Better Broadband Better Lives

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Drew Clark

Drew Clark has 417 articles published.

New Alliance Between Vodafone and CityFibre in UK Shows Progress of Global Wholesale Fiber Model

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Major news from the United Kingdom with the deal announced between Vodafone and CityFibre. This deal shows how the rest of the world is adapting to the model that the United States has not yet, but eventually will: Separation of infrastructure from services. Vodafone throws down gauntlet to BT with new fibre… Keep Reading

Lexington, Home to the Kentucky Wired Middle-Mile Project, Seeks Municipal Fiber

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The power of municipal broadband isn’t going away. While competition benefits everyone, it’s undeniable that as the custodians of their rights of way, local government will play a role in the telecommunications infrastructure developments of the future. Charter gets competition in Lexington, Kentucky, as angry city enlists Indiana’s MetroNet to build FTTH… Keep Reading

Is the FCC Preparing to Ready New Preemption Mandates Regarding Wireless Sites?

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: New developments on the preemption front. From an administration that speaks about federalism and devolution of power, we have potentially new centralizing mandates emerging from the Federal Communications Commission. Sneak peek at FCC’s pending preemption of local wireless reviews? | From Steve Blum’s Tellus Venture Associates The Federal Communications Commission might have… Keep Reading

Broadband Breakfast to Attend Ammon, Idaho-Next Century Cities Event on Open Access Fiber Networks

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The long-awaited day has arrived for the “official” launch of the open-access fiber-optic network in Ammon, Idaho. This city of about 14,000 people has been making waves for some time with its unique approach to (a) providing advanced open-access technology and (b) enabling a financing model that leverages an opt-in Local Improvement… Keep Reading

Creatively Tapping the Universal Service Fund to Address Hurricane Maria Damage in Puerto Rico

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing a creative response to repair the damage done by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico by tapping into the Universal Service Fund for necessary infrastructure repairs. A decision on the matter is planned for the agency’s October 24 meeting, but could happen sooner. FCC proposes… Keep Reading

Drew Clark Rebuts Myths About UTOPIA and Fiber Networks in Deseret News Column

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Here’s my piece in the Deseret News, responding to information about the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency that simply isn’t correct. I discuss why cities need to open up their thinking about using fiber as a utility, and why cities are going to be in the game for a long time yet to come.… Keep Reading

CityFibre Gains on Competitors in U.K. with Aggressive New Investment in Open Access Model

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Major new expansion by wholesale infrastructure provider CityFibre in U.K., giving more credence to the “open access” model that is beginning to be deployed globally. Under such a model, one entity owns the fiber infrastructure, with another selling retail internet access services to customers. Frequently, there is yet another entity that provider… Keep Reading

New NRRI Report Probes State Broadband Initiatives in California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota and New York

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This new 60-page report by the National Regulatory Research Institute (and which was founded by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners), delves into the important state role in broadband deployment. It discusses the role of State Broadband Initiatives, including broadband mapping efforts, and discusses in greater detail the projects in California,… Keep Reading

FCC/People/Press Releases

President Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 – Ending months of speculation, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, back to her previous role as a Federal Communications Commissioner. The announcement came in a pre-midnight email from the White House. Attempts to get Rosenworcel’s re-nominated at the end of the last Congress faltered in… Keep Reading

President Trump to Invite Mayors and Governors to White House to Discuss Efficient Infrastructure Financing

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: In a conference call with reporters, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said that governors and mayors are scheduled meet at the White House with President Donald Trump for a session focused on efficiently using tax dollars for infrastructure projects.|| Trump to Push for U.S. Infrastructure Overhaul of Roads, Bridges, Air Traffic,… Keep Reading

Timing and Details are Lacking, But Trump’s Infrastructure Program Tilts Toward Public-Private Partnerships

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: While there are a lot of uncertainties about timing – and how it meshes with tax legislation – the White House is pressing forward with its “vision” for infrastructure, which is primarily one of melding public and private forces to rebuild physical backbone of America. This is not all bad, as public-private partnerships… Keep Reading

Spotlight on Advantages of Open Access Networks at Broadband Communities Summit

DALLAS, May 5, 2017 – Open access networks are becoming more real for gigabit connectivity in the United States, according to panelists attending the Broadband Communities Summit here this week. The conference was notable in having numerous, positive discussions of the “three-tiered” model: One entity owns the fiber infrastructure, a second entity operates the gigabit… Keep Reading

Innovative Fiber Financing Through a ‘Broadband Improvement District’ in Ammon, Idaho

DALLAS, May 1, 2017 – One of the biggest puzzles in broadband today is a financial conundrum: Our nation needs next-generation networks everywhere, but advanced internet capacity is spotty at best. One solution to the problem of financing universal broadband networks — on display in Ammon, Idaho — will be presented at the Rural Telecommunications… Keep Reading

How Will the Future of Work Impact Rural Communities? Learn How at Rural Telecom Congress Next Week

DALLAS, April 25, 2017 – What kind of workplaces and economic environment are rural areas likely to experience in the future? At the Rural Telecommunications Congress program here at the 2017 Broadband Communities Summit next week, two of the sessions on Wednesday, May 3, will feature address that question. First, we’ll hear a “case study”… Keep Reading

Riverside County Introduces Broadband Initiative for Area the Size of New Jersey

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, April 19, 2017 – At 7,200 square miles, this Southern California county is nearly the size of New Jersey. On April 3, the county put out a “Request for Participants” in an effort to jump-start a $2 billion to $4 billion initiative building a gigabit fiber network. The project is dubbed RIVCOConnect, and represents… Keep Reading

Twists in the Broadband Mapping Saga, Plus the Need for Good Data Now, at Rural Telecom Congress

DALLAS, April 18, 2017 – Over the past ten years, broadband mapping has gone through many changes. In the beginning, the Federal Communications Commission collected data about high-speed internet access, but didn’t release any local or granular data collected through its semi-annual forms. Through the efforts of organizations like BroadbandCensus.com (the predecessor to BroadbandBreakfast.com), a… Keep Reading

Universal Service Administrative Corp. Unveils ‘New Look,’ Will Address Programs at Rural Telecom Congress

DALLAS, April 18, 2017 – The Universal Service Administrative  Corporation may not grab broadband headlines, but the once-obscure federal agency is central to helping rural America and other stakeholders get Broadband Broadband, Better Lives. USAC’s programs, plus its “new look,” will be the subject of the lead panel at the Rural Telecommunications Congress happening here… Keep Reading

Register to Attend the Rural Telecommunications Congress Program at Broadband Communities Summit

DALLAS, April 6, 2017 – The Rural Telecommunications Congress program at the 2017 Broadband Communities Summit here on May 1-4, 2017, will feature panelists on the Universal Service Administrative Corporation’s role in bringing broadband to underserved and unserved communities, the role of broadband mapping in today’s telecommunications ecosystem, a case study of bringing broadband to… Keep Reading

House Passes Email Privacy Act

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2017  – The House of Representatives on Monday approved by voice vote the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 387, designed to protect Americans’ privacy and public safety in the digital age. Below is a statement from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, applauding passage of the bill. I’ve written about previous version of this legislation… Keep Reading

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai Announces Broadband Advisory Group to Propose Model City Ordinances

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee that would seek to accelerate deployment of high-speed broadband nationwide, and to close the digital divide, by providing a model approach to deployment for municipalities. “Access to broadband is increasingly critical for all… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

At Inaugural AnchorNETs Conference in Silicon Valley, The Broadband Talk is About Public-Private Partnerships

MOUNTAIN VIEW, November 24, 2015 - Community broadband institutions are a key building block to accelerate deployment of high-capacity internet service, said speakers and panelists at the inaugural Anchornets conference here last week. Such community institutions also play a vital role in facilitating public-private partnerships that aid such deployment, they said at a conference hosted by the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition at the Museum of Computer History here in the heart of Silicon Valley on Monday, November 16. Sunne McPeak, CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund, speaks of the importance of public-private partnership to broadband. Among the high-profile leaders who emphasized the important role of schools and libraries in promoting high-speed internet service were former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Sunne McPeak, CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund, and Evan Marwell, founder of EducationSuperhighway, a non-profit designed to promote greater internet connectivity in schools. [More...] Keep Reading

Community Broadband Center Leaders to Gather in Silicon Valley for AnchorNETS and NTIA Event on November 16-17

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - Local broadband institutions seeking to leverage high-speed connectivity for the benefit of their broader communities will benefit from attending the inaugural AnchorNETS conference here on November 16 and 17.

Sponsored by the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the AnchorNETS conference is being hosted in conjunction with the federal government's BroadbandUSA initiative on Tuesday, November 17. The AnchorNETS event will be keynoted by former Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Democrat responsible for completion of a nearly $100 million, four-year project to install 1,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure throughout Illinois. “Governor Quinn's role in bringing together state, federal and local resources, from private and public sectors, in the pursuit of improved digital literacy and internet connectivity to Illinois anchor institutions is a model for all public officials," said John Windhausen, executive director of SHLB Coalition. Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [More...] Keep Reading

FCC/IP Transition

At Urging of Competify Coalition of Telecom Competitors, FCC Launches Inquiry of Broadband Business Services

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it had launched an investigation into the broadband pricing plans of local exchange carriers AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon Communications for so-called "special access services" of business data. A coalition of competitive carriers and non-profit organizations dubbed Competify has been urging the inquiry, and praised Friday's order by the agency's Wireline Communications Bureau. Competify_Illustration_09122015-e1442430516826
"The incumbents use inherently anticompetitive lock-up plans – which only an entity with immense market power could impose – to charge businesses and anchor institutions excessive access rates that harm competition, restrain the deployment of competitive facilities, and impede the transition to next-generation services," according to a statement released by the group. [More...]

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Fiber/Infrastructure

Utah Foundation Report Highlights Pioneering Work for Advanced Broadband, Including UTOPIA Gigabit Network

SALT LAKE CITY, October 19, 2015 - Utah has been leading the nation in many areas of broadband internet access and its proliferation, according to a report released on Wednesday by the non-profit Utah Foundation. "Utah’s history of investing early and its collaboration among many public and private entities has helped develop an infrastructure that can support the local business climate, including Utah’s expanding tech sector which is heavily reliant on high-capacity networks," reads the report, by Shawn Teigen, Christopher Collard and Robert Jordan of the foundation. "It is likely that future internet applications will require exceedingly high-speed internet, far beyond that which is available today. Preparing the infrastructure now may be prudent," write the authors. BenLomand [More...]

Fiber/Infrastructure/Smart Cities

Spurning Google Fiber, Portland Suburb of Lake Oswego Pushes Toward Broadband Partnership

LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon, October 14, 2015 - This suburb of Portland, a potential candidate for Google Fiber's Gigabit-speed internet service, has said it isn't willing to wait around for the search engine giant. At a city council meeting here on Tuesday night, elected officials in this city of 37,000 listened, questioned and debated between two proposed public-private partnerships that would result in the construction of Gigabit-speed fiber-optic infrastructure. City Council Meeting in Lake Oswego, Oregon Instead of sitting and waiting for Google, the city council members appeared inclined to move forward on a public-private project with city involvement. "There was a great buzz and excitement when Google announced" the possibility that it would come to Portland, said Councilmember Jon Gustafson during the session -- but the city hasn't wasn't seen any action since that time. Last year, Google announced possible expansion to Portland and five suburbs, including Lake Oswego. The company has made commitment, however. "Google is still at the vapor stage," added Chip Larouche, chief technology officer for the city. Speaking at the Tuesday meeting, he said that Google is "talking about how 'we might make you a promise.'" Instead, City Manager Scott Lazenby said that in June Lake Oswego put out a Request for Proposals to build their own Gigabit Network. The city received two responses from private companies, and one from the City's own Public Works Department. [More... Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Verizon Under Fire from Union, City Officials in Northeast States, for Claims of Failure to Build Out Fiber

NEW YORK, October 13, 2015 - The battle between Verizon Communications and the Communications Workers of America escalated on Tuesday, as the union announced a new television advertisement slamming the broadband provider for failing to build-out its high-speed fiber-optic internet service here. The advertisements come just ahead of a New York City Council hearing on  Wednesday that will include the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, customers that say they have been unable to get FiOS, and from Verizon officials. CWAad-2 [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Utah’s Broadband Tech Summit to Convene in Gigabit City of Provo

PROVO, Utah, October 6, 2015 - One of the highest-bandwidth cities in the country will next week host the Utah Broadband Tech Summit here on Wednesday, October 14. The event, sponsored by the Utah Broadband Outreach Center, will bring national experts from Washington together with practitioners of Gigabit Networks throughout the state "The Utah Broadband Tech Summit is an annual event focusing on how providers and communities can work together to meet increasing infrastructure demands," said Kelleigh Cole, director of the Utah Broadband Outreach Center. "As network usage increases and devices become smarter, preparing for these advancements will give communities, businesses and individuals a competitive advantage." Summit-Page-Banner1 [More on Utah Broadband Tech Summit...] Keep Reading

Drew Clark: What Henry Clay’s and Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Internal Improvements’ Means for Gigabit Infrastructure Today

Editor's Note: This column, "Once 'Athens of the West,' a Kentucky city seeks revival and improvements," was originally published in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is a complete list of Drew Clark's weekly columns for the paper. LEXINGTON, Ky. — This city now best-known for horse racing and bourbon was, 200 years ago, once described as the "Athens of the West." And while east-central Kentucky has since gone through its economic ups and downs, last month the state's civic leaders announced an ambitious fiber-optic development project that boosters say will once again put Kentucky in the national spotlight. 1606265Lexington enjoyed its early heyday from its founding in 1787 until the early decades of the 19th century. Its most notable resident was Henry Clay, the lawyer who became one of the three most influential national legislators (with Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun) of the antebellum era. Clay, the founder of the Whig Party, was a vigorous advocate of the "American System" of internal improvements. Today we would describe these as infrastructure investments. It was the internal improvement sought by Clay that made transportation possible across the Western frontier. They began creating a truly national marketplace. Lexington bequeathed us another figure sympathetic to the Whig cause: Mary Todd Lincoln. Visiting the museum here that was her home, I learned that her father — a member of the Kentucky Legislature — frequently invited his politically minded young daughter to sit in on meetings with constituents. Mary Todd left Lexington, or course. More than 400 miles west, in Springfield, Illinois, she met and fell in love with a more hardscrabble Kentuckian. Abraham Lincoln also was a strong proponent of "internal improvements." [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

On Friday, Leverett Toasts the First of the ‘Last Mile’ Fiber Optic Networks in Western Massachusetts

LEVERETT, Massachusetts, October 1, 2015 - The first segment of the "last mile" fiber optic network in Western Massachusetts will launch on Friday afternoon with a community event here featuring the president of the state senate, leading state broadband advocates, and an official from the U.S. Commerce Department. Dubbed LeverettNet, the municipal network is the first last mile project built off of the MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic middle mile network. MassBroadband 123 was funded by the Commerce Department's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program of the 2009 federal stimulus legislation. The middle-mile network brought fiber-optic connectivity to Leverett in early 2014. Dozens of other towns in region are planning to build additional fiber to the home last mile networks in their communities. [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Berkman Center at Harvard Launches Dashboard Aimed at Aggregating Broadband Data

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, October 2, 2015 - The Berkman Center for Internet and Society here has launched an ambitious new dashboard designed  to provide a visualization of internet health and activity. The dashboard, which debuted at the World Economic Forum in Geneva on Monday, builds upon the prior collection of broadband data available through Internet Monitor, a project of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center. The dashboard is a tool for policymakers, researchers and users to understand, at a glance, various metrics pertaining to broadband access and use. Internet Monitor Dashboard [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Infrastructure

Digital New England Conference and Webcast Begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. ET with Obama Administration Telecom Officials

PORTLAND, Maine, September 28, 2015 – In the first significant conference following the release of the Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendations, top telecommunications officials from the Obama administration — including the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture — will be speaking on Monday in Portland at “Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders.”… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Kentucky Deploys State-Wide Fiber Network Through Public Private Partnership with Macquarie Capital

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 21, 2015 - The lieutenant governor of Kentucky, a bevy of state officials and their private sector counterparts here celebrated the finalization of the deal to build a $324 million broadband infrastructure project. The project, KentuckyWired, is a public-private partnership (also dubbed a PPP) of the state and of the Australian financier Macquarie Capital. It is a 3,400-mile open access "middle mile" network that will span all 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In planning, financing and negotiating stages for nearly a year, the Macquarie project closed on September 3, 2015. Bonds are set to be issued and construction of the network - albeit in very early phases - has begun. When completed in 2018, the network will include six fiber rings around regions of the state, and fiber connections to at least one point in every county. The Kentucky Wired network was the highlight and toast of each of four days at the Broadband Communities economic development conference here. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen speaking at Broadband Communities conference in Lexington. [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Fiber Optics Now Seen as Default Technology Even for Deployment of Rural Broadband, Says FCC Official

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 16, 2015 - Fiber-optics is now the default mode for deploying high-speed internet throughout the country, even including rural areas, said the head of the Federal Communications Commission's office of strategic planning. "Everywhere the country [that] has been able to get an electric line, it ought to be able to get a fiber cable," said Jonathan Chambers, chief of the office, widely regarded as the FCC "think tank" for technological advancement. Chambers, in the kick-off presentation at the Broadband Communities economic development conference here, highlighted the widespread acceptance that everyone deserved broadband deployment at speeds significantly higher than even those put forward in the National Broadband Plan five years ago. This expectation for broadband at speeds upward of 25 megabits per second (Mbps), 100 Mbps, or 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), Chambers said, extended even to rural areas. Hilda Legg interviews Jonathan Chambers at Kentucky conference. [More...] Keep Reading

White House Launches ‘Smart City’ Initiative That Links Broadband Connectivity to Urban Solutions

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - A movement to make cities "smart" by using the power of broadband and information technology processing power is reaching critical mass, with the White House on Monday announcing a comprehensive initiative to support municipal efforts. Coinciding with the Smart Cities Week conference here this week, the White House released a 4,000-word summary of more than $160 million in federal research investments, leveraging more than 25 technology collaborations with local communities. The goal of these efforts? Tackling such key challenges, in the words of the White House, as "reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services." "Advances in science and technology have the potential to accelerate these efforts," read the White House statement. "An emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists, and companies are joining forces to build 'Smart Cities' – communities that are building an infrastructure to continuously improve the collection, aggregation, and use of data to improve the life of their residents – by harnessing the growing data revolution, low-cost sensors, and research collaborations, and doing so securely to protect safety and privacy." The launch of White House Smart Cities Initiative [More...] Keep Reading

Pell Center Report Emphasizes Continuing Role in Broadband for State Entities

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - State broadband entities and commissions continue to plan an important role in fostering economic development and digital learning, according to a recent report from the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. The report, "State-Level Broadband Policy: A Compendium of Resources and Approaches," catalogs some of the important capabilities and tools of the federal technology program dubbed the State Broadband Initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But the report, by Pell Center Adjunct Fellow Angela Siefer, also advances the discussion about state-level broadband resources by highlighting more recently discussed tools, including eRate funding, telecommunications modernization legislation, and ways to promote local infrastructure partnerships. Angela Siefer [More...] Keep Reading

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