Better Broadband Better Lives

House Small Business Subcommittee Takes Testimony on Need for Better Broadband in Rural Minnesota

“The lack of adequate broadband has become a crisis in rural areas,” Isanti County Broadband Task Force Member Greg Carlson said at a field hearing in the rural Minnesota town of Scania on Thursday. The hearing, entitled “Small Businesses and Their Limitations Without Reliable Access to Rural Broadband,” was held at Bulltear Industries in Washington… Keep Reading

Is Broadband Coverage Getting Better? FCC Critics Say Agency Data is Part of the Problem

The divide between rural and urban internet access has “narrowed substantially,” according to an annual report recently released by the FCC. However, The Verge reported that several experts are debating the accuracy of this data. The report is based on data provided from service providers, which may overstate availability or be otherwise incorrect. One minor… Keep Reading

Congress/Privacy

Privacy and Civil Liberties Board Considers Three Ways for Congress to Address Controversial Surveillance Program

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2019 - Congress needs a plan for how to proceed when certain provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act, including the controversial call detail records program, expires in December, said speakers at a public forum held by members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Friday. According to Caroline Lynch, former… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Georgia State Plan, New Bills in Alabama, and Launch in Loveland, Colorado

Approximately 1.6 million residents of rural Georgia currently lack high-speed internet access, but this could change under a new state broadband plan (PDF) released this month, AJC reported. According to Georgia officials, this will have a major impact on schools, hospitals, farmers, and more. The plan requires the government to map areas in the state that… Keep Reading

Press Release: Benton Foundation Opposes Proposal to Cap Fund to Close Digital Divide

On May 31, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes imposing an overall cap on the Universal Service Fund. USF programs provide subsidies that make telecommunications and broadband services more available and affordable for millions of Americans. The following may be attributed to Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne B.… 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

USDA Announces Loans to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Upgrade Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $858 million in loans to upgrade rural electric systems across 17 states, benefiting around 450,000 consumers. Approximately 7.5% of this funding will be used to finance smart grid technologies, allowing for more efficient electricity transmissions and improved security. “Investing in our nation’s electric… Keep Reading

AI Likely to Bring Changes to Warfare, Including Potential De-escalation of Military Conflict, Say Panelists

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2019 – The development of artificial intelligence will bring extreme changes to the future of warfare, a panel of scientists said Thursday, calling the impact of current advances analogous to the development of agriculture or the domestication of the horse. The panel was hosted by the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank… 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

Pew Charitable Trusts to Launch Interactive Database on State Broadband Deployment

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This is fabulous news. Pew has one of the best reputations for consistent, credible, and long-lasting research on broadband adoption. Coupled with the launch of its Broadband Research Initiative earlier this year, this begins to address some of the issues and complexities, and get us out of the messy world of inadequate broadband… Keep Reading

Livestream of Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing on LIFT America Act at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, Plus Insight Into $40 Billion for Broadband

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce will conduct a hearing on H.R. 2741, or Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act. Introduced by committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., the measure includes $40 billion, over five years, to deploy broadband. The livestream for the hearing will be available on this page at 10 a.m. ET. The Democrats' staff… Keep Reading

Cord-Cutting Rises as Consumers Shift to Streaming Over-the-Top Video, According to NTIA Survey

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: That latest internet use survey from the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that the proportion of internet users watching videos online has grown from 45 percent in 2013 to 70 percent in 2017. The organization added a question about over-the-top vide viewing to its survey in order to track trends and… Keep Reading

Asia/FCC/zBroadband News

Commerce Department Grants 90-Day Reprieve From Huawei Ban, Cites Impact on Rural Broadband Networks

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: On Monday, a mere five days after placing Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei on the "Entity List" of effectively banned companies, the Trump administration signaled a (temporary) reprieve: Effective Monday, U.S. manufacturers will have 90 days in which to find alternatives to Huawei: “The Temporary General License grants operators time to make other… Keep Reading

Utah’s Open Infrastructure Network Releases Timetable for Fiber in Orem; To Complete Buildout by 2022

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: There is much to cheer for better broadband in Utah, including this report from today's Daily Herald. The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, the U.S.'s largest open access network, is on a roll. It is boasting an accelerated buildout in several Utah communities, and commitments to buildout its remaining cities, including Orem.… Keep Reading

Why States and the Federal Government Alike Are Honing in on Broadband Data and Broadband Access

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This OpEd last week highlights the importance of broadband data and mapping, the variety of efforts underway to address inadequacies in our informational base, plus the broadband coordination currently going on in the federal government, and among many of the state governments. Of particular note, later in the articles, is the way it highlights… 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

Next Century Cities Highlights State Action for Broadband, Co-Sponsors Broadband Conference in Idaho

Next Century Cities this week highlights broadband programs in five states, in advance of the “West Central Mountains High Speed Internet Conference” on May 17 in McCall, Idaho. The Friday event is being co-sponsored by the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council and Next Century Cities. With 202 city members, the non-profit Next Century Cities… Keep Reading

Rep. Anna Eshoo Reintroduces Broadband Bills to Lay Conduit, Streamline Pole Attachments and Permit Community Broadband

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Rep. Anna Eshoo on Thursday introduced three separate measures designed to expedite broadband access. The Conduit Deployment Act and the CLIMB Once Act are common-sense measures that enjoy strong support from many players in the industry, at least at a general level. The Community Broadband Act is also a common-sense measure to remove… Keep Reading

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