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Broadband’s Impact

Broadband is about more than fiber-optic wires, towers and digital antenna systems; it is about making a difference in the lives of the community and its residents.

One Day After FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, Focus Turns to Reactions and Responses

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Thursday vote to repeal the “open internet” rules classifying broadband services as common carriers represents the most significant regulatory shift in the internet in more than a decade. Critics in Congress, at the agency, and even on late-night TV wasted no time in blasting it. These… Keep Reading

Bob Frankston: It’s Time to Move From ‘Broadband’ to ‘Infrastructure’

The success of the internet demonstrates that we now depend on network operators to assure that services like telephony work. The carriers are pushing back on neutrality because their business model is threatened by a level playing field. We should be encouraging innovative internet-native business models rather than working to preserve an industry threatened by… Keep Reading

Democrats Are Mad as Hell About FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Proposed Changes to Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2017 — Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission chairman under President Obama, wasn’t coy in expressing his feelings about his replacement’s “abomination” of a plan to gut the open internet rules he put in place two-and-a-half years ago. “This is the culmination of a grand plan which started back in 2013,” Wheeler… Keep Reading

The Chairman of the FCC Returns to His Former Haunt at Verizon Nine Days Before Vote on Net Neutrality Rules

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A great little piece from the Inverse lays out how the “Chatham House” rules may protect Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai from being quoted for what he says at Verizon Communications, his former employer, nine days before net neutrality rules are set to be axed. (UPDATE 12/6: It turns out that Pai… Keep Reading

New Resource from Institute for Local Self-Reliance on Building Fiber in Rural America

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Once again, the folks at the Institute for Local Self Reliance have produced another standout report on how to get better broadband to those parts of American that are not served by the major incumbents. This report focuses on the role that cooperatives are playing, and can continue to play, in making… Keep Reading

Jonathan Lee: Antitrust Division’s Flawed Case Against AT&T/Time Warner is Simply Too General

Telecom attorney Jonathan Lee takes down the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s specious case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger in this detailed blog post, excerpted below. (Click on the link at the bottom for the whole argument.) Here’s the money quote: “This alleged harm is simply too general to merit analysis.” Assumptions On Assumptions:… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tackles Twitter, Not ISPs, on Issues of ‘Neutrality’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Is everyone having enough fun on this issue of network neutrality/open internet/”search neutrality”/Twitter-fenestration? It’s been a wacky week, and the craziness is likely to accelerate over the next two weeks. Here, CNET’s Marguerite Reardon covers Pai’s Tuesday speech at the R Street Institute in Washington. FCC chairman calls Twitter the real threat… Keep Reading

NTIA Outlines Process and Funding for States Seeking to Opt-out of FirstNet

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: In a significant new development, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration outlines a process for how states will be able to receive funding to build their own public safety wireless networks that are separate and apart from FirstNet. The far, approximately 35 of the 50 states have opted-in to FirstNet. Colorado and… Keep Reading

The FCC Proposal to Overturn Net Neutrality Leads Congress to Express Support for Internet Rules

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2017 – Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday praised plans by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to roll back the network neutrality rules put in place by his predecessor, but pledged to work towards some sort of legislation that would outlaw blocking and throttling internet content currently… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Launches His Biggest Battle: Eliminating Net Neutrality Regulations

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 – In a move that could further infuriate an already-energized coalition of technology industry power players, consumer advocates, and progressive interest groups, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday unveiled plans to undo the net neutrality rules that put in place in some form or another since the early years… Keep Reading

Shirley Svorny: Why the Second-Best Solution – Redefining the Locus of Care – Is Needed for Telemedicine

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Telemedicine is one of the most immediately needed high-bandwidth broadband applications, and it promises concrete and easy-to-see benefits. Yet its usage had limited by occupational licensing. In this policy report, CATO Institute Adjunct Scholar Shirley Svorny lays out the case for the best option (eliminating all governmental licensing), a second-best option (defining… Keep Reading

Microsoft Utilizes TV White Space in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to Enhance Communications

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Here, Microsoft is taking the initiative to address the communications failures and other challenges in Puerto Rico. Microsoft is aiming to use its particular variant of TV “white spaces” to allow greater communication capabilities during a time of widespread power outages. Using TV White Space technology in Puerto Rico and the US… Keep Reading

White House Supports FCC Efforts to Close Digital Divide in Efficient Manner

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 — The White House on Friday defended the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to prevent telecommunications service resellers like TracPhone and Simply Wireless from participating in the Universal Service Fund Lifeline program, and to restrict participation in the program to facilities-based providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The Lifeline program allows low-income… Keep Reading

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

FCC Restricts Options Under the Low-Income Consumer Lifeline Program, to Democratic Outcry

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2017 — In a move harshly condemned by Democrats and consumer advocates, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted along party lines to significantly restrict the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program, which provides subsidies to enable lower-income consumers to purchase basic telecommunications services. The vote took place during a contentious open meeting… Keep Reading

Pushing Advanced Applications to the Edge With Deeper Fiber

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The future of broadband communication will involve advanced and low-latency applications, all delivered over symmetrical fiber or 5G wireless networks. To get there, we need computing and storage at the edge, and fiber deeper into the neighborhoods. Edge deployment strategy dependent on 5G use case being served, from RCR Wireless Whether it’s… Keep Reading

Wireless Gigabit Broadband Provider Siklu Addresses High-Speed Access

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Siklu, which has been active in promoting the way high-speed wireless gigabit access can help communities leverage fiber-optic infrastructure, assembles a useful primer on its technology and business case for deployment. Providing 21th Century Broadband with Fixed Wireless Gigabit, from Siklu: There are close to 126 million households in the US, out… 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

FCC Provides Details for Puerto Rican E-Rate Funding as Chairman Pai Visits Island

WASHINGTON, November 4, 2017 — More than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s communications infrastructure, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday announced that he will travel to the island territory on Sunday to observe the recovery process and assess the pace of efforts to restore communications on the hurricane-ravaged United States… Keep Reading

William Rinehart: Why the Democrats $40 Billion Broadband Deployment Plan Misses the Mark

Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate recently released a plan for broadband deployment that would spend $40 billion in taxpayer money in an effort to get everyone online. Like many other proposals of this nature, however, it lacks in the very specifics that are so important in broadband policy. First, as the Federal Communications Commission… Keep Reading

To Help Realize the Vision of 5G Networks, Deep Fiber is Necessary

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Allow us to highlight one of the seven points made by Patrick Brogan in this commentary: Deep fiber. In this piece, he highlights seven elements – (1) Technical standards, (2) cell densification, (3) coexistence of 4G and 5G, (4) reevaluation of the mobile network architecture, (5) evolving network connections, (6) unanticipated applications, and… 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

From Sweden, a Perspective on Why Open Access Networks Are the Right Choice for Communities

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A good, basic summary of what an open-access network is, and why cities can benefit through the open-access approach. The best part of this piece is the discussion about why open-access is necessary for Smart Cities. Left unsaid are some of the more innovative approaches to financing open-access networks. Some of these… 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

FCC Chairman Appoints New Head to Its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2017 — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday announced the appointment of wireless broadband advocate L. Elizabeth Bowles to lead the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. “[Bowles] has made great contributions to the BDAC and its working groups already, and she brings to the table a combination of talents and… Keep Reading

One Year In, NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Webinar Takes a Break For the Month of August

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We’ve been enjoying our participation in this webinar series of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It has now run for one year. However, the webinar series is taking a break for the month of August, so don’t expect an event this Wednesday! BroadbandUSA presents a webinar on the… Keep Reading

Facebook’s Foray into Artificial Intelligence Stirs Worries of Robot Revolt

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A good attempt to “decode” the furor surrounding Facebook’s artificial intelligence experiment, and all of those chattering robots. Scare stories aside, the opportunity for machine intelligence and human intelligence to complement each other is truly remarkable. The ‘creepy Facebook AI’ story that captivated the media | Facebook has been experimenting with AIs that… Keep Reading

Rural Broadband Focus Increasingly Necessary in Infrastructure Package, Say Blackburn and Panelists at Brookings

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – Rural areas of Tennessee have lost business because they don’t have access to high-speed internet, Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Monday at a panel on broadband infrastructure hosted by the Brookings Institution. Trump was aggressively pushing new infrastructure, said Blackburn, the chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications… Keep Reading

Gigabit City Summit, One of the First Promoting Fiber Connectivity, Meets in Kansas City

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: One of the first groups to begin the movement toward a Gigabit City, KC Digital Drive, prepares for its Gigabit City Summit next week in Kansas City. Take advantage of opportunities to learn about how your city can benefit from fiber-optic connectivity! Why a Gigabit City Summit?, by Gigabit City Summit The… Keep Reading

FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Holds Second Meeting With Working Group Reports

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2017 – Speaking at a meeting of the agency’s newly-form Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly put forward his view that state and local governments are creating barriers to broadband deployment across the United States. “Broadband deployment remains a top priority of this Commission,” O’Rielly said. “It’s more than… Keep Reading

Federal Trade Commission Workshop on Connected Cars Raises Issues of Data Breaches and Privacy

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2017 – Self-driving vehicles could reduce congestion, supplement public transit systems and help the elderly and disabled travel safely, said Jeffrey Massimilla, chief product cybersecurity officer of Product Cybersecurity for General Motors, at a Federal Trade Commission workshop on Wednesday. Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the FTC, said that most new cars… Keep Reading

Self-Driving Vehicles Prompt Subcommittee Debate About Appropriate Actions of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2017 – Self-driving vehicles will be able to help the disabled and elderly reach their destinations, said David Strickland, counsel for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The hearing was hosted by the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce… Keep Reading

Rural Americans Disproportionately Lack Access to Broadband, Says Small Business Committee

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Among rural Americans, 39 percent lack access to high speed internet compared to only 4 percent of urban Americans who lack access, said Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, at a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill. He said more needs to be done to get rural Americans service on par with urban… Keep Reading

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