Better Broadband Better Lives

Category archive

Rural Telecom

The broadband needs for rural America are great. How will the nation meet the needs for connectivity throughout these areas?

Columbia Journalism Review Weighs in, from Iowa, About the Increasing Digital Divide

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country. Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers… 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 News/Rural Telecom

Discussion on Rural Broadband in Maine on Wednesday, September 12

ROCKPORT, Maine, September 3, 2018 - The Maine State Chamber of Commerce teams up with the Telecommunications Association of Maine to host a roundtable discussion on how to overcome difficulties in funding rural broadband. Featured guests include Dana Connors, president of the Maine Chamber of Commerce (discussing the recent report, "Making Maine Work"), Heather Johnson,… 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

M-Lab Celebrates 10 Years of Broadband Speed Tests, Discusses Work with Schools and Libraries

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2018 - New measures to improve broadband education and access in schools and libraries were among the innovations in broadband data touted on the second day of a conference last week on Measurement Lab. The 10 year anniversary conference was hosted on August 7 and 8 by the New American Foundation, which… Keep Reading

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

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

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

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

FCC Press Release: Wireline Competition Bureau Releases Illustrative Model Results to Aid Preparation of Comments in Response to 2018 Rate-of-Return Reform

SOURCE: The Federal Communications Commission WC Docket No. 10-90 The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces the availability of illustrative model results intended to aid parties that are preparing comments in response to the 2018 Rate-of-Return Reform NPRM.1 In that NPRM, the Commission sought comment on, among other matters, whether to provide a new model offer based… 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

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

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

Look at this 1910 Map of AT&T’s Telephone Wires, an Early Version of ‘Broadband Mapping’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A great visual tidbit of history here. We found it when searching for information about the regulation of AT&T from the 1913 Kingsbury Commitment to the founding of the Federal Communications Commission in 1934. A Telephone Map of the United States Shows Where You Could Call Using Ma Bell in 1910, from… 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

Leaked Copy of Trump Administration’s Infrastructure Plan Shows Few Provisions for Broadband

WASHINGTON, January 22, 2018 – A leaked document purporting to be an outline of the Trump Administration’s forthcoming infrastructure plan makes few provisions for broadband or other digital infrastructure outside of rural areas. The six-page outline, which was first reported by Axios, bears the title of “Funding Principles,” and sets out four programs which will… 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

Trump Administration Turns Focus to Rural Broadband and Dark Fiber at American Farm Bureau Meeting

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2018 – The Trump Administration plans on making increased access to broadband in rural areas a priority as it implements the recommendations of its’ Rural Prosperity Task Force, said National Economic Council Special Assistant for Technology, Telecommunications, and Cybersecurity Grace Koh on Friday. “The White House is very excited about being able… Keep Reading

New Resource from Institute for Local Self-Reliance on Building Fiber in Rural America

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Once again, the folks at the Institute for Local Self Reliance have produced another standout report on how to get better broadband to those parts of American that are not served by the major incumbents. This report focuses on the role that cooperatives are playing, and can continue to play, in making… Keep Reading

Shirley Svorny: Why the Second-Best Solution – Redefining the Locus of Care – Is Needed for Telemedicine

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Telemedicine is one of the most immediately needed high-bandwidth broadband applications, and it promises concrete and easy-to-see benefits. Yet its usage had limited by occupational licensing. In this policy report, CATO Institute Adjunct Scholar Shirley Svorny lays out the case for the best option (eliminating all governmental licensing), a second-best option (defining… Keep Reading

White House Supports FCC Efforts to Close Digital Divide in Efficient Manner

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 — The White House on Friday defended the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to prevent telecommunications service resellers like TracPhone and Simply Wireless from participating in the Universal Service Fund Lifeline program, and to restrict participation in the program to facilities-based providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The Lifeline program allows low-income… Keep Reading

FCC Restricts Options Under the Low-Income Consumer Lifeline Program, to Democratic Outcry

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2017 — In a move harshly condemned by Democrats and consumer advocates, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted along party lines to significantly restrict the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program, which provides subsidies to enable lower-income consumers to purchase basic telecommunications services. The vote took place during a contentious open meeting… Keep Reading

Mignon Clyburn Blasts FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for Failing to ‘Put Consumers First’

WASHINGTON, November 1, 2017 — After nearly a year in the minority on the Federal Communications Commission, Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn  told reporters on Wednesday that she has had enough of a Republican majority that “is not putting consumers first.” “The first 10 months [under Chairman Ajit Pai] have been a direct attack on… Keep Reading

Creatively Tapping the Universal Service Fund to Address Hurricane Maria Damage in Puerto Rico

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing a creative response to repair the damage done by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico by tapping into the Universal Service Fund for necessary infrastructure repairs. A decision on the matter is planned for the agency's October 24 meeting, but could happen sooner. FCC proposes… 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

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

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

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Questioned on Net Neutrality, Rural Broadband, During Re-Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came to his re-confirmation hearing Wednesday with a message that network neutrality regulations were hurting infrastructure investments. The hearing joined Pai, current FCC chairman, with Jessica Rosenworcel, who had been an FCC commissioner until her term lapsed at the end of last year, and… 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

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