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FCC Supply Chain Security Strategy, Risk Of Fiber Shortage, Digital Literacy To Close Digital Divide

FCC talks supply chain security, fiber could see shortage, and digital literacy on the digital divide.

Tim White

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April 27, 2021 – Risk management and security for supply chains is an increasingly important factor for small and mid-sized businesses, according to industry experts at a Federal Communications Commission event held Monday, and the agency has a strategy to protect the nation’s networks.

The panel included comments from Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, and the three other commissioners, along with visitors from different parts of the telecom industry and other government agencies.

America has reached a point where it is never far removed from a possible security breach, Rosenworcel said. She outlined a three-pronged strategy for the agency to protect networks:

  • Slowing down untrusted vendors both within the U.S. and abroad, including moving untrusted equipment out of the networks and maintaining a list of dangerous entities.
  • Speeding up trustworthy innovation, including possibilities in the Open Radio Access Network space.
  • Collaborating with government, industry, and partner nations. This includes a recent “Memorandum of Understanding” between the FCC and South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority, that “seeks to increase coordination and the exchange of best practices on fifth generation (5G) technologies, network security, and other policy issues.”

The event comes in the wake of the SolarWinds hack announced in December. Attributed to Russian intelligence, the cyberattack revealed a sophisticated way that adversaries were able to infiltrate through the supply chain update process, according to experts in the industry.

Material and labor shortages will likely slow fiber infrastructure

With so much emphasis on broadband, including new legislation and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal for $100 billion investment in broadband over eight years, one question is whether companies will have the materials and labor to actually build the fiber.

Light Reading’s Mike Dano reports that companies are committing to building more fiber in the coming years to millions of new locations, including AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, Consolidated Communications, among others.

But the problem isn’t necessarily demand, it’s supply, wrote Jeff Heynen of the research firm Dell’Oro Group. “Instead of ‘if you build it, they will come’ supply chain and labor market constraints might prevent operators from building it in the first place,” he wrote.

State broadband offices throughout the U.S. also recognize the coming problem, as Broadband Breakfast reported earlier this month. “Material and manpower are probably one of my biggest concerns right now,” said Rick Gordon, director of the Maryland governor’s rural broadband office.

“The biggest impediment to getting fiber networks rolled out within a realistic time frame is likely to be a lack of trained workers in the fields of professional services and installation,” wrote Heynen. These positions include network engineers, surveyors, technicians, and those coordinating for permits and rights of way applications with the local municipalities.

“The net result is that fiber broadband deployments in rural and underserved communities are likely going to take considerably longer to complete, potentially pushing the goal of connectivity out past 10 years,” Heynen wrote.

The two broadband factors we’re not talking about

Bridging the digital divide between those with broadband and those without is at the forefront of the telecom industry right now, but for the editorial board at the Washington Post, there are two factors that are being overlooked.

Pulling the two ideas from the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, the first is what they call digital readiness or digital literacy as it’s often named.

“There is little point in paying for an Internet plan if you don’t know how to use the Internet,” the Post wrote. The problem includes students who are unfamiliar with online education, adults who have missed online medical visits, and workers who can’t navigate online spaces to find employment. All three examples illustrating a lack of digital know-how.

The second is the “utilization gap,” or the difference between what society could do with the internet and what it is actually doing.

“Industry and policymakers don’t take advantage of jobs data that could help them pair some citizens with openings and train others; schools don’t take advantage of the possibility for expanded curriculums and individualized learning. Telehealth, too, can’t reach its full potential under outdated restrictions on providers,” the Post wrote.

While the Lewis Latimer Plan recommendations are debatable, including the ideas of a new office of digital equity and a national digital literacy program, “treating broadband as infrastructure is the right approach, yet for the investment to pay off, we must build more than wires,” they wrote.

Broadband Roundup

Lina Khan Advances In FTC Bid, Biden Signs Executive Order On Cybersecurity, And Commits To Combatting Extremism

Lina Khan continues toward FTC role, Biden makes cybersecurity order after Colonial Pipeline, and U.S. joins the Christchurch call.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Lina Khan continues bid for lead on FTC

April 27, 2021 – Risk management and security for supply chains is an increasingly important factor for small and mid-sized businesses, according to industry experts at a Federal Communications Commission event held Monday, and the agency has a strategy to protect the nation’s networks.

The panel included comments from Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, and the three other commissioners, along with visitors from different parts of the telecom industry and other government agencies.

America has reached a point where it is never far removed from a possible security breach, Rosenworcel said. She outlined a three-pronged strategy for the agency to protect networks:

  • Slowing down untrusted vendors both within the U.S. and abroad, including moving untrusted equipment out of the networks and maintaining a list of dangerous entities.
  • Speeding up trustworthy innovation, including possibilities in the Open Radio Access Network space.
  • Collaborating with government, industry, and partner nations. This includes a recent “Memorandum of Understanding” between the FCC and South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority, that “seeks to increase coordination and the exchange of best practices on fifth generation (5G) technologies, network security, and other policy issues.”

The event comes in the wake of the SolarWinds hack announced in December. Attributed to Russian intelligence, the cyberattack revealed a sophisticated way that adversaries were able to infiltrate through the supply chain update process, according to experts in the industry.

Material and labor shortages will likely slow fiber infrastructure

With so much emphasis on broadband, including new legislation and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal for $100 billion investment in broadband over eight years, one question is whether companies will have the materials and labor to actually build the fiber.

Light Reading’s Mike Dano reports that companies are committing to building more fiber in the coming years to millions of new locations, including AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, Consolidated Communications, among others.

But the problem isn’t necessarily demand, it’s supply, wrote Jeff Heynen of the research firm Dell’Oro Group. “Instead of ‘if you build it, they will come’ supply chain and labor market constraints might prevent operators from building it in the first place,” he wrote.

State broadband offices throughout the U.S. also recognize the coming problem, as Broadband Breakfast reported earlier this month. “Material and manpower are probably one of my biggest concerns right now,” said Rick Gordon, director of the Maryland governor’s rural broadband office.

“The biggest impediment to getting fiber networks rolled out within a realistic time frame is likely to be a lack of trained workers in the fields of professional services and installation,” wrote Heynen. These positions include network engineers, surveyors, technicians, and those coordinating for permits and rights of way applications with the local municipalities.

“The net result is that fiber broadband deployments in rural and underserved communities are likely going to take considerably longer to complete, potentially pushing the goal of connectivity out past 10 years,” Heynen wrote.

The two broadband factors we’re not talking about

Bridging the digital divide between those with broadband and those without is at the forefront of the telecom industry right now, but for the editorial board at the Washington Post, there are two factors that are being overlooked.

Pulling the two ideas from the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, the first is what they call digital readiness or digital literacy as it’s often named.

“There is little point in paying for an Internet plan if you don’t know how to use the Internet,” the Post wrote. The problem includes students who are unfamiliar with online education, adults who have missed online medical visits, and workers who can’t navigate online spaces to find employment. All three examples illustrating a lack of digital know-how.

The second is the “utilization gap,” or the difference between what society could do with the internet and what it is actually doing.

“Industry and policymakers don’t take advantage of jobs data that could help them pair some citizens with openings and train others; schools don’t take advantage of the possibility for expanded curriculums and individualized learning. Telehealth, too, can’t reach its full potential under outdated restrictions on providers,” the Post wrote.

While the Lewis Latimer Plan recommendations are debatable, including the ideas of a new office of digital equity and a national digital literacy program, “treating broadband as infrastructure is the right approach, yet for the investment to pay off, we must build more than wires,” they wrote.

Continue Reading

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

April 27, 2021 – Risk management and security for supply chains is an increasingly important factor for small and mid-sized businesses, according to industry experts at a Federal Communications Commission event held Monday, and the agency has a strategy to protect the nation’s networks.

The panel included comments from Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, and the three other commissioners, along with visitors from different parts of the telecom industry and other government agencies.

America has reached a point where it is never far removed from a possible security breach, Rosenworcel said. She outlined a three-pronged strategy for the agency to protect networks:

  • Slowing down untrusted vendors both within the U.S. and abroad, including moving untrusted equipment out of the networks and maintaining a list of dangerous entities.
  • Speeding up trustworthy innovation, including possibilities in the Open Radio Access Network space.
  • Collaborating with government, industry, and partner nations. This includes a recent “Memorandum of Understanding” between the FCC and South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority, that “seeks to increase coordination and the exchange of best practices on fifth generation (5G) technologies, network security, and other policy issues.”

The event comes in the wake of the SolarWinds hack announced in December. Attributed to Russian intelligence, the cyberattack revealed a sophisticated way that adversaries were able to infiltrate through the supply chain update process, according to experts in the industry.

Material and labor shortages will likely slow fiber infrastructure

With so much emphasis on broadband, including new legislation and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal for $100 billion investment in broadband over eight years, one question is whether companies will have the materials and labor to actually build the fiber.

Light Reading’s Mike Dano reports that companies are committing to building more fiber in the coming years to millions of new locations, including AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, Consolidated Communications, among others.

But the problem isn’t necessarily demand, it’s supply, wrote Jeff Heynen of the research firm Dell’Oro Group. “Instead of ‘if you build it, they will come’ supply chain and labor market constraints might prevent operators from building it in the first place,” he wrote.

State broadband offices throughout the U.S. also recognize the coming problem, as Broadband Breakfast reported earlier this month. “Material and manpower are probably one of my biggest concerns right now,” said Rick Gordon, director of the Maryland governor’s rural broadband office.

“The biggest impediment to getting fiber networks rolled out within a realistic time frame is likely to be a lack of trained workers in the fields of professional services and installation,” wrote Heynen. These positions include network engineers, surveyors, technicians, and those coordinating for permits and rights of way applications with the local municipalities.

“The net result is that fiber broadband deployments in rural and underserved communities are likely going to take considerably longer to complete, potentially pushing the goal of connectivity out past 10 years,” Heynen wrote.

The two broadband factors we’re not talking about

Bridging the digital divide between those with broadband and those without is at the forefront of the telecom industry right now, but for the editorial board at the Washington Post, there are two factors that are being overlooked.

Pulling the two ideas from the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, the first is what they call digital readiness or digital literacy as it’s often named.

“There is little point in paying for an Internet plan if you don’t know how to use the Internet,” the Post wrote. The problem includes students who are unfamiliar with online education, adults who have missed online medical visits, and workers who can’t navigate online spaces to find employment. All three examples illustrating a lack of digital know-how.

The second is the “utilization gap,” or the difference between what society could do with the internet and what it is actually doing.

“Industry and policymakers don’t take advantage of jobs data that could help them pair some citizens with openings and train others; schools don’t take advantage of the possibility for expanded curriculums and individualized learning. Telehealth, too, can’t reach its full potential under outdated restrictions on providers,” the Post wrote.

While the Lewis Latimer Plan recommendations are debatable, including the ideas of a new office of digital equity and a national digital literacy program, “treating broadband as infrastructure is the right approach, yet for the investment to pay off, we must build more than wires,” they wrote.

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

April 27, 2021 – Risk management and security for supply chains is an increasingly important factor for small and mid-sized businesses, according to industry experts at a Federal Communications Commission event held Monday, and the agency has a strategy to protect the nation’s networks.

The panel included comments from Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, and the three other commissioners, along with visitors from different parts of the telecom industry and other government agencies.

America has reached a point where it is never far removed from a possible security breach, Rosenworcel said. She outlined a three-pronged strategy for the agency to protect networks:

  • Slowing down untrusted vendors both within the U.S. and abroad, including moving untrusted equipment out of the networks and maintaining a list of dangerous entities.
  • Speeding up trustworthy innovation, including possibilities in the Open Radio Access Network space.
  • Collaborating with government, industry, and partner nations. This includes a recent “Memorandum of Understanding” between the FCC and South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority, that “seeks to increase coordination and the exchange of best practices on fifth generation (5G) technologies, network security, and other policy issues.”

The event comes in the wake of the SolarWinds hack announced in December. Attributed to Russian intelligence, the cyberattack revealed a sophisticated way that adversaries were able to infiltrate through the supply chain update process, according to experts in the industry.

Material and labor shortages will likely slow fiber infrastructure

With so much emphasis on broadband, including new legislation and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal for $100 billion investment in broadband over eight years, one question is whether companies will have the materials and labor to actually build the fiber.

Light Reading’s Mike Dano reports that companies are committing to building more fiber in the coming years to millions of new locations, including AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, Consolidated Communications, among others.

But the problem isn’t necessarily demand, it’s supply, wrote Jeff Heynen of the research firm Dell’Oro Group. “Instead of ‘if you build it, they will come’ supply chain and labor market constraints might prevent operators from building it in the first place,” he wrote.

State broadband offices throughout the U.S. also recognize the coming problem, as Broadband Breakfast reported earlier this month. “Material and manpower are probably one of my biggest concerns right now,” said Rick Gordon, director of the Maryland governor’s rural broadband office.

“The biggest impediment to getting fiber networks rolled out within a realistic time frame is likely to be a lack of trained workers in the fields of professional services and installation,” wrote Heynen. These positions include network engineers, surveyors, technicians, and those coordinating for permits and rights of way applications with the local municipalities.

“The net result is that fiber broadband deployments in rural and underserved communities are likely going to take considerably longer to complete, potentially pushing the goal of connectivity out past 10 years,” Heynen wrote.

The two broadband factors we’re not talking about

Bridging the digital divide between those with broadband and those without is at the forefront of the telecom industry right now, but for the editorial board at the Washington Post, there are two factors that are being overlooked.

Pulling the two ideas from the National Urban League’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, the first is what they call digital readiness or digital literacy as it’s often named.

“There is little point in paying for an Internet plan if you don’t know how to use the Internet,” the Post wrote. The problem includes students who are unfamiliar with online education, adults who have missed online medical visits, and workers who can’t navigate online spaces to find employment. All three examples illustrating a lack of digital know-how.

The second is the “utilization gap,” or the difference between what society could do with the internet and what it is actually doing.

“Industry and policymakers don’t take advantage of jobs data that could help them pair some citizens with openings and train others; schools don’t take advantage of the possibility for expanded curriculums and individualized learning. Telehealth, too, can’t reach its full potential under outdated restrictions on providers,” the Post wrote.

While the Lewis Latimer Plan recommendations are debatable, including the ideas of a new office of digital equity and a national digital literacy program, “treating broadband as infrastructure is the right approach, yet for the investment to pay off, we must build more than wires,” they wrote.

Continue Reading

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