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arra

Despite Trump Pledge, Congress and FCC Don’t Appear to Have Appetite for Broadband Infrastructure Investment

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 – Despite high hopes that President Trump’s campaign promise for a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill would lead to additional investment in high-speed internet access, it appears that broadband deployment and accessibility is taking a back seat in Congress to brick-and mortar projects. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week on improving… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

On Friday, Leverett Toasts the First of the ‘Last Mile’ Fiber Optic Networks in Western Massachusetts

LEVERETT, Massachusetts, October 1, 2015 - The first segment of the "last mile" fiber optic network in Western Massachusetts will launch on Friday afternoon with a community event here featuring the president of the state senate, leading state broadband advocates, and an official from the U.S. Commerce Department. Dubbed LeverettNet, the municipal network is the first last mile project built off of the MassBroadband 123 fiber-optic middle mile network. MassBroadband 123 was funded by the Commerce Department's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program of the 2009 federal stimulus legislation. The middle-mile network brought fiber-optic connectivity to Leverett in early 2014. Dozens of other towns in region are planning to build additional fiber to the home last mile networks in their communities. [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Kentucky Deploys State-Wide Fiber Network Through Public Private Partnership with Macquarie Capital

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 21, 2015 - The lieutenant governor of Kentucky, a bevy of state officials and their private sector counterparts here celebrated the finalization of the deal to build a $324 million broadband infrastructure project. The project, KentuckyWired, is a public-private partnership (also dubbed a PPP) of the state and of the Australian financier Macquarie Capital. It is a 3,400-mile open access "middle mile" network that will span all 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In planning, financing and negotiating stages for nearly a year, the Macquarie project closed on September 3, 2015. Bonds are set to be issued and construction of the network - albeit in very early phases - has begun. When completed in 2018, the network will include six fiber rings around regions of the state, and fiber connections to at least one point in every county. The Kentucky Wired network was the highlight and toast of each of four days at the Broadband Communities economic development conference here. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen speaking at Broadband Communities conference in Lexington. [More...] Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Genachowski Touts ‘Incentive Auction’ as Big Win from Broadcasting to Wireless Broadband

LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2013 – When President Obama came to office nearly four years ago, the transition to digital television hadn’t yet been completed. Now, airwaves once used by broadcasters have been cleared for use by wireless companies. And the Federal Communications Commission is going forward on the next stage of this transition. The… Keep Reading

Larry Strickling Cites Public Safety FirstNet As New, Post-Stimulus Broadband Opportunity

ARLINGTON, Va., May 25, 2012 – The new national wireless communications network to serve police, firefighters and other “first responders” may provide a new opportunity to extend broadband stimulus-related activity, a top Commerce Department official said Wednesday. Dubbed FirstNet, this new public safety wireless network was mandated in February by Congress. Lawmakers allocated up to $7 billion that will be dispensed to state entities under the coordination of a new, independent organization at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. States should act fast to develop plans to utilize funding, said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling, who administers the NTIA. “One of the issues [in FirstNet] is how does coverage from this network get into rural areas?” [more...] Keep Reading

What Challenges Are We Still Facing in Seniors Getting Online: What Have We Learned and What Are the Remaining Obstacles?

WASHINGTON Thursday May 17 2012 – Nearly two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) broadband deployment and adoption projects were funded and the National Broadband Plan was adopted, we are still dealing with 100 million Americans who do not receive broadband in the home.  While 65% of the population uses broadband, only… Keep Reading

Obama’s Third Generation of Broadband Policy and the Universal Broadband Imperative

WASHINGTON, August 22, 2011 - The beauty of the internet has always been the disconnection of content and infrastructure. Landline phone service was a one-to-one medium. It required the phone company's infrastructure of wires and switches and telephones. Broadcast television was one-to-many. It relied upon the towers and transmitters of the broadcasters, plus a standard-issue television. Let alone the fact that today we largely watch televisions connected to wires, and largely talk into mobile phones untethered to Ma Bell's cords. There is the wealth of many-to-many communication through the multiplicity of applications that make the internet what it is today. None of this, of course, is new – until one considers Washington's subsidization schemes. Keep Reading

NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative and the Illinois Broadband Map

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, May 4, 2011 - Later today, at 2 p.m. CT, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois will kick off our "Wednesday Webinar" series, beginning with a discussion about the Illinois Broadband Map. Registration for this event is free. PCI feels so passionately about the Illinois Broadband Map because data and information should be central to helping promote sound policies, and because evidence suggests that broadband is a key driver of job creation and economic activity. Keep Reading

Recovery Act/States

State Telecom Regulators Score NTIA and RUS for Unclear Tax Situation; Seek IRS Ruling

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2010 - The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on Monday urged the Treasury Department to clarify the tax implications for the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. NARUC criticized the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department for failing to clarify whether Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program grants, Broadband Infrastructure Program grants, and broadband mapping grants are taxable. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act/States

Partnership for a Connected Illinois Announces Drew Clark as Executive Director; Founder of BroadbandCensus.com to Lead State Broadband Data and Deployment Effort

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, and WASHINGTON, February 25, 2010 – The Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a non-profit organization that includes partnerships with Southern Illinois University, Man-Tra-Con, and Connected Nation, on Thursday announced Drew Clark as its new Executive Director. On Wednesday, PCI also unveiled BroadbandStat, a new interactive mapping tool for viewing and analyzing broadband data. Clark, the founder of BroadbandCensus.com and an experienced, independent telecom industry analyst, brings a unique public interest perspective to broadband data collection, which is vital to the effective deployment of high-speed internet networks throughout the United States. “I’m glad that our team of broadband experts is moving forward to help achieve the ambitious vision for a public, transparent map of technology infrastructure that President Obama and I share,” said Governor Pat Quinn. A long-time advocate of improving broadband access in Illinois, Governor Quinn has worked with public and private partners over many years to ensure connectivity in all areas. Keep Reading

Wireless Broadband Challenges Include Rolling Up WISPS and Obtaining Stimulus Funding

GERMANTOWN, Md., January 31, 2010 - Two of the biggest challenges facing the expansion of wireless broadband in this country include the disparate number of rural and remaote wireless carriers, and how to ensure that stimulus funding goes to wireless carriers. The Wireless Internet Service Provider Directory lists 1,860 WISPs in the U.S., while another directory includes over 2,500. Notwithstanding, there exist numerous other WISPs that are simply not contained in these directories. Keep Reading

Recovery Act/Transparency

NTIA and RUS Launch Dating Service For Broadband Stimulus Applicants

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2010 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service on Thursday launched a new web site designed to foster partnerships and collaborations among broadband stimulus applicants. The launch of the web site - http://match.broadbandusa.gov - comes at a time when the broadband community is eagerly awaiting announcement of the winners of broadband stimulus funding, and the new Notice of Funds Availability regarding the second and final round. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act

NTIA Awards 5 More Broadband Mapping Grants; Total to 41 States is $78 Million

WASHINGTON, December 31, 2009 – The Commerce Department agency responsible for the mapping component of the broadband stimulus program announced, on the last day of the year, that it had funded five more states’ broadband data programs. With the announcement – of funding for broadband data and mapping in Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah and the U.S. Virgin Islands – the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has awarded 41 grants totaling $78 million. There remain 15 awards still to be made – rounding out the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories that submitted applications and are eligible for grant funding. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Recovery Act

The Rise of the Middle Mile in Obama’s Theory of Broadband Stimulus

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2009 - Last Thursday's announcement of broadband stimulus - even if it was about two-and-a-half percent of the total broadband stimulus funding - was like manna to broadband industry. Whether or not broadband activists and broadband builders believe that the federal government will end up playing a significant part of the telecommunications industry, the tension-in-waiting for action has been palpable and long-building. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Broadband Stimulus Rush Begins with $182 Million Dispensed Today in Dawsonville, Ga.; Less Than 3 Percent of Total Funds

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2009 – The White House announced that $182 million in federal funding for broadband stimulus funding will be dispensed Thursday by Vice President Joe Biden at Impulse Manufacturing in the rural town of Dawsonville, Ga. The initial grants are the first of a $2 billion disbursement in broadband funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act over the next 75 days, the White House said. The funding, said the White House, is “to bring broadband to communities that currently have little or no access to the technology.” Keep Reading

Recovery Act/States

Broadband Stimulus Grants Expected on Thursday

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2009 - The White House Office of Vice President Joe Biden is planning on traveling to Dawsonville, Georgia, on Thursday, to make an announcement on the stimulus act Congress approved in February. He will discuss how the recovery act investments are “improving communities and creating jobs in Georgia and rural areas across the country.” Biden will be joined by Governor Sonny Perdue. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act

NTIA Announces Award for Six More Broadband Mapping Projects

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - The U.S. government announced Monday that it has awarded millions of dollars to five state entities and one nonprofit organization - Connected Nation - that proposed projects to help collect better data on broadband availability across the country. The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the government agency responsible for taking the lead on broadband data as part of the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program, announced funding for broadband mapping and planning activities in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. Keep Reading

Federal Communications Commission Moves Into Energy And Environment

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - The Federal Communications Commission plans to hold a field hearing on energy and environmental issues this month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The hearing, which will take place on November 30, will focus “on how broadband can help the nation achieve its energy and environmental goals, including energy independence, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and clean energy generation.” Keep Reading

Genachowski: Broadband is the ‘Platform’ for All Forms of Communication

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - In an interview for C-SPAN’s “The Communicators” series, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke of the national broadband plan that is currently being put together, as well as the short term progress that has happened in relation to broadband. The broadband “platform,” according to Genachowski, is a platform that everyone takes part in; from communicating with friends and family, to communicating for working purpose. Even now, engaging with the government and its services is done on this platform. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Grants Will Slip to February, NTIA Concedes in Third Quarter Progress Report To Congress

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2009 - In a report to Congress, the NTIA said Wednesday that it won’t conclude doling out the first round of broadband stimulus funding until February 2010. The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration clarified in its third quarterly progress report to Congress this week that it will be dolling out the entirety of the grant money during the next ten months. The year 2010 is going to be a busy time for the period for both the NTIA and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities is the other agency, the two government entities charged with distributing $7.2 billion of federal funding. Keep Reading

U.S. Broadband Coalition Working Group Urges Federal Involvement to Stimulate Adoption

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2009 – A working group of the non-profit U.S. Broadband Coalition on Friday released a report in which the group called for the federal government to “play an active role in stimulating adoption and use of advanced broadband connections.” The group, one of six committees of the U.S. Broadband Coalition – which had gathered more than 160 organizations to push for a national broadband strategy – presented its finding at the Federal Communications Commission, after introductory remarks by Blair Levin, director of the FCC’s national broadband plan. Keep Reading

Small Disadvantaged Business May Get Leg Up in Broadband Stimulus

WASHINGTON, November 12, 2009 - While the economy is slowly turning itself around, small and disadvantaged businesses face problems gaining capital, according to panelists speaking at the Federal Communications Commission national broadband plan workshop on November 12. Small disadvantaged businesses are businesses that are at least 51 percent owned or controlled by an individual or a group of individuals who are deemed as economically or socially disadvantaged. They are deemed disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration. Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

Lawmakers Want Stimulus Funds Getting To Rural America; 'Remoteness' Definition Raises Concerns

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2009 - Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation raised concerns Tuesday about getting broadband stimulus funds out to remote areas and how these areas should be defined. The discussion took place during an oversight hearing on the process of awarding out the $7.2 billion provided to the federal government by Congress to expand broadband deployment and adoption. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/NTIA/Recovery Act

United States Broadband Data Lacks Consistency, Actual Speeds, Says GAO

WASHINGTON, October 11, 2009 – Current measures of broadband comparisons between the United States and the rest of the world – and within the country – have limitations, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office released on Friday. These limitations including the “lack of comprehensive measures from the government to compare price, actual delivered speeds, and service reliability data from providers,” and information that was gathered through international broadband comparisons that are not comparable across countries. Keep Reading

Biden Touts Broadband Among Stimulus Funding, Although Nearly No Funds Released

Vice President Joe Biden gave an update on Thursday of the grants issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including broadband. Although practically no funds have yet been issued for broadband, the subject was included in the update of programs that are a part of the “president’s overall commitment to a lay a new foundation for economic growth in the 21st century” – together with smart grid, high-speed rail and health information technology. Keep Reading

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