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Government Awards Funds to 11 Projects in Nine States

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 – The Agriculture Department announced Wednesday it has selected 11 broadband infrastructure projects that are designed to improve educational and economic opportunities throughout nine states.

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WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 – The Agriculture Department announced Wednesday it has selected 11 broadband infrastructure projects that are designed to improve educational and economic opportunities throughout nine states.

“The broadband projects we’re announcing today will create construction jobs now to build high speed Internet networks in unserved and underserved communities, said department Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Deployment of broadband will support job creation and rural economic development.”

Approximately $277 million will be invested in the 11 projects through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. An additional $1.6 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds. Congress provided the Agriculture Department $2.5 billion in funding to help bring broadband to certain rural areas.

Below is a complete list of the award recipients by state:

Indiana
Smithville Telephone Company: $37,729,143 loan. The funding will provide 3,815 households, 209 businesses, and 12 community anchor institutions with access to broadband service.

Iowa
Southeast Iowa Rural Wireless Broadband: $3,836,926 loan. The funding will provide Internet services to 80 rural communities using proven wireless technology.

Kentucky
Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation Broadband: $39,843,535 loan and $38,281,044 grant. The funding will provide fiber to Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe and Elliott counties resulting in 20 Mbps bandwidth to end users.

Louisiana
Allen’s Cable – Fiber-to-the-Premises Broadband Network Extension: $3,584,680 loan and $3,513,697 grant. The funding will extend fiber into rural areas of three southern Louisiana parishes.

LBH – Rural Broadband Powered by Fiber: $16,693,439 loan and $16,691,939 grant. The funding will expand existing broadband into rural areas around Moss Bluff, Oakdale, and Vinton.

Minnesota
Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group: $6,350,000 loan and $6,350,250 grant. The funding will provide service to eight rural communities.

Missouri
Unionville, Missouri FTTP Project: $5,140,458 loan and $5,140,458 grant. The funding will provide broadband services to households, businesses and key community organizations.

New Mexico
Western New Mexico Telephone Co., Broadband Infrastructure Project: $11,516,679 grant. The funding will provide last mile broadband services to remote and unserved locations and critical community facilities throughout Western New Mexico.

Baca Valley Telephone Co.: $1,651,000 loan and $1,586,000 grant. The funding will expand fiber optics to digital subscriber line nodes in rural Northeastern New Mexico, replacing outdated deteriorating copper wire and low bandwidth microwave transport systems in some areas, while providing new connectivity in others, and enabling advanced, high-speed DSL service throughout the area.

Oregon
Sandy Broadband Infrastructure Project: $374,548 loan and $374,537 grant. The funding will provide broadband service to the underserved rural area of Sandy by improving and expanding wireless Internet service.

Texas
Southern Texas Broadband Infrastructure Development and Adoption Project: $40,093,153 loan and $38,520,868 grant. The funding will develop a broadband infrastructure in eleven unserved and underserved rural communities of the South Texas Plains.

Broadband Data

Ookla Has Verizon as Fastest Q1 Fixed Provider, T-Mobile Takes Top Spot for Mobile

T-Mobile was also named the most consistent mobile operator and topped 5G download speeds.

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Image of Speedtest from May 2017 by Daniel Aleksandersen used with permission

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2022 – A market report released Friday by performance metrics web service Ookla named Verizon the fastest fixed broadband provider in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2022, and T-Mobile as the fastest mobile operator during the same period.

Verizon had a median download speed of 184.36 Mbps, edging out Comcast Xfinity’s speed of 179.12 Mbps. T-Mobile’s median mobile speed was 117.83 Mbps.

Verizon had the lowest latency of all providers, according to Ookla, well ahead of Xfinity’s fourth place ranking, yet sat at third for consistency behind both Xfinity and Spectrum.

T-Mobile was also the most consistent mobile operator during the first quarter, achieving an Ookla consistency score of 88.3 percent, which along with median download speed represented an increase from the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company also achieved the fastest median 5G download speed, coming in at 191.12 Mbps.

Verizon also notably increased its 5G download speed from its Q4 metric, attributed in part to the turning on of new C-band spectrum in January following deployment delays and protest from airlines. For mobile speeds, it stood in second behind T-Mobile, bumping AT&T to a standing of third. These rankings were the same for mobile measures of latency and consistency.

Yet on 5G availability, AT&T remains ahead of Verizon.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra came in as the fastest popular device in the country, running at 116.33 Mbps.

Ookla is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband Data

FCC’s Rosenworcel: Broadband Nutrition Labels Will Create New Generation of Informed Buyers

The FCC hopes companies will make it easier for consumers to choose a broadband plan that fits their needs.

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Photo of Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel speaking at the Mobile World Conference 2022 in Barcelona

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband nutrition labels will usher in a new era where buyers have simple information about what they’re buying, agency Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Friday.

Consumers should know what they’re signing up for when they spend hundreds “or even thousands” of dollars per year for internet service. She was speaking at Friday’s commission hearing on its so-called broadband nutrition label initiative.

The hearing comes on top of a public comment period on the initiative. Many providers are pushing for more flexible regulations on compliance.

When consumers choose a broadband provider for their household, Rosenworcel said may people make decisions with “sometimes incomplete and inaccurate information.”

“The problem for broadband consumers isn’t a total lack of information, but there’s loads of fine print,” Rosenworcel said. “It can be difficult to know exactly what we are paying for and these disclosures are not consistent from carrier to carrier,” which makes comparing prices and services harder and more time-consuming for consumers.

The comments built on other recent speeches by Rosenworcel promoting the initiative, encouraging state attorneys general’s ability to enforce companies’ commitments through their states’ consumer protection statutes.

The FCC began a plan in 2015 for broadband labels that was voluntary. The new initiative directed by last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law makes this effort mandatory for broadband providers.

Matt Sayre, managing director of cross sector economic development firm Onward Eugene, said residents in rural Oregon would benefit from simple information when considering broadband providers. During a time where dial-up and satellite-based offerings were primarily available, Sayre said his neighbors “never used terms like latency or packet loss.”

“These are important aspects of good internet service, but not easily understood by most people,” Sayre said. “Citizens understood they needed better service but were uncertain about what tier of service they needed. This is where broadband labels can be very helpful.”

The hearing was the agency’s first on the initiative.

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Small ISP Organizations Push FCC for Flexibility on Broadband Label Compliance

Advocates say strict compliance requirements may economically harm small providers.

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Photo of outgoing WISPA CEO of Claude Aiken from April 2018 by New America used with permission

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 ­­– In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, organizations representing small internet providers are pushing for flexible regulations on compliance with a measure that requires clear reporting of broadband service aspects to consumers.

The measure was adopted at a late January meeting by the commission, mandating that providers list their pricing and speed information about services in the format of a “broadband nutrition label” that mimics a food nutrition label. Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill enacted in the fall required that the FCC adopt such policy.

The organizations that submitted comments Wednesday say that strict compliance requirements for the new measure may economically harm small providers.

Among those leading the charge are trade associations Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and America’s Communications Association as well as provider Lumen Technologies.

In comments, limited resources of smaller providers were cited as factors which could disadvantage them in terms of complying with the measure to the FCC’s standards and several organizations asked for small providers to be given extra time to comply.

In separate comments, internet provider Lumen said that the FCC must make multiple changes to its approach if it is to “avoid imposing new obligations that arbitrarily impose excessive costs on providers and undermine other policy goals.”

Last month, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said that she looks forward to increased coordination between the FCC and state attorneys general for the enforcement of the measure.

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