Better Broadband Better Lives

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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.

Broadband Deployment Updates from Virginia, Kansas, Ohio and Indiana

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: It is great to see this kind of round-up of an array of broadband activities happening throughout the country. It is a reminder that broadband remains a potent economic development issue throughout the country, if not in Washington. Kudos to Smart and Resilient Cities for putting this piece together! Broadband Expansion Gains… Keep Reading

NTIA’s Request for Comments on Broadband Data Spurs Concerns About FCC’s Form 477

WASHINGTON, August 7, 2018 – Many in the broadband industry commenting on broadband availability data exposed the weaknesses of current Federal Communications Commission data – and not only in the data itself but in the process by which it is collected. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Industry Association conducted a request for comments on actions… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

The Pole Attachment Controversy Shadows the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018 – Local representatives and telecommunications providers faced off at last Thursday’s meeting of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee meeting on regulatory barriers to new pole attachments and wireless facilities. On July 26 and 27, the Federal Communications Commission hosted a Broadband Development Advisory Committee meeting. The committee met to discuss, create… Keep Reading

Rural Electric Cooperatives Pose an Obvious Solution for Deploying Fiber to Rural Areas, Says Former FCC Official

PITTSBURGH, July 31, 2018 - Rural electric cooperatives and not “small cell” deployment powered by 5G networks, may be the solution to closing the digital divide, according to Jonathan Chambers, former chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning. Speaking at the regional conference hosted last week here by Next Century Cities, a… Keep Reading

For Robust Broadband in the 5G Era, More Local Control May Be Required

PITTSBURGH, July 30, 2018 - Many broadband experts speaking at the Next Century Cities regional summit here said last week that city jurisdiction should take precedence over federal rules in ensuring impactful broadband deployment. The conference highlighted some of these local voices, eager for broadband deployment even as they criticize recent Federal Communications Commission moves… Keep Reading

BroadbandUSA Webinar on Statewide Strategies Highlighted Role of Community Planning, Libraries

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2018 - In rural America, data-driven tools and libraries are heading efforts to expand broadband access, according to broadband policy experts. On July 18, BroadbandUSA hosted a webinar “Statewide Strategies for Rural Digital Inclusion,” discussing state-level measures to extend broadband access to unserved rural areas. Amy Huffman, a research and policy analyst… Keep Reading

Are Facebook and Amazon Really Compliant with the Global Data Protection Regulation?

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Are Facebook and Amazon really GDPR compliant? Researchers used artificial intellence software to analyze Facebook and Amazon new GDPR policies. The AI tool found one-third of policy clauses to be “potentially problematic” or containing “insufficient information”, which could put the companies’ in violation of GDPR. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook asserted they are working… Keep Reading

Far From Discriminating Against Conservatives, Facebook is Accused of a Pro-Conservative Bias

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Against a backdrop of complaints by American conservatives that Facebook and other social media giants promote non-conservative content, a new report finds that the opposite is occurring. Facebook accused of protecting far-right activists that broke site rules A documentary says some pages are kept safe from deletion by "shielded review," from CNET: Facebook allegedly… Keep Reading

Republicans Talk Rural Broadband, But Oppose Measure Democrats Say Would Help

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Leading Republican leaders are content to talk up the significance of aiding rural regions by enhancing broadband deployment. But, at least according to this article from The Hill, are actively opposing measures, such as the Community Broadband Act, that Democrats say would help advance better broadband. Instead, Republicans favor legislation including H.R.… Keep Reading

Bi-Partisan Congressmen: Trump Administration Lost Technology Leverage with China by Removing ZTE Ban

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018 - A Republican congressman on Wednesday criticized the U.S. government’s treatment of the ZTE ban as a waste of an opportunity that could have given the U.S. a leg up in the race for new technology. Earlier, the Commerce Department announced that the U.S. has signed an agreement to lift the… Keep Reading

Public-Private Partnerships, Local Involvement Central to Colorado Broadband Success

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2018 - Colorado broadband officials stressed the importance of public-private partnerships in extending broadband access to unserved Americans in rural areas, and expressed doubts that the so-called fifth-generation wireless standard dubbed 5G will be the answer to closing the digital divide. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Schools, Health, & Libraries… Keep Reading

Smart Agriculture Needs Better Broadband in Rural Areas, Say NTIA Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2018 – The lack of broadband coverage in rural areas is impeding the agriculture sector from making greater use of “precision farming,” according to experts speaking at a Commerce Department webinar on Wednesday. Speaking at a National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar on “Smart Agriculture: Increasing Productivity Through Technology” hosted by BroadbandUSA,… Keep Reading

Digital Advertising Experts Square Off on Privacy Against Skeptical Members of Congress

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2018 - Top digital advertising experts defended the importance of data collection against a committee skeptical of ad companies’ ethics. With data privacy increasingly at the forefront of tech policy debate, a June 14 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the digital advertising ecosystem became a flashpoint for the debate between… Keep Reading

Blockchain Brings Distributed Computing to Automating More Than Simply Bitcoin

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Blockchain is beginning to be recognized as much more than simply the technology powering Bitcoin. As this understanding seeps into the popular consciousness, policy-makers will begin to recognize how significant this innovation is for distributed computing and automating processes - financial, transactional, logistical and legal. Shane Tews at AEI Ideas delves into… Keep Reading

Justice Department Weighs in on Whether Politics Motivated the Lawsuit Against AT&T-Time Warner Merger

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2018 – Was a federal district court judge’s decision to permit AT&T’s merger with Time Warner a victory for the rule or law over politics – or was it instead another defeat for the consumer at the hand of ever-consolidating mega-entities? That question permeated Tuesday’s conference on “Free Speech and Democracy in… Keep Reading

Democrats Mourn Loss of Net Neutrality, But Industry Supporters Call it a New Day

This article was written and reported by Andrew Feinberg and Heather Heimbach. WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 - As the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Obama-era network neutrality rules took effect Monday, Democrats and net neutrality advocates vowed to continue the effort to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to roll back the new FCC rules.… Keep Reading

Senate Democrats’ Vote Against Net Neutrality Repeal a ‘Political Tool,’ Charges TechFreedom

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2018 – Before the official date on which the Federal Communications Commission’s action changing net neutrality were to go into effect, conservative technology experts slammed a recent Senate vote to restore those Obama-era network neutrality protections “The [Congressional Review Act vote] is purely being used as a political tool, and it is… Keep Reading

Pew Charitable Trusts Announces New Broadband Research Effort

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2018 – The Pew Charitable Trusts recently announced a new broadband research effort amid concerns that government’s past data collection methods are not enough to inform policy makers on the nation’s broadband access gap. In a May 30 webinar event on this new broadband research initiative focused on improving data collection methods… Keep Reading

Broadband Technology is Powering a New Generation of TV Startups, Including Jeffrey Katzenberg’s

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: With Jeffrey Katzenberg getting into the game, we now see a multitude of video entities and many over-the-top outfits promoting an array of content offerings. Katzenberg's take? Short-form TV. Let a thousand flowers bloom! Katzenberg’s NewTV Video Startup Raises $800 Million, from Bloomberg Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg has secured about $800 million… Keep Reading

ZTE Not Part Of China Trade Talks, Will Not Be Let Off ‘Scot-Free’ If Export Ban Is Lifted, Kudlow Says

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2018 — Finding a way to allow Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE back into US markets is not part of the Trump administration's ongoing trade talks with China and any solution will still punish the company for past actions, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday. Kudlow described ZTE as "part of… Keep Reading

Kudlow Says US Has ‘Always Had A Security Concern’ On ZTE, Trump Reversal Was At Chinese Leader’s Request

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2018 -- National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Thursday said President Donald Trump's calls to reverse a Commerce Department order banning the Chinese telecommunications equipment firm ZTE from exporting American products came in response to a request from Chinese president Xi Jinping. "I think the president is responding to a request from President Xi to take another… Keep Reading

Senate Votes 52-47 To Advance Bill Restoring Obama-era Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2018 -- Senate Democrats on Wednesday joined forces with Republicans Susan Collins, John Kennedy, R-La. and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak. to approve a bill which rolls back the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of network neutrality rules enacted under former President Obama, 52-47 The bill, S.J. Res. 52, is a so-called resolution of disapproval… Keep Reading

Blair Levin’s Scathing Takedown of FCC’s Ajit Pai, Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and 5G Hype

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We were present at the Broadband Communities Summit at which Blair Levin gave these remarks; thanks to the Coalition for Local Internet Choice for providing the complete and unvarnished record of this important and scathing speech. Remember that Levin was the former executive director of the FCC's ambitious National Broadband Plan, issued… Keep Reading

How Delaware is Promoting Better Broadband State-wide, Including in Rural Areas

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This great piece from a news site devoted to state, county and municipal government tackles what one state is doing in order to advance better broadband throughout its state. All states include a rural component (more or less), and Delaware shows that state-wide broadband planning can help to put broadband deployment on… Keep Reading

Why 5G Wireless Deployments Are Not an In-Home Solution for Better Broadband

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This falls into the category of a gaffe, or when a politically-minded business like AT&T accidentally tells the truth. Here, the truth is that 5G is not, current hype notwithstanding, a fiber-to-the-home killer. Instead, 5G will rely more directly on fiber build deeper into neighborhoods. And, as AT&T said, fiber-to-the-home would be… Keep Reading

How the Trump Administration’s Trade Politics are Slipping into the Fiber Broadband World

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The Trump administration's protectionism is already having significant impacts on many American businesses and industries, and may begin to have significant impacts on the fiber broadband world. This post by Doug Dawson outlines some of the moves in Washington against both Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese telecommunications manufacturing giants. Incidentally, I had… Keep Reading

Goldman Sachs-Based Consortium to Acquire U.K.-Based CityFibre, Pioneer of the Wholesale Open Access Broadband

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We've been watching the progress of CityFibre closely because of what it is demonstrating on the other side of the pond: The future of broadband is in wholesale. Separating infrastructure from services provides significant advantages in being able to raise capital. This is necessary to construct gigabit fiber networks in order to… Keep Reading

Wireless Infrastructure is One Piece of the Broadband Puzzle for Rural America

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The role of wireless, which is one key piece of the broadband puzzle for rural areas, will be considered at the New America Foundation on Tuesday at Noon, together with Kelsey Guyselman, policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and an array of industry players. Spectrum as… Keep Reading

Facebook and Net Neutrality Aside, Local Broadband Leaders Can Make a Difference

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: While Washington alternatively obsesses over net neutrality, beating up on Facebook, or other distractions brought to us by the man in the White House, how refreshing is it to encounter a piece like this. Mark Howell is demonstrating that leadership on a local level can make a difference in bringing people what… Keep Reading

Beyond the Hype: Emerging 5G Technologies Aren’t Significantly Different From Existing LTE, Say Industry Leaders

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This is from Dave Burstein, a telecom geek/journalist/gadfly, and who frequently has some interesting observations about broadband technologies, and the politics behind them. In this pieces, he's reporting on the thoughts of leaders in the mobile industry, to the effect of just how overblown is the hype behind 5G wireless technologies. No… Keep Reading

As Zuckerberg Continues Hill Testimony, Privacy Takes Backseat To ‘Censorship’ Accusations

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2018 – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrived at the Rayburn House Office Building Wednesday for the second day of his first trip to Capitol Hill as a witness, this time before members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. His prepared testimony was the same, but the atmosphere was quite different. Not… Keep Reading

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Began Testimony Before Senate Committee with an Apology for Company’s History

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2018 – After months of seemingly-unending scandal over his company’s role in the 2018 election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began his first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday by making it clear he was well aware of the laundry list of problems with the company he created 14 years… Keep Reading

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