Sunday, November 20, 2022

FCC releases National Broadband Maps

The FCC published a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map, displaying specific location-level information about broadband services available throughout the country. By entering a U.S. address, it is possible to see which providers are offering broadband services at that premise. 

  • The Fixed Broadband Map shows the fiber, cable, DSL, satellite, or fixed wireless internet services available at each home or small business on the map. When you select a location, you can see which providers report making broadband service available at that location and the types of service or technologies and the maximum advertised download and upload speeds they each offer. 
  • The Mobile Broadband Map shows 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage of each mobile provider in the area displayed. The coverage areas reflect where consumers should be able to connect to the mobile network when outdoors or in a moving vehicle; the map does not show indoor coverage. The map also allows users to compare mobile wireless coverage reported by different mobile service providers.

The FCC will conduct a public challenge processes that will play a critical role in improving the accuracy of the map. An accurate map is an important resource for targeting funding and other efforts to bring broadband to unserved and underserved communities.

“Today is an important milestone in our effort to help everyone, everywhere get specific information about what broadband options are available for their homes, and pinpointing places in the country where communities do not have the service they need,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Our pre-production draft maps are a first step in a long-term effort to continuously improve our data as consumers, providers and others share information with us. By painting a more accurate picture of where broadband is and is not, local, state, and federal partners can better work together to ensure no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

The FCC also announced the launch of an updated version of the FCC Speed Test App that will enable users to quickly compare the performance and coverage of their mobile networks to that reported by their provider.

Google implements post-quantum cryptography for internal comms

Google Cloud has enabled a post-quantum cryptography (PQC) algorithm on its internal Application Layer Transport Security (ALTS) protocol to protect its internal communications.

Althought PQC standards by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are still pending, Google said it has acted to implement PQC now because attackers might capture conventionally-encrypted now with the intention of breaking it once they gain access to quantum capabilities at some point in the future (also known as the store-now-decrypt-later attack).

"Protecting ALTS against quantum-capable adversaries is a huge step forward in Google’s mission to protect our assets and users’ data against current and future threats."

Europe plans IRIS satellite constellation for government services

The European Commission, Parliament and Council have approved plans for a third constellation in the European portfolio of strategic space infrastructures.

Europe's Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnection & Security by Satellites (IRIS) will be a sovereign constellation focused on government services, including defence applications.   

It will have an EU budget of €2.4 billion, plus a contribution from ESA and as well as expected private investments.

IRIS will provide connectivity to the whole of Europe, including areas that do not currently benefit from broadband Internet, as well as to the whole of Africa, using the constellation's North-South orbits.

TIM picks Ericsson for 5G standalone network

TIM has selected Ericsson to provide its 5G Core, enabling the Italian carrier to modernize its current "Evolved Packet Core" and introduce the new 5G Standalone in a single cloud-native solution.

The agreement also includes network orchestration and automation services, which underpin the introduction of ultra-reliable, low-latency network slicing and communications (URLLC) solutions. A key step that will enable the rapid introduction of new services for consumers and businesses.

Andrea Missori, President of Ericsson Italy, says: "This new partnership with TIM will allow to take full advantage of 5G, benefitting both consumers and businesses, and will contribute to accelerate the country's digital transformation. With 5G standalone it will be possible to activate a series of innovative services that require high performance, low latency and maximum security, as well as the network slicing functionality that will allow mobile operators to monetize network quality."

KPN tests 25G PON in Rotterdam with Nokia

KPN is testing Nokia's 25G PON implementation.

In a field trial at an animal hospital in Rotterdam, KPN is delivering symmetrical speeds of 20 Gbps over its existing fiber network.

Nokia notes that its Quillon chip enables 25G PON alongside GPON and XGS-PON on the same fiber, and powered by the same access node.

Babak Fouladi, chief technology and digital officer and member of KPN's board of management said: “At KPN, we are doing everything we can to give everyone access to superfast internet by building a national fiber optic network. The demonstration in the Caresse animal hospital shows that very high speeds are vital for the digital future of the Netherlands. I am proud that we can contribute to this with our super-fast network.”

Sandy Motley, President Nokia Fixed Networks, said: “We are delighted to have worked with KPN on this exciting trial. Operators are now using fiber broadband networks to support enterprise as well as residential customers which is accelerating demand for higher speeds. When we designed our Quillion chipset, a key requirement was to be able to support multiple PON technologies on the same fiber, giving operators the flexibility to offer different service levels dependent on the customers’ needs.”

Nokia Bell Labs demos 100G PON over a single wavelength

At Fiber Connect 2022 in Nashville, Nokia Bell Labs showed the first proof-of-concept demonstration of 100G PON. The prototype delivers 100Gbps downstream on a single PON wavelength.  The performance is achieved using digital signal processing as well optimizations of the modulation.Nokia is also introducing the concept of a "flexible PON", where the downstream performance can be adjusted in software based on the quality of the channel.Stefaan...

EXFO intros 400G dual-port test solution

EXFO introduced its FTBx-88480 dual-port test solution for fiber-optic transmission rates from 1G to 400G. 

The 1G to 400G dual-port capability of the FTBx-88480 allows field technicians to validate two circuits simultaneously for increased efficiency. The design also enables testing 100G transceivers -- which are widely deployed today -- plus next-generation 400G transceivers which are rapidly being adopted in metro and core networks, data centers, and subsea fiber-optic spans.

“A key challenge operators face is how to ensure their network migrations are done reliably and cost-efficiently while staying nimble enough to manage existing infrastructure,” said Sophie Legault, Director Mobile and Cloud Solutions at EXFO. “With the FTBx-88480 solution, we’ve combined the latest in 1G-400G testing with a flexible, future-proof architecture that lets our customers do more today and continue deriving value for years to come.”

Key features and benefits of the FTBx-88480 are:

  • 1G to 400G dual-port capabilities: increase efficiency by validating two circuits simultaneously
  • Test today’s 100G-400G transceivers while staying ready for tomorrow’s speeds with an 112G electrical lane design and EXFO’s unique OTS
  • Validate network services (Ethernet, OTN, fiber channel, timing), rates (up to 400G) and interfaces (SFP, QSFP-DD and OSFP) all on the same platform—no stacking of modules
  • Quickly validate pluggable transceivers (1G to 400G) with iOptics’ automated, intelligent test application
  • Cloud-based, collaborative platform links all parts of a customer’s field test ecosystem

Oneweb signs distributions partnership with Q-KON Africa

OneWeb has signed a five-year distribution partner agreement with Q-KON Africa, a specialist technology company that supplies solutions based on satellite, wireless and VoIP technologies, to offer broadband connectivity services in African countries. 

Q-KON Africa connects “off-grid” locations through their satellite broadband service, Twoobii, to core networks throughout Africa .

The OneWeb LEO satellite network will give Q-KON Africa’s Twoobii customers access to high-speed, low-latency broadband to connect even the most rural or remote communities across several African countries. These include South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland (eSwatini), Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. 

Ben Griffin, VP Mobility and AMEA at OneWeb, said: “At OneWeb, we believe that connection everywhere changes everything and that’s why we are thrilled to be partnering with the engineering experts at Q-KON Africa to further our mission to connect those hardest to reach to the internet.  Q-KON Africa’s strong industry understanding, flexibility, agility and local support will help us see OneWeb’s LEO satellite network create opportunities to benefit unconnected and underconnected areas across Africa for today’s digital environment. This agreement is another example of OneWeb’s continued momentum, as we remain on track to activate coverage solutions in Africa and globally in 2023.”

Lightwave Logic wins patent for silicon photonics polymer modulator

Lightwave Logic announced the issuance of a U.S. patent for an invention that will enhance polymer modulator manufacturing in high-volume foundries when integrated with silicon photonics.

The patent issuance – entitled "Hybrid electro-optic polymer modulator with silicon photonics" under patent number US 11,435,604 B2 – details a novel fabrication process that allows Lightwave Logic's proprietary polymers to be fabricated by silicon foundries in a high-volume manufacturing environment.  The patent also details a more efficient process that allows for high yielding, high stability poling of polymers in a high-volume foundry manufacturing environment.  The development of the Process Development Kit (PDK) for this new optical hybrid optical modulator design is now in progress with Lightwave Logic's foundry partners.

Dr. Michael Lebby, Chief Executive Officer of Lightwave Logic, commented: "We are pleased to further strengthen our issued patent portfolio, solidifying our intellectual property moat as we continue our forward progress with our foundry, packaging, and transceiver partners. This patent in particular is exciting from a commercial standpoint as it enables our polymers to be mass-produced using existing silicon foundry equipment, simplifying production for the foundry's we are working with. I look forward to continued progress in the months ahead both on the licensing and technology transfer fronts as we strive to create sustainable, long-term value for our shareholders."