AirAsia Group signs contract to offer Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed broadband on more than 120 aircraft
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced that AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft. The landmark contract signed by Inmarsat and AirAsia Group, through its subsidiary ROKKI, covers all existing and future Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft operated across the AirAsia Group, including the long-haul operator AirAsia X. The agreement also has the scope to include any additional aircraft types due for delivery in the coming years, such as the Airbus A350. The first installations of GX Aviation onboard AirAsia Group aircraft, together with the launch of commercial service, are both scheduled to commence in the first half of 2018.
Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam said, “AirAsia Group is one of the aviation industry’s leading innovators and we are delighted that GX Aviation will play a key role in their future service offering. The fact that we have signed this contract within months of announcing a Memorandum of Understanding is testament to AirAsia’s confidence in GX Aviation and builds on its successful track record as a leading customer of our SwiftBroadband service.
“The scale of this contract, covering more than 120 existing aircraft and one of the industry’s largest orderbooks for additional aircraft, showcases our status as a global market leader in advanced inflight broadband. Inmarsat has the fastest growing service uptake in our market, with, following this agreement, more than 1,300 aircraft, expected under signed contracts, both installed and under backlog, for our next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) solutions.”
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said, “GX Aviation will form the backbone of AirAsia’s digital cabin offering. By delivering inflight connectivity that’s indistinguishable from what you get on-ground, our guests will be able to stay connected in ways that matter to them, whether it’s streaming movies or music, checking social media, messaging friends or catching up with work emails. Coupled with our ROKKI entertainment and e-commerce platform featuring free movies, music, articles and games as well as shopping, AirAsia guests will soon be able to enjoy one of the richest digital inflight experiences in Asia, while also enhancing our knowledge of our guests with very rich data.”
This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.
AirAsia Group will connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services.
Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L).
The Ultimate Oscillator level is presently underneath 40 on shares of Liberty Broadband Corp (LBRDA). Active traders may be closely tracking the indicator to see if oversold conditions are present at current levels. When applying indicators for technical analysis, traders and investors might want to examine the ATR or Average True Range. The current 14-day ATR for Liberty Broadband Corp (LBRDA) is currently sitting at 1.84. The ATR basically measures the volatility of a stock on a day-to-day basis. The average true range is typically based on 14 periods and may be calculated daily, weekly, monthly, or intraday. The ATR is not considered a directional indicator, but it may reflect the strength of a particular move.
Investors may be tracking certain levels on shares of Liberty Broadband Corp (LBRDA). The current 50-day Moving Average is 97.42, the 200-day Moving Average is 86.68, and the 7-day is noted at 94.56. Moving averages can help spot trends and price reversals. They may also be used to help find support or resistance levels. Moving averages are considered to be lagging indicators meaning that they confirm trends. A certain stock may be considered to be on an uptrend if trading above a moving average and the average is sloping upward. On the other side, a stock may be considered to be in a downtrend if trading below the moving average and sloping downward.
Taking a quick look at technical levels and trend lines, we see that the stock has a 14-day ADX of 23.02. For traders looking to capitalize on trends, the ADX may be an essential technical tool. In general, and ADX value from 0-25 would represent an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would indicate a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would indicate a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would signify an extremely strong trend.
Checking in on some other technical levels, the 14-day RSI is currently at 34.86, the 7-day stands at 22.88, and the 3-day is sitting at 13.74. The RSI, or Relative Strength Index, is a commonly used technical momentum indicator that compares price movement over time. The RSI was created by J. Welles Wilder who was striving to measure whether or not a stock was overbought or oversold. The RSI may be useful for spotting abnormal price activity and volatility. The RSI oscillates on a scale from 0 to 100. The normal reading of a stock will fall in the range of 30 to 70. A reading over 70 would indicate that the stock is overbought, and possibly overvalued. A reading under 30 may indicate that the stock is oversold, and possibly undervalued.
Liberty Broadband Corp (LBRDA) currently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of -105.73. Active investors may choose to use this technical indicator as a stock evaluation tool. Used as a coincident indicator, the CCI reading above +100 would reflect strong price action which may signal an uptrend. On the flip side, a reading below -100 may signal a downtrend reflecting weak price action. Using the CCI as a leading indicator, technical analysts may use a +100 reading as an overbought signal and a -100 reading as an oversold indicator, suggesting a trend reversal.
A Bill Sitting on Governor Brown’s Desk Could Determine the Future of Broadband in Rural Humboldt and Beyond
Ryan Burns1 / Today 2 @ 2:33 p.m. / Government3, Technology4
A Bill Sitting on Governor Brown’s Desk Could Determine the Future of Broadband in Rural Humboldt and Beyond
Wikimedia Commons5. Many households here in the remote, far-northern corner of California lag way behind our urban counterparts when it comes to broadband internet speeds. With virtually every aspect of our modern economy now dependent on the web, this speed gap represents a real disadvantage for those with slow service.
Depending on whom you ask, a new bill coauthored by North Coast Assemblymember Jim Wood — AB 1665, aka the “Internet For All” bill 6— would either help to bridge that digital divide, or it would doom many local residents to slow service for years to come while giving major telecom companies a monopoly on broadband improvement projects. On his website, Wood boasts that the bill7 “will provide $300 million in grant funds to build broadband infrastructure,” and he says priority will be given to rural areas like ours, where the internet is accessible only through dial-up, if it’s accessible at all. But local broadband advocates say the bill is seriously flawed. They argue that, if signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, AB 1665 would effectively create a $300 million “slush fund” for major telecom companies like AT&T without requiring them to provide true high-speed internet to those in need. Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, said lobbying from major telecom companies including AT&T and Frontier “perverted” a simple funding bill “into a thoughtless gift to private interests.”
Regional internet service providers are also crying foul. John Paul, the CEO of Nevada County-based Spiral Internet, said AB 1665 will “actually delay and prevent 21st Century internet infrastructure deployment in rural California.” On its face the bill appears fairly simple. It would extend an existing program from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a program that has been used to finance broadband infrastructure improvements throughout the state with a pot of money called the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).
Grants from that fund have had a major impact on broadband route diversity in our region. The fiber optic line installed across the State Route 36 corridor8, for example, was partially financed through a $5.7 million from the CASF. The CPUC also awarded a $6.6 million CASF grant to the Karuk Tribe in 20139 for its broadband project. And back in March, Wood announced that the Digital 299 project had been awarded a whopping $47 million in CASF funds10. These projects were largely facilitated through an initiative called Redwood Coast Connect11, a long-standing and ongoing effort involving a variety of member organizations, all working to close the technology gap in our region. The CASF has been a boon to those efforts.
“Our area has probably been one of the most successful in the state in using this fund,” said Connie Stewart, a key player in Redwood Coast Connect and executive director of the California Center for Rural Policy12 at Humboldt State University. First authorized in 2007, the CASF has been renewed and rejiggered several times over the years, with tweaks to extend deadlines, modify application rules and add more money to the fund. The goal: broadband access to at least 98 percent of California households. In the early days of the fund, major telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon showed little interest in taking advantage of it, so local broadband activists like Stewart courted smaller organizations to be grant applicants, including IP Networks (for the State Route 36 fiber), Vallejo-based Inyo Networks (for the Digital 299 project) and the Karuk and Yurok tribes (for their own fiber line). Which brings us to the first of two major flaws broadband advocates see in AB 1665: They say it will effectively block these smaller businesses from winning CASF grants while handing regional monopolies to the likes of AT&T and Frontier. The reason involves a Federal Communications Commission program called the Connect America Fund (CAF), which is sort of like the national version of the CASF.
Both AT&T and Frontier have accepted grants during the second phase of CAF funding (CAF II) for broadband deployment in various census blocks in our region. Now, thanks to major telecom companies’ lobbying efforts, AB 1665 includes a provision that prohibits CASF grants from going to projects in those same census blocks — that is, unless AT&T or Frontier voluntarily tell the state before July 1, 2020, that they’ve finished their CAF deployment there. Stewart said those companies have no incentive to do so. AT&T, she said, has 300,000 customers eligible for upgrades, but the company only needs to improve broadband for about half of them (151,000) to meet its obligations under the CAF II grant. And it doesn’t have to tell the state which half it plans to help. “So unless they voluntarily tell us they’re not going in” somewhere, she said, “no one can compete with them” — at least not until 2020 or later. McLaughlin said this amounts to giving the major telecoms the right of first refusal.
“They took a program designed to fill the gaps left by the major players … and diverted it to the companies that left us in the lurch in the first place,” he said. Michael Ort is the CEO of Inyo Networks, the company behind the Digital 299 project, and he, too, is baffled by this provision, which he believes will prevent smaller companies like his from completing exactly this type of project in the future. “One has to wonder why the authors of this bill would not want all resources brought to bear on solving the digital divide,” Ort said. The other major complaint about the bill regards the way it defines broadband. How fast does your internet need to be for it to be considered broadband? ‘It’s not about watching Netflix. It’s about the fundamental capability of human beings interacting in the cyber world.’
-Mike Ort, CEO of Inyo Networks
Back in 2015, the FCC changed its own definition13, raising the minimum download speed to 25 Mbps and the minimum upload speed to 3 Mbps. But the agency then had trouble getting applicants for CAF II broadband improvement projects. Stewart said AT&T approached the FCC with a proposition.
“They said, ‘OK, FCC, if we can agree that we only have to meet a feed of 10 Mbps up and 1 Mbps down, we will take this money,” Stewart said. “So the FCC cut a deal with the devil.”
Unlike the previous FCC threshold speeds of 25/3, which requires digging trenches to install fiber optic lines, 10/1 service can be delivered wirelessly, which is much cheaper and easier. It just so happened that AT&T had recently acquired DirecTV, and DirectTV’s satellite service can deliver 10/1.
In August of 2015, AT&T accepted $427 million CAF II funding14 in exchange for providing 10/1 service to 2.2 million rural locations across 18 states, thus greatly expanding its DirecTV customer base. Verizon, meanwhile, sold all of its wireline facilities in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier. Cut back to AB 1665: AT&T and Frontier lobbied Wood and the other co-authors, urging them to accept this lower standard for broadband speeds. And, indeed, in its final form the bill defines broadband speeds as just 10 Mbps upload and 1 Mbps down. Its threshold for deeming a household “unserved” by broadband is even lower — 6 Mbps up and 1 Mbps down. Under that definition, AT&T and Frontier would only have to provide broadband service to 223 households in our three-county region to meet the 98 percent coverage goal established by the state. (They’re probably all scattered in rural Trinity County, Stewart said.) And the companies wouldn’t have to do any service upgrades in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. That’s according to an analysis by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee15. Ort equated this to claiming victory by moving the goalposts. He and other broadband advocates say the difference between 6/1 or 10/1 speeds and true 25/3 broadband is huge and can impact a lot more than streaming television.
“We’re right on the cusp of an enormous expansion of computing power,” Ort said. Those without sufficient broadband speeds will be left behind. “It’s not about watching Netflix,” Ort said. “It’s about the fundamental capability of human beings interacting in the cyber world.” Stewart agreed. “With 10/1 speeds you’re not doing economic development,” she said. “You’re not an architect; you’re not running a website business or a doctor’s office; your kids are not taking the competency test; your hotel is not offering open wireless to guests … .” The list goes on.
And it’s not just local advocates who say the bill should be rejected. The Central Coast Broadband Consortium, which covers Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, sent Gov. Brown a letter urging him to veto the legislation.
“The $300 million that AB 1665 puts into the California Advanced Services Fund would be effectively reserved for AT&T and Frontier Communications,” their letter states. It goes on to say that money would merely “subsidize minimal upgrades that don’t meet California’s current broadband standard, upgrades that they would otherwise be obligated to finance themselves.” The Central Coast Broadband Consortium concludes that the bill would serve to “codify California’s digital divide” and “lock rural areas into 1990s technology for generations to come.”
The Outpost reached out to Wood for a response to these criticisms. Here is the statement forwarded by his office: “I continue to lack a clear understanding of some of the concerns I have heard and read about AB 1665,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), a co-author of the bill. “We worked with a broad group of stakeholders, intentionally, to assure that such a significant program would reach the Governor’s desk with a lot of support. After 9 months of meetings and negotiations and after final amendments were made to the bill, we received support from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), which works closely with the regional consortia. “I have been consistent in my goal of providing priority to totally unserved areas to get broadband access, and when you have limited dollars and limited a limited timeframe, the author and co-authors believed this bill, in its final form, was the best approach. I have also continued to say that half the battle was getting the CASF program renewed and the other half will be to watch carefully how the PUC administers it. If they are not responding as the group of legislators intended, we will intervene. I respectfully disagree with some of the groups that that this is a giveaway to the large telecoms that will install low-speed infrastructure.” Senator Mike McGuire, meanwhile, was one of just a handful of state legislators to vote “no” on the bill, and local broadband advocates have given him kudos for that.
“I know this has been a challenging issue for all involved,” McGuire told the Outpost in a written statement. “That said, every broadband expert on the North Coast had significant concerns about the bill because they believe it is a bad deal for our communities. We will continue to push hard – with all involved – to strengthen broadband connectivity in every corner of our big and beautiful district.”
Stewart, Ort and others have reached out to Brown’s office urging him to veto the bill, but they say they’re worried that their voices will be drowned out by the major players that helped to draft this legislation.
- ^ Ryan Burns (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ Today is Tuesday, Sept.
- ^ Government (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ Technology (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org)
- ^ AB 1665, aka the “Internet For All” bill (leginfo.legislature.ca.gov)
- ^ Wood boasts that the bill (a02.asmdc.org)
- ^ fiber optic line installed across the State Route 36 corridor (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ a $6.6 million CASF grant to the Karuk Tribe in 2013 (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ the Digital 299 project had been awarded a whopping $47 million in CASF funds (lostcoastoutpost.com)
- ^ Redwood Coast Connect (www2.humboldt.edu)
- ^ California Center for Rural Policy (www2.humboldt.edu)
- ^ the FCC changed its own definition (www.theverge.com)
- ^ AT&T accepted $427 million CAF II funding (www.fiercetelecom.com)
- ^ an analysis by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee (lostcoastoutpost.com)