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Broadband Roundup

Building on Rural Broadband Subsidies, Facebook and Politics, SpaceX Meets Criticism

Samuel Triginelli

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Photo of Elon Musk by James Duncan Davidson used with permission

February 3, 2021 – Charter Communication said it is planning to spend $5 billion on rural broadband, with support from the government through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Charter said that it will offer speeds starting at 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) download, and that their service will be free of data caps, modem fees, and annual contracts.

According to a report in LightReading, “Charter said the expansion will take multiple years to complete, but Charter has yet to pinpoint a precise, anticipated end date or offer other data-specific buildout milestones. Timing on that is still fuzzy as Charter works through pole-permitting and other processes it needs to complete in order to get network deployments rolling.”

“The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services,” Tom Rutledge, Charter’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. “We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair, and cost-effective fashion.”

Facebook tries to shun politics on its news feed

Facebook was once a big help for political activism. But now it is shifting to a place where those topics may be less popular. The social media giant continues to amend restrictions on the kinds of groups and political pages that it will recommend on the platform.

After the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, social media companies, including Facebook continued to receive backlash from users for allowing violence and hate to be spread on their pages.

A Facebook spokesperson stated that research done by the company showed “some people feel that there’s too much political content in their news feeds.”

“This is a problem we’re still figuring out how to best understand and solve,” the company’s spokesperson continued. “Our goal is to come up with a way to address this feedback that involves giving people a clear understanding of how we treat political content in News Feed, respects their tolerances for political content, and preserves their ability to interact with this kind content across Facebook to the extent they want to.”

“All of this seems to be a pretty clear signal that they want to move away from politics on the platform,” said Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital strategist.

“Politics has had a way of creeping into everything, and I think a lot of the feedback that we see from our community is that people don’t want that in their experience,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors.

Advocacy group leaders say that this new adaptation will not change the polarization and incite of violence involving politics. They wonder how the network will identify what is a political group and what it is not.

“Will they consider a local veteran’s group to be political? If so, will they not consider a local antiwar group to be political? Would they consider an LGBTQ support group to be political? Frankly, all of those things are political,” said Evan Green, a director for the digital rights group Fight for the Future.

Competitors of SpaceX are stoking resistance to its rural broadband subsidies

With the arrival of the final launch tests, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has suffered from resistance from its competitors related to the nearly $1 billion in federal rural broadband subsidies for its satellite-based broadband service.

With the promise that your company can help the United States acquire faster Internet service, part of the funds awarded by the FCC includes companies laying fiber-optic cable. Competitors at SpaceX are asking the FCC to analyze this situation more carefully, while they seek support from Capitol Hill to veto part of the amount requested.

More than 150 members of Congress wrote the FCC on January 19 urging it “to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable” and to “consider opportunities for public input on the applications.”

Part of the other companies that are in the battle to acquire these federal government funds is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Rural Broadband Association.

When talking about SpaceX, Jim Matheson, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association told The Wall Street Journal, “We are in effect funding an experiment here, we don’t know if it works or doesn’t work.” Matheson represents the electricity providers also in line for subsidies to build out fiber-optic broadband networks.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, that has helped develop rules for the subsidy program said the program allowed providers using various technologies to compete against one another, driving down the subsidies ’cost to the government. “There is going to be a range of different technologies that are going to be best suited” to close service gaps in different locations, he said.

SpaceX’s move to secure broadband funding is part of a more extensive Washington focused strategy that also includes government contracts for ferrying astronauts, launching national-security satellites, weather forecasting, and missile tracking.

Broadband Roundup

Rural Broadband Bill, Semiconductor Letter to White House, FCC March Meeting Agenda

Tim White

Published

on

Photo of Sen. Susan Collins from October 2018 by Gage Skidmore used with permission

February 3, 2021 – Charter Communication said it is planning to spend $5 billion on rural broadband, with support from the government through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Charter said that it will offer speeds starting at 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) download, and that their service will be free of data caps, modem fees, and annual contracts.

According to a report in LightReading, “Charter said the expansion will take multiple years to complete, but Charter has yet to pinpoint a precise, anticipated end date or offer other data-specific buildout milestones. Timing on that is still fuzzy as Charter works through pole-permitting and other processes it needs to complete in order to get network deployments rolling.”

“The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services,” Tom Rutledge, Charter’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. “We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair, and cost-effective fashion.”

Facebook tries to shun politics on its news feed

Facebook was once a big help for political activism. But now it is shifting to a place where those topics may be less popular. The social media giant continues to amend restrictions on the kinds of groups and political pages that it will recommend on the platform.

After the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, social media companies, including Facebook continued to receive backlash from users for allowing violence and hate to be spread on their pages.

A Facebook spokesperson stated that research done by the company showed “some people feel that there’s too much political content in their news feeds.”

“This is a problem we’re still figuring out how to best understand and solve,” the company’s spokesperson continued. “Our goal is to come up with a way to address this feedback that involves giving people a clear understanding of how we treat political content in News Feed, respects their tolerances for political content, and preserves their ability to interact with this kind content across Facebook to the extent they want to.”

“All of this seems to be a pretty clear signal that they want to move away from politics on the platform,” said Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital strategist.

“Politics has had a way of creeping into everything, and I think a lot of the feedback that we see from our community is that people don’t want that in their experience,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors.

Advocacy group leaders say that this new adaptation will not change the polarization and incite of violence involving politics. They wonder how the network will identify what is a political group and what it is not.

“Will they consider a local veteran’s group to be political? If so, will they not consider a local antiwar group to be political? Would they consider an LGBTQ support group to be political? Frankly, all of those things are political,” said Evan Green, a director for the digital rights group Fight for the Future.

Competitors of SpaceX are stoking resistance to its rural broadband subsidies

With the arrival of the final launch tests, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has suffered from resistance from its competitors related to the nearly $1 billion in federal rural broadband subsidies for its satellite-based broadband service.

With the promise that your company can help the United States acquire faster Internet service, part of the funds awarded by the FCC includes companies laying fiber-optic cable. Competitors at SpaceX are asking the FCC to analyze this situation more carefully, while they seek support from Capitol Hill to veto part of the amount requested.

More than 150 members of Congress wrote the FCC on January 19 urging it “to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable” and to “consider opportunities for public input on the applications.”

Part of the other companies that are in the battle to acquire these federal government funds is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Rural Broadband Association.

When talking about SpaceX, Jim Matheson, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association told The Wall Street Journal, “We are in effect funding an experiment here, we don’t know if it works or doesn’t work.” Matheson represents the electricity providers also in line for subsidies to build out fiber-optic broadband networks.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, that has helped develop rules for the subsidy program said the program allowed providers using various technologies to compete against one another, driving down the subsidies ’cost to the government. “There is going to be a range of different technologies that are going to be best suited” to close service gaps in different locations, he said.

SpaceX’s move to secure broadband funding is part of a more extensive Washington focused strategy that also includes government contracts for ferrying astronauts, launching national-security satellites, weather forecasting, and missile tracking.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

California Net Neutrality, Georgia Broadband Maps, New House Antitrust Bill

Derek Shumway

Published

on

Photo of California State Sen. Scott Wiener from Housing is a Human Right

February 3, 2021 – Charter Communication said it is planning to spend $5 billion on rural broadband, with support from the government through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Charter said that it will offer speeds starting at 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) download, and that their service will be free of data caps, modem fees, and annual contracts.

According to a report in LightReading, “Charter said the expansion will take multiple years to complete, but Charter has yet to pinpoint a precise, anticipated end date or offer other data-specific buildout milestones. Timing on that is still fuzzy as Charter works through pole-permitting and other processes it needs to complete in order to get network deployments rolling.”

“The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services,” Tom Rutledge, Charter’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. “We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair, and cost-effective fashion.”

Facebook tries to shun politics on its news feed

Facebook was once a big help for political activism. But now it is shifting to a place where those topics may be less popular. The social media giant continues to amend restrictions on the kinds of groups and political pages that it will recommend on the platform.

After the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, social media companies, including Facebook continued to receive backlash from users for allowing violence and hate to be spread on their pages.

A Facebook spokesperson stated that research done by the company showed “some people feel that there’s too much political content in their news feeds.”

“This is a problem we’re still figuring out how to best understand and solve,” the company’s spokesperson continued. “Our goal is to come up with a way to address this feedback that involves giving people a clear understanding of how we treat political content in News Feed, respects their tolerances for political content, and preserves their ability to interact with this kind content across Facebook to the extent they want to.”

“All of this seems to be a pretty clear signal that they want to move away from politics on the platform,” said Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital strategist.

“Politics has had a way of creeping into everything, and I think a lot of the feedback that we see from our community is that people don’t want that in their experience,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors.

Advocacy group leaders say that this new adaptation will not change the polarization and incite of violence involving politics. They wonder how the network will identify what is a political group and what it is not.

“Will they consider a local veteran’s group to be political? If so, will they not consider a local antiwar group to be political? Would they consider an LGBTQ support group to be political? Frankly, all of those things are political,” said Evan Green, a director for the digital rights group Fight for the Future.

Competitors of SpaceX are stoking resistance to its rural broadband subsidies

With the arrival of the final launch tests, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has suffered from resistance from its competitors related to the nearly $1 billion in federal rural broadband subsidies for its satellite-based broadband service.

With the promise that your company can help the United States acquire faster Internet service, part of the funds awarded by the FCC includes companies laying fiber-optic cable. Competitors at SpaceX are asking the FCC to analyze this situation more carefully, while they seek support from Capitol Hill to veto part of the amount requested.

More than 150 members of Congress wrote the FCC on January 19 urging it “to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable” and to “consider opportunities for public input on the applications.”

Part of the other companies that are in the battle to acquire these federal government funds is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Rural Broadband Association.

When talking about SpaceX, Jim Matheson, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association told The Wall Street Journal, “We are in effect funding an experiment here, we don’t know if it works or doesn’t work.” Matheson represents the electricity providers also in line for subsidies to build out fiber-optic broadband networks.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, that has helped develop rules for the subsidy program said the program allowed providers using various technologies to compete against one another, driving down the subsidies ’cost to the government. “There is going to be a range of different technologies that are going to be best suited” to close service gaps in different locations, he said.

SpaceX’s move to secure broadband funding is part of a more extensive Washington focused strategy that also includes government contracts for ferrying astronauts, launching national-security satellites, weather forecasting, and missile tracking.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Women Dems Speak Up for FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel, UTOPIA Fiber’s New Funding, Starlink Speeds Double

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

Photo of UTOPIA Fiber Executive Director Roger Timmerman

February 3, 2021 – Charter Communication said it is planning to spend $5 billion on rural broadband, with support from the government through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Charter said that it will offer speeds starting at 200 Megabits per second (Mbps) download, and that their service will be free of data caps, modem fees, and annual contracts.

According to a report in LightReading, “Charter said the expansion will take multiple years to complete, but Charter has yet to pinpoint a precise, anticipated end date or offer other data-specific buildout milestones. Timing on that is still fuzzy as Charter works through pole-permitting and other processes it needs to complete in order to get network deployments rolling.”

“The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services,” Tom Rutledge, Charter’s chairman and CEO said in a statement. “We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair, and cost-effective fashion.”

Facebook tries to shun politics on its news feed

Facebook was once a big help for political activism. But now it is shifting to a place where those topics may be less popular. The social media giant continues to amend restrictions on the kinds of groups and political pages that it will recommend on the platform.

After the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, social media companies, including Facebook continued to receive backlash from users for allowing violence and hate to be spread on their pages.

A Facebook spokesperson stated that research done by the company showed “some people feel that there’s too much political content in their news feeds.”

“This is a problem we’re still figuring out how to best understand and solve,” the company’s spokesperson continued. “Our goal is to come up with a way to address this feedback that involves giving people a clear understanding of how we treat political content in News Feed, respects their tolerances for political content, and preserves their ability to interact with this kind content across Facebook to the extent they want to.”

“All of this seems to be a pretty clear signal that they want to move away from politics on the platform,” said Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital strategist.

“Politics has had a way of creeping into everything, and I think a lot of the feedback that we see from our community is that people don’t want that in their experience,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors.

Advocacy group leaders say that this new adaptation will not change the polarization and incite of violence involving politics. They wonder how the network will identify what is a political group and what it is not.

“Will they consider a local veteran’s group to be political? If so, will they not consider a local antiwar group to be political? Would they consider an LGBTQ support group to be political? Frankly, all of those things are political,” said Evan Green, a director for the digital rights group Fight for the Future.

Competitors of SpaceX are stoking resistance to its rural broadband subsidies

With the arrival of the final launch tests, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has suffered from resistance from its competitors related to the nearly $1 billion in federal rural broadband subsidies for its satellite-based broadband service.

With the promise that your company can help the United States acquire faster Internet service, part of the funds awarded by the FCC includes companies laying fiber-optic cable. Competitors at SpaceX are asking the FCC to analyze this situation more carefully, while they seek support from Capitol Hill to veto part of the amount requested.

More than 150 members of Congress wrote the FCC on January 19 urging it “to thoroughly vet the winning bidders to ensure that they are capable” and to “consider opportunities for public input on the applications.”

Part of the other companies that are in the battle to acquire these federal government funds is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Rural Broadband Association.

When talking about SpaceX, Jim Matheson, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association told The Wall Street Journal, “We are in effect funding an experiment here, we don’t know if it works or doesn’t work.” Matheson represents the electricity providers also in line for subsidies to build out fiber-optic broadband networks.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, that has helped develop rules for the subsidy program said the program allowed providers using various technologies to compete against one another, driving down the subsidies ’cost to the government. “There is going to be a range of different technologies that are going to be best suited” to close service gaps in different locations, he said.

SpaceX’s move to secure broadband funding is part of a more extensive Washington focused strategy that also includes government contracts for ferrying astronauts, launching national-security satellites, weather forecasting, and missile tracking.

Continue Reading

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