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Rural Telecom - page 5

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

Reflections on ‘Sustainable Adoption’ for Round 2 of Broadband Stimulus

LAKE FOREST, Ill., January 11, 2010 - Last July when the Round 1 of Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program was announced, Don Samuelson suggested that public housing authorities across the country ought to be applying to BTOP for financial assistance to promote the use of the Internet by their senior residents: “Every public housing authority in the United States should apply for stimulus funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency to set up a program to promote the benefits and use of the Internet for its senior housing residents. The goal should be to make the case for the practical benefits of broadband and the Internet sufficiently compelling so that seniors would want a computer and Internet connection in their individual units. The use of the Internet should be as valuable as a TV or a phone. This is a 'value proposition' that remains to be made. ” It appears that no one followed the suggestion. There were no sustainable adoption proposals in the first round of BTOP for senior housing. We’ve since updated our analysis and refined our thinking. Keep Reading

NTCA Letter To Commerce Committee Counters Prior Call By Techies

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2009 – An association representing locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies in rural America sent a letter Friday to members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce urging lawmakers to oppose a recent request by a number of tech companies to ban state regulation of internet protocol-based services. Keep Reading

FCC Releases First Draft of National Broadband Plan After Weighing Record

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2009 – The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday laid out a rough draft of its national broadband plan after weighing through 66,000 pages of written comments, 27 public notices, 100 items posted on its “blogband” web site, and 700 blog comment posted to the record. But the agency says it is still difficult to answer key questions that must be addressed within two months time, or by February 17, 2010. Keep Reading

Education and Entertainment Seen as Essential to Minority Adoption

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2009 - In order to provide universal broadband, national policymakers will need to better understand and motivate under-indexed minority groups. That was the message at the Internet Innovation Alliance’s ‘Universal Broadband: Access for All Americans’ conference on Thursday. “It’s a question of knowledge and accessibility just as much as it is affordability," said Cornell Belcher, pollster and President of Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies. Keep Reading

Rockefeller, Hutchison Would Expand Lifeline Program to Broadband

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2009 - The Broadband Opportunity and Affordability Act, which would direct the FCC to expand the Universal Service Fund's Life Line program to support broadband service, as well as explore programs to subsidize computer ownership for low-income Americans, was introduced in the Senate late Friday with bipartisan support from members of the Senate Commerce Committee. Keep Reading

Universal Service Fund Needs Overhaul, and Most Want Broadband Included

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2009 - The Universal Service Fund is in need of an overhaul to equalize costs among stakeholders and modernize programs to include broadband services, a group of industry representatives and regulators told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet during a Tuesday hearing. The hearing examined a discussion draft of the Universal Service Reform Act of 2009, authored by subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. The Universal Service program, which existed for decades before being codified in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, is under "tremendous pressure" and requires a comprehensive effort to reform its operations, Boucher said during opening remarks. Keep Reading

Smart Grid/Universal Service

Rep. Matsui Wants Low-Income Broadband Program

WASHINGTON, November 14, 2009 - Congresswoman Doris Matsui touted legislation in a speech Friday that would require the Federal Communications Commission to create a program that would enable qualifying low-income customers to purchase broadband service at reduced prices. Under the bill filed last month, H.R.3646, the government would reimburse broadband providers for each low-income customer served and ensure that the program would be neutral to different technologies. Keep Reading

Google Voice Controversy with AT&T Freshens Up Access Charges Battle

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2009 - Access charges are well above the actual costs to connect telephone calls, despite the efforts made by the Federal Communications Commission, said Andy Regitsky of Regitsky and Associates, in a webinar presentation on “Access Charges and Network costs - A Guide to FCC Reform,” hosted by CCMI. “The FCC is not ready to give control over access charges which have been flawed for the 25 years of their existence,” said Regitsky. Keep Reading

First County to Declare Broadband a Legal Right: Not Finland, but Switzerland

October 31, 2009 - Finland made headlines earlier this month in declaring that broadband had become a legal right. While this startled some people, the Finns were not the first people to declare this – the Swiss were. Further, in 2003, at the World Summit on the Information Society, a declaration of principles was drafted and signed by a number of nations around the world, including the United States. Keep Reading

D.C. Circuit Seemed to Support FCC Position on Universal Service: Report

The universal service fund has been growing at an alarming rate over the past few years, and in order to curb its growth the Federal Communications Commission choose to cap the amount of support a competitive eligible telecommunications company could receive in 2008. The Rural Cellular Association filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit court of appeals to remove this cap. The court seemed to support the position of the FCC in capping the fund, according to a Monday research report by Stifel Nicholas. Keep Reading

Wireline, Wireless Providers Clash on USF Reform, Special Access, Adoption in Broadband Strategy Comments

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2009 - In comments filed Monday before the Federal Communications Commission on its plan to unveil a national broadband strategy, Old foes got a fresh chance to spar over long-standing battles on Special Access rates, Universal Service reform, and deployment versus adoption rates as a metric for success. Keep Reading

Universal Service

Boucher Wants Cable To Play The NTIA/RUS Grant Game

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 - The NTIA/RUS broadband grant program is "a landmark opportunity" for the cable industry, House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., said Thursday during a speech at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's annual convention here. Keep Reading

Universal Service

Among Friends, Boucher Stays on Message at CDT Gala

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2009 - As 700 of Washington's technology and political elite gathered Tuesday night at the Center for Democracy and Technology's annual fundraising gala, guests celebrated new-found progress and the hope brought by a new administration, but called for further action to fulfill many of the organization's longstanding goals. Keep Reading

Universal Service

Resolution on FCC Reform Divides NARUC Committee; Universal Service Fund Changes Less Controversial

WASHINGTON, February 15, 2009 – State regulatory commissioners are split on how strongly to express longstanding grievances with Federal Communications Commission processes. A resolution on reform of FCC management and practices dominated the agenda as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners continued its winter meeting Sunday. Keep Reading

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