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.

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

Better Broadband Data Necessary to Make Overdue Improvements in Universal Service Fund, Say Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Without efficient data, the Federal Communications Commission can’t put together a model that shows what the cost would be to cover areas with no wireless coverage, the senior vice president of strategic relations of the broadband company C Spire said at a hearing on Tuesday. The hearing on Capitol Hill… Keep Reading

Slow to the Party, Microsoft’s New Cortana Speech Recognition Provides New Interface Options for Users

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We can expect many more instances in which new interfaces are making technology more compatible with user needs. Underlying it all is faster and better broadband technology. || Microsoft Cortana Speech Recognition Now Allows You To Dictate Text In Office Apps, from Geeky Gadgets: c is bringing Cortana speech recognition technology to… Keep Reading

Agriculture Department Secretary Sonny Perdue Speaks on Trump Administration and Broadband

Editor’s Note: From the press gaggle on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, between White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Waters, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and members of the press, about broadband internet services: PRESS GAGGLE BY DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY LINDSAY WALTERS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SONNY PERDUE Aboard Air Force One En Route Cedar Rapids, Iowa… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Officially Announces Broadband as Part of Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would add broadband internet access to his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal drew praise from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai despite the lack of details regarding how the Trump Administration would go about promoting more widespread broadband deployment. “I am grateful to President Trump for his… Keep Reading

White House Will Host 25 Technology Founders and CEOs Thursday to Discuss 5G, Broadband and the Economy

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — The White House on Thursday plans to continue its “tech week” by hosting a group of 25 technology company founders and CEOs to meet with Trump Administration officials on new technologies and promoting economic progress, Deputy Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said on Wednesday. “Tomorrow I’m very excited for [the… Keep Reading

Before Congress, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Defends 5 Percent Budget Cut and Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — Cuts in the Federal Communications Commission budget won’t hinder the agency’s ability to provide services because the agency is entirely funded by fees, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told senators on Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing to examine the Commission’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. “[W]e have compiled… Keep Reading

Inaugural Meeting of CEO-Driven American Technology Council Seeks to Highlight Cyber-Security Protections

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — President Donald Trump on Monday kicked off the White House’s “tech week” by calling for a “sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology” while speaking during the first meeting of the American Technology Council. The effort of information technology company CEOs – which Trump called an “incredible group” during their… Keep Reading

Panelists at Tech Event Hope that Trump Administration Will Rally to Cause of Global Internet Freedom

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2017 – Internet freedom has declined worldwide for six consecutive years, said Stuart Brotman, a nonresident fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, citing Freedom House at a panel Wednesday. The panel about global internet freedom under the Trump administration took place at Brookings. Besides moderator Brotman, the… Keep Reading

How Broadband Mapping Can Help Communities with Chronic Health Conditions

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force last week announced updates to a broadband mapping platform to allow communities and businesses to better use high-speed internet to help patients with chronic health conditions. “As a famous writer once said, ‘data are just summaries of thousands of stories,’” Michele Ellison, chairwoman… Keep Reading

There Was Little to Show for Digital Broadband During the ‘Infrastructure Week’ at the White House

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2017 — Despite myriad public events and a soundbyte-friendly title of “Infrastructure Week,” last week the White House was light on infrastructure and nearly empty of plans to build out 21st century digital infrastructure of fiber or wireless broadband. “There’s not going to be a lot of detail at this time,” a… Keep Reading

Two Municipal Broadband Groups Criticize Data and Analysis in U. Penn Paper

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2017 – Two organizations supportive of municipal broadband advocacy efforts last week issued differing reports critical of a May 24 report by a University of Pennsylvania professor. The report, by Christopher Yoo and Timothy Pfenninger, was titled “Municipal Fiber in the United States: An Empirical Assessment of Financial Performance,” and it concluded… Keep Reading

Bringing Fiber-Optics to Maryland’s Eastern Shore Requires Champions and Partners, Say Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2017 – Champions, partnerships and flexibility are necessary to bring fiber-optic networks to less-populated communities, said participants involved in launching such a network in Kent County, Maryland. Speaking at a Friday panel was hosted at the Schools Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Annual Conference here, the executive director of the State Education… Keep Reading

Digital Inclusion

Panel at Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Calls Attention to Online ‘Stars’ and ‘Cliques’

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2017 – Providing broadband service to schools, libraries and other nonprofit organizations is more difficult than commercial customers because of the way they struggle with funding, said Katherine Messier of Mobile Beacon at a Friday panel at the 2017 conference of the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition. Mobile Beacon, a nonprofit… 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

How Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Departs From Traditional Federal Funding

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2017 — Infrastructure plans in President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget represent a significant break from his predecessor not only in the brick-and-mortar variety, but also in the next generation of infrastructure for the next generation of the American economy — wired and wireless broadband networks. While infrastructure investment under President Barack Obama… 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

Launching in Huntsville, Alabama, Google Takes Different Approach to Fiber

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The Huntsville combination of open access and leased fiber is a model to watch! || Google Fiber launches in Huntsville, Alabama by leasing new municipal fiber network, from 9to5 Google: First announced over a year ago, Google Fiber is now live in Huntsville, Alabama. Alphabet’s internet connectivity division was able to launch its service… Keep Reading

Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Next Century Cities Address ‘Fiber Fallacies’ of Yoo Report

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Always important to get to the bottom of reports criticizing municipal networks in an incomplete fashion. Bravo to Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Next Century Cities for addressing these. || Addressing UPenn Report: Dud Data, Unsuitable Approach, from Institute for Local Self-Reliance: For the second week in row, our staff has felt… Keep Reading

Average U.S. Broadband Speed Continue to Rise, to 18.7 Mbps, in Akamai Report

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: United States broadband speeds are continuing to rise, according to Akamai’s periodic “state of the internet” report. The more urban “states,” including Rhode Island, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, conventionally do better in these rankings than less-dense states. || Akamai: Average U.S. Broadband Speed Rises to 18.7 Mbps, from Telecompetitor: The… Keep Reading

Trump Budget Proposal To Include $200 Billion for Infrastructure Spending

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Mixed signals emerging from Office of Management Budget about the role of infrastructure in the Trump administration plan. Trump Budget Said to Include $200 Billion for Infrastructure, from Bloomberg: President Donald Trump will propose spending $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years to spur investment in the nation’s infrastructure, a senior… Keep Reading

Budget Cuts by President Trump Take $1.4 Trillion in Non-Defense Agencies

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The best time to release a budget? When the president is away on a foreign trip! Trump to Propose $1.4 Trillion in Cuts to Non-Defense Agencies, from GovExec President Trump, in budget documents to be released on Tuesday, will propose shrinking spending at non-defense agencies by $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years, with… Keep Reading

The Need for Digital Inclusion in the Silicon Slopes Area of Utah

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Even in areas where information technology is booming, like Utah, it’s important to consider the impact that the adoption of broadband technology will have on those who are “less connected.” A look at how Digital Inclusion applies in Utah. || Increasing Digital Inclusion In Utah: ‘The more the tech community understands digital inclusion… 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

Craig Settles: It’s Time for Co-ops To Stand Up and Embrace Broadband

In the battle to deploy broadband, cooperatives (co-ops) can be a decisive force to cover the rural flanks in states with aggressive broadband adoption goals such as California, New York, and Minnesota. In the more rural states, or ones without stated commitments to broadband, co-ops may have to carry the lion’s share of responsibility if… 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

An Examination of the Wealth Disparities in Neighborhoods Served by AT&T’s Fiber Deployment

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A new report from the Haas Institute raises the question that’s been lurking behind the important-to-significant fiber rollouts over the past decade by Verizon, Google and AT&T: Are these providers cherry-picking their neighborhoods? This report drills deeply into AT&T’s deployment. || Digital Divide in California, by the Haas Institute: Californians need high-speed… 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

Federal Communications Chairman Announces Widely-Anticipated ‘Net Neutrality’ Speech on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission announced that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will speak Wednesday afternoon at the Newseum, at an event hosted by the free-market Freedom Works, to lay out his approach to reversing the agency’s “open internet” order under his predecessor, former Chairman Tom Wheeler. The event will be livestreamed… 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

NTIA Press Release for April 19 Webinar on Rural Broadband Adoption and Digital Inclusion

You are invited to join NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team today for a webinar discussing: Strategies for Broadband Adoption and Digital Inclusion in Rural Communities Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 Time: 2:00pm ET Overview:  This webinar will focus on strategies to promote broadband adoption and digital inclusion in rural communities highlighting the role of libraries and university… 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

Ajit Pai Comes to Senate Oversight Hearing, Defends his More Limited Vision of FCC Authority

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai defended his very vision of the agency’s role, as compared with his predecessor, during the first Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing this year. The difference in attitude between Pai and former Chairman Tom Wheeler on broadband deployment highlighted the differences between the two. “High-speed… Keep Reading

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