WiTTRA Unveils the WiTTRA Standard for IoT Innovation
VidOvation and Celona Unleash the Power of Private Wireless for Large-Scale Facilities and Venues
Smart Teknik, TH1NG, and WiTTRA Networks Join Forces to Drive Innovation in Smart Technologies
LiFi ready to make WiFi better with new global standard - IEEE 802.11bb
5G Team Taiwan Debuts With Success at COMNEXT Tokyo 2023
IDTechEx Reports on 6G's Fusion of Sensing and Communicating
Anritsu Company Extends Frequency Range of Field Master MS2080A Up to 6 GHz to Support 5G FR1
NTT and SES to Deliver Satellite-based Edge and Private 5G Network Solutions to Enterprises
The “Hidden” Opportunity in Low-loss Materials for 5G, Reports IDTechEx
Comba Has Been Appointed by China Mobile Hong Kong to Provide 5G Indoor Coverage Solution
Telecoms will be fastest growing African business sector
The telecoms sector will be the fastest-growing industry in Africa over the next five years as internet connectivity improves, new research* with business leaders for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows. When asked to pick the three sectors that they believe will see the strongest growth over the next five years, three out of four (75%) senior executives selected telecoms in the study. It was comfortably ahead of the healthcare sector which emerged as the second choice selected by 61% of survey respondents as one of three industries that will see the strongest growth ahead of tourism at 44% Senior executives at companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion based in Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa were interviewed for the study. Improvement in internet connectivity was identified as central to growth in the economy and across all sectors. Around two-thirds (66%) say it is important while 20% believe it is very important. The table below shows which sectors senior business executives believe will be the fastest-growing over the next five years. World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons. Its blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts costs compared to traditional telecom operators. World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators. Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “The expansion of telecoms across the African continent is central to driving economic growth and senior business executives clearly agree as they rank it well ahead of other major sectors of the economy.” “To a great extent, growth in telecoms spurs growth in other sectors as societies become more digital and technology focused and that applies very much to financial services, healthcare, retail and education.” “Not all parts of Africa however have strong internet connectivity and we want to help by providing a service which is affordable and reliable and look forward to working with governments across the continent.” World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs. The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.
The Next Stage in Thermal Materials for 5G, Discussed by IDTechEx
5G is already a common feature of modern smartphones, with the small logo making its way into the top corner of our screens. You could be forgiven for thinking that 5G is here and now old technology, but 5G encompasses several frequency bands and these have not yet been equally deployed. Whilst much of the “5G” infrastructure is a moderate upgrade on existing 4G technology, there is still plenty of scope for higher frequency deployment such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells. Each of these new developments presents its own technological evolution and with it, thermal challenges. IDTechEx’s recent research into Thermal Management for 5G has found innovations occurring within the semiconductor technology (CMOS, SiGe, GaN, etc.), thermal interface materials, and die attach technology. - mmWave 5G: Densification of electronics leads to thermal challenges 5G can be categorized into several frequency bands with several of these being repurposed existing lower frequencies and some of the new bands reaching up to 6 GHz. This is where most of the deployment has occurred so far. But when people talk about the huge potential download rates and minimal latency times, they are usually referring to mmWave (>20 GHz) 5G. Here, there is still space for significant technological innovation and new deployment use-cases. 5G deployment consists of two new bands and existing low frequency bands. Source: IDTechEx – “5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032” Given antenna spacing is equal to half the wavelength of the signal, the higher frequency means the antenna itself can be much more compact, with thousands of elements combined into a package a fraction of the size of previous antenna technology. However, this leads to a densification of the IC (integrated circuits) distribution, typically with the ICs directly on the back of the antenna board. The close packing of ICs leads to greater heat dissipation and hence thermal management challenges. IDTechEx research has found that whilst most thermal interface materials (TIMs) used today are below 4 W/m·K thermal conductivity, the demands of future 5G devices could push this value well into the 5-10 W/m·K range. - mmWave 5G: More antennas are required Another key challenge with higher frequency telecommunication infrastructure is the signal propagation. As frequency increases, the signal is more easily attenuated, with broadcast range significantly reduced and the signal easily blocked by walls or windows. One solution to this problem is the use of beamforming to directly “target” user devices. This greater control of the signal feeds into the above challenges around the compact nature of high-performance ICs on the antenna board. However, this only goes so far. To reach a satisfactory coverage over significant areas, many more of these antennas are required. IDTechEx is predicting a 41-fold increase in the yearly deployments of mmWave antenna by 2032 compared to their 2022 deployment. This is not as much of a problem as it appears at first, because, as mentioned previously, the antenna units are very compact. This means that they can be deployed more easily and in more integrated formats (on lampposts for example) compared to previous infrastructure. Thanks to the requirement for more mmWave antennas, the markets for thermal materials within them are expected to see a 5-fold growth in the next 5 years alone. mmWave antenna present the greatest TIM market by 2032. Source: IDTechEx – “Thermal Management for 5G 2022-2032” IDTechEx’s latest report on “Thermal Management for 5G” addresses the trends in 5G deployment and how this impacts the antenna design, choice of semiconductor technology, die attach materials, and thermal interface materials. Both technological aspects and market forecasts are included for the next 10 years. Additionally, it considers many smartphones and how the incorporation of 5G is impacting thermal materials (interface and heat spreaders).
Wirepas and Nordic Semiconductor demonstrate the world’s first non-cellular 5G connection
Massive IoT is becoming a reality with the non-cellular 5G Mesh. A test network acts as the product proof of concept demonstration. It visually shows data connection in the DECT-2020 network – the technology standard behind the 5G Mesh. The 5G Mesh demonstration was jointly presented in the ETSI TC DECT#94 plenary meeting by Wirepas and Nordic Semiconductor on June 28th at Tampere. With DECT-2020, it will be possible for anyone to deploy and connect devices in license-exempt, private 5G networks for the first time. This represents a massive opportunity for connecting billions of devices easily and reliably. While the IoT market and connectivity issues have existed for quite some time, there hasn’t been a standardized solution. Previous solutions have not solved the problems cost-efficient and reliably on the required scale. For this reason, the prevalence of connected devices has been delayed. DECT-2020 NR is the first standard designed specifically to solve the IoT connectivity problem. Wirepas hosted the ETSI TC DECT#94 meeting at the end of June in Tampere, Finland. It’s an open event to all ETSI members from industries developing DECT-2020 NR and DECT technology. The 5G Mesh demonstration network shown at the meeting is a significant step in turning the DECT-2020 standard into a product. Based on our technical demo built on Nordic Semiconductor’s commercial hardware & DECT-2020 L1 modem software, and Wirepas Connectivity Suite software, we can confirm that specification is implementable, says Kristian Saether, Product Manager for cellular IoT and DECT NR+ in Nordic Semiconductor We were at the first time able to integrate DECT-2020 radio by Nordic Semiconductor, and Wirepas developed a DECT-2020 connectivity suite and visually demonstrate data connection. This is, in essence, the equivalent of the first GSM call during the mobile phone development programs, says Jouni Mikkonen, SVP Product and R&D of Wirepas. A wireless connection in a network is the steppingstone for the final stages of product development. The DECT-2020 demonstration, which is the first running non-cellular 5G network in the world, received well-earned attention and interest among the participants. “Today we achieved a great milestone in the development of DECT-2020, with the first public product demonstration. The standard has been developed in a very short time. We have shown already to ITU-R the properties via simulations. Nw we could prove that a real implementation is available and working properly. I expect that DECT-2020 is ready to support a big field of applications.” - Dr. Guenter Kleindl, Chairman ETSI TC DECT
Quest for Speed, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Unveils Wi-Fi 6E
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, a leading provider of digital age networks, communications and cloud solutions is developing its Wi-Fi portfolio enabling 6 GHz band with the launch of Wi-Fi 6E access points (AP) OmniAccess® Stellar 14xx series in September. In addition to the comprehensive and competitive Wi-Fi 6 OmniAccess Stellar AP13xx series, the new Wi-Fi 6E access points will deliver an extended access portfolio that can manage the ever-increasing wireless connectivity and bandwidth demands. ALE is first introducing a high-end premium Wi-Fi 6E Access Point which will be followed by a mid-range access point by the end of the year. Wi-Fi 6E extends Wi-Fi into the 6 GHz band, adding a substantial amount of unlicensed spectrum to address the exponential expansion of connected devices. Wi-Fi standards are driving the pace of evolution for ALE’s OmniAccess Stellar WLAN solutions, and the new access points boast a variety of market-leading capabilities. Through its flexibility and scalability, Wi-Fi 6E provides improved performance in dense environments, allowing a large number of clients to connect to one access point at the same time. With the rise of high-bandwidth, low-latency applications (such as augmented/virtual reality, 4K/8K Ultra-HD video and medical IoT), 6 GHz Wi-Fi now has seven super-wide 160Mhz channels available for enhanced performances. Public venues and crowded environments will strongly benefit from these advanced connectivity capabilities and offer significant Quality of Experience enhancements to enterprises and users. Based on a distributed intelligence WLAN control architecture, OmniAccess Stellar products eliminate the need for physical centralised controllers, delivering performances with maximum scalability and real operational simplicity. ALE has been a pioneer in introducing this distributed intelligence architecture. Stephan Robineau, EVP Network Business Division at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, comments: "As our customers’ needs keep evolving, we will continue to meet their ever-changing requirements and deliver exceptional service. Customers in Wi-Fi 6E approved countries can now take advantage of one of the largest unlicensed spectrum offerings, which will boost the performance of next-generation apps in Wi-Fi 6E enabled devices to deliver high quality of connectivity experience." ALE’s OmniAccess Stellar portfolio is developed and designed to meet all clients' needs, profiles, and budgets. Existing clients can choose from different purchasing models, including Network as a Service, to smoothly transition and evolve to new Wi-Fi standards at their own pace, with minimum investment and no financial risk.
Black Box and Celona Team Up to Create Future-forward 5G Solutions for All Applications
Black Box®, a leading global solutions integrator, announced today that it has formed a partnership with 5G and OnGo™ industry innovator, Celona, to provide the most complete, bleeding-edge 5G and private LTE wireless networks available. The partnership enables Black Box to drive innovation in connectivity, giving superior wireless networking options to every market. Private networks using 5G/LAN technology — an even-licensed, low-band wireless spectrum that gives clients access to private wireless connectivity at a fraction of the cost associated with LTE — maintain the simplicity of Wi-Fi while providing superior outcomes in secure and cost-effective wireless coverage for high-volume wireless traffic and IoT applications. Commenting on the new partnership, Bill Holman, vice president and general manager of 5G technologies for Black Box, explained, "We're tremendously excited to work closely with Celona. They are true industry innovators." He added, "We are looking forward to working with such progressive individuals. By adding 5G LAN technology to our service mix, we are able to provide our customers with unique new solutions for outdoor, retail, supply chain, and other environments that need the coverage and reliability of LTE and 5G. Simple integration into existing and complex infrastructures is the way into the future. Celona agrees, and so our partnership is a very natural one." Ozer Dondurmaciouglu, vice president of marketing at Celona added, "5G network technology is at the forefront for enterprises building out their private network strategies, and Black Box will be a key strategic partner for us. Their deep expertise in this space and trusted relationships with Fortune 1000 enterprise companies make Black Box the ideal partner." Using a wide range of technologies, Black Box designs, builds and manages wireless networks to support the connected enterprise, delivering superior digital connectivity across multiple industries. Forward-thinking clients engage Black Box to incorporate OnGo/Private LTE and 5G into their existing networks and plan for future wireless networks. Celona accelerates the adoption for business-critical apps in the enterprise by taking advantage of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum. Its 5G LAN architecture is designed to automate the deployment of cellular wireless by enterprises and managed service providers, and drastically simplify its integration with existing IT infrastructures. Essentially, Celona's innovative Edgeless Enterprise Architecture allows enterprises, for the first time, to own and operate their own private LTE/5G networks. For more information about Black Box and the company's global solutions integration services, see www.blackbox.com
Prysmian Group to deliver cable for the fibre network of the future in Australia
Prysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, announces it will work with Telstra to build a new state-of-the-art intercapital fibre network in Australia. The national fibre network project is a multi-year project which will see Telstra build a new “state-of-the-art inter-city dual fibre path” that adds up to 20,000 route km of new fibre optic terrestrial cable, boosting inter-capital capacity, as well as capacity for regional areas. Prysmian Group is Telstra’s cable partner for this project. Prysmian and Telstra InfraCo undertook the development of a leading-edge optical cable system, leveraging on Prysmian’s local R&D Lab. The Group invested to develop the next generation of high strength low loss optical cable, featuring a highly ruggedised design, made for direct ploughing enabling long distance deployment in harsh local conditions. The state-of-the-art cable design is combined with Prysmian’s BendBright® G.657.A2 Low Loss fibre technology combining high performance with robustness. Prysmian’s cable has been developed to Australia’s unique environmental conditions and will be designed and manufactured locally at Prysmian’s factory on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Prysmian will support this project through local production of the optical cables in Dee Why, Sydney which will boost jobs and investment in local high-tech manufacturing, and the Group is investing to upgrade the plant’s capacity and capability. The deployment includes up to 20,000 kms of dual high strength optical cables combined with upgrade of the network within the Metro cities. “There is an ever-growing demand for greater fibre capacity, enabling massive bandwidth and ultrafast data rates with lower latency. We are committed to supporting Telstra in the realization of this project, where quality of products and innovative cabling solutions are fundamental.” commented Philippe Vanhille, EVP Telecom Division at Prysmian Group. “Our approach is to invest in understanding the challenges of our customers and to leverage on our leading innovation, in order to create the most advanced solutions for each and every use case, without ever compromising on quality and robustness,” Mr Vanhille added.
Bluepeak to Bring a Faster, More Reliable Internet to Altus, Oklahoma
Bluepeak, an innovative internet provider, announced today that it has received franchise approval from the city of Altus, Okla. to build a high-speed fiber network to meet the growing needs of the community, today and in the future. The approximately $9 million network expansion will bring Bluepeak service to more than 9,000 residences and businesses in Altus. “We’re very proud of our partnership with the city of Altus to enhance internet connectivity here,” said Rich Fish, CEO of Bluepeak. “We can’t wait to bring our next-generation, fiber-to-the-home network to the great community of Altus to meet the growing needs for how we all live.” With Bluepeak’s advanced fiber connection, residential customers can get up to 5 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) of symmetrical bandwidth (upload and download speeds) and businesses can get up to 10 Gbps and beyond of symmetrical bandwidth. Bluepeak’s fiber network will provide faster speeds, better connectivity, and the bandwidth to connect more devices for internet, streaming, gaming and more. “We're excited to have Bluepeak investing in our community, and improving broadband access in our city," said Altus Mayor Robert Garrison. "We look forward to building a great relationship with them to make Altus an even better place to live and work.” “I support the efforts of Bluepeak to bring broadband into southwest Oklahoma,” said Okla. Sen. Brent Howard. “The opportunities that will come with quality, high-speed internet will open new work possibilities for the residents of Altus. We live in an age of information and remote capabilities; this will make Altus more connected and accessible for growth.” Bluepeak has coordinated with the city of Altus and will begin construction on the new network this summer. For more information and to receive the latest updates, visit www.mybluepeak.com
ABI Research releases a study on the new 5G IoT standard
A white paper by ABI research reveals that the new 5G standard challenges cellular 5G networks and Wi-Fi in enabling companies to build massive low-cost networks for IoT applications. The standard allows use in various use cases across industries with multiple benefits, including, but not limited to, smart metering, mitigating inventory shrinkage, enhancing workplace safety, creating energy savings, and streamlining warehouse workflows. In addition, the standard offers the lowest carbon footprint on large-scale networks, along with other key benefits: (1) Low-cost network enabling IoT connectivity democratization: Working on the dedicated unlicensed radio spectrum of 1.9 GHz, without subscriptions. (2) Sustainability: The lowest carbon footprint of large-scale networks (3) Autonomous operation: largely autonomous, self-healing operation with automated auto-configuration. (4) Shared spectrum operation: Shared spectrum operation and polite spectrum access across all frequency bands. (5) Flexibility, robustness, and ease of deployment: Its self-healing mesh can dynamically go around physical obstacles, thereby avoiding connectivity black spots. The most significant contributors to the standard are a technology provider Wirepas and a manufacturer of semiconductors, Nordic Semiconductor. The first commercial technology based on this standard will be available already in 2022. "The new IoT standard brings 5G IoT networks to the reach of everyone as it lets any solution provider and system integrator to include 5G mesh networks into their offering, sets up and manage its own network autonomously without an effort, with no operators, anywhere in the world. At a tenth of the cost in comparison to cellular solutions. It enables companies to operate without middlemen or subscription fees. Another democratizing aspect is the frequency. The new 5G standard supports free international spectrums such as 1,9 GHz. We see this as a fundamental requirement for massive digitalization for everyone." - Teppo Hemiä, CEO of Wirepas Wirepas is a leading IoT company with a mission to democratize enterprise IoT. It aims to make failure-free connectivity accessible to any enterprise of any size. It makes IoT real through its connectivity software, enabling massive decentralized, scalable, high-density, and long-range network applications. Its technology lets any enterprise set up and manage its own network autonomously without operators, separate network infrastructure, middlemen, or subscriptions - at a fraction of the cost of other alternatives. Wirepas is also the main contributor to the first non-cellular 5G standard, purpose-built for massive IoT and using a free global spectrum. It serves customers worldwide with offices in Australia, Germany, Finland, France, India, and the United States, in smart tracking, smart building, smart manufacturing, and smart metering. Learn more on wirepas.com
5G: The Market GaN Needs, Discussed by IDTechEx
People could be forgiven for assuming that 5G is already here and a done thing. However, much of the 5G rollout to date has been in lower frequency bands more similar to existing 4G rather than taking full advantage of the higher frequencies. The current state of 5G has seen less technological innovation than might have initially been expected with the promise of high frequency, Gigabit download speeds, and millisecond latency yet to be realized in a major way. There is certainly more scope for technical development and hence opportunities for several technologies and materials, a critical one of which is the semiconductor technology with wide bandgap semiconductors. IDTechEx’s latest research report on “Thermal Management for 5G 2022-2032” finds that GaN (gallium nitride) has a significant opportunity within the 5G market and this creates a downstream effect on other components such as die attach materials. LDMOS (laterally-diffused metal-oxide semiconductor) devices have been the technology of choice for power amplifiers through the 4G era. These power amplifiers provide the crucial role of boosting the signal for transmission. The trouble is once we move above around 4 GHz, LDMOS starts to become inefficient. Efficiency is a critical factor for telecoms infrastructure as it directly impacts the energy consumption of the antenna. With much of 5G infrastructure being deployed alongside existing equipment, the energy consumption of telecoms towers is set to increase dramatically, adoption of wide bandgap semiconductors like GaN is one method to reduce this future impact. GaN provides greatly improved efficiencies at higher frequencies, depending on the specific use case, this can be in the region of 10% or more improvements for efficiency. GaN started being deployed in 4G networks with Huawei equipment but has seen only moderate adoption globally so far due to the increased price, lower manufacturing availability, and difficulty in integration with other components. However, it is far from niche technology developed by startup companies, for example, Japanese technology giant Sumitomo provides RF components to companies like Huawei including their GaN devices. With the growth of 5G continuing, especially for higher frequencies, we’re expecting a significant uptake in GaN over the next decade, especially for the higher end of the sub-6 GHz infrastructure where higher powers are being used and component integration is not quite as challenging as it is in the mmWave region. For this application, IDTechEx predicts a 4 fold increase in GaN demand per year by the end of the decade. The adoption of wide bandgap semiconductors typically raises the junction temperature of devices and starts to bring more thermal management considerations. One critical failure point with thermal cycling is how the semiconductor device is connected, or the die attach material. Junction temperatures for GaN devices are often above 175 °C, at this point we start to limit the options for typical solder materials, especially when lead-free is a requirement in most markets. This is leading many players to consider sintering materials. Sintering involves the application of a (typically silver) paste that is heated causing densification. The upshot is a more reliable connection with improved thermal conductivity. This has already started to be adopted in a big way in the electric vehicle market thanks to the transition to SiC (silicon carbide) and 800 V platforms. The key limitation historically has been the lack of commercial experience, long curing times, and the need for an inert atmosphere or higher pressures, but developments of these materials, greater market adoption, and the trend towards GaN could see sintering start to make a big impact in the 5G market too. IDTechEx is expecting a 10-fold increase in demand for sintering materials in 5G infrastructure by 2030. There is also a great interest in the development of copper sintering materials over silver due to the potentially reduced costs and improved performance but falls into the same issues as silver sintering had originally compared to solder. IDTechEx’s latest report on “Thermal Management for 5G 2022-2032” covers the choice of semiconductor technology in sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands, as well as the associated die, attach materials with 10-year market forecasts for both. The report also considers the developments in antenna design, use of thermal interface materials and developments in thermal materials for 5G smartphones.
Comcast Expands Digital Equity Efforts: Installs Comcast Lift Zone at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Olathe Unit
As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families and individuals to the Internet so they can fully participate in the digital economy, Comcast today announced the Olathe Unit of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City is now a high-speed Internet enabled Lift Zone. Lift Zones provide free WiFi access in community centers and complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which since 2011 has helped connect more than 10 million low-income Americans to the Internet at home, with more than 20,000 in Kansas and Missouri, including Olathe. The grand opening celebration of Comcast’s first Lift Zone in Olathe, located at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Olathe Unit, will be on Tuesday, March 29 at 4:30 p.m. at 520 S. Harrison St. With this opening, there are now three active Lift Zones in the Greater Kansas City Area—two in Independence at the Boys & Girls Clubs and this new addition at the Olathe Unit. Dignitaries attending the event are Dr. Dred Scott, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, LeEtta Felter, Olathe City Council and School Board Member, and Brent McCune, Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Olathe Unit Advisory Board. “I would like to express my gratitude to the team at Comcast,” remarked Dr. Dred Scott, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. “Adding the Lift Zones to the Olathe Unit to help our Club members access the Internet is huge. During the pandemic many of our youth were forced to learn from home without having the technology, hardware and infrastructure to support that learning. I want to thank each and every member of the Comcast team that made the Lift Zone initiatives possible within our Clubs. It means so much because of the connection they have with the Club. This relationship and this partnership are much more than a transactional experience.” "Having WiFi at the Lift Zone in the Olathe Unit is great because I can get my homework done right after school,” remarked 5th Grade Olathe Lift Zone Club Member, Aleria H. “When my homework is completed, it allows me to have more free time when I get home. I’m so glad the Club has WiFi!" “Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City is part of our work striving to advance digital equity in communities across the Greater Kansas City area,” said Nicole Jacobson, Director, Technical Operations, Comcast. “Opening the Lift Zone at their facility in Olathe allows us to support students and their families and provide them with the high-speed broadband they need to stay connected.” For more information about Internet Essentials, Lift Zones and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. Families and households can apply for the Internet Essentials program at www.internetessentials.com or by phone at 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Houston Mother Gives ‘Inside Look’ at Staying Connected to the Internet During the Pandemic
A Houston mother is one of the millions of low-income Americans who will now be able to get free, fast and reliable Comcast broadband service, thanks to the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) — a federally-funded program that gives eligible households a credit of up to $30 per month towards the cost of broadband service. Houston Mother Jamila Byrd Gives ‘Inside Look’ at Staying Connected to the Internet During the Pandemic “When the pandemic first happened, that’s when everything got pretty chaotic,” Jamila Byrd, a Houston mother of two, said. “You don’t really think about how important the Internet is until you don’t have it anymore.” According to the White House, an estimated 42 million Americans are in the same or similar situation as Byrd; they don’t have access to high-speed internet at home. The hardship, often referred to as the “digital divide”, was exacerbated by the pandemic when families had to virtually learn and work from home. “We had to go to friends’ houses, my sister’s house, so my kids could do assignments,” Byrd said. “It takes away a lot of time from us being together as a family. It’s tough for everybody.” The goal of the program is to help low-income households connect and stay connected to high-speed internet for work, school, healthcare and more. Eligible households that enroll in the program get up to a $30 monthly credit ($75 for eligible Tribal land households). Customers can use the monthly credit towards Xfinity Internet and mobile services. Eligible households are those that qualify for programs like the Federal Pell Grant, National School Lunch Program, SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance and other government programs. “The Affordable Connectivity Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Comcast is proud to actively support,” Houston Regional Vice President of External Affairs Toni Beck said. “As a company and society, it is imperative that we work together to help people connect to the transformative power of the internet both at home and on the go. At Comcast, we’re doing just that.” In response to the ACP, Comcast introduced a new plan called Internet Essentials Plus that offers twice the download speed – up to 100 Mbps – of the traditional Internet Essentials service, a cable modem and a WiFi router for $29.95 per month. With the $30 ACP credit, Internet Essentials Plus is effectively free for qualifying families. Customers who are looking for home internet and top-rated mobile service can now have both at an affordable price. Internet Essentials customers paying $9.95 per month can add one line of Unlimited Xfinity Mobile ($45 per month) for $24.95 per after applying the ACP credit. In February, during a White House event, Vice President Kamala Harris, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, and Senior Advisor Mitch Landrieu announced more than 10 million households are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, the nation’s largest-ever broadband affordability program. Byrd was recently approved for the ACP credit. “I’m grateful for this program,” Byrd said. “If I had to use one word to describe our household environment right now, it’s unity. It brings us together. It helps us to be able to do the things that we need to do, and then we have more time for family time.” To learn more about the ACP, eligibility or to apply go to Xfinity.com/acp or call 1-844-389-4681.
COMCAST TO INVEST $22 MILLION TO EXPAND FIBER BROADBAND SERVICE TO 18,000+ HOMES & BUSINESSES IN EAGLE MOUNTAIN, UTAH
Comcast today announced it will expand service to more than 18,000 homes and businesses in Eagle Mountain City over the next four years. Comcast will invest more than $22 million, without the use of any public funds, to bring the entire suite of Xfinity services to the Eagle Mountain community. Internet options will range from $9.95 per month with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, to super-fast 1-Gigabit broadband service. “Giving our residents another choice for cable and internet services improves the quality of life for our residents,” said Tom Westmoreland, Eagle Mountain mayor. “We look forward to welcoming Comcast into our community.” This expansion will provide qualifying families and individuals with access to Comcast’s affordable Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most successful broadband adoption initiative. Since 2011, Internet Essentials has connected 160,000 low-income Utahns to the power of the internet at home – many for the first time. “As one of the fastest growing cities in Utah, we are eager for opportunities that will lend to successful businesses and thriving neighborhoods,” said Tyler Savage, Chairman, Eagle Mountain Chamber of Commerce. “Comcast will be a powerful presence that our community can rely on in pursuit of these endeavors. We look forward to working closely with Comcast as our city continues to grow and become more prosperous.” Beginning in early 2023, residents in Eagle Mountain will have access to the entire Xfinity product suite, including Xfinity Internet, Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1 cable, Xfinity Home security and Internet Essentials. Residential customers will also be able to use more than 19 million hotspots across the country, an award-winning voice remote, and a streaming service offering more than 15,000 hours of content. Once completed, businesses will have access to the full suite of Comcast Business services including Ethernet, Internet, advanced voice solutions, and video services, including WiFi, Voice, TV, and managed enterprise solutions for businesses of all sizes. Comcast Business’ comprehensive portfolio of products and services help meet the day-to-day demands for large amounts of bandwidth, linking multiple sites or branch locations, or connecting offices to third-party data centers. "We are committed to supporting Utah’s growth plans by building infrastructure and bringing high-speed broadband to meet the state’s next-generation capacity needs,” said Bryan Thomas, vice president, Network Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region. “Our fiber expansion in Eagle Mountain is the latest example of the significant investments we've already made in the state. Since 2019, we’ve invested $881 million in technology and infrastructure capital expenditures, taxes and fees, employee wages and benefits, and charitable giving.” Comcast is also proud to participate in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is a federal program that provides those who qualify up to $30/month credit towards their Internet service for the duration of the program. Eligible customers can apply their ACP credit to any tier of Xfinity Internet service, and Comcast’s Internet Essentials customers can effectively get service for free after the credit is applied. New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can visit www.xfinity.com/free or call 844-389-4681 for more information, to determine eligibility, and sign up.
COMCAST EXPANDING SERVICE TERRITORY, BRINGING FULL SUITE OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO SILVERTON, OREGON
Comcast Oregon/SW Washington today announced its plan to expand its network to Silverton, Oregon, enabling nearly 5,000 Oregonians access to its state-of-the-art broadband network. The $10.6 million project will allow residents to access Xfinity Internet, delivering speeds of up to 1.2 gigabits per second (Gbps), and Comcast Business will enable speeds up to 10 Gbps for commercial customers. Over the last three years, Comcast has invested more than half a billion dollars in the state to improve the network, support the community, and ensure residents, students and businesses remain connected to the internet during the pandemic. The Silverton expansion is part of a broader plan to bring Comcast’s network to more Oregonians. “Comcast operates with the fundamental belief that connecting people to the power of broadband technology can be life changing,” said David Tashjian, regional senior vice president of Comcast Oregon/SW Washington. “That’s why we are committed to bridging the digital divide for Oregon/SW Washington residents – not only with our network expansions and investments, but also with our lnternet Essentials program, which brings fast, affordable internet to those who need it most.” Tashjian describes the expansion as strategic. “We’re also exploring expansions into additional communities adjacent to our footprint.” Construction is slated to begin in the early spring with building the fiber backbone. Some customers will be able to connect to services in late 2022, with completion of the network throughout Silverton in 2023. “I know there’s a lot of interest in Comcast,” says Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer. “As a mayor, I want to have more choices, and I want residents to have better choices, and I want to have fewer people bugging me all the time saying they’re upset at their service.” Mayor Palmer went on to say, “I was talking to one of your technicians who lives here in Silverton and he said to me, ‘I hope we expand to Silverton soon,’ and I replied, ‘Yes, as soon as possible. Yesterday would be pretty good.’ And now you are headed here, and I’m very happy to hear that.” The leader of Silverton’s Chamber of Commerce is also excited about the new services that Comcast Business will bring to help with the city’s economic development. “I love the fact that our businesses will have another choice in providers,” said Stacy Palmer, director, Silverton Chamber of Commerce. “We have a strong tourism-based historic downtown and I know the services Comcast brings will be welcomed by our service and retail businesses.” Along with its products and services, Comcast will bring its Community Impact programs to Silverton. Earlier this year, Comcast announced a $1 billion commitment over ten years in continued support of digital equity, including its Lift Zones initiative, which has established WiFi-connected spaces in 25 community centers around Oregon/SW Washington for students and adults. Comcast Oregon/SW Washington has more than 1,000 employees who serve more than one million residential and business customers throughout the state. Comcast is Oregon/SW Washington’s provider of Xfinity video, high-speed Internet, smart home and phone services. Comcast operates Xfinity retail stores throughout Oregon/SW Washington, which feature a welcoming and modern retail environment that highlights the complete line of Xfinity home and Comcast Business technology offerings, including Xfinity Mobile, Xfinity X1, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Internet. To learn more about Comcast in Oregon/SW Washington, visit: https://oregon.comcast.com
Comcast Offering Free and Discounted Internet Through Affordable Connectivity Program
Comcast in the Twin Cities is offering free and discounted Internet options through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP provides eligible low-income households a credit up to $30 a month toward the cost of Internet service ($75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands). Customers who qualify can apply ACP credits to any tier of Xfinity Internet, including Internet Essentials. “As the world becomes more digital, it is crucial that everyone has the needed resources and opportunities to excel in today’s environment,” said Kalyn Hove, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast Twin Cities. “The Affordable Connectivity Program is a once in a lifetime opportunity that Comcast is proud to be participating in and offer to any of our customers who qualify so they can benefit from the connectivity needed to function in today’s world.” Comcast recently introduced two new ways for customers to benefit from the ACP: Internet Essentials Plus Internet Essentials Plus is a new tier of service for Comcast’s hallmark digital equity program that is available in all Comcast service areas to any customer who qualifies. It offers twice the download speed – up to 100 Mbps – of the traditional Internet Essentials service, which has a 50 Mbps download speed. Internet Essentials Plus is available for $29.95/month to new customers who qualify. Existing Internet Essentials customers can upgrade to this new, faster tier at any time. Customers who subscribe to Internet Essentials Plus and enroll in ACP will effectively get broadband for free after the $30/month government discount is applied. Xfinity Mobile Comcast’s top-rated Xfinity Mobile service, which includes 5G, is now available to customers enrolled in ACP, giving them the ability to save money on their connectivity needs inside and out of the home. Internet Essentials customers can use their $30/month ACP discount to pay for both Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Mobile service. For example, an Internet Essentials customer (paying $9.95/month) can add one line of Unlimited on Xfinity Mobile ($45/month) for $24.95/month after applying the ACP discount. Xfinity Mobile has no line access or activation fees and comes with unlimited talk and text, so customers only pay for cellular data. Customers can mix and match between two straightforward plans on Xfinity Mobile with 5G included, Unlimited or By the Gig, and pair these mobile plans with any tier of Internet service to provide ultimate flexibility. They can also switch back and forth between Unlimited and By the Gig mobile plans at any time. In addition, Xfinity Mobile devices automatically connect to millions of Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country to reduce customers’ dependence on cellular and save money. Sign up for ACP Eligible households that enroll in the program can receive $30/month toward their Internet and mobile service ($75/month on Tribal lands). New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can visit www.xfinity.com/acp or call 844-389-4681 for more information, to determine eligibility, and sign up. Today’s announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit: https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials
Comcast Invests $1 Million to Bring High Speed Broadband to Rural Community of Biola, California in Fresno County
Comcast today announced it invested $1 million to bring high speed broadband to Biola, Cali., a rural community in Fresno County. As part of its larger digital equity initiative in California, Comcast will also open three new Lift Zones in the Central Valley region, donate more than $100,000 to community organizations for digital literacy programs, and provide free laptops to 250 families. Biola residential customers will now have access to all Xfinity services, including Internet Essentials, which provides high speed Internet at home for $9.95 per month (plus tax) for qualified families/individuals. Businesses in the area also will now be able to get the full suite of Comcast Business products and services. In addition, Comcast announced it will open three new WiFi-connected community centers, called Lift Zones, one at the Biola Community Services District and two at Reading & Beyond located in Southeast Fresno. Each location will provide free WiFi access to students, families, seniors, and community members. With these three additions, Comcast now has established 13 Lift Zones in Fresno County—and a total of 150 Lift Zones throughout our California footprint. Last year, Comcast launched Lift Zones at 10 Boys & Girls Clubs locations. Through these overall investments, and by providing reliable WiFi service at multiple educational and community spaces — as well as to homes and businesses — Comcast has helped thousands in the Central Valley get online and more fully participate in the digital economy. In addition to providing free WiFi service at the new Lift Zone locations, Comcast donated $102,000 to community partners — Fresno State Parent University received $77,000 to help residents with digital literacy training and work readiness skills and $25,000 to Reading & Beyond to provide digital literacy training to students, families, seniors, and community members. “Access to high-speed broadband is a game changer for the residents and business owners in Biola,” said Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco. “Our world has become even more dependent on the internet to learn, teach, work, find healthcare services and so many other aspects of daily life. Comcast’s new high-speed internet services, combined with these sizable financial contributions to our community, will help so many individuals, families and businesses in our region. I’m thankful to everyone who worked so hard to make it a reality.” “The need for fast, secure internet service has never been greater than it is today, and I’m glad to see Comcast continue to invest in rural areas such as Biola to help our underserved communities,” said California State Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula. “Bold investments like these from Comcast have a significant impact. Helping families gain affordable and reliable internet access opens numerous areas of opportunity, maximizes potential, and creates lasting change.” “I am greatly appreciative of the efforts taken by Comcast’s significant investments in our rural communities and the expansion of broadband access,” said, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Broadband Consortium Eduardo Gonzalez. “Continuing to support public private partnerships, such as Comcast and the community of Biola, to create digital equity solutions can be a model of what can be accomplished together. These partnerships will help create vital educational opportunities, workforce development skills and overall quality of life for our residents and families in the region.” Expanding its network and broadband services to rural areas is an important part of Comcast’s overall effort to increase digital equity. Another critical element is Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home. This includes more than 1.4 million residents across California, which is the number one state in terms of overall participation in the Internet Essentials program. Today’s donation is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials. Lastly, Comcast is making the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) available for all speed tiers of Xfinity Internet service including Internet Essentials. ACP is a federal program that provides eligible customers up to a $30 per month credit toward their Internet and mobile services for the duration of the program. New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can visit www.xfinity.com/free or call 844-389-4681 for more information, to determine eligibility, and sign up.
Internet adoption worldwide surpass 65% in 2022 led by North America
The internet has a significant impact on how people learn, communicate, conduct business, and go about their daily lives. According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, internet penetration worldwide to reach 66% by the end of 2022 Q1. North America and Europe remain the only regions with an internet penetration rate of about 90% among their population. North America leads the world in internet penetration rate with 93.4%. The US and Canada have a well-developed internet infrastructure allowing easy access. In total, North America accommodates over 347 million internet users. Europe is second in penetration rate as 88.4% of Europeans are internet users. More than 743 million Europeans are connected to the world wide web. Latin America and the Caribbean region have an internet penetration rate of 80.4%. Despite the high percentage rate, many countries in the Latin American region have uneven coverage, coupled with high data and device costs. Countries in the Middle East provide internet to 76.4% of their population. Wealthier countries like UAE or Qatar have a penetration rate of nearly 100%. However, war-torn countries such as Syria or Yemen have a shallow internet penetration percentage due to most infrastructure being destroyed. Oceania and Australia have an internet penetration rate of 70.1%. While Australia and New Zealand accommodate nearly 90% of their population with the internet, many Pacific Islands have not invested in internet infrastructure. Asia’s internet penetration rate is 64.1%. Even though the percentage is below the world average, Asia has the largest population of nearly 2.8 billion internet users. That makes up about 53% of all internet users worldwide. Africa has the lowest internet penetration rate as only 43.1% of the population has access to the world wide web. The region accommodates about 601 million internet users. Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on internet freedom: “Increasing internet penetration rate makes the world more connected. It has become a necessity for most people, which helps communicate and find information like never before. However, the internet must stay out of government control and be open to everyone, so internet users would reap the benefits it brings.” - Internet censorship Despite the increasing internet penetration rate worldwide, some countries impose internet restrictions. Chinese state-owned internet service providers block various websites such as Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, etc. Such censorship severely limits the freedom of the press. After the invasion of Ukraine, similar methods of censorship are being established in Russia as well. The country is seeking to close off its citizens from outside information by banning social media platforms and western media outlets, making it impossible to access them without a VPN. To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/internet-adoption-worldwide-surpass-65-in-2022-led-by-north-america
BLUEPEAK TO BRING A FASTER, MORE RELIABLE INTERNET TO LAWTON, OKLAHOMA
Bluepeak, an innovative internet provider, announced today that it has received franchise approval from the city of Lawton, Okla., to build a high-speed fiber network to meet the growing needs of the community, today and in the future. The approximately $40 million expansion – the largest such investment by Bluepeak in the state of Okla. – will bring Bluepeak service to more than 40,000 residences and businesses in Lawton. “The city of Lawton has been a steadfast partner in our work to bring a next-generation, fiber-to-the-home network to the community,” said Rich Fish, CEO of Bluepeak. “At Bluepeak, we take pride in being relentlessly for our customers and we can’t wait to show the good people of Lawton what that means for them.” With Bluepeak’s advanced fiber connection, residential customers can get up to 5 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) of symmetrical bandwidth (upload and download) and businesses can get up to 10 Gbps and beyond of symmetrical bandwidth. Bluepeak’s fiber network will provide faster speeds, better connectivity, and the bandwidth to connect more devices for internet, streaming, gaming and more. “The City of Lawton is thrilled to see industry in Lawton growing with the investment from Bluepeak,” said City Manager Michael Cleghorn. “Access to high-speed internet, such as fiber connection, is vital to the growth of communities. We look forward to the possibilities this kind of access will present Lawton citizens.” “We are excited to have Bluepeak coming to Lawton to provide high speed internet services,” said Okla. State Rep. Rande Worthen. “One of the goals for the legislature has been to expand high speed internet to all four corners of the state. Just as exciting is, this is being done without the expenditure of any state dollars and solely by private capital.” “I am looking forward to Bluepeak expanding to Lawton in the near future,” said Okla. State Rep. Daniel Pae, a native of Lawton. “As we have learned during the pandemic, Lawtonians need access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband, and I believe Bluepeak will help us accomplish this objective.” Bluepeak has coordinated with the city of Lawton and will begin construction on the new network within the next 90 days. For more information and to receive the latest updates, visit www.mybluepeak.com