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Wireless

On Educational Broadband, Critics Say FCC’s ‘Unfathomable’ Proposal Will Widen Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2019 — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed order to permit auction of portions of the 2.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band has drawn criticism from many outside the agency, including several members of Congress and even the U.S. Department of Education in the Trump administration. The draft order would eliminate the… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: 5G Needs Fiber, Anchorage Wireless Project and Budgeting for Broadband in Fort Collins

Just because 5G is “around the corner” doesn’t mean fiber optic broadband development is unnecessary, said Ben Lewis-Ramirez of Lit Communities. Ramirez is not the only one with a cynical outlook on 5G’s nationwide rollout. “Deep deployment of fiber optics is a national imperative. The success of 5G wireless will hinge on deep fiber. The… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Gigi Sohn on Wireless Mergers, Utah Ignite Lunch Launch, and New Global Crypto-Currencies

The political turmoil and guess-manship over the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger continues, with 10 state attorney generals filing a lawsuit in New York last week in a federal district court. Unusually, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice did not join the lawsuit. It’s not the first thing that’s unusual about this particular merger review.… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Aims to Further Deploy 2.5 GHz Band of Spectrum for 5G Wireless Networks

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2019 — The Federal Communications Commission will vote in July on whether or not to auction off unused portions of the 2.5 GigaHertz (GHz) spectrum band to advance the deployment of 5G wireless networks. Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement that the order would “modernize an outdated regulatory regime” and “give… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Congress Considers Plans to Improve Mapping, AT&T Launches 5G Phone

After wide bipartisan acknowledgement that broadband map currently being used by the Federal Communications Commission is wildly inaccurate, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has introduced the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, urging the FCC to halt decisions on broadband funding until more accurate data is available. The bill will require the FCC to gather… Keep Reading

Fixed Wireless Could Solve the Digital Divide, if Given the Chance

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2019 — Congress should make it easier for small wireless internet service providers to acquire spectrum and deploy broadband in rural areas, said speakers at a Wednesday panel hosted by the Wireless Internet Service Provider Association. Fixed wireless’ cost-effective deployment has made it the most rapidly growing sector of the broadband industry,… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: NTIA Database on Federal Projects Released, FCC’s Carr Visits Montana and Wyoming, and New Broadband Study

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a comprehensive database of federal broadband programs on Monday. (See also this PDF for the 109-page guide of programs.) The database was created under the American Broadband Initiative’s mandate to expand connectivity for all Americans. The database includes information about billions of dollars in potential grants and loans from several… Keep Reading

Verizon’s Throttling of Santa Clara County Firefighters Discussed by Panel of Net Neutrality Advocates

May 31, 2019 – Verizon Wireless’ slowdown of the Santa Clara County Fire Department’s data plan had a “significant impact” on the department’s ability to respond to last year’s wildfires, according to testimony by Fire Chief Anthony Bowden that featured prominently in a Thursday discussion at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. The incident… Keep Reading

Senate/Spectrum/White House

Government Spectrum Valuation Act by Sen. Mike Lee Would Force Accountability for Federal Radio Frequencies

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Whether or not the government vacates spectrum, Utah Sen. Mike Lee's bill is an important exercise in government accounting for the value of resources that it uses. Sen. Lee Introduces Government Spectrum Valuation Act, from Sen. Mike Lee: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced the Government Spectrum Valuation Act Monday, a bill designed… Keep Reading

Senators Capito and Hassan Re-Introduce the Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Together with her Democratic colleague Sen. Maggie Hassan, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito on Friday introduced legislation designed to establish a national standard that would govern the Federal Communications Commission's determination about whether mobile and broadband services in rural areas are "reasonably comparable" to service provided in urban areas. Capito has also recently introduced a… Keep Reading

Asia/Wireless

Donald Trump Declares Another Emergency, Bans Huawei from U.S. Commerce for Trading With Iran

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019 - Exactly three months after invoking the National Emergencies Act to fund his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump is using emergency powers to enable the Department of Commerce to ban U.S. telecommunications equipment manufacturers from selling chips to the Chinese state-owned equipment manufacturer Huawei. The administration blamed Huawei's… Keep Reading

A Growing Bipartisan Fear of Huawei, and Its Role in 5G Wireless, is Taking Root in Washington

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: On Tuesday, when the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed a growing bi-partisan sense of dismay about Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei and its influence on impending 5G wireless technology standards, Adonis Hoffman of Business in the Public Interest republished the OpEd excerpted below on the Media Institute's blog. The piece, originally published in The Hill,… Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/NTIA/Spectrum

With Resignation of David Redl, NTIA Updates Biography for Now-Acting Administrator Diane Rinaldo

With the sudden resignation of National Telecommunications and Information Administrator David Redl on Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department's NTIA has updated its web page for Diane Rinaldo, formerly the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, and the now-acting administrator of the agency. From the web site: Diane Rinaldo was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary… Keep Reading

Michael O’Rielly: Substantive Objections to a Government 5G Wholesale Network

Over the last few months, various ideas have been floated about the offering of 5G wireless services via a government-sponsored network. This entire effort seems convoluted and borders on the preposterous. Just the notion of the U.S. moving away from the highly-successful, private-sector led approach that is responsible for our country's premier position globally would… Keep Reading

Bruce Mehlman: It’s Fitting that Congress is Focused on Accelerating Our 5G Future

At the beginning of a new Congress, there’s generally an exciting, hopeful spirit, even after the bitter partisanship of the past election.  The issues that new committee chairs choose to focus on upfront are a good indication of their priorities and where they believe progress can be made. In telecommunications, therefore, it’s promising that Senator… Keep Reading

Metro Finally Extends Wireless Coverage to a Portion of Washington Underground

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: It's about time that Metro began covering the Washington subway! Metro, AT&T, Sprint, T‐Mobile and Verizon Wireless announce major milestone in tunnel wireless coverage, from WMATA: December 19, 2018 - Today Metro and the nation’s leading wireless carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless announced that more than half of Metro’s tunnels… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Administration Trial Balloon About Nationalizing 5G Broadband Networks Greeted with Skepticism and Derision

Editor's Note: Updated January 30, 2018, at 8:44 a.m. with statement from the National Security Council. WASHINGTON, January 29, 2018 – The Trump administration has made no decisions regarding a National Security Council proposal to nationalize the forthcoming fifth-generation, or 5G wireless broadband network meant to prevent the network from being exploited for espionage purposes… Keep Reading

Trump Signs Executive Order Expediting Rural Broadband with Federal Lands, Towers and Fiber

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2018 – President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order encouraging rural broadband deployment by speeding up permitting processes for facilities on federal land and allowing wireless broadband equipment to be co-located on federally-owned towers. In addition to the executive order and a second executive action – a memorandum for the… 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

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