December 16, 2020 – Render Networks has announced the launch of its new RDOF Deployment Guide, sharing key considerations for network deployment success and insights into developing a compelling and complete Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) long-form application.
Render’s role in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) funding process is to deliver technology-enabled efficiencies to all participants and enable the deployment of large-scale, future-proof fiber networks at the lowest possible cost.
The innovative firm’s proven digital construction management platform is configurable to any network architecture and build strategy. Render’s digital approach delivers significant value to rural network operators and their trusted partners in the following areas:
- Long-form application: Project plan and scope accuracy. Prepare construction scope and schedule with confidence to deliver a compelling project plan while still maintaining build flexibility and sufficient margin or contingency.
- Reduced network delivery risk: Access 50+ years of deployment expertise, with industry best-practice methodologies built-in to unlock new levels of delivery efficiency and effectiveness.
- Unmatched real-time project visibility and FCC reporting capabilities. Customized data capture, reporting, and compliance templates built from the ground up to meet the requirements of the Universal Service Administrative Company’s High-Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal, as well as the emerging standards of the FCC’s Digital Opportunity Data Collection.
- Accelerated build times and reduced delivery costs. Achieve “break-even’ and positive cash flow sooner while connecting communities to reliable, high-speed internet faster.
- Build prioritization to census block locations. Seamless real-time tracking of progress against census block objectives, enable early identification of performance issues or at-risk delivery to avoid post-award penalties and better build decisions.
This guide is highly applicable to all FCC and U.S. Department of Agriculture funding recipients, including Phase II of the Connect America Fund, ReConnect, and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. This technology will help award winners in their quest for greater predictability and progress visibility into their current network rollout.
Looking to inform the next stage of your RDOF journey? Receive a free copy of Render’s RDOF Deployment Guide here.
Broadband Breakfast Interview with BroadbandNow about Lower Costs and Lower Latency
February 25, 2021 – Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark interviewed BroadbandNow Editor-in-Chief Tyler Cooper for an exploration of the State of Broadband quarterly report, with a particular focus on the progress being made to bring every American online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the report’s key findings include:
- Low-priced access expanded during the fourth quarter across many states as more providers expanded their lower cost offerings. A total of 70 percent of Americans had access to low-priced wired broadband plans compared to 52 percent, measured year over year against the 2019 Q4 report.
- Rhode Island remains the state with the highest percentage of residents with access to low-priced plans of speeds 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 25 Mbps upload.
- While 78 percent of Americans have access to wired providers who report that they can service speeds of 100 Mbps download / 25 Mbps upload, only 30 percent of Americans have access to low-priced plans at that speed.
- For the first time, residents in Alaska have gained access to low-priced broadband plans. Despite this, less than 1 percent of the population has access. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia now have some level of access to low-priced plans.
- 21 states had improved or steady internet latency, compared to Q3. The state with the least latency is New Jersey, the one with the most is Hawaii.
Listen to the 18-minute interview to hear how Clark and Cooper dive into a discussion of improving broadband speeds through lower latency, and improving (or lowering) monthly costs for a broadband subscription.
The full report, “The State of Broadband in America, Q4 2020,” is authored by Cooper and Julia Tanberk.
This Broadband Breakfast interview is sponsored by:
Broadband Breakfast Interview with BroadbandNow about Gigabit Coverage and Unreliable FCC Data
December 27, 2020 – Broadband Now’s new report on gigabit internet coverage in the United States picks upon aspects of the Federal Communications Commission’s unreliable broadband data.
FCC data shows that in 2016, only 4 percent of American had access to a gigabit connection. Fast forward to 2020, and – according to government statistics – 84 percent of Americans reportedly have that same luxury.
Except that it isn’t so.
In this interview with Broadband Now Editor-in-Chief Tyler Cooper, he and Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark delve into the mechanics of understanding the availability of gigabit broadband networks.
As Broadband Now notes in its report, progress on gigabit deployment in the U.S. has been greatly exaggerated. This is true for the state of the internet in general, as Broadband Now previously illustrated. However, the gigabit landscape is a subsection worth examining more closely, as it is the connectivity threshold that will be required to solve the speed and functionality divides of the near future.
This 18-minute question-and-answer delves into the details: Why gigabit connectivity is important, why the FCC is mismeasuring it, and how Broadband Now has filled out our understanding of this benchmark level of broadband connectivity.
The full report is titled, “Massive Gigabit “Coverage” Increase Highlights How Unreliable Government Broadband Data Can Be.”
This Broadband Breakfast interview is sponsored by:
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Completion of Fiber Project in West Point, Utah, in 15 Months
December 17, 2020 – UTOPIA Fiber announced Tuesday that it had fully built its fiber-to-the-home broadband network in the City of West Point, Utah.
The $7.2 million project, announced after a unanimous city council vote, gives every residence and business in West Point access to the fastest internet speeds in America. Remarkably, the buildout was completed in a mere 15 months. West Point is one of 15 cities in Utah that have UTOPIA Fiber’s residential fiber service, and 50 with its business service.
“Sign-ups have been astonishingly fast, which means the project is on track for covering its bond payments with subscriber revenue in the next few months,” said Kimberly McKinley, UTOPIA Fiber’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Strong demand from West Point residents who are working and learning remotely has fueled the high take rates which are months ahead of projections,” she added.
Located just north of Salt Lake City, West Point has a population nearing 11,000 and is adjacent to Clearfield City, which in August announced its own $13.8 million fiber-to-the-home, open access project with UTOPIA Fiber.
Unlike typical internet companies that cherrypick more-upscale neighborhoods, UTOPIA Fiber builds out the entire community with fiber infrastructure, so every address has the option to use the service. West Point residents can now access UTOPIA Fiber’s internet services starting at $65/month for 250/250 Megabits per second (Mbps) and will have the option to choose speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second (up to 100 Gbps for business) from 13 local providers—the fastest internet speeds in the nation.
The pandemic has fueled significant interest in UTOPIA Fiber’s publicly-owned fiber service. The network now has a pipeline of 20 cities expressing interest in partnering with UTOPIA, and the agency is laying over 45 miles of fiber cable each month, across its portfolio, to meet surging demand.
“City leaders throughout the state are hearing from their constituents who are demanding better connectivity,” noted Roger Timmerman, Executive Director, UTOPIA Fiber. High-speed broadband is not just for entertainment purposes like gaming and streaming. It has become a critical need for working, learning, communicating, and accessing other critical online services like telehealth.“
With over $220 million of successful fiber projects, UTOPIA Fiber is the nation’s largest and most-successful open access network. As an open access network, UTOPIA Fiber builds and finances the infrastructure and allows multiple private-sector internet service providers (ISPs) to compete on its network, offering internet, video, and voice services.
About UTOPIA Fiber
The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) is a community-owned fiber optic network utilizing light to transfer information, making it the fastest communication and data transfer technology in use today. Created by a group of Utah cities, UTOPIA Fiber supports open-access and promotes competition in all telecommunication services. For more information, contact Kim McKinley, Chief Marketing Officer, UTOPIA Fiber.
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