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Infrastructure

Building the internet infrastructure necessary to power Smart Cities, ignite innovation in Rural America, and unlock the potential of public-private partnerships.

Infrastructure/White House

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Designed to Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2017 —President Donald Trump on Monday signed a new executive order to streamline the nation’s infrastructure permitting processes.The order, which Trump signed during a ceremony at his New York City residence, will “ensure that the Federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.” Major infrastructure projects — which… 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

FCC/Rural Telecom/Wireless

Sens. Gardner and Hassan Introduce AIRWAVES Act, Greeted Positively by All Sides

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2017 — A pair of senators on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan bill which they hope will improve wireless networks in underserved rural areas of the United States. The aptly named Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum (AIRWAVES) Act, introduced by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, and Cory Gardner,… Keep Reading

President Trump Remains Committed to Moving Broadband Through Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2017 — President Donald Trump is committed to moving an infrastructure bill this year despite making little legislative progress towards on other policy goals, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday. “The President has been very outspoken on the need for a massive overhaul to the country’s infrastructure system,”… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/NTIA/Senate

Verizon Senior Vice President Peter Davidson Questioned on Data and Science at Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – At a Wednesday confirmation hearing for Peter Davidson to be general counsel of the Department of Commerce and others, Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said the country needed data-driven leadership. Chairman John Thune, R-South Dakota, introduced Davidson and the other nominees. Davidson was senior vice president of… Keep Reading

Rural Telecom/Wireless

New America Foundation Panel Promotes a Hybrid Wireless-Fiber Network Architecture

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – The New America Foundation’s wireless project promoted a hybrid fiber and wireless technology approach at a Tuesday event, “Shared Spectrum as a Fiber Extension,” discussing ways to make high-speed broadband internet more available through an additional 500 megahertz of wireless spectrum. Moderated by Michael Calabrese, director of the wireless future… Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Big Focus of House Oversight Subcommittee Hearing, With Stark Partisanship

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 – The official topic of Tuesday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing was reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission, but the big focus was on net neutrality. “The Commission’s decision in 2015 to reclassify the internet as a public utility was a power grab laced with the irony of suffocating the… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/White House

Pushing Infrastructure Through Executive Order, Trump Creates Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – With Congress heading towards the August recess without any sign of the administration’s promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order creating a new Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure. The advisory council – which will operate under the auspices of the Commerce Department –… 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

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

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

Trump’s Message to Tech and Telecom: We’ll Eliminate Regulations Hindering Growth

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump on Thursday told reporters his administration is focused on eliminating regulations that could hinder investment and growth in the technology sector. “My administration has been laser focused on removing the government barriers to job growth and prosperity,” Trump said during the White House’s American Leadership in Emerging… 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

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

During ‘Infrastructure Week’ at the White House, One Wonders: Where’s the Infrastructure?

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2017 — Despite giving this week the title of “Infrastructure Week” at the White House, President Donald Trump and his staff haven’t taken any public actions to make digital infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband, a part of their plans for the much-discussed infrastructure bill. “On infrastructure, the President has said all along… 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

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association Urges FCC to Finalize Citizens’ Broadband Radio Rules

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2017 – The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association and 17 other organizations and companies on Thursday urged the Federal Communications Commission to finalize rules governing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. “We write today to encourage the FCC to remain committed to the rules it adopted in 2015 and affirmed in 2016, and… 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

Trump Infrastructure Plan Articulates Four Core Principles for Public-Private Investment

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: There is an important linkage between the growing discussion about public-private partnerships in broadband, and the call for greater infrastructure investment by the Trump administration. The four key principles discussed by Trump are (1) targeted federal investments, encourage self-help by local government, re-align agencies providing infrastructure investment, and (4) leveraging the private… Keep Reading

Wharton School Presents Research and Policy Discussion Critical of Municipal Fiber

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We’ll be looking for some alternative analysis of this material. Interesting to see that this is becoming such a focus of certain industry observers and interests. || Municipal Fiber in the U.S.: An Empirical Assessment of the Financial Performance, from Wharton’s Public Policy Initiative: Many municipalities have already built municipal-owned fiber networks… 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

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

Microtrenching and Fixed Wireless Part of Google Fiber’s New Playbook in Louisville

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This development highlights that Google Fiber isn’t done with fiber builds — just exploring new methods and models with which to carry forward. || Google Fiber officially selects Louisville, KY to run its new gigabit play, from Tech Republic: Google Fiber has confirmed that the next city to receive its gigabit internet… Keep Reading

Broadband News/Fiber

Recently Introduced Maine Bill Could Stymie Municipal and Public-Private Fiber Builds

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A concerning new development from Maine. Thanks to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for raising this issue through this alert. || Bill Introduced in Maine Legislature to Limit Local Authority over Broadband Investment, from Community Broadband Networks: Maine State Representative Nathan Wadsworth (R-Hiram) introduced a bill to revoke local authority over building… 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

Now Coming in Broadband Infrastructure: The Battle Over Pole Attachments and ‘One Touch’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: One of the most interesting questions in broadband infrastructure today centers around dry legalities like “dig once” and “one touch.” This conflict in Louisville shows that Google still intends to stay in the battle, at least on the policy and legal front, vis-a-vis incumbents like AT&T. || Legal bills mount as Louisville… Keep Reading

California Broadband Politics Concerning Building Conduits in State Rights-of-Way

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: By taking this action, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has likely avoided the fate of a bill that would require the agency to add conduit to infrastructure projects. See Steve Blum’s perspective below, and on the link. || Caltrans buries dig once conduit bill, from Tellus Venture Associates: Under a veto… Keep Reading

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