The Online Reporter Daily |27 Oct 2016|

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Google Asks FCC for Permission to Test Fixed Wireless in up to 24 Locations

At the same time that Google Fiber has paused new all-fiber deployments, for the second time in two months, Google and Google Fiber have filed a request with the FCC for permission to test fixed wireless networks in multiple US counties. In August 2016 Google filed a heavily redacted request with the FCC that will allow it to conduct the tests. The filing says Google wants the FCC to give it permission to test Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in up to 24 areas throughout the country for 24 months. The request is made by Google and Google Fiber. Google said the request is redacted because it believes the disclosure of “confidential and proprietary information” could “cause significant commercial, economic, and competitive harm.”

Related: With Webpass in Hand, Google Fiber Plans to Accelerate Deployments

 

 

Local Government Association Wants Low-cost Broadband for All

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for the UK government, as part of its Universal Service Obligation, to make low-cost broadband of at least 10 Mbps available to everyone regardless of their income. It pointed as an example to the UK’s BT, which offers a £9.95 ($12) per month broadband and phone service for those that receive government benefits such as income support or unemployment income. Councilor Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s people and places board, said, “Good digital connectivity is a vital element of everyday life for residents and can help them cut household bills, shop online for cheaper goods, stay in touch with distant relatives, access their bank accounts and even run their own businesses.” He might have mentioned but didn’t the most important benefit of all – helping children get an education.

Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams supported the LGA by saying that one in seven pensioners live in poverty and can’t afford current broadband prices.”

Culture Minister Matt Hancock responded with an alternate plan, “First, we must complete the rollout of universal 4G and superfast broadband between now and 2020. Second, we must deliver deeper connectivity now in areas of deep need, and support a competitive market for delivery. Third, we must start work now on ubiquitous 5G and fiber over the decade ahead. The destination on this journey must be to push digital connectivity out as far as it will go, treating broadband as the fourth utility.”

 

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Microsoft Announces New Surface, All-in-One, VR Headset & Mouse Replacement

Microsoft made a number of product announcements this week that illustrate its Surface tablet, VR and Windows strategy.

– A new Surface Book with Intel’s i7 processor and battery that Microsoft says provides up to 16 hours of battery life. The suggested list price is $2,399,

– New Windows-compatible VR headsets from the likes of HP, Dell, Lenovo, and ASUS with retail prices starting at $299.

– Its first all-in-one desktop called Surface Studio with a 28-inch touchscreen display that has wide color gamut and 13.5 million pixels – “63% more than 4K” according to Microsoft. The Surface pen is used to draw on the screen, which can be tilted vertically for use as a traditional PC and horizontally for use as a drawing board. Suggested retail is $2,999.

– A mouse replacement called Surface Dial for video and audio editing. It can be used on the desk or placed on the screen.

– A Windows 10 update called “Creators Update” that add features for doing creative work, most significantly 3D, and a massive overhaul to Windows Paint, which will support 3D.

Related: Microsoft’s New Line of 4K & HDR Consoles Are Home Entertainment Powerhouses

 

Google Announces 55-inch 4K Smart Whiteboard

Google keeps rolling out new hardware with its own brand. This week it announced a $6,000 digital whiteboard called Jamboard that has a 55-inch 4K touchscreen and comes with two stylus pens and a digital eraser that allow it to be used like a traditional whiteboard. Apps include sticky notes and stencils plus handwriting and shape recognition. Material on the Jamboard can be shared via the Web, A smartphone or tablet app can pull in work from Docs, Sheets and Slides and photos stored in Google Drive. It’s mounted on a stand that has wheels. Availability is 2017. It will compete against Microsoft’s 55-inch $9,000 Surface Hub. Google said Netflix and Spotify are trying the Jamboard. A few weeks ago Google announced its Pixel smartphone, a mesh-based Wi-Fi router, a smart home hub and a virtual reality headset.

Related: New ‘Google Wi-Fi’ Router Can Be Meshed and Synched

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The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to www.onlinereporter.com/trial-subscription/