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Biden Wants $4 Billion for Broadband, House Commerce Wants ‘Rip and Replace’, Maine Launches Speedtest

Jericho Casper

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Photo of Joe Biden from August 2019 by Gage Skidmore used with permission

According to numerous reports, the incoming Biden administration is aiming to address broadband disparities in the United States with billions in new funding. The Biden broadband plan aims to address discrepancies in both access and affordability.

According to a Washington Post report, Biden has endorsed a $4 billion package that would be used to help low-income Americans pay for internet service, and ensure that they are not disconnected from vital broadband services, during the pandemic.

Beyond pandemic relief, Biden specifically called out a commitment to universal broadband last week as he outlined his broader economic recovery agenda.

The Biden administration has signaled interest in broader infrastructure funding that would include billions in broadband funding. There is currently no shortage of bills in Congress focused on this issue, including a $100 billion broadband infrastructure bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, introduced by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Biden will still have to negotiate with Congress for any broadband funding plan, whether stand-alone or as a part of a broader pandemic relief package, which will be no small feat in itself.

Pallone and Walden urge FCC to assist companies replacing foreign network equipment

On Monday, Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, and Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Oregon, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to provide funding for ‘Rip and Replace’ initiatives, in an attempt to progress the replacement of foreign-made gear in U.S. telecommunications networks.

Earlier this year, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was signed into law. The Act provides the FCC with several new authorities to secure communications supply chains, including the establishment and administration of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

Through this program, small communications providers may seek reimbursement for the cost of removing and replacing suspicious network equipment. This funding is critical because some small and rural communications providers will not be able to afford these mandated upgrades otherwise.

While the initiative has yet to be funded by Congress, according to Pallone, there are steps the FCC could be taking in the meantime to help companies that are eligible for reimbursement plan prepare, and begin acting to remove non-domestic equipment.

“First, the FCC should develop and release the list of eligible replacement equipment, software, and services as soon as possible,” urge Pallone and Walden, in the letter.

“Second, the agency should reassure companies that they will not jeopardize their eligibility for reimbursement under the program just because replacement equipment purchases were made before the program is funded, assuming other eligibility criteria are met.”

Maine launches statewide internet speed test initiative

The Maine Broadband Coalition launched a new broadband speed testing initiative on Monday.

Through the “Get Up to Speed” testing initiative, Maine internet users are being encouraged to log onto the coalition’s website to determine and report their internet upload and download speeds.

In addition to finding out their own broadband speeds, participants will help the coalition identify slow spots around the state, where broadband speeds fall below the FCC’s current definition of 25 Megabites per second (Mbps) upload, 3 Mbps download.

The Maine testing effort, if utilized by enough state residents, will provide a more accurate picture of the broadband speeds available across the state.

The FCC currently assesses regional internet speeds, but the commissions judgements are based on the results of Form 477 data, which chronically overreports broadband availability, by contenting a census block is served with broadband if as little as one location within the block receives 25/3 Mbps.

“This is an issue that’s really important to people,” said Andrew Butcher, director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and director of innovation and resilience for the Greater Portland Council of Governments. Butcher noted that in July Maine constituents voted overwhelmingly to authorize a $15 million bond to help pay for high-speed internet service in parts of the state without service or with inadequate service.

Broadband Roundup

Democrats Want Biden to Drop Net Neutrality Suit Against States, AT&T and Digital Divide, Cornell’s Broadband Program

Tim White

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on

Photo of Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., keynoting at a Broadband Breakfast Club event

According to numerous reports, the incoming Biden administration is aiming to address broadband disparities in the United States with billions in new funding. The Biden broadband plan aims to address discrepancies in both access and affordability.

According to a Washington Post report, Biden has endorsed a $4 billion package that would be used to help low-income Americans pay for internet service, and ensure that they are not disconnected from vital broadband services, during the pandemic.

Beyond pandemic relief, Biden specifically called out a commitment to universal broadband last week as he outlined his broader economic recovery agenda.

The Biden administration has signaled interest in broader infrastructure funding that would include billions in broadband funding. There is currently no shortage of bills in Congress focused on this issue, including a $100 billion broadband infrastructure bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, introduced by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Biden will still have to negotiate with Congress for any broadband funding plan, whether stand-alone or as a part of a broader pandemic relief package, which will be no small feat in itself.

Pallone and Walden urge FCC to assist companies replacing foreign network equipment

On Monday, Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, and Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Oregon, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to provide funding for ‘Rip and Replace’ initiatives, in an attempt to progress the replacement of foreign-made gear in U.S. telecommunications networks.

Earlier this year, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was signed into law. The Act provides the FCC with several new authorities to secure communications supply chains, including the establishment and administration of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

Through this program, small communications providers may seek reimbursement for the cost of removing and replacing suspicious network equipment. This funding is critical because some small and rural communications providers will not be able to afford these mandated upgrades otherwise.

While the initiative has yet to be funded by Congress, according to Pallone, there are steps the FCC could be taking in the meantime to help companies that are eligible for reimbursement plan prepare, and begin acting to remove non-domestic equipment.

“First, the FCC should develop and release the list of eligible replacement equipment, software, and services as soon as possible,” urge Pallone and Walden, in the letter.

“Second, the agency should reassure companies that they will not jeopardize their eligibility for reimbursement under the program just because replacement equipment purchases were made before the program is funded, assuming other eligibility criteria are met.”

Maine launches statewide internet speed test initiative

The Maine Broadband Coalition launched a new broadband speed testing initiative on Monday.

Through the “Get Up to Speed” testing initiative, Maine internet users are being encouraged to log onto the coalition’s website to determine and report their internet upload and download speeds.

In addition to finding out their own broadband speeds, participants will help the coalition identify slow spots around the state, where broadband speeds fall below the FCC’s current definition of 25 Megabites per second (Mbps) upload, 3 Mbps download.

The Maine testing effort, if utilized by enough state residents, will provide a more accurate picture of the broadband speeds available across the state.

The FCC currently assesses regional internet speeds, but the commissions judgements are based on the results of Form 477 data, which chronically overreports broadband availability, by contenting a census block is served with broadband if as little as one location within the block receives 25/3 Mbps.

“This is an issue that’s really important to people,” said Andrew Butcher, director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and director of innovation and resilience for the Greater Portland Council of Governments. Butcher noted that in July Maine constituents voted overwhelmingly to authorize a $15 million bond to help pay for high-speed internet service in parts of the state without service or with inadequate service.

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Broadband Roundup

President Donald Trump Impeached Twice, AI’s Role in COVID-19 Mutations, 5G and Health Care

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

According to numerous reports, the incoming Biden administration is aiming to address broadband disparities in the United States with billions in new funding. The Biden broadband plan aims to address discrepancies in both access and affordability.

According to a Washington Post report, Biden has endorsed a $4 billion package that would be used to help low-income Americans pay for internet service, and ensure that they are not disconnected from vital broadband services, during the pandemic.

Beyond pandemic relief, Biden specifically called out a commitment to universal broadband last week as he outlined his broader economic recovery agenda.

The Biden administration has signaled interest in broader infrastructure funding that would include billions in broadband funding. There is currently no shortage of bills in Congress focused on this issue, including a $100 billion broadband infrastructure bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, introduced by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Biden will still have to negotiate with Congress for any broadband funding plan, whether stand-alone or as a part of a broader pandemic relief package, which will be no small feat in itself.

Pallone and Walden urge FCC to assist companies replacing foreign network equipment

On Monday, Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, and Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Oregon, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to provide funding for ‘Rip and Replace’ initiatives, in an attempt to progress the replacement of foreign-made gear in U.S. telecommunications networks.

Earlier this year, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was signed into law. The Act provides the FCC with several new authorities to secure communications supply chains, including the establishment and administration of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

Through this program, small communications providers may seek reimbursement for the cost of removing and replacing suspicious network equipment. This funding is critical because some small and rural communications providers will not be able to afford these mandated upgrades otherwise.

While the initiative has yet to be funded by Congress, according to Pallone, there are steps the FCC could be taking in the meantime to help companies that are eligible for reimbursement plan prepare, and begin acting to remove non-domestic equipment.

“First, the FCC should develop and release the list of eligible replacement equipment, software, and services as soon as possible,” urge Pallone and Walden, in the letter.

“Second, the agency should reassure companies that they will not jeopardize their eligibility for reimbursement under the program just because replacement equipment purchases were made before the program is funded, assuming other eligibility criteria are met.”

Maine launches statewide internet speed test initiative

The Maine Broadband Coalition launched a new broadband speed testing initiative on Monday.

Through the “Get Up to Speed” testing initiative, Maine internet users are being encouraged to log onto the coalition’s website to determine and report their internet upload and download speeds.

In addition to finding out their own broadband speeds, participants will help the coalition identify slow spots around the state, where broadband speeds fall below the FCC’s current definition of 25 Megabites per second (Mbps) upload, 3 Mbps download.

The Maine testing effort, if utilized by enough state residents, will provide a more accurate picture of the broadband speeds available across the state.

The FCC currently assesses regional internet speeds, but the commissions judgements are based on the results of Form 477 data, which chronically overreports broadband availability, by contenting a census block is served with broadband if as little as one location within the block receives 25/3 Mbps.

“This is an issue that’s really important to people,” said Andrew Butcher, director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and director of innovation and resilience for the Greater Portland Council of Governments. Butcher noted that in July Maine constituents voted overwhelmingly to authorize a $15 million bond to help pay for high-speed internet service in parts of the state without service or with inadequate service.

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Broadband Roundup

Michigan Resident Builds Homemade Fiber, Latest Innovations from LG, 2020 Internet Speeds Declined

Derek Shumway

Published

on

According to numerous reports, the incoming Biden administration is aiming to address broadband disparities in the United States with billions in new funding. The Biden broadband plan aims to address discrepancies in both access and affordability.

According to a Washington Post report, Biden has endorsed a $4 billion package that would be used to help low-income Americans pay for internet service, and ensure that they are not disconnected from vital broadband services, during the pandemic.

Beyond pandemic relief, Biden specifically called out a commitment to universal broadband last week as he outlined his broader economic recovery agenda.

The Biden administration has signaled interest in broader infrastructure funding that would include billions in broadband funding. There is currently no shortage of bills in Congress focused on this issue, including a $100 billion broadband infrastructure bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, introduced by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Biden will still have to negotiate with Congress for any broadband funding plan, whether stand-alone or as a part of a broader pandemic relief package, which will be no small feat in itself.

Pallone and Walden urge FCC to assist companies replacing foreign network equipment

On Monday, Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-New Jersey, and Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Oregon, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to provide funding for ‘Rip and Replace’ initiatives, in an attempt to progress the replacement of foreign-made gear in U.S. telecommunications networks.

Earlier this year, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act was signed into law. The Act provides the FCC with several new authorities to secure communications supply chains, including the establishment and administration of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

Through this program, small communications providers may seek reimbursement for the cost of removing and replacing suspicious network equipment. This funding is critical because some small and rural communications providers will not be able to afford these mandated upgrades otherwise.

While the initiative has yet to be funded by Congress, according to Pallone, there are steps the FCC could be taking in the meantime to help companies that are eligible for reimbursement plan prepare, and begin acting to remove non-domestic equipment.

“First, the FCC should develop and release the list of eligible replacement equipment, software, and services as soon as possible,” urge Pallone and Walden, in the letter.

“Second, the agency should reassure companies that they will not jeopardize their eligibility for reimbursement under the program just because replacement equipment purchases were made before the program is funded, assuming other eligibility criteria are met.”

Maine launches statewide internet speed test initiative

The Maine Broadband Coalition launched a new broadband speed testing initiative on Monday.

Through the “Get Up to Speed” testing initiative, Maine internet users are being encouraged to log onto the coalition’s website to determine and report their internet upload and download speeds.

In addition to finding out their own broadband speeds, participants will help the coalition identify slow spots around the state, where broadband speeds fall below the FCC’s current definition of 25 Megabites per second (Mbps) upload, 3 Mbps download.

The Maine testing effort, if utilized by enough state residents, will provide a more accurate picture of the broadband speeds available across the state.

The FCC currently assesses regional internet speeds, but the commissions judgements are based on the results of Form 477 data, which chronically overreports broadband availability, by contenting a census block is served with broadband if as little as one location within the block receives 25/3 Mbps.

“This is an issue that’s really important to people,” said Andrew Butcher, director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and director of innovation and resilience for the Greater Portland Council of Governments. Butcher noted that in July Maine constituents voted overwhelmingly to authorize a $15 million bond to help pay for high-speed internet service in parts of the state without service or with inadequate service.

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