com112/7/05

Australian Broadband plan gets $10m boost
Another $10 million will be provided to the health sector in an effort to encourage it to adopt and use broadband services.  The program pays for installation and one year's operation of a broadband internet connection for Australia's general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Practices that use approved local area network security management get an extra $1000 one-off payment. "Total funding for the Broadband for Health program is now $60 million. The program has been taken up by 60 per cent of eligible health care providers," Health Minister Tony Abbot said in a statement. The extra funding will be used to provide network support for the health care providers that have accessed broadband networks through the program.  Full Story_AustralianIT 12/2/05

Broadband over power lines: Ready for a big breakthrough?
Broadband over power lines (BPL), which was first touted in the late 1990s as a way to deliver high-speed communications to homeowners and businesses, is finally becoming a reality as pilots and tests abound. And firms, including Google, smell broadband gold, and are pouring money into the new technology. According to Steve Bridges, vice president of Aon Technology and Professional Risk Group, Chicago, Ill., broadband over power lines revenue growth has been predicted to increase from $57 million in 2004 to $4.4 billion in 2011. In addition, sensing the promise of the technology, a number of large technology companies, including Google, IBM and Motorola, have decided to heavily invest in BPL service. Despite those investments, the promise of several years ago of a technology that would compete head-to-head with cable and DSL broadband services isn't likely to ever come to fruition, according to technology experts. Young-Sae Song, director of corporate marketing for Redback Networks, San Jose, Calif., and others expect broadband over power lines to primarily be deployed in rural or smaller communities, where DSL and cable service are limited or non-existent.  Full Story  Information Week_ 11/21/05

October, 2005

Wi-Fi on the farm: World's largest hotspot stretches over fields of onions

Parked alongside his onion fields, Bob Hale can prop open a laptop and read his e-mail or, with just a keystroke, check the moisture of his crops. As the jack rabbits run by, he can watch CNN online, play a video game or turn his irrigation sprinklers on and off, all from the air conditioned comfort of his truck. While cities around the country are battling over plans to offer free or cheap Internet access, this lonely terrain is served by what is billed as the world's largest hotspot, a wireless cloud that stretches over 700 square miles of landscape so dry and desolate it could have been lifted from a cowboy tune.  Full Story_CNN 10/19/05

Legislation can't keep pace with technology: Industry observers say outdated regulations a drag on innovation
Technological innovation has always ignited a debate over how much government should be involved in its development, and it seems to be no different with broadband.  The Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandated that phone companies share their lines to allow long distance firms to enter local markets and vice versa -- the idea being that the consumer then would have more choices.  The act, signed nearly 10 years ago by President Clinton, had unintended consequences for broadband development, and industry observers contend an overhaul of the act would be an important step toward clarifying the legislative landscape.  Full Story_CNN 10/19/05

Net power struggle nears climax
The US has got an image problem when it comes to the internet.
It is seen as arrogant and determined to remain the sheriff of the world wide web, regardless of whatever the rest of the world may think.  It has even lost the support of the European Union. It stands alone as the divisive battle over who runs the internet heads for a showdown at a key UN summit in Tunisia next month.  The stakes are high, with the European Commissioner responsible for the net, Viviane Reding, warning of a potential web meltdown.  Full Story_ BBC 10/12/05

U.S. Department of Agriculture announces $9 million in broadband grants to 19 rural communities in 14 states and Puerto Rico

A total of 111 community connect grant applications were received this year. Of the 19 communities selected for funding, 16 will employ wireless technologies and the other three will provide service over fiber optic cable. Communities selected do not have access to broadband technology for essential services including police protection, fire service, hospitals, libraries and schools. Since its inception four years ago, the Community Connect Broadband Grant program has provided 109 grants and invested over $39 million to provide service to local communities. As part of the grant requirements, each community is required to make at least 10 computers available to members of the public.  Full Story  USDA Press Release_ 9/30/05

U.S. switch to broadband slows
Broadband adoption in the US has slowed down, according to a new report from research group the Pew Internet and American Life Project. According to its survey, broadband take-up has grown by just 3% in the last year. Of the 67% of Americans online, 53% of them are now online via a broadband connection. The dial-up users of 2005 tended to be older, less educated and with lower incomes than their 2002 counterparts.  Full Story  BBC News_ 9/22/05

Deutsche Telekom to connect Germany's 50 largest cities with broadband

Europe's largest fixed-line carrier Deutsche Telekom AG has announced that its domestic fixed-line network will connect Germany's 50 largest cities with broadband speeds up to 50MBps by 2007. The move is part of a 3billion euro ($3.7billion) spending plan over two years in which Deutsche Telekom will upgrade large parts of its network. The upgrade means that Deutsche Telekom will strip out large parts of its old copper wire network and replace it with high-capacity fiber-optic cable, capable of speeds of up to 50MBps.  Full Story  Computer Business Review_ 9/5/05

July, 2005

Hong Kong to issue unified broadband licenses next year
Hong Kong will issue licenses next year to allow both fixed and mobile phone firms to offer broadband wireless services, newspapers said on Saturday, bringing "anytime, anywhere" Internet access closer to reality.  Under the new unified licensing system, all operators would be subject to the same regulations, said the South China Morning Post. Singapore, Australia and India already have a combined license system in place.  The city's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) announcement comes amid increasing talk of convergence between fixed and mobile telecoms services, centerd on wireless technologies such as WiMAX that would allow users to go online regardless of location using laptops, mobile phones or PDAs.   Full Story _ Reuters 7/24/05

I.B.M. and CenterPoint Energy may offer broadband from a wall plug
I.B.M. will announce a partnership with CenterPoint Energy, a utility based in Houston, to develop broadband services to be delivered over electric power lines. Because power lines can carry data as well as electricity, utilities and broadband companies are hoping the technology will allow consumers to get high-speed Internet connections simply by plugging a special adapter into a wall outlet. Some utilities, including Con Edison in New York, have started offering such services on a limited basis. By relying on the adapters - which currently cost about $200 but are expected to become less expensive - utilities do not need to send a worker to install equipment. Consumers can use the adapters in any room with an outlet.  Full Story New York Times_ 7/11/05 (logon required)

New wireless broadband 'whispers' below the radar

'Trespassing' on radio signals may hold key to wider distribution of broadband
A new communications tool that "whispers" on busy radio channels could enable broadband Internet services for on-the-go wireless devices or hook-up homes that cannot yet get fast Web access, its inventor said.  xMax, the latest innovation in broadband communications, is a very quiet radio system that uses radio channels already filled up with noisy pager or TV signals, said inventor Joe Bobier.  Full Story _ Reuters 7/4/05

June, 2005

Ireland's Digiweb Ltd. buys Tiscali SpA's satellite broadband business in Italy for undisclosed sum

The deal enables Digiweb to provide high-speed broadband access throughout all of Europe, it said.  Full Story  AFX/Forbes_ 6/19/05

April, 2005

Viacom's MTV Launches Web-Based TV 'Channel'
MTV Networks has launched a free Web-based "channel" that places many of its popular programs on the Internet."MTV Overdrive," is a web site where viewers watch full length music video on demand, extended versions of programs that have aired on MTV's television network and original video updates from its MTV News operation. With Overdrive, due for full release April 25, MTV joins a host of companies using high-speed Internet connections to deliver high-quality video to consumers without using a TV, including Walt Disney, TiVo, Microsoft Corp., Alcatel, Akimbo and other telecommunications providers.  Full Story    Reuters_ 4/6/05

Broadband connections in Asia-Pacific region grew by 50% in 2004

The fastest growing Asian market was Thailand, where subscriptions rose more than 1,000 per cent during the year. China's growth -- the current average broadband rate there is $9 (Rs 400) per subscriber per month -- too has been explosive. The growth estimate for India: 20 million broadband subscribers by 2010.  Full Story  Rediff.com_ 1/27/05

December, 2004

Supreme Court to hear cable Internet case

The Supreme Court will consider whether Internet providers should be allowed to sell their high-speed service over the cable television system. Justices will hear two cases challenging a lower ruling forcing cable companies to open their lines to Internet competition. At issue is whether cable-based broadband is a “telecommunications service” that makes it subject to the same FCC rules that phone companies must adhere to — such as allowing access to independent Internet providers. 

Full Story _ The Associated Press  12/3/04

Bush Signs Internet Access Tax Ban Into Law
President Bush signed a bill that renews a ban on Internet access taxes on Friday amid praise from lawmakers and trade groups who said the measure would encourage more people to sign up for high-speed broadband service. The ban on access taxes, in place since 1998, expired more than a year ago when congressional lawmakers could not agree whether to make it permanent or merely extend it for three years. Roughly 25 percent of U.S. adults have broadband access, up from 14 percent in 2002, according to the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project. Overall Internet use during the same period has held steady at around 60 percent. Full Story  _ Reuters 12/3/04

Broadband challenges TV viewing
Fast net access is changing the way people consume music

The number of Europeans with broadband has exploded over the past 12 months, with the web eating into TV viewing habits, research suggests. Just over 54 million people are hooked up to the net via broadband, up from 34 million a year ago, according to market analysts Nielsen/NetRatings. The total number of people online in Europe has broken the 100 million mark. The popularity of the net has meant that many are turning away from TV, say analysts Jupiter Research. Full Story _ BBC  _ 12/3/04

China blocks Google news site
China has been accused of blocking access to Google News by the media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders.
The Paris-based pressure group said the English-language news site had been unavailable for the past 10 days.
It said the aim was to force people to use a Chinese edition of the site which, according to the watchdog, does not include critical reports. Full Story  _ BBC 11/30/04

Anti-spam plan overwhelms sites
A plan to bump up the bandwidth bills of spammers seems to be getting out of control.
Earlier this week Lycos Europe released a screensaver that bombards spam websites with data to try to increase the cost of running such sites. But analysis shows that, in some cases, spam websites are being completely overwhelmed by the traffic being directed their way. The Lycos plan, "Make love not spam," has also come under fire for encouraging vigilantism. 

Full Story _ BBC 12/2/04

U.S. high-speed internet use doubles, but growth falls short of other nations

The number of Americans using fast Internet connections doubled from 2001 through late 2003, still below some expectations and especially low among minority groups and people in rural areas, according to a report by the Bush administration. The Commerce Department report, prepared in September but undisclosed until after the election, said use of fast Internet connections grew dramatically through October 2003 to 20 percent of U.S. households. Some experts said growth was disappointing, far behind countries that include South Korea, Taiwan and Canada.  Full Story  AP/MSNBC_ 11/22/04

October, 2004

After early attention to broadband, neither President Bush nor Democratic challenger John Kerry has mentioned it much

Perhaps that's because their positions are closer than they anticipated. Both candidates support universal access to broadband networks, and both see high-speed services as an important part of the economy's future. Both have said they want to expand the use of wireless spectrum for broadband purposes. Bush focused more on keeping broadband tax-free as a way to reach universal coverage, while Kerry proposed tax credits for companies that invest in next-generation or rural broadband services. Ten key facts you should know.  Full Story  CNET News_ 10/28/04

F.C.C. approves way for homes and businesses to receive high-speed Internet services through electrical outlets

The new rules would enable the utility companies to offer an alternative to the broadband communications services now provided by cable and phone companies. Broadband over power lines, or B.P.L., technology uses a special modem that plugs into electrical outlets. So far, it has been offered at speeds of 1 to 3 megabits a second, which is comparable to broadband service over cable modems or conventional phone lines - though not as fast as the 5 megabits a second achievable through the residential fiber optic lines just now being introduced by the Bell companies.  Full Story  New York Times_ 10/14/04 (logon required)

China leads the world in broadband over high-speed phone lines with 13 million DSL subscribers

The DSL Forum, an international broadband consortium, said high-speed DSL net grew globally with 30 million new subscribers over the last year. At the current growth rate, by the end of the year worldwide subscribers should top 100 million.  Full Story  BBC News_ 10/5/04

September, 2004

FCC insists U.S. broadband deployment improving, despite falling further behind other countries

A new Federal Communications Commission report found that U.S. high-speed Internet lines had tripled to 28.2 million by the end of 2003 from June 2001, but the country at best was 10th place in international rankings down from fourth, lagging nations like Canada and South Korea. President Bush has pushed for universal broadband access by 2007 while Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry has pledged tax breaks to boost broadband deployment.  Full Story  Reuters_ 9/9/04

For about $10 million, Philadelphia officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles into the world's largest wireless Internet hot spot
The ambitious plan, now in the works, would involve placing hundreds, or maybe thousands of small transmitters around the city -- probably atop lampposts. The network would deliver broadband Internet almost anywhere radio waves can travel -- including poor neighborhoods where high-speed Internet access is now rare. And the service would either be free, or far lower than the $35 to $60 a month charged by commercial providers, said the city's chief information officer, Dianah Neff.  Full Story  AP/CNN_ 9/1/04

August, 2004

U.S. asks Supreme Court to reverse lower court broadband ruling

Officials said if the San Francisco appeals court ruling remains, it could lead to heavier regulation of cable companies' high-speed Internet service. The appeals court said cable broadband should be classified as a telecommunications service rather than a more lightly regulated information service, the Federal Communications Commission said. Under that classificasions, cable companies might have to let consumers choose a rival Internet service provider.  Full Story  Reuters/MSNBC_ 8/30/04

Coming soon to a city near you, multimegabit broadband. But if you live outside of a city, you'll have to wait awhile.

For now, North America has missed the high-speed revolution occurring in homes across Europe, Japan and South Korea. But within the next two years, multimegabit broadband will be a reality in most countries, analysts said, as telecommunications companies invest vast sums to upgrade their phone networks with high-speed chip sets and new fiber lines. For the consumer, it means one company can offer television, movies-on-demand, phone service and Web surfing, pitting smaller upstart Internet service providers against local cable companies. However, customers must live near -- between a quarter- and half-mile -- of the telecoms exchange point.  Full Story  Reuters_ 8/28/04

TV project aims to kick-start 3G. High-quality, video delivered to mobile phones.

London-based project potentially solves two problems that have long been on people's minds - how to bring together the internet and TV, and how to make 3G handsets attractive to users.  Full Story  BBC_8/19/04

U.S. Broadband Growth Slows - Analyst
U.S. telephone and cable companies saw the growth of high-speed Internet services slow in the second quarter to the lowest rate in a year, an industry research firm reports.  "There are now close to 30 million households with broadband in the US.  Full Story  Reuters_8/17/04

India to improve broadband access

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his government would enable the required investment in IT infrastructure to improve broadband access. Noting that it was a matter of satisfaction that IT was enabling the country to improve the standard of living of ordinary people even in remote areas, the Prime Minister said his government would continue to explore ways in which modern technology could improve their lives.  Full Story  PTI/The HIndu_ 8/15/04

July, 2004
Regional Bells are catching up with cable in battle for broadband
Verizon, SBC and BellSouth added a net 715,000 new broadband customers in the second quarter, about as many as the top seven cable companies are expected to add when they report their figures in the coming days. The cable industry has controlled more than two-thirds of the residential high-speed data lines for several years. While the cable industry still has the lead in the market over all, the Bells have battled back by slashing prices, raising their connection speeds and expanding their coverage. They have also started offering more diverse bundles of products to compete with the video, voice and data services that cable companies sell, including teaming up with satellite providers.  Full Story  New York Times_ 7/28/04 (logon required)

Digital music player market set to double in 2004
Gadget-loving music fans will buy more than 10 million digital music players in 2004, in one of the year's biggest consumer buying crazes, a study showed on Wednesday. According to London-based research firm Informa Media, consumers worldwide will buy 10.8 million next-generation players in 2004, from cheaper flash-memory units to players equipped with hard drives and massive memory, bringing the total installed base to 21.5 million units by the end of the year.  Full Story  Reuters _7/21/04

Florida man indicted for hacking Acxion computer
A Florida man who ran a company called Snipermail.com Inc. was indicted on Wednesday on charges of breaking into and stealing vast amounts of personal information from Acxiom Corp.'s computer database in 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Justice Department said. According to the indictment, Scott Levine, 45, of Boca Raton, Florida, was part of a scheme to download about 8.2 gigabytes of data from Acxiom's server from April 2002 to August 2003.  Full Story   Reuters _7/21/04

U.N. Internet policy off course, pioneer says

The United Nations is veering off-track in its discussions on whether government officials should set Internet policy, a founding father of the network said on Wednesday. Instead, governments should join together to fight electronic crime globally and develop best practices to encourage the growth of Internet commerce, said Vinton Cerf, who helped invent the Internet's early architecture. Full Story  Reuters _7/21/04

Free iPods for Duke students
Duke University will give Apple iPods to its incoming freshmen, with school officials saying the popular MP3 music players can be used for educational purposes as well as entertainment. The school has set up a Web site modeled on Apple's iTunes music site that will allow students to download recorded lectures, audio books, language lessons and other course content.
The iPods will also come preloaded with freshman orientation material and the academic calendar. Full Story  CNN _7/21/04

Microsoft Network tries something new: Making money

Bill Gates has tried dozens of different business models for MSN, from Internet access to Web sites to monthly software subscriptions. They all lost money. The unit finally began making money last fall thanks to a business it put on the back burner - Internet advertising - that really started to take off.  Full Story  New York Times_ 7/19/04 (logon required)

Wired broadband gets supercharged ADSL2+
It's one way to add speed to the copper lines of Pots, or Plain Old Telephone System.
DSL is Digital Subscriber Line, and that refers to the connection between you and the exchange, and the A stands for Asymmetric, which means the you can download data faster than you can upload it.  Full Story  BBC News_ 7/18/04

Ariane launches AnikF2, world's largest commercial telecoms satellite
The six-ton Canadian-owned Anik F2 satellite will deliver broadband internet access and other digital services to North America.  Full Story  BBC News_ 7/18/04

European broadband growth fast but unequal
Nearly 30% of broadband users in Europe have slow connections, says a report by analysts Jupiter Research. And not all countries are growing at the same speed. It estimated that by 2009, 14% of Greek households will have broadband compared to 47% of Dutch households that will have mid or high-tier broadband. Germany will have the largest broadband market in Europe, with 13.5 million households, followed by the UK, with 10.2 million, Jupiter predicted. The Netherlands and Sweden will have the highest proportion of high-quality broadband users, it said.  Full Story  BBC News_ 7/16/04

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell says broadband's future is in the walls
Powell made the statement at AT&T's Menlo Park Lab where watched a demonstration of broadband internet over electric power lines. The technology is under development by AT&T. Internet over power lines would provide a third method on top of DSL and cable.  Full Story  San Francisco Business Times_ 7/14/04

File-sharing thrives as Net users find new outlets
Internet users download twice as many films, games and music as they did a year ago, despite a big crackdown on the activity, according to a recent study. Researchers estimate Internet users around the globe freely exchange a staggering 10 petabytes -- or 10 million gigabytes -- of data, much of it in the form of copyright-protected songs, movies, software and video games. Better broadband Internet connections and compression technologies mean larger files can be downloaded more rapidly, creating as big a piracy headache for movie studios as for music labels.  Full Story  Reuters_7/13/04

Uncertainty clouds Voice over Internet's future
AT&T Corp. says it expects to have 1 million Voice over Internet customers by the end of next year, while cable TV giant Comcast Corp. has said it anticipates offering the service to all its customers by the end of 2006.  However analysts advise caution.  Voice over Internet may be shaking the foundations of telecommunications, but it's hardly mature, and its regulatory future remains uncertain.  "In 10 to 15 years time everyone will be using Voice over Internet Protocol, but getting there will be quite varied, quite torturous and not at all clean."  Full Story   CNN _7/8/04

New media sector gets EU help
AFTER leaning on European soccer's governing body to get some games onto mobile phones and the internet, the European Union's antitrust chief has warned television that he wants to impose regulations to safeguard the development of local New Media markets.EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said his office would open an inquiry this year into the provision of content - music, films and sports - over the internet for such new services as video on demand. Full Story   The Associated Press_7/9/04

European Commission demands more wireless R&D
The European Commission says that the EU must improve its commitment to R&D as well as strengthen its patent laws to foster a competitive mobile data sector. A European Commission communication, entitled "Mobile Broadband Services," outlines the challenges the Commission has identified in this area, including the inter-operability of devices and the requirement for patent protections, particularly for content services with a high added value. Full Story  The Register_ 7/1/04

June, 2004

Broadband security systems fast growing for family and corporations
S urveillance cameras allow anyone with a broadband Internet connection to keep a 24-hour watch on nearly anything from anywhere. Internet protocol (IP) cameras, made by companies including Cisco Systems's Linksys unit and Sweden's Axis Communications, function as stand-alone servers that stream video over the Web. In Europe alone, IP cameras are expected to account for about 20 percent of a surveillance market forecast to be worth 376.5 million euros (251 million pounds) in annual sales by 2008, up from less than five percent today, according to IMS Research. Full Story  Reuters_ 6/6/04

May, 2004

Report: Sony Corp. to offer broadband TV by 2006 incorporating powerful 'Cell' processor
Sony is developing the system with IBM Corp and Toshiba Corp , a Japanese business daily said. The Cell processor will be up to 10 times more powerful than conventional chips and able to shepherd large chunks of information through a high-speed Internet network.  Full Story  Reuters_ 5/24/04

Broadband in every pot: How high-speed Internet access became an issue in Campaign 2004
Both John Kerry and George W. Bush have made grand promises of expanded access to high-speed Internet. It's the rural vote.  Full Story  MSNBC/Newsweek 5/14/04

FCC proposes using empty TV slots for wireless
New wireless communications services could be deployed using vacant television airwaves in cities and rural areas, under a proposal issued by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The additional airwaves could help meet growing demand and spur innovations like the Wi-Fi wireless Internet services that now connect consumers to the Web in airports and coffee shops.  Full Story  Reuters_ 5/13/04

European broadband takes off
The number of people using broadband internet across EU countries has grown by more than 80 per cent since January 2004, with around six per cent of the EU now using broadband, according to a European Commission report. But while broadband take-up in the EU is now faster than in the US and the level of broadband competition is improving, the report warns that member states must continue to "take account of new ways of delivering high speed access and to learn from good practice in other countries".  Full Story  Web-user_ 5/12/04

New undersea cable projects to connect East Asia to Europe, but can they make money?
The projects - the Falcon cable financed privately by Flag Telecom and the Sea-Me-We 4 line built by a consortium of global telephone companies led by Singapore Telecommunications - will stretch more than 9,300 miles, touching some of the more underserved parts of the globe. Flag did not announce a price tag for its project, but the consortium said it would spend $500 million on its line. Full Story  New York Times_ 5/10/04 (logon required)

Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd to market superconductive wire
Sumitomo will mass produce the cost-competitive, superconductive wire capable of transmitting 130 times the electricity deliverable by a normal copper wire. Employing "high-temperature superconductivity technology," Japan's biggest electric cable maker successfully produced 3,000-foot sections of ceramic superconductive wire, with a width less than that of a pencil.  Full Story  Reuters_ 5/10/04

From CBs to Wi-Fi: Truckstops go wireless to draw in customers
Wireless Internet is fast becoming as vital a communications tool for drivers as CB radio, truckers say, giving them a way to stay in closer touch with home and to entertain themselves. Industry analysts say there are now about 695,000 wireless networks operating in the United States, with roughly $1.7 billion spent on Wi-Fi equipment in 2003.  Full Story  AP/MSNBC_ 5/6/04

Broadband 'set for speed boost' says UK regulator. Next stop: 'broaderband'
The speed of broadband is becoming a key issue as the UK scrambles to catch up with its European neighbours. The typical broadband connection speed in the UK is 512 kilobits per second, some way below speeds in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, said Ian Fogg, analyst with research firm Jupiter. It had previously been assumed that DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - broadband via the phone line - would not be able to cope with very high speeds and other solutions such as fibre networks would have to be deployed.  Full Story  BBC News_ 5/6/04

US Department of Agriculture making $190 million in loans for rural broadband and telecommunications projects in 19 states
The Rural Broadband Access Program provides loans and loan guarantees for facilities and equipment for broadband services so rural businesses, farmers and ranchers can compete globally through better access to services via the Internet. Full Story  Government Computer News_ 5/4/04

For the first time, U.S. local telephone companies sell more high-speed Internet connections than cable providers

The milestone could intensify competition and lower prices. After taking a leisurely approach to high-speed Internet access for years, phone companies now see broadband as essential to their survival, committing billions of dollars to extend their networks, market their services and offer extras like free wireless home networking gear.  Full Story  Reuters_ 5/4/04

Former Vice President Al Gore to launch youth cable TV network
Gore led an investor group that bought Newsworld International from Vivendi Universal for an undisclosed sum. He plans to relaunch the yet-unnamed channel to focus on public affairs and entertainment for 18-to-34-year-olds and said it will not have a political affiliation.  Full Story  Reuters_ 5/4/04

April, 2004
Broadband: President George W. Bush is urging Congress to slap a permanent ban on taxes consumers pay for high-speed Internet hookups
He's calling on Congress to extend the Internet Access Tax moratorium to broadband and make it permanent. Bush also is setting a goal for most Americans to have electronic health records within 10 years. Paper ones, he says, can lead to errors, inefficiencies and poor communication among doctors and nurses. Full Story  AP/CNN_


Home broadband use jumped 60% within a year: Half of the growth came since November

PEW Internet research found 55% of American Internet users have access to broadband either at home or in the workplace. Fully 39% of U.S. online users have broadband access at home.  Full Story and pdf of entire report  PEW Press Release_ 4/18/04

Satellites to extend broadband's reach
While the overall broadband satellite market may represent only 20 percent of the total broadband market, large carriers like Hughes Network Systems and smaller players like iDirect and Aloha Networks all see broadband as a significant growth opportunity. They and other satellite companies are building equipment that's specifically designed to fill the gaps left by the DSL and cable modem sectors.  Full Story  EE Times/Internet Week_ 4/12/04

Appeals court stays cable internet ruling
A court ruling that could have forced cable companies to offer customers a choice of Internet service providers has been suspended while regulators and cable companies appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Full Story  Reuters_ 4/9/04

Canada leans toward applying existing telephone rules to most Internet phone calls
Phone executives say the tentative decision worsens an already haphazard regulatory landscape governing Net phone service providers. Any Net phone provider that supplies 10-digit phone numbers to subscribers, then lets them make or get calls from traditional dialers, would have to follow the regulations, according to the nonbinding decision released Wednesday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).  Full Story  CNET News.com 4/7/04

Broadband arrival for UK's London-to-Scotland trains
The GNER train company is the first to offer wireless net - or wi-fi. A three week trial will begin Dec. 1. Analysts predict 90% of business laptops will have wi-fi--broadband without wires--by 2006.  Full Story  BBC News_ 4/7/04

Cable broadband providers suffer regulations blow
A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its decision that the Federal Communications Commission should have classified cable broadband as a telecommunications service instead of an information service. The FCC could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Full Story  Reuters/MSNBC 4/1/04

Magnolia Broadband chooses chipset foundry
Magnolia Broadband, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company and innovator of radio frequency (RF) solutions for the cellular industry, has selected Jazz Semiconductor as its foundry for the DiversityPlus(tm) chipset, the company's flagship product. The new architecture extends cellular phone battery life and improves coverage, capacity and data rates of existing cellular networks. Full Story  WirelessIQ 4/1/04

March, 2004

High-Tech Glass: Pure material made in NASA levitation lab
Using static electricity fields to levitate the material, scientists were able to construct a pure glass, free of any contamination typically associated with containers. It could serve as the centerpiece for new medical and industrial lasers, as well as have broadband Internet applications.  Full Story  Space.com_ 3/31/04

$500 million cable to link Asia and Europe by next year
Sixteen global telecommunications carriers will build the submarine cable network to boost high-tech communications between Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Labelled SEA-NE-WE 4, the network will carry telephone, internet and broadband data streams using ultra fast technology.  Full Story  AFP/Australian IT 3/30/04

Analysis: Broadband by 2007? Don't hold your breath
President Bush's proposal was so thin on details that it's difficult to examine. It's even harder to imagine how the vision might become reality.  Full Story MSNBC 3/29/04

Utilities exploring broadband via power outlets
Power companies from San Francisco to North Carolina are exploring how to carry broadband Internet signals over their power lines.  Full Story  San Jose Mercury News/KRT/Miami Herald 3/28/04

Bush calls for universal broadband by 2007
President Bush urged Friday that affordable high-speed Internet access be available to all Americans by 2007, saying it was essential to the nation’s economic growth.  Full story  MSNBC News Services  3/26/04

India to make recommendations on broadband and internet
Concerned at the slow offtake of Internet services in the country,  the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in November started consultations on an integrated policy to speed growth of Internet and broadband penetration. Recommendations will be release in about two weeks.  Full story  Rediff.com 3/17/04 

FBI pushes for broadband wiretap powers
All broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, would have to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police, according to a new proposal from the FBI. The long-awaited proposal, submitted to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, has been crafted so broadly that it would outlaw the introduction of new broadband services that did not support ready wiretapping access. Companies currently offering broadband would be given 15 months to comply.  Full story  ZDnet 3/12/04

In-flight net set to take off 
Boeing is set to launch what it says is the world's first broadband in-flight Internet service, said Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson. The service will start sometime during the last two weeks of April. The much-anticipated service will let airline customers surf the Web, check e-mail and even trade files with earthbound friends, all at speeds comparable to a home broadband connection.  Full story  Wired News 3/10/04

Cinergy and Current Communications to offer broadband services over power lines
Cinergy Broadband, LLC, a subsidiary of Cinergy Corp. (NYSE:CIN), and Current Communications Group, LLC announced today they are beginning to offer broadband over power line (BPL) services in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. A subsequent expansion is planned for Northern Kentucky and Indiana.   Full story   Press Release/Business Wire 3/2/04

TriPoint Global Introduces Satcom-On-The-Move™ Terminal

TriPoint Global Communications is introducing an ?On-The Move ?™ RF terminal capable of high-bandwidth voice and data communications over satellite at the Satellite 2004 Conference March 3-5 in Booth #124.

The full motion, remote control terminal, designed and built by TriPoint Global's VertexRSI product line, is ruggedized for use by military forces and designed to be mounted on a wide variety of tactical vehicles.   Full story   Press Release 3/3/04

VBox Launches New Generation of Digital TV ATSC Cards
VBox Communications, a private company partially held by Optibase (Nasdaq:OBAS), is a leading provider of broadband and broadcast receivers, today announced the DTA-150, DTA-151 and DTA-152, a new generation of Digital TV ATSC cards allowing PC users to view terrestrial TV channels.   Full story   Press Release 3/3/04

New Edge Marries Wireless, DSL
New Edge Networks is offering Wi-Fi networking connectivity as a standard option to its DSL customers. The company believes it is the first national broadband provider to offer a combined DSL and Wi-Fi device as a standard business option. Full story news@2 direct/Wireless Week 2/25/04

Intel outlines broadband Wi-Max vision

Broadband wireless technologies will help bring the next five billion users to the Internet, an Intel Corporation executive explained today at the Wireless Communications Association (WCA) annual symposium. Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Communications Group, outlined the company's plan to work with the industry to dramatically drive down the cost and increase the availability of broadband wireless technologies, including 802.11 wireless local area networking (WLAN) and 802.16 wireless metropolitan area networking (WMAN). This effort will help attract the next wave of Internet users, particularly those in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America.  Full Story  Press Release 2/23/04


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