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Reflections on Broadband Access and Adoption From the Broadband Properties Summit

Now that the heavily attended Broadband Properties Summit in Dallas has passed, it is time to reflect on the overall issues facing broadband access, and adoption, as we move forward with a renewed vigor to reach the goals and objectives set forth in the National Broadband Plan. How will we move forward and what hurdles lie ahead in meeting that agenda?

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Now that the heavily attended Broadband Properties Summit in Dallas has passed, it is time to reflect on the overall issues facing broadband access, and adoption, as we move forward with a renewed vigor to reach the goals and objectives set forth in the National Broadband Plan. How will we move forward and what hurdles lie ahead in meeting that agenda?

Graham Richard
Image via Wikipedia

There seemed to be one underlying theme throughout the conference, how can we formulate a plan to foster collaboration in convincing both public and private sectors to work together for a common goal? How to increase broadband proliferation by investing needed capital resources for new infrastructure, create public/private partnerships; invest in new job creation, while bringing high-speed Internet access to rural and underserved communities?

Most Galvanizing Message

The most prevalent message was from former Mayor of Fort Wayne, IN., Graham Richard, (Graham Richard Associates, LLC), in which he threw down the gauntlet in championing the mantra that local governments would have to get involved in attracting broadband for their communities; learn more about how high-speed Internet can help their communities to save money, create jobs, while attracting both new and existing businesses to invest in technology for the betterment of all constituencies. This is where he promotes the public/private partnerships that can make broadband happen as a win-win for both sectors.

Most Recurring Theme

Similar messages were put forth by industry leaders for local leaders, in asking hard questions of their communities about their willingness to work together in creating a consensus from constituents; that broadband would be supported, accepted, and subscribed too, as not only a need, but as an e-economy vehicle in bringing acceptable returns for private investment. Having community acceptance and support is a critical success factor in attracting investors, who must have a return on that investment to provide the highest quality service available.

The Importance of Creating Taskforces

Another consensus running throughout the conference was a call for local communities to create broadband taskforces with long-term goals and objectives for the future. This will be a key element in the success or failure of communities in taking advantage of an e-economy, therefore being able to tap into the benefits of broadband proliferation. These taskforces will make the difference for creating a legitimate business case for broadband. The taskforce must include all parties involved from private sector businesses, local governments, state technology alliances, state government leaders, and national leaders in making that concerted effort to formulate a viable plan.

Community support is vital for the success of the plan in which all constituents must come together and collaborate to make this happen. It cannot come to fruition without every citizen being involved in that support; either through serving on the taskforce, committing to subscribe, recruiting infrastructure builders, or attracting business partners for those goals.

Summit Roundtable Creation

Last but not least, the creation by Graham Richard of a small group of interested constituents in seeing the future benefits of broadband come to rural communities, and how it can help those communities improve services; to include e-healthcare, e-education, saving money on services offered through broadband e-technology, and attracting new businesses and keeping existing businesses solvent. It is a tall gauntlet Mayor Richard has thrown down as a challenge for all constituents involved, to get involved through collaboration and communication in moving the agenda forward.

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Len Grace is a Cable Industry veteran with over 18 years experience as a former General Manager with Comcast Corporation. His insights into pertinent and relevant issues within the Telecom/Cable TV arenas both inform and enlighten readers on current industry trends. Currently, Len is an Independent Consultant/Strategist and Blogger who contributes to Light Reading/Cable Digital News, an internationally syndicated technology news organization. Len blogs under the title The Cable Pipeline offering research and commentary on today’s broadband issues. Also see his expert opinion.

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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