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Commerce Department

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

Pell Center Report Emphasizes Continuing Role in Broadband for State Entities

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - State broadband entities and commissions continue to plan an important role in fostering economic development and digital learning, according to a recent report from the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. The report, "State-Level Broadband Policy: A Compendium of Resources and Approaches," catalogs some of the important capabilities and tools of the federal technology program dubbed the State Broadband Initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But the report, by Pell Center Adjunct Fellow Angela Siefer, also advances the discussion about state-level broadband resources by highlighting more recently discussed tools, including eRate funding, telecommunications modernization legislation, and ways to promote local infrastructure partnerships. Angela Siefer [More...] Keep Reading

Washington Telecom Insiders Focusing on New ‘Broadband Moment’ Through Significant Policy Tweaks

June 8, 2015 – Some are calling it a second “broadband moment.” More than six years after  the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was responsible for more than $7 billion in federal funds being spent on broadband infrastructure, internet adoption and telecommunications mapping, there’s a new level of interest in re-vising the National Broadband Plan,… Keep Reading

Public Safety

FirstNet and Members of Congress Respond to Report that Agency Must Strengthen Financial Disclosures

December 9, 2014 – FirstNet, the national public safety wireless network for first responders, responded on Monday to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Inspector General, criticizing the agency’s procedures for monitoring and disclosing conflicts of interest.   The report, dated Friday, found that board members of the First Responder Network Authority did not… Keep Reading

NTIA’s Larry Strickling Recounts Broadband Stimulus Gains, Seeks to Continue Efforts Without Federal Funds

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 – The president’s chief adviser on telecommunications, the head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, on Thursday heralded the first of a series of workshops designed to find ways to “build on the momentum of our successful broadband grant program” without access to federal funds. In a blog… Keep Reading

How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations

WASHINGTON, Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Last week, the fourth year of the Broadband Breakfast Club Series came to an end with a timely panel on “Bringing Broadband Adoption to the Nation’s Underserved Population.”  Panelists from the private, nonprofit and state government sectors came together to discuss what can be done to promote broadband usage in… 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

Leveraging Funding from Government Programs, Incentives to Share Information and Faster Broadband Speeds are Key to Maximizing Health IT Broadband

WASHINGTON, Friday March 23, 2012 – On Tuesday March 20th  federal regulatory administrators, state health and broadband officials and private health IT and technology experts met in Washington to discuss “Maximizing US Health IT and Broadband Investment” at BroadbandBreakfast.com’s monthly breakfast and panel discussion.  In the session, the speakers agreed that there is both humanitarian and… Keep Reading

Broadband Breakfast Serves a Thanksgiving Leftover Wrap-Up

WASHINGTON, November 25 2011 – As we all sit and digest post Thanksgiving, Broadband Breakfast can finally wrap up some stories that we have been interested in over the past couple of weeks but have not had time to get around to.  We wanted to draw attention to a couple of the stories below and… Keep Reading

NTIA, FCC Release National Broadband Map and Digital Nation Report

WASHINGTON February 17, 2011- The National Telecommunications and Information Administration in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission unveiled the National Broadband Map along with an update to the Digital Nation report this morning. The map is available at http://www.broadbandmap.gov/. The map is the result of over 2 years of work and $350 million government funding. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and 5 territories provided the NTIA with data. The map brings together 25 million pieces of data to provide consumers, policy makers and business with an accurate picture of broadband deployment and availability. Over 1600 unique internet service providers were identified. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

United States Woefully Lacking a Cohesive Cyberspace Strategy, Says GAO

WASHINGTON, August 3, 2010 – Federal agencies have not provided top-level leadership for the United States on cybersecurity issues, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Additionally, the United States possesses no “clear vision” of how cybersecurity impacts national goals. Rather, the nation has engaged in an ad hoc selection of cybersecurity measures. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Broadband Stimulus to Lose $602 Million

WASHINGTON July 2, 2010- The House Appropriations Committee torescind $602 million from Commerce and Agriculture Department broadband stimulus programs. The two departments had to share $7.2 billion for the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program, Broadband Investment Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act. Every Department will have some of its funding cut in order to pay for the additional $75 billion being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall the House Appropriations committee plans to cut $11.7 billion. Keep Reading

Privacy/Recovery Act

Commerce Seeks Comment on Privacy Law, Creates Task Force

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2010 – The Commerce Department is seeking public comment on the impact of privacy laws in the United States and around the world to determine if current laws serve consumer interests and democracy. It also this week announced the formation of an Internet Policy Task Force to identify public policy and operational issues impacting the private sector’s ability to best achieve economic growth and job creation through the Internet. Keep Reading

FCC/Recovery Act

Commerce Department Inspector General Scores BTOP

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2010 - After a post-grant review found numerous inefficiencies and unforeseen problems in the first round of Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grants caused by the sheer size of the program, Commerce Department Inspector General demanded that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration create a plan to improve the efficiency and fairness of both the application process and overall management of BTOP. 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

Recovery Act

Officials: Snow Will Not Delay Broadband Stimulus Awards, or Round 2 Applications

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2010 – The snowstorm that shut much of Washington down this past week will not change the due date for Round 2 broadband stimulus applications, nor will it delay the naming of Round 1 winners, federal officials said Friday. Speaking at a “Broadband Stimulus Town Hall Workshop Webcast,” National Telecommunications and Information Administration Senior Advisor Angela Simpson assured the panelists that the Commerce Department does not believe that the March 15 due date for Round 2 stimulus applications is in jeopardy. Rural Utilities Service Deputy Administrator Jessica Zufolo said that the agency has dedicated $300 million in Round 1 awards, and is on target for its end-of-February deadline for making awards public. 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

Big Broadband Stimulus Grants for Middle-Mile Networks in N.C. and Michigan

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Wednesday continued its rolling award of broadband stimulus grants, doling out $63 million for four broadband grants in Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina. With the announcements, the NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service have awarded $253 million in broadband stimulus grants, or about 3.5 percent of the total broadband stimulus funds. The money has been spent on 23 projects so far, or an average of $11 million per grant. The largest winners in Tuesday’s announcements were the Merit Network in Michigan, which won $33 million; and MCNC in North Carolina, which won $28.2 million. Both were for infrastructure grants to build fiber-optic networks within their states, connecting households and anchor institutions to broadband facilities. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Copyright

Big Media Meets Law Enforcement at White House; Biden Announces Focus on Intellectual Property Theft

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2009 - The U.S. is committed to an inter-agency process for combating piracy of American intellectual property, Vice President Joseph Biden said Tuesday during a press availability with top law enforcement officials. Appearing at the White House complex with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the directors of the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Secret Service, as well as the chief executives of the nation's largest entertainment companies. The meeting was followed by a closed-door, roundtable discussion on international intellectual property theft. 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

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

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