Jon Brodkin

Judges reject Viasat’s plea to stop SpaceX Starlink satellite launches

SpaceX can keep launching broadband satellites despite a lawsuit filed by Viasat, a federal appeals court ruled June 20. Viasat sued the Federal Communications Commission in May 2021 and asked judges for a stay that would halt SpaceX's ongoing launches of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that power Starlink Internet service.

California’s ambitious fiber-Internet plan approved unanimously by legislature

The California legislature unanimously approved a plan to build a statewide, open-access fiber network.

Ohio GOP ends attempt to ban municipal broadband after protests

After coming close to imposing a near-total ban on municipal broadband networks, Ohio's Republican-controlled legislature has dropped the proposed law in final negotiations over the state budget. Lawmakers apparently relented to public pressure from supporters of municipal broadband and cities and towns that operate the networks. People and businesses from Fairlawn, OH where the city-run FairlawnGig network offers fiber Internet, played a significant role in the protests. FairlawnGig itself asked users to put pressure on lawmakers, and the subscribers did so in great numbers.

AT&T gives investors and government very different takes on fiber internet

AT&T says fiber internet is a "superior" technology that is built for today and the future because of its ability to deliver symmetrical upload and download speeds of 1Gbps and higher. AT&T also says that "there is no compelling evidence" to support the deployment of fiber across the US, and that rural people should be satisfied with non-fiber internet access that provides only 10Mbps upload speeds. The difference between those two wildly different statements was the audience.

President Biden silent on municipal broadband as he makes $65 Billion deal with Republicans

President Joe Biden announced a $65 billion broadband-deployment deal with Senate Republicans and Democrats, but he provided no details on whether the plan will prioritize municipal broadband networks as he originally proposed. Congressional Republicans have tried to ban municipal broadband nationwide, so it's highly unlikely that they would have agreed to Biden's stated goal of giving public networks priority over private broadband providers in the next big ro

Altice reduces cable internet upload speeds by up to 86 percent next month

Altice is slashing its cable Internet upload speeds by up to 86 percent starting on July 12. Altice's Optimum Online plans that currently have advertised upload speeds of 35Mbps will be reduced to uploads of either 5Mbps, 10Mbps, or 20Mbps, depending on the plan. The company did not announce any immediate price changes on the plans that are getting upload-speed cuts.

50 groups urge President Biden to fill FCC opening

President Joe Biden's failure to break the Federal Communications Commission's 2-2 partisan deadlock is reaching a "critical point," 57 advocacy groups wrote in a letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Nearly five months after his inauguration, Biden has not yet nominated a Democratic FCC commissioner to fill the empty fifth slot.

New York can’t force broadband providers to offer $15 low-income broadband plans, judge rules

A decision by Judge Denis Hurley of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York prohibits New York from enforcing a state law that would require broadband providers to sell $15-per-month plans to low-income households. The law was set to go into effect on June 15.

AT&T CEO seems confident industry can kill Biden’s municipal broadband plan

AT&T CEO John Stankey called President Biden's plan to fund municipal broadband networks "misguided" and said the US shouldn't pay for any broadband deployment in areas that already have networks. But as AT&T and others lobby against public networks and government-funded competition, Stankey said he is confident that Congress will steer legislation in the more "pragmatic" direction that AT&T favors. "It would be a shame that we take taxpayer money or ask local governments to go into a business that they don't run today," Stankey said.

AT&T/Verizon lobby keeps claiming that home-Internet prices are dropping

US government data shows that home-Internet customers pay more each year and that average broadband expenditures are rising faster than inflation, but cable and telecom lobbies keep claiming that broadband prices are getting lower. The latest example came  from USTelecom—which represents AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink/Lumen, Frontier, and other DSL and fiber Internet providers. The group unveiled the latest version of its Broadband Pricing Index [BPI] that measures prices for residential Internet service.