DALLAS, April 27, 2009 – Fiber-optic technology is beginning to hit its stride in the marketplace, with nearly 13 percent of homes in North America now able to access the super high-speed broadband connectivity, aided by a big push by Verizon Communications.
At the opening of the Broadband Properties Conference here, traditional small-scale fiber-builders and Verizon – now the 800-pound gorilla of fiber-optics – were both cautiously optimistic that fiber-based broadband can help drive the U.S. economy out of the recession.
“Year to year growth continues to be strong” even in the current economy, said Michael Render, president of RVA Associates and the author of a annual survey of fiber optic deployment.
In addition to Verizon’s investment, which have transformed the landscape of fiber through the Bell company’s fiber-optic service, FiOS, tier three independent local exchange carriers are also exhibiting strong growth.
Before Verizon bet big on fiber in 2004, rural carriers were investing in fiber, which is generally regarded as the fastest broadband technology available.
With as little as 500 to 2,000 customers in a fiber development, and generally serving rural areas, these small-time providers are particularly poised to benefit from the Obama administration’s $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program.
Verizon Senior Vice President of Technology Mark Wegleitner came here to tout the company’s success in selling FiOS.
Again despite the economy, the carrier strung fiber to about 500,000 premises during the first quarter of 2009, adding 299,000 net new customers. With speed tiers of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, and 20 Mbps upload speeds, Verizon aims to leapfrog co-axial cable modem service, which generally provides download speeds in the 5 Mpbs to 10 Mbps range.
Verizon’s fiber network now passes 13.2 million households, and it has 2.8 million internet customers, or about 22 percent of homes taking the service.
Render said that non-Bell companies were even more successful in selling fiber to their communities. “The overall take-rate for fiber to the home by non-[Bell] companies has gone from 28 percent to 52 percent.
Wegleitner said that Verizon has remained on track with its nationwide rollout plans, extending its fiber footprint by 3 million homes a year, which it aims to continue until 2010, when 18 million homes will be passed. That is just over half of the 34 million wireline homes that Verizon serves.
In an interview, BroadbandCensus.com asked Wegleitner whether broadband stimulus funds could incent Verizon to extend its network beyond 18 million. The remainder of Verizon’s service territory is generally served by the slower digital subscriber line (DSL) technology.
“Anything is possible, but we have to understand what is going on first,” he said. “Any broadband solution is in play, but I don’t have enough information” about the rules – which are still being drafted – before the company would consider an investment that may impose additional obligations on the carrier.
Fiber is also continuing to enjoy strong growth overseas, too. Asian has 28.0 million fiber to the premises deployments, compared with 6.1 million in North America and 2.0 million in Europe, said Joe Savage, president of the Fiber to the Home Council. The FTTH Council is currently undergoing a Latin American expansion, said Savage.
Also speaking at the conference was Bill Ablondi, director of home systems research for Parks Associates. Ablondi said that four of the top ten amenities that contribute to the sale or rental of a dwelling unit were tied to broadband.
Wired broadband access was the second-highest demanded amenity, below only an in-unit laundry. Four other amenities are also tied to broadband: in-unit Wi-Fi internet access; common-area Wi-Fi access; hone, internet and video bundling; and in-unit security, he said.
- Michael Render’s presentation at Broadband Properties Conference, April 27, 2009.
State Broadband Offices Need to Increase Their Capacity, Improve Data, and Communicate Well
NTIA’s Evan Feinman spoke about what states need to keep in mind as they prepare for BEAD funds.
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2022 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar event on Tuesday focused on the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Notice of Funding Opportunity. The webinar highlighted three important items to keep in mind as states begin to receive money for broadband planning.
The first, according to Evan Feinman, deputy associate administrator for BEAD, was for states to consider your office’s capacity. Each state will receive a minimum of $100 million. Very few states have the human resources required to adequately run a program of this magnitude, he said.
The second is to build up research and data collections of broadband coverage at a state level. The Federal Communications Commission will soon release a new mapping system. It will be necessary, said Feinman, to “engage meaningfully” with these maps using state’s own research and data. Furthermore, states should have the necessary data to engage with internet service providers and the NTIA as they determine who is served and unserved.
Third, states should develop a clear-cut plan for outreach and communication support with stakeholders. Stakeholders include telecom providers, tribal governments, local governments, and community organizations.
The planning step is a great point for stakeholders to become involved in the process, said Feinman. “There is an expectation that lives throughout this program that folks are going to engage really thoroughly and in an outgoing way with their stakeholders.”
See other articles on the NTIA webinars issues in the wake of the Notices of Funding Opportunity on the Broadband.Money community:
Treasury Department Joins FCC, USDA and NTIA in Collaborating on Broadband Funding
Agency leaders sign pact to formalize information-sharing on broadband deployment projects.
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2022—Just in advance of the deadline for the release of the funding requirements under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, the four principal federal agencies responsible for broadband funding released an interagency agreement to share information about and collaborate regarding the collection and reporting of certain data and metrics relating to broadband deployment.
The agencies are the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Commerce Department, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The Memorandum of Understanding is the latest development in federal efforts to coordinate high-speed internet spending, and the Treasury Department is the new addition to agreement.
The other three agencies signed a prior memorandum in June 2021 to coordinate the distribution of federal high-speed internet funds. That June 2021 Memorandum of Understanding remains in effect.
The respective Cabinet and Agency leaders announced that their agencies will consult with one another and share information on data collected from programs administered by the FCC, the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, programs administered or coordinated by NTIA, and Treasury’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
“No matter who you are or where you live in this country, you need access to high-speed internet to have a fair shot at 21st century success. The FCC, NTIA, USDA and Treasury are working together like never before to meet this shared goal,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Our new interagency agreement will allow us to collaborate more efficiently and deepen our current data sharing relationships[and] get everyone, everywhere connected to the high-speed internet they need.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “When we invest in rural infrastructure, we invest in the livelihoods and health of people in rural America. High-speed internet is the new electricity. It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, to have access to health care and to stay connected.”
“USDA remains committed to being a strong partner with rural communities and our state, Tribal and federal partners in building ‘future-proof’ broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas so that we finally reach 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage across the country.”
“Our whole-of-government effort to expand broadband adoption must be coordinated and efficient if we are going to achieve our mission,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and head of the NTIA, the agency responsible for administering the vast bulk of the broadband funding.
“This MOU will allow us to build the tools we need for even better data-sharing and transparency in the future,” he said.
“Treasury is proud to work with our federal agency partners to achieve President Biden’s goal of closing the nation’s digital divide,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “Access to affordable, high-speed internet is critical to the continued strength of our economy and a necessity for every American household, school, and business.”
As part of the signed agreement, each federal agency partner will share information about projects that have received or will receive funding from the previously mentioned federal funding sources. More information on what the interagency Memorandum of Understanding entails can be found on the FCC’s website. The agreement is effective at the date of its signing, May 11, 2022.
FCC and NTIA Chiefs Name Jessica Quinley, Douglas Brake and Timothy May to Advisory Committees
NTIA representatives to join FCC technology and security committees, FCC rep on spectrum committee
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2022—Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson on Friday named staff representatives to participate on each other’s advisory committees. The effort is a component of the Spectrum Coordination Initiative of the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Commerce Department.
As part of the initiative, the agencies are working with each other and the private sector.
“To succeed as spectrum partners, the FCC and NTIA must hear from and listen to each other in both formal and informal ways,” said Rosenworcel.
“A common understanding of spectrum engineering and market conditions is essential for the success of our efforts at the FCC and NTIA to manage the country’s spectrum resources,” said Davidson.
Rosenworcel named Jessica Quinley of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to participate as an observer in NTIA’s Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee. Quinley currently serves as an Acting Legal Advisor in the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She was an attorney at NTIA for more than four years.
Davidson named Douglas Brake, a Spectrum Policy Specialist, and Timothy May, a Senior Advisor, to participate in the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council and its Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, respectively.
Brake, a Spectrum Policy Specialist with NTIA, previously directed the broadband and spectrum policy work at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. May currently serves as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary where he has worked for four years. Before joining NTIA, he was a Policy Analyst in the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
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