j2 Briefing: FCC news, Microsoft whitespace, polls

The j2 Podcast for August 29, 2019

Microsoft is pushing it’s Whitespace product as a solution to the Digital divide. This has been branded “Airband”
https://www.multichannel.com/news/microsoft-brands-rural-divide-national-crisis

The FCC
The commission unanimously voted to distribute more than $20 billion of Universal Service Fund subsidies over the next decade as part of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. It also adopted a long-awaited proposal to get more detailed information from broadband providers about where they offer service in order to improve the agency’s coverage maps.  <let’s hope this revamps the form 477 reportin>

iOt is showing it’s age
Amazon is killing off the gimicky Dash buttons.
https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/01/amazon-dash-buttons/

Verizon turns up 5G

In the ever-changing 5g race Verizon turns up 5G in Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Washington DC

New poll says the Internet is more important than Air conditioning while on vacation
https://www.swnsdigital.com/2019/08/majority-of-americans-would-rather-give-up-air-conditioning-than-have-no-internet-on-vacation/

Mobile Users double since 2013
The percentage of respondents who said their primary online access devices is mobile has effectively doubled since 2013, and many of those are using mobile as a substitute, rather than a complement, to wired broadband service.
https://www.multichannel.com/news/pew-mobile-broadband-users-double-since-2013

 

j2 Podcast:5g hype, more bandwidth, preseem

Hi this is Justin, it’s Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 and this is the ISP news you need to know.  It’s been quite hot in my office so I haven’t been doing many recordings due to fans and such making it noisy in here.  here are some of the things you need to know.

Think 5G is all hype?
The 5G providers are touting how 5G will bridge the digital divide and folks are paying attention.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/web/31-percent-us-households-no-broadband-internet/

Another reason your customers need more bandwidth
Google play store is now selling some Disney movies in 4k.
https://9to5google.com/2019/07/25/google-play-disney-4k/

FCC asks for more c-Band input
The FCC seeks more comments on C-band proposals for flexible use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz Band. Comments on all the further studies are due August 7 to Docket 18-122.   
https://insidetowers.com/cell-tower-news-fcc-asks-for-more-input-on-proposals-to-repurpose-c-band/

Preseem Netflix Video
The folks over at Preseem have a pretty informative video on Netflix.

5G now can even make weather forecasts less accurate

From the WTF files

https://www.wired.com/story/5g-networks-could-throw-weather-forecasting-into-chaos

On Capitol Hill Thursday, NOAA’s acting chief, Neil Jacobs, said that interference from 5G wireless phones could reduce the accuracy of forecasts by 30 percent. That’s equivalent, he said, to the quality of weather predictions four decades ago. “If you look back in time to see when our forecast scale was roughly 30 percent less than today, it was 1980,” Jacobs told the House Subcommittee on the Environment.

 

Non Podcast Flash briefing: streaming,5g, OSHA

Due to the 2019 Indiana ISP meeting, I have not had a chance to record a flash briefing this week.  Here are some things you need to know.

OSHA Willful fines violations
Lee over at TowerOneInc states OSHA has upped the fines on willful violations.

Streaming news
Chicago starts collecting Netflix taxes
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7037573/Chicago-city-collect-Netflix-tax-online-services.html

Comcast future streaming after Hulu
https://www.lightreading.com/video/ott/comcast-still-has-big-streaming-dreams-/d/d-id/751505?

Telecom News
Frontier CEO says they are on the rebound
https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/frontier-s-ceo-says-company-rebound-thanks-to-its-fiber-assets-better-customer-care

Sprint fires a volley at AT&T over 5G Evolution
https://www.telecomstechnews.com/news/2019/mar/12/sprint-att-nyt-ad-fake-5g-marketing/

 

States and Small Cell laws

http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/mobile-5g-and-small-cell-legislation.aspx

Twenty-one state legislatures—Arizona, ColoradoDelawareFloridaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaIowaKansas, Michigan, MinnesotaMissouri, New Mexico, North CarolinaOhioOklahoma, Rhode Island, TennesseeTexasUtah, and Virginia—have enacted small cell legislation that streamlines regulations to facilitate the deployment of 5G small cells.

These laws all take into consideration the unique circumstances of their state and local environment, but baseline principles can be established and are consistent with wireless industry standards, including:

  • Streamlined applications to access public rights-of-way.
  • Caps on costs and fees.
  • Streamlined timelines for the consideration and processing of cell siting applications.

The Changing RF landscape for WISPs

Recently, there have been some discussions on Facebook about waining support for 2.4GHZ .  KP Performance recently published a Future of 5GHZ and beyond blog post. So why all this focus on 5GHZ and why are people forgetting about 2.4?

To answer this question, we need to update our thinking on the trends in networks, not just wireless networks.  Customers are demanding more and more speed. Network backbones and delivery nodes have to be updated to keep up with this demand. For anything but 802.11 wifi,2.4GHZ can’t keep up with the bandwidth needs.

One of the significant limitations of many 2.4 radios is they use frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) and/or direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) modulation. Due to 2.4GHZ being older, the chipsets have evolved around these modulation methods because of age.  When you compare 2.4GHZ to 5GHZ radios running OFDM, you start to see a significant difference.  In a nutshell, OFDM allows for higher throughput. If you want to read all about the differences in the protocols here ya go: http://www.answers.com/Q/Difference_between_ofdm_dsss_fhss

Secondly, is the amount of spectrum available.  More spectrum means more channels to use, which translates into a high chance of mitigating interference. This interference can be self-induced or from external sources. To use an analogy, the more rooms a building has, the more simultaneous conversations can happen without noise in 2.4GHZ we only have 3 non-overlapping channels at 20mhz. Remember the part about more and more customers wanting more bandwidth? In the wireless world, one of the ways to increase capacity on your APs is to increase the channel width. Once you increase 2.4 to 30 or 40 MHz, you do not have much room to deal with noise because your available channels have shrunk.

One of the biggest arguments in support of using 2.4GHZ for a WISP environment is the physics.  Lower frequencies penetrate trees and foliage better. As with anything, there is a tradeoff.  As the signal is absorbed, so is the available “air time” for transmission of data.  As the signal travels through stuff, the radios on both sides have to reduce their modulation rates to deal with the loss of signal.  Lower modulation rates mean lower throughput for customers.  This might be fine for customers who have no other choice.  This thinking is not a long term play.

With LTE especially, traditional thinking is being uprooted.  Multiple streams to the customer as well as various paths for the signal due to antenna stacking are allowing radios to penetrate this same foliage just as well as a 2.4 signal, but delivering more bandwidth. These systems are becoming more and more carrier class.  As the internet evolves and becomes more and more critical, ISPs are having to step up their services.  The FCC  says the definition of broadband is at least 25 meg download. A 2.4 radio just can’t keep up in a WISP environment.  I am seeing 10 meg becoming the minimum customers want. Can you get by with smaller packages? Yes, but how long can you maintain that as the customer demand grows?

So what is the answer? Cell sizes are shrinking.  This is helping 2.4 hold on.  The less expensive radios can be deployed to less dense areas and still provide decent speeds to customers.  This same trend allows 5GHZ cells to be deployed as well. With less things to go through, 5GHZ can perform in modern networks at higher modulation rates.  Antenna manufacturers are also spending R&D to get the most out of their 5GHZ antennas. More money in the pipeline means stronger products. My clients are typically deploying 3.65 and 5GHZ on their towers.  LTE is changing RF WISP design and taking the place of 2.4 and 900.