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Broadband Roundup

$20B Fiber Bill; VISA Accepts U.S. Crypto Coin; Intermountain Hybrid Virtual Care

Derek Shumway

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Photo of Lindsey Graham from Flickr

March 31, 2021 – Republican South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday reintroduced the State Fix Act, which would expand broadband access to underserved rural areas.

The bill would provide $20 billion for broadband infrastructure utilizing fiber-optic cables and 5G technologies. It also calls for using a reverse auction method to provide high-speed broadband service at the lowest price for American taxpayers, and will base a state’s funding on the number of unserved (no internet access at all) and a percentage of their underserved (low-quality service) populations to distribute funds to the areas of greatest need like rural America and economically-challenging “opportunity zones.”

In a press release, the Senators said over 650,000 citizens in South Carolina and 20 million nationally lack internet or adequate broadband speeds.

“Connectivity is absolutely essential for South Carolina families and businesses,” Scott said. “Increased broadband access means more opportunity for underserved and rural communities, positively affecting everything from education and healthcare to business and workforce development.”

Senator Scott has also led several other bills that would support broadband development and deployment for South Carolinians including The Connecting Minority Communities Act and the Governors’ Broadband Development Fund.

Visa will transact with USD Coin

Visa said Monday that it will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry, as reported by Reuters.

The USD Coin (USDC) is a relatively stable cryptocurrency because its value is pegged directly to the U.S. dollar. Visa now joins other financial firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc, who have taken steps to incorporate cryptocurrency deeper into investment and payment purposes.  Among other big name users of cryptocurrencies is Tesla, which recently said people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin, following a previous announcement made on February 8 this year that Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa.

Visa told Reuters that it launched a pilot program with Crypto.com, a payment and crypto platform, and plans to offer it to more partners later this year. When news broke that Visa was accepting cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the most popular crypto coin, jumped to a one-week high, rising as much as 4.5 percent to $58,300 and heading back toward a record-high above $61,000 hit earlier this month.

Intermountain to allow patients to virtually visit multiple doctors

Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system, launched a TV-based telehealth care program in its facilities that blends virtual and in-person healthcare.

The “Smart TV Kits” allow simultaneous connection between the primary provider, outside providers, and family members who may need to be together but can’t do so physically. For example, if someone goes in for a dermatologist’s office and requires an ophthalmologist, instead of having to travel to a whole new building, they can be called onto the same screen. Additionally, if a patient is bedridden or needs to be transferred to a new location for care, being able to connect digitally on-screen will allow additional providers to see the patient, saving them from the sometimes tricky logistics of actually being physically present in the moment.

Intermountain said the kits were being developed for eight years and it installed 1,200 such devices across 50 locations including emergency rooms and other areas of the hospitals.

The TVs do not integrate the electronic medical record with the telehealth program as Intermountain was concerned over the need to upgrade all software and record-keeping systems. This would reduce cost and prevent additional privacy issues brought with digitizing its systems.

Broadband Roundup

Vermont Looks To Expand Coverage, California Moves On Passive Infrastructure, AT&T Gets DoT Contract, Cisco Buys Sedona

Vermont looks to expand broadband, California looks at passive infrastructure, AT&T gets DoT contract, and Cisco to buy Sedona.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Vermont Governor Phil Scott

March 31, 2021 – Republican South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday reintroduced the State Fix Act, which would expand broadband access to underserved rural areas.

The bill would provide $20 billion for broadband infrastructure utilizing fiber-optic cables and 5G technologies. It also calls for using a reverse auction method to provide high-speed broadband service at the lowest price for American taxpayers, and will base a state’s funding on the number of unserved (no internet access at all) and a percentage of their underserved (low-quality service) populations to distribute funds to the areas of greatest need like rural America and economically-challenging “opportunity zones.”

In a press release, the Senators said over 650,000 citizens in South Carolina and 20 million nationally lack internet or adequate broadband speeds.

“Connectivity is absolutely essential for South Carolina families and businesses,” Scott said. “Increased broadband access means more opportunity for underserved and rural communities, positively affecting everything from education and healthcare to business and workforce development.”

Senator Scott has also led several other bills that would support broadband development and deployment for South Carolinians including The Connecting Minority Communities Act and the Governors’ Broadband Development Fund.

Visa will transact with USD Coin

Visa said Monday that it will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry, as reported by Reuters.

The USD Coin (USDC) is a relatively stable cryptocurrency because its value is pegged directly to the U.S. dollar. Visa now joins other financial firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc, who have taken steps to incorporate cryptocurrency deeper into investment and payment purposes.  Among other big name users of cryptocurrencies is Tesla, which recently said people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin, following a previous announcement made on February 8 this year that Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa.

Visa told Reuters that it launched a pilot program with Crypto.com, a payment and crypto platform, and plans to offer it to more partners later this year. When news broke that Visa was accepting cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the most popular crypto coin, jumped to a one-week high, rising as much as 4.5 percent to $58,300 and heading back toward a record-high above $61,000 hit earlier this month.

Intermountain to allow patients to virtually visit multiple doctors

Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system, launched a TV-based telehealth care program in its facilities that blends virtual and in-person healthcare.

The “Smart TV Kits” allow simultaneous connection between the primary provider, outside providers, and family members who may need to be together but can’t do so physically. For example, if someone goes in for a dermatologist’s office and requires an ophthalmologist, instead of having to travel to a whole new building, they can be called onto the same screen. Additionally, if a patient is bedridden or needs to be transferred to a new location for care, being able to connect digitally on-screen will allow additional providers to see the patient, saving them from the sometimes tricky logistics of actually being physically present in the moment.

Intermountain said the kits were being developed for eight years and it installed 1,200 such devices across 50 locations including emergency rooms and other areas of the hospitals.

The TVs do not integrate the electronic medical record with the telehealth program as Intermountain was concerned over the need to upgrade all software and record-keeping systems. This would reduce cost and prevent additional privacy issues brought with digitizing its systems.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Alabama Dispenses $17M In Broadband Funds, New Broadband Mapping Insight, Pipeline Attack

Ivey announces $17 million to deploy broadband, Microsoft data for broadband map, and “Robin Hood” group involved in pipeline attack.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

March 31, 2021 – Republican South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday reintroduced the State Fix Act, which would expand broadband access to underserved rural areas.

The bill would provide $20 billion for broadband infrastructure utilizing fiber-optic cables and 5G technologies. It also calls for using a reverse auction method to provide high-speed broadband service at the lowest price for American taxpayers, and will base a state’s funding on the number of unserved (no internet access at all) and a percentage of their underserved (low-quality service) populations to distribute funds to the areas of greatest need like rural America and economically-challenging “opportunity zones.”

In a press release, the Senators said over 650,000 citizens in South Carolina and 20 million nationally lack internet or adequate broadband speeds.

“Connectivity is absolutely essential for South Carolina families and businesses,” Scott said. “Increased broadband access means more opportunity for underserved and rural communities, positively affecting everything from education and healthcare to business and workforce development.”

Senator Scott has also led several other bills that would support broadband development and deployment for South Carolinians including The Connecting Minority Communities Act and the Governors’ Broadband Development Fund.

Visa will transact with USD Coin

Visa said Monday that it will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry, as reported by Reuters.

The USD Coin (USDC) is a relatively stable cryptocurrency because its value is pegged directly to the U.S. dollar. Visa now joins other financial firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc, who have taken steps to incorporate cryptocurrency deeper into investment and payment purposes.  Among other big name users of cryptocurrencies is Tesla, which recently said people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin, following a previous announcement made on February 8 this year that Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa.

Visa told Reuters that it launched a pilot program with Crypto.com, a payment and crypto platform, and plans to offer it to more partners later this year. When news broke that Visa was accepting cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the most popular crypto coin, jumped to a one-week high, rising as much as 4.5 percent to $58,300 and heading back toward a record-high above $61,000 hit earlier this month.

Intermountain to allow patients to virtually visit multiple doctors

Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system, launched a TV-based telehealth care program in its facilities that blends virtual and in-person healthcare.

The “Smart TV Kits” allow simultaneous connection between the primary provider, outside providers, and family members who may need to be together but can’t do so physically. For example, if someone goes in for a dermatologist’s office and requires an ophthalmologist, instead of having to travel to a whole new building, they can be called onto the same screen. Additionally, if a patient is bedridden or needs to be transferred to a new location for care, being able to connect digitally on-screen will allow additional providers to see the patient, saving them from the sometimes tricky logistics of actually being physically present in the moment.

Intermountain said the kits were being developed for eight years and it installed 1,200 such devices across 50 locations including emergency rooms and other areas of the hospitals.

The TVs do not integrate the electronic medical record with the telehealth program as Intermountain was concerned over the need to upgrade all software and record-keeping systems. This would reduce cost and prevent additional privacy issues brought with digitizing its systems.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

5G In 12 GHz Band, Vaccine Hotline, NAB On Fox Free Speech Case

Industry groups ask for 5G space on 12 GHz band, new hotline for vaccines, NAB on Fox free speech case.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Marilyn Mosby

March 31, 2021 – Republican South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday reintroduced the State Fix Act, which would expand broadband access to underserved rural areas.

The bill would provide $20 billion for broadband infrastructure utilizing fiber-optic cables and 5G technologies. It also calls for using a reverse auction method to provide high-speed broadband service at the lowest price for American taxpayers, and will base a state’s funding on the number of unserved (no internet access at all) and a percentage of their underserved (low-quality service) populations to distribute funds to the areas of greatest need like rural America and economically-challenging “opportunity zones.”

In a press release, the Senators said over 650,000 citizens in South Carolina and 20 million nationally lack internet or adequate broadband speeds.

“Connectivity is absolutely essential for South Carolina families and businesses,” Scott said. “Increased broadband access means more opportunity for underserved and rural communities, positively affecting everything from education and healthcare to business and workforce development.”

Senator Scott has also led several other bills that would support broadband development and deployment for South Carolinians including The Connecting Minority Communities Act and the Governors’ Broadband Development Fund.

Visa will transact with USD Coin

Visa said Monday that it will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry, as reported by Reuters.

The USD Coin (USDC) is a relatively stable cryptocurrency because its value is pegged directly to the U.S. dollar. Visa now joins other financial firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc, who have taken steps to incorporate cryptocurrency deeper into investment and payment purposes.  Among other big name users of cryptocurrencies is Tesla, which recently said people can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin, following a previous announcement made on February 8 this year that Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” said Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa.

Visa told Reuters that it launched a pilot program with Crypto.com, a payment and crypto platform, and plans to offer it to more partners later this year. When news broke that Visa was accepting cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the most popular crypto coin, jumped to a one-week high, rising as much as 4.5 percent to $58,300 and heading back toward a record-high above $61,000 hit earlier this month.

Intermountain to allow patients to virtually visit multiple doctors

Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system, launched a TV-based telehealth care program in its facilities that blends virtual and in-person healthcare.

The “Smart TV Kits” allow simultaneous connection between the primary provider, outside providers, and family members who may need to be together but can’t do so physically. For example, if someone goes in for a dermatologist’s office and requires an ophthalmologist, instead of having to travel to a whole new building, they can be called onto the same screen. Additionally, if a patient is bedridden or needs to be transferred to a new location for care, being able to connect digitally on-screen will allow additional providers to see the patient, saving them from the sometimes tricky logistics of actually being physically present in the moment.

Intermountain said the kits were being developed for eight years and it installed 1,200 such devices across 50 locations including emergency rooms and other areas of the hospitals.

The TVs do not integrate the electronic medical record with the telehealth program as Intermountain was concerned over the need to upgrade all software and record-keeping systems. This would reduce cost and prevent additional privacy issues brought with digitizing its systems.

Continue Reading

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