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?

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 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

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

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

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

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

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 (the predecessor to, 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

The Battle for Rural Broadband is a Subject that Can Unite Red States and Blue States

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Great piece from Ozy, a publication about which we weren't familiar until this article, about the need for, and power of, broadband in rural communities. This, if anything, is an issue that blue states and red states can unite upon! The Battle for the Internet in Rural America, from Ozy So much… Keep Reading

New York State Broadband Funding Provides Dollars in Traditional and Nontraditional Ways

Broadband Breakfast Insight: New York State continues its innovative efforts to provide broadband funding to underserved areas of the state. In addition to funding for traditional and non-traditional telecom companies, the program has received funding from the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline Program. $212 Million in Broadband Funding Awarded to 26 Carriers Including FairPoint, Frontier, and… Keep Reading

New Deal Rural Broadband Act Introduced in House of Representatives Aims to Close Digital Divide

Broadband Breakfast Insight: This is a significant development to see emerging from the House of Representatives, which is generally less focused on rural broadband issues than the Senate. This new measure, the "New Deal Rural Broadband Act," has an array of items, but one significant part appears to be the authorization of the Rural Utility… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Friday Changes to E-Rate May Be the Most Significant of the Turnabouts

Broadband Breakfast Insight: This item from the "Friday news dump" got less attention, but may be the more significant of the measures taken by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. In addition to overturning aspects of the Lifeline changes made by the Obama-era FCC, he and the Republican majority have also "rescinded" an E-Rate report issued… Keep Reading

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