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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.

Phoenix Center Releases Results of Study Documenting Lower Broadband Investment from 2015

US Telecom recently released an update to its U.S. broadband industry capital spending series. Ford’s analysis shows that while the decline in capital spending in 2015 and 2016 stopped in 2017, investment in the telecommunications sector is materially compressed, being about $10-to-$13 billion (or 12-to-15%) below expectations in 2017 with nearly $24-to-$30 billion in investment lost to the Title II drama since 2015. Keep Reading

Infrastructure/Press Releases

Regional Broadband Conference in Connecticut on Thursday, November 8

NEW BRITAIN, Conn., November 2, 2018 - Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz is pleased to announce a broadband conference entitled, Connected New England: A Regional Broadband Convening at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut, (300 Capitol Ave.), Room 2C, on November 8, 2018, from 9:00 am – 4:30 p.m. Registration is required, but the event is free for government, academic, and non-profit employees to attend, while the registration fee for others will be $150. Press are invited to attend. The event is being co-hosted by Next Century Cities, a non-profit coalition of innovative municipalities that recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit level internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, ensure civic participation, and connect residents to new opportunities. Keep Reading

Commissioner O’Rielly Raises Another Concern about Municipal Broadband: The ‘First Amendment’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Critics of municipal involvement with broadband infrastructure will find all manner of reasons to oppose them, and this article from Motherboard elaborates on Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly's views about the subject. This appears to be an extension of the thinking that, just as cable networks enjoyed a First Amendment right to… Keep Reading

On Broadband, California Again Leads the Way in Helping Promote Rural Broadband

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: There's no question that California courts controversy, in technology and telecommunications as well as many other spaces. However, putting aside the drama over net neutrality, this bill removing restrictions on the public option will aid rural broadband. In particular, the measure allows community service districts to fund broadband much as they would… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Spectrum

Phoenix Center Proposes a ‘Transaction Window’ to Facilitate Spectrum Transfers

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2018 - The Phoenix Center on Friday released a new report on how the existence of a “transaction window” could help facilitating market-based repurposing of electromagnetic spectrum. The eight-page report, “Expediting Spectrum Repurposing Through Market Transactions,” presents an economic model for a two-stage process: First, incumbent licensees are would be granted a… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Wireless

Bruce Mehlman: Accelerating 5G Will Be Good for America

What did you do on your summer vacation? Major broadband network operators spent the season making plans to deploy superfast 5G wireless broadband. 5G is the communications technology that offers broadband speeds of up to a hundred times faster than 4G, lower “latency” (basically, faster response time), and other benefits that will power the Internet… Keep Reading

A New Public-Private Model for Gigigabit Broadband Gains Ground in Saratoga Springs, New York

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: SiFi Networks appears to be gaining some traction in the U.S., based upon this report from Telecompaper. The company bring a public-private partnership model to a universal broadband build within cities, helping cities to get gigabit symmetrical service -- and to have control and/or ownership at the end of a period of… Keep Reading

Community Broadband Efforts Alive and Thriving in Ohio, Maryland and Utah

PITTSBURGH, August 16, 2018 - Big telecommunications providers are not making it easy for communities to step up and offer robust broadband service, even in low-density areas that the private sector has declined to serve for years, according to experts speaking at a July 23 Next Century Cities conference here. Among the local examples: Medina… 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

FCC Passes ‘One Touch Make Ready,’ Designed to Speed Broadband Deployment, on a Split Vote

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018 – The Federal Communications Commission voted to pass the new, so-called “One Touch Make Ready” policy, a measure designed to accelerate pole attachment processes for new broadband deployments. At the agency’s monthly open meeting today, the commissioners voted 3-1 to shift the framework for pole attachments to permit “simple” make-ready processes… Keep Reading

While Google and Verizon Favor ‘One Touch Make Ready,’ Comcast and AT&T Want to Drag Heels

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018 - Google Fiber and Verizon split with AT&T and Comcast over the so-called “One-Touch Make-Ready” policy, with the former claiming that the need for faster deployment speeds make the policy essential, and the other side claiming it oversteps existing rules and jurisdiction for pole attachment regulation. Later on Thursday, the Federal… 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

FCC Chairman Attempts to Assuage Local Government Anger Against the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018 – In advance of the Federal Communications Commission’s open meeting on Thursday, agency Chairman Ajit Pai announced a local government representative as the new vice chair of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. The announcement may be one more volley in the back-and-forth feud between local governments and the agency over a… 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

Asia/Senate/Spectrum/Wireless

In the Senate, T-Mobile and Sprint Chiefs Say Their Proposed Merger is Necessary Because of Global 5G Race With China

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2018 – The CEO of T-Mobile on Wednesday defended his company’s proposed merger with Sprint against skeptical senators, claiming the merger is necessary in order for the U.S. to win the race for 5G wireless service against China. A Senate subcommittee hearing investigating the competitive effects of the proposed merger on the… Keep Reading

AT&T CEO Says Hiring Cohen Was ‘Big Mistake’ As Questions On Trump Administration Lawsuit Are Revived

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2018 - AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Friday announced that the company was parting ways with the executive responsible for hiring Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen in an apparent effort to grease the skids for the company’s merger with Time-Warner. The revelations of the AT&T payment to Cohen revived questions over whether Trump… 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

As Johnson Takes Oath At RUS, Purdue Remains ‘Hopeful’ On Infrastructure Plan Prospects

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2018 -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday said he is "always hopeful" that progress will be made on President Trump's $1.5 billion infrastructure plan, even as Congress shifts its focus to the upcoming primary election season. "I'm always hopeful," he said when asked about the plan's prospects shortly after a swearing-in… 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

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

Infrastructure

How County Governments Can Step Up their Broadband Game and Benefit Rural Broadband

AUSTIN, April 24, 2018 - The Rural Telecommunications Congress track at the Broadband Communities Summit here next week kicks off with a discussion about county-led economic development, and features the top technologies leaders from three divergent counties that each include different perspectives on delivering rural broadband. I'll have the privilege of moderating our first discussion, which… 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

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

More Federal Spending on Rural Broadband Could Come Through Omnibus Budget Bill

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Rural priorities are again receiving additional emphasis in the draft spending legislation currently before Congress. Though the proposed $600 million is lower than the $2.5 billion that some had been discussing, the pending Trump infrastructure package could allocate still more funds to rural broadband priorities. Although omnibus budget bills are considered "must… Keep Reading

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Discuss Broadband at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2018 – Questions about how the federal government will be involved in rolling out the next-generation infrastructure for wireless, known as 5G (for 5th generation) remained after a Wednesday infrastructure hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee. “With the rise of the internet and cell phones, we face the new challenge of building… Keep Reading

What to Take from What Trump Just Did to Broadcom-Qualcomm Deal

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A great summary of what to take away from the Trump administration's blocking of Broadcom's acquisition attempt for Qualcomm, an action that appears to be have been taken quite precipitously. According to The New York Times' story on the subject, "A presidential action against foreign investment in an American company is rare and… Keep Reading

Applications for Municipalities and States to Join Key FCC Intergovernmental Advisory Committee Due Monday

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2018 - Local government officials seeking to offer a corrective tonic on broadband deployment to the Federal Communications Commission may consider applying for the expanded Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. Nominations for the more-than-10-year-old group are due on Monday, March 12, at 6 p.m. ET, according to a public notice published by the FCC… Keep Reading

Bob Frankston: From Net Neutrality to Seizing Opportunity for New Networks

Network neutrality is an important issue. We mustn’t allow transport owners to limit our ability to communicate. But, network neutrality in itself positions the internet as a telecommunications service. We need to step back and recognize that the internet itself is part of a larger shift wrought by software. I thought about this more when… Keep Reading

With a Potential Sale of Fiber Assets, Where is Windstream Going as a Telecom Company?

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Windstream seems to increasingly be trying to talk and act like an AT&T or Verizon Communications. This article highlights some strong aspects to his heritage as a back-haul fiber-optic provider. If this division is sold, it might mark the continued evolution toward telecom giant status. Windstream weighs potential sale of certain fiber assets,… Keep Reading

Trump Administrations Unveils Details of Infrastructure Incentives, Including Spending on Rural Broadband

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2018 – President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled details of his plan to spur $1.5 trillion in new investment to revitalize the nation’s crumbling infrastructure with a combination of $200 billion worth of matching funds and block grants to be funded from to-be-determined budget savings. "We're going to get the roads in… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Releases Details of $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Leveraging $200 Billion in Federal Funds

WASHINGTON, February 11, 2018 – After a year of promises, President Donald Trump on Monday is expected to unveil his long-awaited proposal for revamping the nation’s infrastructure. The plan, which was previewed by a senior White House official over the weekend, is designed to stimulate investment with an injection of limited federal funds and streamlining… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Plans to Unveil Infrastructure Principles, Including for Broadband, on February 12

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2018 – The Trump administration will unveil principles for its long-awaited plan to spend $1.5 trillion on revamping the nation’s infrastructure this coming Monday, a White House official confirmed to BroadbandBreakfast.com. Trump alluded to the forthcoming plan during his first State of the Union address last week, when he called on Congress… Keep Reading

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