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FCC Launches C-Band Auction on Tuesday, Plus Broadband Grants in Both Maine and Illinois

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Photo of incumbent satellite operators, who are required to move to the upper part of the C-Band by Pixabay used with permission

The Federal Communications Commission kicked off its C-Band auction on Tuesday, marking one of the first occasions in which the United States is auctioning off valuable midband spectrum for commercial use. In other countries the midband is well occupied by commercial players.

Verizon is projected to be a major winner of the license auction, predicts Mike Dano of Light Reading. As the largest mobile network in the U.S. by customer, Verizon will need C-Band spectrum to catch up with its rivals since it currently has the least amount of low and midband spectrum, Dano explained.

With many companies trying to meet deadlines and roll out 5G, the C-Band auction could also be a gamechanger for companies like Verizon.

The most important factor governing 5G performance is the amount of spectrum devoted to the service, said Dano. Because the C-Band auction comprises 280 megahertz of radio frequencies across three separate blocks of spectrum, Verizon “could almost double the total amount of lowband and midband spectrum it owns by purchasing 100 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, because the operator’s current 4G network (which runs in chunks of lowband and midband spectrum) comprises a total of around 140 megahert.”

Financial analysts at New Street Research speculated that AT&T would spend $12 billion to acquire 80 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, while T-Mobile would spend $10 billion to buy 60 megahertz.

Comcast and Charter Communications are also participating but Altice USA is not. Dish, having participated in virtually every FCC spectrum auction for the past decade, now commands low-band and midband spectrum holdings almost equal to those of Verizon. The company has not yet offered any major commercial mobile services using its holdings, but they will also be participating in the auction.

New Street Research projected that C-Band bidders will spend $51 billion in bids, about $21 billion more than what is predicted by the analysts at Raymond James. Morgan Stanley Research recently raised their C-Band expectations to around $26 billion, with their high-end estimates at $35.2 billion.

ConnectMaine seeks stakeholder engagement on Broadband Grants Program

The ConnectMaine Authority is seeking stakeholder feedback as they change their approach and criteria for grant-making. The just-passed state bond will allow for new and larger amounts of funding.

A public meeting will be held on December 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, via Zoom. The meeting will address the Authority’s proposed design of their broadband infrastructure grants program, and will articulate eligibility, elements of the applications and the review process, and accountability in grant reporting.

ConnectMaine hopes to use the input from this meeting to draft the application form and scoring guide for infrastructure grants. They anticipate sharing the draft of scoring criteria at their January 6th meeting. The approach to reviewing and scoring proposals will be finalized in late January; the next infrastructure grant application window will then open.

We need the voices of broadband users, communities who could benefit from these grants, our partners in industry, businesses, partner organizations and other stakeholders to help shape this new grantmaking process,” the ConnectMaine Authority wrote in a recent post.

Illinois broadband projects break ground, applications open for second round

Last June, the Illinois state broadband project announced the first $50 million in broadband infrastructure awards, including 28 projects which extended fiber connectivity to more than 26,000 locations throughout the state.

Illinois has created the largest state broadband matching grant program ever, with $400 million committed.

Also subscribe to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and Connect Illinois newsletter, which examined several recent last mile projects: Grafton Technologies and Madison Communications.

Grafton Technologies of rural Jersey county has accelerated deployment to meet remote learning needs and Madison Communications, of Macoupin and Madison counties, has hastened the delivery of telehealth by emphasizing the link between broadband connectivity and local healthcare providers.

Broadband Roundup

Infrastructure Bill Gets Agreement, Fiber Connect Wraps Up, Washington Community Broadband

White House announced infrastructure bill to include $65B, Fiber Connect 2021 wraps up, Washington State community broadband bill becomes law.

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The Federal Communications Commission kicked off its C-Band auction on Tuesday, marking one of the first occasions in which the United States is auctioning off valuable midband spectrum for commercial use. In other countries the midband is well occupied by commercial players.

Verizon is projected to be a major winner of the license auction, predicts Mike Dano of Light Reading. As the largest mobile network in the U.S. by customer, Verizon will need C-Band spectrum to catch up with its rivals since it currently has the least amount of low and midband spectrum, Dano explained.

With many companies trying to meet deadlines and roll out 5G, the C-Band auction could also be a gamechanger for companies like Verizon.

The most important factor governing 5G performance is the amount of spectrum devoted to the service, said Dano. Because the C-Band auction comprises 280 megahertz of radio frequencies across three separate blocks of spectrum, Verizon “could almost double the total amount of lowband and midband spectrum it owns by purchasing 100 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, because the operator’s current 4G network (which runs in chunks of lowband and midband spectrum) comprises a total of around 140 megahert.”

Financial analysts at New Street Research speculated that AT&T would spend $12 billion to acquire 80 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, while T-Mobile would spend $10 billion to buy 60 megahertz.

Comcast and Charter Communications are also participating but Altice USA is not. Dish, having participated in virtually every FCC spectrum auction for the past decade, now commands low-band and midband spectrum holdings almost equal to those of Verizon. The company has not yet offered any major commercial mobile services using its holdings, but they will also be participating in the auction.

New Street Research projected that C-Band bidders will spend $51 billion in bids, about $21 billion more than what is predicted by the analysts at Raymond James. Morgan Stanley Research recently raised their C-Band expectations to around $26 billion, with their high-end estimates at $35.2 billion.

ConnectMaine seeks stakeholder engagement on Broadband Grants Program

The ConnectMaine Authority is seeking stakeholder feedback as they change their approach and criteria for grant-making. The just-passed state bond will allow for new and larger amounts of funding.

A public meeting will be held on December 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, via Zoom. The meeting will address the Authority’s proposed design of their broadband infrastructure grants program, and will articulate eligibility, elements of the applications and the review process, and accountability in grant reporting.

ConnectMaine hopes to use the input from this meeting to draft the application form and scoring guide for infrastructure grants. They anticipate sharing the draft of scoring criteria at their January 6th meeting. The approach to reviewing and scoring proposals will be finalized in late January; the next infrastructure grant application window will then open.

We need the voices of broadband users, communities who could benefit from these grants, our partners in industry, businesses, partner organizations and other stakeholders to help shape this new grantmaking process,” the ConnectMaine Authority wrote in a recent post.

Illinois broadband projects break ground, applications open for second round

Last June, the Illinois state broadband project announced the first $50 million in broadband infrastructure awards, including 28 projects which extended fiber connectivity to more than 26,000 locations throughout the state.

Illinois has created the largest state broadband matching grant program ever, with $400 million committed.

Also subscribe to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and Connect Illinois newsletter, which examined several recent last mile projects: Grafton Technologies and Madison Communications.

Grafton Technologies of rural Jersey county has accelerated deployment to meet remote learning needs and Madison Communications, of Macoupin and Madison counties, has hastened the delivery of telehealth by emphasizing the link between broadband connectivity and local healthcare providers.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

FCC Says 4M on Emergency Broadband Benefit, Ritter Puts $12M in Arkansas, New STL Cabling Product

$3.2-billion program has 4 million households, Ritter to connect 100% in river valley, STL efficient cables.

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Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse, left.

The Federal Communications Commission kicked off its C-Band auction on Tuesday, marking one of the first occasions in which the United States is auctioning off valuable midband spectrum for commercial use. In other countries the midband is well occupied by commercial players.

Verizon is projected to be a major winner of the license auction, predicts Mike Dano of Light Reading. As the largest mobile network in the U.S. by customer, Verizon will need C-Band spectrum to catch up with its rivals since it currently has the least amount of low and midband spectrum, Dano explained.

With many companies trying to meet deadlines and roll out 5G, the C-Band auction could also be a gamechanger for companies like Verizon.

The most important factor governing 5G performance is the amount of spectrum devoted to the service, said Dano. Because the C-Band auction comprises 280 megahertz of radio frequencies across three separate blocks of spectrum, Verizon “could almost double the total amount of lowband and midband spectrum it owns by purchasing 100 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, because the operator’s current 4G network (which runs in chunks of lowband and midband spectrum) comprises a total of around 140 megahert.”

Financial analysts at New Street Research speculated that AT&T would spend $12 billion to acquire 80 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, while T-Mobile would spend $10 billion to buy 60 megahertz.

Comcast and Charter Communications are also participating but Altice USA is not. Dish, having participated in virtually every FCC spectrum auction for the past decade, now commands low-band and midband spectrum holdings almost equal to those of Verizon. The company has not yet offered any major commercial mobile services using its holdings, but they will also be participating in the auction.

New Street Research projected that C-Band bidders will spend $51 billion in bids, about $21 billion more than what is predicted by the analysts at Raymond James. Morgan Stanley Research recently raised their C-Band expectations to around $26 billion, with their high-end estimates at $35.2 billion.

ConnectMaine seeks stakeholder engagement on Broadband Grants Program

The ConnectMaine Authority is seeking stakeholder feedback as they change their approach and criteria for grant-making. The just-passed state bond will allow for new and larger amounts of funding.

A public meeting will be held on December 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, via Zoom. The meeting will address the Authority’s proposed design of their broadband infrastructure grants program, and will articulate eligibility, elements of the applications and the review process, and accountability in grant reporting.

ConnectMaine hopes to use the input from this meeting to draft the application form and scoring guide for infrastructure grants. They anticipate sharing the draft of scoring criteria at their January 6th meeting. The approach to reviewing and scoring proposals will be finalized in late January; the next infrastructure grant application window will then open.

We need the voices of broadband users, communities who could benefit from these grants, our partners in industry, businesses, partner organizations and other stakeholders to help shape this new grantmaking process,” the ConnectMaine Authority wrote in a recent post.

Illinois broadband projects break ground, applications open for second round

Last June, the Illinois state broadband project announced the first $50 million in broadband infrastructure awards, including 28 projects which extended fiber connectivity to more than 26,000 locations throughout the state.

Illinois has created the largest state broadband matching grant program ever, with $400 million committed.

Also subscribe to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and Connect Illinois newsletter, which examined several recent last mile projects: Grafton Technologies and Madison Communications.

Grafton Technologies of rural Jersey county has accelerated deployment to meet remote learning needs and Madison Communications, of Macoupin and Madison counties, has hastened the delivery of telehealth by emphasizing the link between broadband connectivity and local healthcare providers.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

New York Drops $15 Internet, Lumen Gets Army Contract, Illinois Signs Telehealth Bill

New York drops $15 internet after interim court decision, Lumen gets army contract for broadband, Illinois allows telehealth for all.

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The Federal Communications Commission kicked off its C-Band auction on Tuesday, marking one of the first occasions in which the United States is auctioning off valuable midband spectrum for commercial use. In other countries the midband is well occupied by commercial players.

Verizon is projected to be a major winner of the license auction, predicts Mike Dano of Light Reading. As the largest mobile network in the U.S. by customer, Verizon will need C-Band spectrum to catch up with its rivals since it currently has the least amount of low and midband spectrum, Dano explained.

With many companies trying to meet deadlines and roll out 5G, the C-Band auction could also be a gamechanger for companies like Verizon.

The most important factor governing 5G performance is the amount of spectrum devoted to the service, said Dano. Because the C-Band auction comprises 280 megahertz of radio frequencies across three separate blocks of spectrum, Verizon “could almost double the total amount of lowband and midband spectrum it owns by purchasing 100 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, because the operator’s current 4G network (which runs in chunks of lowband and midband spectrum) comprises a total of around 140 megahert.”

Financial analysts at New Street Research speculated that AT&T would spend $12 billion to acquire 80 megahertz of C-Band spectrum, while T-Mobile would spend $10 billion to buy 60 megahertz.

Comcast and Charter Communications are also participating but Altice USA is not. Dish, having participated in virtually every FCC spectrum auction for the past decade, now commands low-band and midband spectrum holdings almost equal to those of Verizon. The company has not yet offered any major commercial mobile services using its holdings, but they will also be participating in the auction.

New Street Research projected that C-Band bidders will spend $51 billion in bids, about $21 billion more than what is predicted by the analysts at Raymond James. Morgan Stanley Research recently raised their C-Band expectations to around $26 billion, with their high-end estimates at $35.2 billion.

ConnectMaine seeks stakeholder engagement on Broadband Grants Program

The ConnectMaine Authority is seeking stakeholder feedback as they change their approach and criteria for grant-making. The just-passed state bond will allow for new and larger amounts of funding.

A public meeting will be held on December 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, via Zoom. The meeting will address the Authority’s proposed design of their broadband infrastructure grants program, and will articulate eligibility, elements of the applications and the review process, and accountability in grant reporting.

ConnectMaine hopes to use the input from this meeting to draft the application form and scoring guide for infrastructure grants. They anticipate sharing the draft of scoring criteria at their January 6th meeting. The approach to reviewing and scoring proposals will be finalized in late January; the next infrastructure grant application window will then open.

We need the voices of broadband users, communities who could benefit from these grants, our partners in industry, businesses, partner organizations and other stakeholders to help shape this new grantmaking process,” the ConnectMaine Authority wrote in a recent post.

Illinois broadband projects break ground, applications open for second round

Last June, the Illinois state broadband project announced the first $50 million in broadband infrastructure awards, including 28 projects which extended fiber connectivity to more than 26,000 locations throughout the state.

Illinois has created the largest state broadband matching grant program ever, with $400 million committed.

Also subscribe to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society and Connect Illinois newsletter, which examined several recent last mile projects: Grafton Technologies and Madison Communications.

Grafton Technologies of rural Jersey county has accelerated deployment to meet remote learning needs and Madison Communications, of Macoupin and Madison counties, has hastened the delivery of telehealth by emphasizing the link between broadband connectivity and local healthcare providers.

Continue Reading

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