broadband

Packets Down Range #15: Data Center builds, broadband funding continues, e-mail

Lots of things happening in the news this week. For the first time in a while, I have enough content for the Patreon edition. I am also starting a new thing. If you have a notable photo you would like featured in the “Photo of the week,” send them to me. The Patreon edition is now live, and items will be added shortly.


Data Center News
•Data Center Frontier talks about the eight Data Center trends for 2023.

•Microsoft to build a new Data Center in Des Moines.

•Does how a data center looks influence your decision to buy? Wes Swenson of Novva Data Centers says it does.

•Green, a Swiss Data Center operator, launches a new data center campus in Zurich.

Vantage Data Centers to build a 430,000-square-foot Data Center in London. In addition to the development of its London campus, Vantage has completed the first phase (12MW) of a second 40MW facility at its growing Cardiff campus, located in Wales, the second largest data center market in the U.K. The new facility boasts one of the lowest power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratios across all of Vantage’s facilities thanks in part to its extremely energy efficient indirect evaporative free cooling system, which negates the need for compressors in the cooling cycle.


Backbone Provider News
Lumen expands 400G footprint.


Cloud Front
•Otava is in the running for the 2022-2023 cloud awards.

Office 365 outage last week caused by a router IP change. Following this incident, Microsoft says that it’s now blocking highly impactful commands from being executed and that it will also require all command execution to follow guidelines for safe configuration changes.


Check out TowerOne Inc for all your tower and safe climbing needs. Tell them Packets Down Range sent you.

ISP News
Texas gets $363 million in Federal Grants for high-speed internet. The funds, administered through the federal Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, will bring much-needed service to about 152,000 locations across the state. The BOOT program will begin accepting applications for broadband expansion projects in spring 2023.

T-Mobile should stop using “fast” and “reliable when it comes to their Fixed Wireless. Rival Comcast has brought a complaint so take this with a grain of salt.

Fixed Wireless companies fight to be included in the BEAD program. In recent months, representatives from the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) and member companies like Tarana Wireless have held meetings with staff at NTIA to discuss their concerns and provide evidence that fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum is as reliable as other technologies approved for BEAD funds.

UPN expands to Lawrence, Kansas.

Challenges of Rural broadband.

New Farm Bill aimed to help broadband access. This seems heavily lobbied and aimed toward helping the rural electric co-ops.

•In a Captain Obvious moment. AT&T has a lot of useless landlines. And guess what? It is expensive!

•In previous PDR’s I have talked about layoffs. AT&T and Verizon cut a combined 9,400 employees last quarter alone.


Tech Topics

DNS Tunneling Threats The goal of this hunt is to review DNS logs to baseline common domains queried by endpoints in the environment as well as identify potentially infected endpoints by looking for evidence of DNS tunneling,rogue communication, or data exfiltration, over DNS channels, domain generation algorithm (DGA) domains, and traffic to risky top level domains (TLDs

Cloudflare overtakes Apache and Nginx as the top web server.

•A couple of e-mail-related bits from ISIPP. Four states now have e-mail opt-in and privacy laws. Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, and Utah are among a growing number of states looking to crack down on e-mail privacy and data collection issues. Google ends its Verified Sender Pilot Program for political plans

•Are you going to Nanog87? I am. To catch a great topic, check out Exploring the Fundamentals of DNS by Eddy Winstead.

Visit www.fd-ix.com for peering and Internconnection.

Photo of the Week

New Data Center switches in a rack

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Packets Down Range #3: October 27 ISP News & More

For this edition, I am posting it a day early. Depending on how traffic goes, Thursday may be the new day for this newsletter. Since we are still new, expect some changes like this until things work out. If you are a supporter, don’t forget about the Patreon edition, which has even more news.

Fall is in full force here in Indiana. The leaves are changing, Halloween is approaching, and computer geeks are starting to spend even more time indoors. In this issue, we touch on updates, security, and a few other topics. It is also 3rd quarter of investor relations for many publicly traded companies. This newsletter is sponsored by Fiber Data Internet Exchange and Atheral.

Data Center News

•Many data centers are preparing to go into the holiday moratorium for changes. This means major changes will not be made to critical systems. This is usually done because of vacations and such for the holiday season, lasting from Thanksgiving until after the new year.

•Sabey Data centers are building a hyper-scale data center in Austin. Each cabinet can have 100KW of power. This is enough to power 25 to 50 average homes.

Netrality expands 210 North tucker in St. Louis.


Backbone News
Cogent investor Call November 3rd, 2022

Consolidated Communications Investor call on November 1st, 2022


ISP News
•Call of Duty Modern Warfare is coming. Prepare for spikes in network traffic if you are an ISP.

•Starry nixes Fixed Wireless expansion and lays off 500 workers. Article 1 Article 2

•Speaking of tech layoffs. Microsoft, Meta, and others are laying off workers and cutting down on spending. Cox and Zayo also impose layoffs.

Utility companies are taking on the telecom companies in force. Companies like HoosierNet are forming, across the country, to conquer the middle mile as a response.

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company Investor call on November 2nd, 2022.

•TDS Telecom announced 3rd quarter results.

Cox announces edge location in Nebraska. We are seeing a push to get content closer and closer to the “eyeball” users. As data demands increase, even 100 gig pipes will begin to fill.


Podcasts
Heavy Networking #652 from the Packet Pushers folks

•Network Chuck talks about hacking using a photo.

•Art of network engineering Episode 103

•The Brothers WISP #172


Other Industry News
•You have 15 minutes to secure your network. Kinda

Labels are coming to consumer electronics rating them on how insecure or secure they are.

•Zoom to hold an investor day on November 8th, 2022

Senet closes a $16 million funding round.
The funding positions Senet to meet increasing global demand for LoRaWAN™ network deployment and carrier-grade connectivity services as organizations adopt digital solutions for mission critical infrastructure improvements, process optimization, safety and security, and contactless data collection.


Industry Events

Let’s Talk broadband event on November 9th, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. Several vendors, folks from WISPA, and others are slated to attend.

H5 Data Centers has an event in Cleveland on November 4th, 2022, at Top Golf.


Tech Items
Came across the neat little USB-c multimeter device. Have you ever wondered if your laptop is charging and how much voltage is drawing?

Check out this tech tip from ISP Supplies on Wireless Equipment grounding.

Scan your RouterOS devices for vulnerabilities with RouterOS Scanner.

Cambium epmp firmware 5.3 is out. This is for the AX platform, which is mainly the Force 400 and Force 425 line.


Sponsor FD-IX
Peering, Interconnection, and multi-site connectivity visit fd-ix.com


Friday fun

Packets Down Range (PDR). Please consider becoming a sponsor by advertising or becoming a Patreon for additional content. #packetsdownrange

Speed validation for compliance on ISP networks

Does your ISP network need a way to validate customer speeds? RDOF compliance? State compliance for broadband speeds and latency? as many of you know there are problems with using public speedtest servers to validate customer speeds.

J2networks, in conjunction with Aloremnetworks, has an on-premise solution that is easy to manage, small footprint, and scalable. Our appliance lets you add a speed test server in almost any part of your network. It’s small footprint and low power draw makes it easy to fit in remote cabinets as well as the data center.

Contact us for more details and pricing.

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, the 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.

Water tower install with mounting frame

We recently headed up a job for a client of installing some RF elements horns, Cambium ePMP, and Baicells LTE for a client.  One of the gems of this job was the frame the client designed for the job.  We can’t take credit for this. We just think it’s cool. Some of these pictures were taken during construction, thus post clean-up.

The frame is truly an example of how WISPs are stepping up their installs to become more standardized and carrier-grade. It costs some money but is worth it in the end.