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National Broadband Plan

Broadband's Impact

While Universal Service Reforms Show Promise, Politics Clouds Fund’s Future

ASPEN, Colorado, August 19, 2015 - In spite of several positive efforts to reform the complex and dated rules that govern the Federal Communication Commission's universal service fund, key decisions surrounding the $8 billion annual fund remain ineluctably political. That was the message shared by panelists, including a commissioner at the FCC, speaking at a session on Tuesday at the Technology Policy Institute's annual forum here. For example, the panelists -- which also include two economists, a cable industry lobbyist and the former director of the National Broadband Plan -- applauded efforts to bring greater economic efficiency to telecom network construction through a system known as a "reverse auction." They also supported efforts to promote broadband adoption by providing income-based vouchers for the purpose of internet services. But decisions about the allocation of funds within the USF -- and the key question of how the fund is to be paid for -- remain political hot potatoes. Embedded image permalink Moderator Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute, with panelists Mignon Clyburn, James Assey, Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, and Bradley Wimmer. [more...] Keep Reading

Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn Announces Second Wave of First Phase of Connect America Fund

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 - The Federal Communication Commission will offer $485 million to expand fixed broadband access in rural areas, Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said on Wednesday. The funding is part of a public and private effort to provide broadband services in areas, predominantly rural, that currently lack adequate access. The money is intended… 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

Our Broadband Election – and the Next Chapter of High-speed Internet in America

November 5, 2012 – In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama repeatedly raised the importance of “expanding broadband lines across America” as part of the economic stimulus plan that become the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. During the first year of his administration, many parties honed in on… 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

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

SmartGrid: Moving Toward Regulatory Uniformity

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq.  WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 - The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated. At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that… 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

Measuring Broadband Use and Adoption is the Next Frontier in Internet Data Collection

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, August 9, 2011 - It's very easy to take broadband for granted. People want to go online to look up answers on Wikipedia, to watch movies on Netflix, to hang out on Facebook, or to Skype cousins across the globe -- or across town. None of this can be done without broadband. Higher and higher speeds of internet connectivity are necessary to satisfy everyone's demand to do all of these things at once. That's where the Partnership for a Connected Illinois comes into play. Keep Reading

Agency Heads Appear Before Congress to Tackle Privacy Issues

WASHINGTON July 18, 2011- Two congressional subcommittees called on the heads of several government agencies late last week to inquire how each addresses Internet privacy issues. The panel, assembled by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology included the heads of the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: The New Market Frontier in Technology

Last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recognized the role of technology in strengthening this country’s economy by investing 7.2 million in funding into technology and broadband adoption initiatives through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP). Through this funding the United States can build technology infrastructures and bring low-income residents online for the first time. However, technology in and of itself is not what is important. What is important is how people, families and communities use that technology to improve their lives. What will drive adoption and sustainability? Why will someone come online for the first time? What did we learn as an industry and society in bringing the first 100M on line that can help us in bringing the last 100M online? What is the real cost benefit analysis on people having access to information that directly impacts the way they manage their health, educate their children or plan for their financial future. I challenge all of us not to look at the cost of building these networks – but rather the cost of not building it. Keep Reading

Illinois and the National Broadband Map… Make That a Mashup!

SPRINGFIELD, February 21, 2011 - President Abraham Lincoln began his political career here with a passionate interest in infrastructure improvements. America knows President Lincoln today because his belief in equal opportunity. What connects that which we know about Lincoln and that which brought him into public life? Keep Reading

FCC Moves to Improve Spectrum Availability and Use By Taking from Broadcasters

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2010 - The FCC unanimously passed three measures aimed at improving spectrum availability and efficiency while spurring innovation at its November open meeting on Tuesday. The wireless industry applauded the agency's move. The first measure would reallocate over-the-air broadcast television stations so that two or more would share a 6 megahertz channel. The commission anticipates that channel sharing could free up to 120 MHz of spectrum, which would be reallocated to also carry wireless broadband. The move would comprise nearly one-fifth of the 500 MHz of spectrum the commission plans to make available for wireless broadband over the next 10 years as part of the National Broadband Plan. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/FCC

FCC Asserts that “Broadband” Definition is Evolving

WASHINGTON July 23, 2010 –The Federal Communications Commission has decided that the definition of broadband should be evolving. The term broadband has no official technical definition and varies by nation. In the past the FCC has used a definition of “excess of 200 Kbps in both directions” (.2Mbps) however in their most recent Broadband Development Report the commission has modified the definition to 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps. Keep Reading

Smithsonian, FCC and USDA Announce Online Learning Registry

WASHINGTON July 21, 2010- More than 150 rural education stakeholders and technology experts from 26 states came together to learn from one another and provide feedback to federal officials today. “Knowledge knows no boundaries and we cannot allow distance to stand between students, education and opportunity,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We have the hardware, the latest software, and huge investments are being made in the build-out of the national broadband plan to connect us as never before.” Keep Reading

Kansas Governor Establishes a Broadband Advisory Task Force

WASHINGTON July 19, 2010 – Governor Mark Parkinson has established a 24 member advisory group to work with Connect Kansas to implement various broadband initiatives. The new group, called the Kansas Broadband Advisory Task Force, will develop a set of recommendations to help support statewide availability in accordance to the National Broadband Plan. The state has yet to receive any grants from the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program but it did receive $2 million to conduct mapping activities. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/States

Pew Center on the States Highlights Importance of State Agencies in Broadband

WASHINGTON June 30, 2010-The Pew Center on the States has just released a report on the importance of state government involvement in broadband. In essence the report aims to show the varied efforts that the states are making to expand broadband. Additionally they give a brief explanation of why the national purposes set out by the National Broadband Plan are important. Keep Reading

FiberFete Celebrates City’s Efforts To Build Its Own Information-Age Utility

LAFAYETTE, La., April 20, 2010 - To the extent that the city of Lafayette is famous for anything, it’s probably for its cultural status as the throbbing heart of America’s Cajun country. This week, the burg of 120,000 hosts an annual music and performance arts festival that celebrates its Francophone heritage. Thousands will fly in from all over the world to attend the event. But among them will also be those who are flying in to both celebrate and to share experiences about building ultra-high-speed internet networks. Those people include urban planners, network engineers and policymakers from around the world who are coming to toast Lafayette’s unlikely achievement of building a 100 Megabit per second (Mbps) peer-to-peer broadband network directly to every single business and residential premise within its city limits. Keep Reading

An Organized Broadband System at the State Level

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 - The elements of an organized broadband system at the state level will vary depending upon geographic and economic characteristics. Urban and more populous areas will require middle-mile infrastructure to serve larger institutions, while existing last mile coverage may be adequate. Secondary and rural markets may require less extensive institutional capacity, while last mile coverage remains unacceptable. Keep Reading

Connecting America, Chapter 3: ‘Current State of the Ecosystem’

To see how broadband is transforming American life, walk down a busy street or pay a visit to any school, business or airport. Parents on business trips use their smartphones to check e-mail or watch short videos of their children playing soccer, hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. Americans work together in real time on complex documents from different desks in the same office, and workers in different offices around the world collaborate via videoconferencing technology. Sales and field maintenance personnel use mobile devices to access inventory information in their businesses, place orders and update records, increasing efficiency and productivity. Students draw on the richness of the Internet to research historical events or watch simulations of challenging math problems. People are using broadband in ways they could not imagine even a few years ago. Keep Reading

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