New Web Site Aims to Provide Data about Broadband to Public
BroadbandCensus.com, a new web site designed to help Internet users measure and gauge broadband availability, competition, speeds and prices, launched a beta version of an Internet speed test. Through the release of the beta version, BroadbandCensus.com encourages testing and feedback of the technology in preparation for a national release.
The speed test seeks to allow consumers all across America to test their high-speed Internet connections to determine whether broadband providers are delivering the promised services. At BroadbandCensus.com, users can learn about local broadband availability, competition, speeds and service. By participating in the speed test and an anonymous online census questionnaire, users can greatly contribute to the nation’s knowledge and understanding about the state of the nation’s broadband competition and services.
“We believe the Broadband Census will provide vital statistics to the public and to policy makers about the true state of broadband in our country today,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director of BroadbandCensus.com. “By releasing a beta version of the speed test, we hope to encourage feedback from early adopters in the research and education community so that we can create an even more robust mechanism for collecting broadband data.”
BroadbandCensus.com is deploying the NDT (Network Diagnostic Tool), an open-source network performance testing system designed to identify computer configuration and network infrastructure problems that can degrade broadband performance. The NDT is under active development by the Internet2 community, an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. The NDT has been used by other broadband mapping endeavors, including the eCorridors Program at Virginia Tech, which is working to collect data of residential and small business broadband trends throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Internet2 supports its more than 300 member organizations in getting the best performance from their advanced network connections,” said Gary Bachula, Internet2 vice president for external relations. “We are pleased that the Network Diagnostic Tool can play an important role in helping U.S. citizens and policy makers gain a better understanding of existing broadband services. This information will help consumers and policy makers make better decisions about future broadband services,” said Bachula.
“The eCorridors Program endorses and supports the Broadband Census as a means of continuing the effort with the participation of key national players,” said Brenda van Gelder, Program Director of eCorridors. Virginia Tech launched the first of its kind community broadband access map and speed test in July 2006. “We believe that mapping broadband along with these other factors can have significant political and economic impacts by providing the public a user-friendly, grassroots tool for maintaining oversight of available internet services, applications, bandwidth and pricing.”
The NDT provides network performance information directly to a user by running a short diagnostic test between a Web browser on a desktop or laptop computer and one of several NDT servers around the country. The NDT software helps users get a reading on their network speed and also to understand what may be causing specific network performance issues.
Congress and state government officials have all recently focused on the need for better broadband data. And the Federal Communications Commission last week called for greater transparency about the speeds and prices of service offered by broadband carriers.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, has introduced legislation that would provide the public with better broadband information. Markey’s “Broadband Census of America Act,” H.R. 3919, has passed the House of Representatives and is now before the Senate.
By allowing users to participate in collecting Broadband Census data, BroadbandCensus.com aims to build on these initiatives, and to provide consumers and policy-makers with timely tools to understanding broadband availability, adoption and competition.
Additionally, Pew Internet & American Life Project has contracted with BroadbandCensus.com to gather anonymized information about users’ broadband experiences on the web site, and to incorporate those findings into Pew’s 2008 annual broadband report. “Connection speed matters greatly to people’s online surfing patterns, but few home broadband users know how fast their on-ramp to cyberspace is,” said John Horrigan, Associate Director for Research with the Pew Internet & American Life Project. “BroadbandCensus.com will help fill a gap in understanding how evolving broadband networks influence users’ online behavior.”
BroadbandCensus.com is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License. That means that the content on BroadbandCensus.com is available for all to view, copy, redistribute and reuse for FREE, providing that attribution is provided to BroadbandCensus.com, and that such use is done for non-commercial purposes.
About Broadband Census.com:
Broadband Census LLC is organized as a Limited Liability Company in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Drew Clark is the principal member of Broadband Census LLC. To find out more about the organizations and individuals providing financial, technical, research or outreach support to the Broadband Census, please visit BroadbandCensus.com. For more information: http://www.broadbandcensus.com
About Pew Internet & American Life Project:
The Pew Internet & American Life Project produces reports that explore the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source on the evolution of the internet through collection of data and analysis of real-world developments as they affect the virtual world. For more information: http://www.pewinternet.org
About Virginia Tech e-Corridors Project:
eCorridors is an outreach program of Virginia Tech that was established in 2000. Its activities include telecommunications policy, communications infrastructure, research and other computing applications as well as community networks and economic development in a networked world. eCorridors is a primary means through which government, private sector industry and community stakeholders participate and collaborate with Virginia Tech researchers and IT professionals. For more information: http://www.ecorridors.vt.edu
Event: Building for Digital Equity – Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding
ILSR and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance team up for two-hour livestream event on March 16 from 2-4 p.m. ET
We’re living through a time with an unprecedented level of broadband infrastructure funding, fueled not only by the American Rescue Plan, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Hundreds of community-driven projects are already underway, but finding solid footing amidst these programs, statutes, and evolving rules is difficult.
To help, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is teaming up with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for a two-hour livestream event to demystify the landscape. On Wednesday, March 16th, from 2-4pm ET, we’re hosting an online conversation to bring together local stakeholders, policy advocates, and funding experts in one place. We’re calling it Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding.
But this isn’t your average conference or webinar, with 45-minute panels that make your butt go numb and your eyes glaze over. Oh no. We’re aiming for a fast-paced, fun, and most importantly interactive conversation between policy advocates, network builders, local officials, and anyone else interested in learning how we can ensure that the tens of billions in upcoming infrastructure funding goes to solving the connectivity crisis permanently rather than once again disappearing into the pockets of the monopoly Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The event will feature a mixture of short presentations, panels with Q and A across a bunch of different platforms (so you can watch wherever you want), and trivia with prizes.
You can register for the event here.
Here’s the line-up:
- It will be emceed by our own Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, and NDIA’s Training and Community Engagement Manager, Pamela Rosales.
- David Keyes, the Digital Equity Manager for the City of Seattle and the first recipient of NDIA’s Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award, will share a talk that was very popular at Net Inclusion on how to talk with government officials.
- The main event is a 50-minute block with multiple presentations on coalition building that will cover what regional governments and coalitions are doing to leverage the flood of federal funds for broadband in the American Rescue Plan, the Consolidated Appropriation Act, the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Shannon Millsaps, Director of Operations at Thrive, will do a lightning round on strategies for working regionally and NDIA’s Munirih Jester will highlight some related takeaways from NDIA’s Digital Inclusion Guidebook.
- The coalition building block will end with a panel featuring ConnectMaine Authority Executive Director Peggy Schaffer and Founder/Executive Director of the National Digital Equity Center Susan Corbett who will talk about how successful broadband coalitions were formed in Maine.
- After that, Abi Waldrupe of NDIA will discuss Digital Navigators, and more importantly, what is not a Digital Navigator.
- Another block will zero in on key details about the buckets of federal funds available to states and local communities, centered around the five things every local community should know about how these funds can be used most effectively.
- Dustin Loup and ILSR’s Data and GIS specialist Christine Parker will preview recent developments around maps, setting the table for a future discussion in greater depth.
Fun trivia questions will be asked of attendees throughout the event and we will close out with a trivia wrap-up and prize give away before the grand finale that will allow attendees to pepper Chris and Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, with lingering questions or thoughts.
You can register for the event here.
Editor’s note: This press release was originally published on Muninetworks.org on February 15, 2022, and was supplemented on March 2, 2022.
NTIA and RUS Chiefs, Plus FCC and Treasury Officials, to Speak at Broadband Breakfast for Lunch Events
NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson and other top broadband officials have agreed to speak at Broadband Breakfast for Lunch Events.
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2022 – Broadband Breakfast announced its programs for the Spring, including its weekly Broadband Breakfast Live Online series, and sessions for its new signature event, Broadband Breakfast for Lunch.
Among the speakers at upcoming events will include Alan Davidson, Administrator of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Christopher McLean, Acting Administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service, and other top broadband officials.
Bookmark the Broadband Breakfast Live Online event page (it’s also at https://broadbandbreakfast.com/bblo for short), to always find details for the next events in the series. They take place on Wednesdays at 12 Noon ET.
“Right now the world of broadband enthusiasts, in Washington and around the country, are laser-focused on implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Broadband Breakfast is as well,” said Drew Clark, CEO of Breakfast Media LLC, which publishes Broadband Breakfast and hosts its news coverage on broadband policy and internet technology.
Broadband Breakfast Live Online is a free event and it takes place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET, and lasts for one hour. Individuals are welcome to sign up and participate from wherever they are located.
Broadband Breakfast for Lunch takes place on the second Wednesday of each month – on March 9, April 13, May 11 and June 8, 2022.
There are two ways to participate in Broadband Breakfast for Lunch events: IN PERSON or LIVE ONLINE. To attend IN PERSON, sign up to attend in person through Eventbrite. Please arrive for lunch at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C., by 11:30 a.m. to be seated for lunch. The program will begin promptly at 12 Noon ET.
Closely focusing on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
“In closely focusing on IIJA and bringing together the top policy-makers at NTIA, USDA, FCC and the Treasury Department, Broadband Breakfast is doing what it does best: Building a big tent approach to getting better broadband, better lives,” said Clark. “We aim to connect and enlighten with timely, topical and smart events.”
At the March 9 event, which is co-hosted with Broadband.Money, Broadband Breakfast for Lunch will include a discussion of how to prepare for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, featuring Edyael Casaperalta of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. Discussion will tackle what actions the federal government, states and infrastructure builders should take to ready for the years of infrastructure projects that this investment will bring.
The March 16 Broadband Breakfast Live Online discussion will take place live from WISPAmerica, the spring show of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association in New Orleans. It will feature a discussion about whether local wireless internet service providers should “overbuild themselves.”
The March 23 event will examine competition in the markets of social media and big tech and evaluate the American Innovation and Choice Online Act that is currently being considered by policymakers in Congress.
The March 30 event, in advance of Earth Day, environmental policy stakeholders will enter a conversation on how technology can help the environment amid ongoing climate concerns said to threaten humans in the future.
The event on April 6 will continue Broadband Breakfast Live Online’s discussion of broadband mapping and data that previously checked in on mapping efforts in several states around the country. This time the focus will be drawn inside the home – looking at how local service providers are working to improve customers’ connectivity once internet service reaches the walls of their dwellings through advancements in router technology and recommendations to optimize user experience.
Broadband Breakfast for Lunch on April 13 will continue consideration of key features in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as we look at the bill’s proposed middle-mile infrastructure programs and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s execution of the programs through an intimate fireside chat.
Upcoming Broadband Breakfast Live Online events
Although Broadband Breakfast Live Online programs are subject to change to accomodate breaking news events, the next eight weeks of events include:
- Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Censorship by a Country, or Censorship by a Tech Platform?
- Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 12 Noon ET — New Wires on Old Poles: Will the FCC Change Rules for Attachments?
- Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 12 Noon ET — The Future of the Smart Home, and the Future of the Smart Apartment Building
- Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Preparing for IIJA’s Digital Equity Planning Grant Program — BROADBAND BREAKFAST FOR LUNCH, IN PERSON AND LIVE ONLINE
- Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Changing the Universal Service Fund: At What Cost?
- Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 12 Noon ET — The Future of Privacy
- Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Broadband Mapping and Data (Part 3)
- Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Preparing for IIJA’s State Digital Equity Capacity Grant and Competitive Grant Programs — BROADBAND BREAKFAST FOR LUNCH, IN PERSON AND LIVE ONLINE
Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can also PARTICIPATE ONLINE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Zoom.
FCC Delays Auction of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Frequences in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic from Coronavirus
Agency Changes Upcoming Auction 105 Schedule, Postpones Auction 106
Adjustments Made in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020—The Federal Communications Commission today announced schedule changes for Auction 105 as well as the postponement of Auction 106.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes were deemed necessary in order to protect the health and safety of Commission staff and to allow parties additional time to prepare to
participate in Auctions 105 and 106.
“Many Americans have had to make tough decisions on how they do business in this rapidly changing environment, and the FCC is no different,” said agency Chairman Ajit Pai. “After consulting agency staff within the relevant Bureaus and Offices, we determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to make these changes. But we remain committed to holding the 3.5 GHz auction this summer and look forward to beginning this important mid-band auction in July.”
For Auction 105, involving the auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz band, the short-form application (FCC Form 175) filing window will now open on April 23,
2020 at 12 p.m. EDT and will close on May 7 at 6 p.m. EDT. Upfront payments will be due June 19.
Bidding will begin on July 23. Interested parties should continue to monitor the Auction 105 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/105 for any future announcements regarding the auction schedule and other important auction information. To read the Auction 105 Public Notice, visit https://go.usa.gov/xdhf4.
The FCC is postponing indefinitely Auction 106, an auction of construction permits in the FM broadcast service that was scheduled to begin on April 28. Auction 106 applicants that
submitted upfront payments may obtain a refund of those deposits after submitting a written request. Additional processes are outlined in today’s Public Notice. A revised schedule will
be announced in a future public notice. To read the Auction 106 Public Notice, visit https://go.usa.gov/xdhfZ.
- Sen. Bennet Says Coloradans’ Complaints About Poor Broadband Drove Passage of Infrastructure Act
- Broadband Notice of Funding Availability Seeks to Balance Requirements with Flexibility
- Sean Gonsalves: NTIA Assistant Secretary Alan Davidson Dishes on BEAD at Mountain Connect 2022
- NTIA Broadband Official Scott Woods Joins Ready as Vice President of Community Engagement
- New Public Broadband Association Criticizes NTIA Rules, Boasts Strong Start for New Group
- NTIA Doing All it Can to ‘Pressure’ States to Allow Municipal Broadband for Infrastructure Builds
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