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Infrastructure

FTTH Council Petitions FCC to Enact Gigabit Program

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WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 — The Fiber to the Home Council Americas will propose a Gigabit Communities Race to the Top program to the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to complement the commission’s recent decision to modernize the E-Rate program.

The purpose of the proposal is to spur the development of ultra-high speed broadband networks across the United States. Under this program, communities would compete for matching grants of up to $10 million to establish gigabit networks to benefit community anchor institutions and the surrounding area through collaboration among the institutions themselves, local governments, and service providers.

The proposal is based on President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top education grant initiative, which was introduced in 2009. The program used a point system based on education policies to allocate grants among the states.

The FTTH Council Americas is a non-profit association of companies providing service over direct fiber optic connections, as well as companies that plan and build such networks. The council works to accelerate the deployment of fiber networks throughout the country.

Josh Evans is a political science major at Grove City College. He is originally from Dover, Florida. An intern at the National Journalism Center in the summer of 2013, he is a Reporter for Broadband Census News and the News Editor for The Collegian at Grove City College.

FCC

FCC Announces Additional Details From Second Wave, Additional Money for First Wave, of Emergency Connectivity Fund

FCC said it disbursed an additional $269 million in the first round.

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FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2021 ­– The Federal Communications Commission announced additional details Monday about the second wave of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, including additional money that has been allocated from the first filing window.

The agency, which allocated $1.1 billion earlier this month, said second wave applicants filed for nearly $1.3 billion from all 50 states. The second window was open for applications between September 28 and October 13.

The agency also announced that an additional $269 million was allocated for the first filing window applications, which disbursed $1.2 billion from the $7.17 billion program.

The applications submitted for the latest round will go to fund 2.4 million connected devices and over 564,000 broadband connections to benefit schools and libraries. The agency has so far committed a total of $2.63 billion from the fund.

These latest commitments mean more than nine million students will be connected with the money. The support provided from the funds is expected to make homework completion and virtual learning more possible for students with connectivity issues, as many schools continue to operate remotely.

“Clearly there still is a tremendous demand for help in our communities to meet the broadband needs of students and library patrons engaged in online learning,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

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Infrastructure

Why the Multiple Dwelling Unit May Well Be the Next Battleground of Broadband Access

Broadband Breakfast interviews Pierre Trudeau, president and chief technology officer of Positron Access, about reaching multi-tenant units.

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October 26, 2021– Positron Access President and Chief Technology Office Pierre Trudeau discusses the current “fiber frenzy,” why multiple-dwelling units sometimes suffer because of uncertainty surrounding the costs of building and some of the solutions available to get better broadband to MDUs.

In this interview with Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark, Trudeau also explains how Positron Access provides fiber-builders with a solution to serve otherwise costly or difficult to deploy fiber infrastructure, through a device they refer to as “Gigabit Access Multiplexer,” or a “GAM” for short.

Positron Access Solutions manufactures carrier grade products that increase the bandwidth delivered by Tier-1 carriers and over 150 Tier- 2 / 3 Operators. Positron’s G.hn Gigabit Access Multiplexer (GAM) extends fiber or fixed-wireless Gigabit services over the existing in-building wiring in MDU and Multi-Tenant Units, as well as and over the outdoor existing wiring from the curb to the gateway in rural areas.

Don’t miss Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “When Greenfield Fiber Meets Brownfield Multiple Dwelling Units

Indeed, bringing fiber to the premises is sometimes only half the battle. For example, bringing fiber to an MDU may not mean that every tenant will get better-quality broadband. In the case of multiple dwelling units or multi-tenant housing, it isn’t easy to completely rewire an existing building with fiber-to-the-unit. Further, the Biden Administration and the Federal Communications Commission are pushing real estate owners to eliminate or minimize exclusive MDU broadband contacts.

In the interview between Trudeau and Clark, the two discuss Positron Access and its role in solving the problem.

Positron Access delivers managed real-time non-blocking virtually symmetrical Gigabit speeds to each subscriber without the cost and construction disruption of installing fiber to each door (up to 800 feet over existing telephone pairs or 2,800 feet over existing RG6 coaxial cable and splitters). The GAM is auto-configured and supports user self-installation, eliminating the need to enter the premises. It is installed and activated in hours. Developed, manufactured and supported in North America.

Positron has adapted existing G.hn technology to function over telephone pairs and coaxial cables by developing proprietary software that effectively eliminates line born noise between cable pairs. In conjunction with this software, they developed a GAM device no bigger than a deck of playing cards known that can convert gigabit input to G.hn. Through this device consumers can receive gigabit services at a fraction of the cost of fiber.

This Broadband Breakfast interview is sponsored by:

 

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Funding

National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Minority Community Grant Applications

The more detail, the better, NTIA officials said of program.

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Scott Woods, senior broadband program specialist and team lead for NTIA's Connecting Minority Communities, speaking at Broadband Communities in Houston

WASHINGTON, October 24, 2021–Lack of eligibility or proper planning or documentation errors are frequent grounds for disqualification of applicants for the United States’ Commerce Department’s Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, agency officials said Wednesday and Thursday.

Speaking at webinars for individuals considering applying for the grants – which are being made by the National Telecommunications and Information Association of the Commerce Department – officials shared the most commons mistakes made by applicants when applying for the grants.

Among the officials speaking during the two presentations were Scott Woods, senior broadband program specialist and team lead for the Connecting Minority Communities program, Management and Program Analyst Pandora Beasley-Timpson, Broadband Program Specialist Janice Wilkins, Telecommunications Policy Analyst Francine Alkisswani, and Broadband Program Specialists Cameron Lewis and Kevin Hughes.

Among the biggest mistakes is eligibility. “Only historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, or minority serving institutions can apply,” said NTIA’s Michelle Morton.

Making a Successful Application

Morton and other leaders of the program also shared traits of a successful grant application.

“Good applicants provide a business and execution plan,” they said. “[Applicants] should demonstrate there is a core staff that is dedicated to the proposed project and knowledgeable about the process, as well as an editor, preferably one not connected to the project, to encourage non-biased review of the grant to see how it reads.”

Project Implementation and Evaluation

When describing their project implementation and planning process, applicants should have a clear project narrative that “identifies specific tasks, measurable milestones, and performance outcomes resulting from the proposed project activity,” the officials said.

Importantly, the NTIA stressed that all applicants must comply with Commerce Department regulations for the protection of human subjects during all research conducted or supported with grant funds.

This is important because the NTIA is required to determine whether or not a project’s evaluation plan “meets the definition of human subject research.” Thus, no work can be taken for research involving human subject until a federal grants officer approves of the research.

Consortiums

NTIA leaders also addressed questions about consortium-based applicants. “The lead application is the entity entering into the grant agreement with the NTIA and assumes primary operational and financial responsibility for the project.”

A consortium allows Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions to partner with local governments on their application. Each consortium partner must provide a letter of a commitment to the project, including the detailed role of each member of the project and the specific commitment of each member of the project.

Finances and Budgeting

Applicants are also required to include financial documentation that details how the funds will be used and how the funding plans to meet the projects’ intended goals.

Additionally, applicants’ budget narrative should serve to explain how the costs were estimated and justify how the budget items are necessary to implement project goals and objectives and accomplished applicant’s proposed outcomes.

“We encourage out of the box thinking with regard to applicants putting together their projects,” said Hughes.

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