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Inflationary Pressures Increasing Difficulty of Closing Digital Divide, Officials Say

Government officials say inflationary pressures may make connecting rural America harder than previously anticipated.

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Screenshot taken from The Broadband Bunch podcast event

July 21, 2021—Newly emerging inflationary pressures may make closing the digital divide a greater challenge than previously anticipated, according to public officials speaking at a panel hosted by The Broadband Bunch podcast.

Speaking on broadband funding options for state and local municipalities, Bradley Roebke, analyst for the Appalachian Regional Commission—a federal-state partnership that works with the Appalachian area to create self-sustaining economic development—said that the cost to deploy broadband is increasing due to the domestic inflation rate.

“We’re going to have a real supply side issue coming,” added Russ Elliott, director of the Washington State Broadband Office. “Everybody’s aware of it.”

The U.S. inflation rate is currently around 5.4 percent, which is increasing the cost of raw materials necessary for providing broadband infrastructure, according to Roebke. The increased deployment costs could be pushed onto Americans in areas where the deployment is taking place—Americans who are either currently unserved or underserved.

In Washington state, Elliott works with communities to meet the increasing need for broadband connection. According to him, the most challenging part of closing the digital divide isn’t in providing the infrastructure, but in providing service at an affordable rate to users. He says that the number one correlating factor of broadband adoption is price.

Angie Dickison, executive director of the Office of Broadband Development for Minnesota, says that the communities most difficult to connect are the ones in most need of connection.

However, inflationary pressures may push the increased costs of deployment onto consumers and cause monthly bills to rise too high for widespread adoption to take root in rural communities, she said.

To combat this, Elliott said states need to work with service providers in public-private partnerships to subsidize the cost of deployment and keep prices low for users. Additionally, Elliott said states and localities need to hold service providers accountable and refuse to do business or offer grant money to providers who have previously failed to follow through on agreements and projects.

Reporter Tyler Perkins studied rhetoric and English literature, and also economics and mathematics, at the University of Utah. Although he grew up in and never left the West (both Oregon and Utah) until recently, he intends to study law and build a career on the East Coast. In his free time, he enjoys reading excellent literature and playing poor golf.

Infrastructure

Congress Must Support Multiple Broadband Technologies, Wireless Association Says

Debate has pitted certain tech over others, but the WIA says all broadband tech must be considered.

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WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein

July 21, 2021—Newly emerging inflationary pressures may make closing the digital divide a greater challenge than previously anticipated, according to public officials speaking at a panel hosted by The Broadband Bunch podcast.

Speaking on broadband funding options for state and local municipalities, Bradley Roebke, analyst for the Appalachian Regional Commission—a federal-state partnership that works with the Appalachian area to create self-sustaining economic development—said that the cost to deploy broadband is increasing due to the domestic inflation rate.

“We’re going to have a real supply side issue coming,” added Russ Elliott, director of the Washington State Broadband Office. “Everybody’s aware of it.”

The U.S. inflation rate is currently around 5.4 percent, which is increasing the cost of raw materials necessary for providing broadband infrastructure, according to Roebke. The increased deployment costs could be pushed onto Americans in areas where the deployment is taking place—Americans who are either currently unserved or underserved.

In Washington state, Elliott works with communities to meet the increasing need for broadband connection. According to him, the most challenging part of closing the digital divide isn’t in providing the infrastructure, but in providing service at an affordable rate to users. He says that the number one correlating factor of broadband adoption is price.

Angie Dickison, executive director of the Office of Broadband Development for Minnesota, says that the communities most difficult to connect are the ones in most need of connection.

However, inflationary pressures may push the increased costs of deployment onto consumers and cause monthly bills to rise too high for widespread adoption to take root in rural communities, she said.

To combat this, Elliott said states need to work with service providers in public-private partnerships to subsidize the cost of deployment and keep prices low for users. Additionally, Elliott said states and localities need to hold service providers accountable and refuse to do business or offer grant money to providers who have previously failed to follow through on agreements and projects.

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Infrastructure

Lumen Responds to Allegations it Underbuilds While Collecting Public Funds

The Communications Workers of America is accusing Lumen of underinvesting in broadband while taking public money.

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CWA District 7 Vice President Brenda Roberts

July 21, 2021—Newly emerging inflationary pressures may make closing the digital divide a greater challenge than previously anticipated, according to public officials speaking at a panel hosted by The Broadband Bunch podcast.

Speaking on broadband funding options for state and local municipalities, Bradley Roebke, analyst for the Appalachian Regional Commission—a federal-state partnership that works with the Appalachian area to create self-sustaining economic development—said that the cost to deploy broadband is increasing due to the domestic inflation rate.

“We’re going to have a real supply side issue coming,” added Russ Elliott, director of the Washington State Broadband Office. “Everybody’s aware of it.”

The U.S. inflation rate is currently around 5.4 percent, which is increasing the cost of raw materials necessary for providing broadband infrastructure, according to Roebke. The increased deployment costs could be pushed onto Americans in areas where the deployment is taking place—Americans who are either currently unserved or underserved.

In Washington state, Elliott works with communities to meet the increasing need for broadband connection. According to him, the most challenging part of closing the digital divide isn’t in providing the infrastructure, but in providing service at an affordable rate to users. He says that the number one correlating factor of broadband adoption is price.

Angie Dickison, executive director of the Office of Broadband Development for Minnesota, says that the communities most difficult to connect are the ones in most need of connection.

However, inflationary pressures may push the increased costs of deployment onto consumers and cause monthly bills to rise too high for widespread adoption to take root in rural communities, she said.

To combat this, Elliott said states need to work with service providers in public-private partnerships to subsidize the cost of deployment and keep prices low for users. Additionally, Elliott said states and localities need to hold service providers accountable and refuse to do business or offer grant money to providers who have previously failed to follow through on agreements and projects.

Continue Reading

Spectrum

Companies Clash Over Spectrum Sharing in 12 GHz Spectrum Band

Satellite service provider Dish, which is open to 12 GHz for mobile, recently signed a network sharing deal with AT&T.

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on

Screenshot from Broadband Breakfast Live Online episode on July 14.

July 21, 2021—Newly emerging inflationary pressures may make closing the digital divide a greater challenge than previously anticipated, according to public officials speaking at a panel hosted by The Broadband Bunch podcast.

Speaking on broadband funding options for state and local municipalities, Bradley Roebke, analyst for the Appalachian Regional Commission—a federal-state partnership that works with the Appalachian area to create self-sustaining economic development—said that the cost to deploy broadband is increasing due to the domestic inflation rate.

“We’re going to have a real supply side issue coming,” added Russ Elliott, director of the Washington State Broadband Office. “Everybody’s aware of it.”

The U.S. inflation rate is currently around 5.4 percent, which is increasing the cost of raw materials necessary for providing broadband infrastructure, according to Roebke. The increased deployment costs could be pushed onto Americans in areas where the deployment is taking place—Americans who are either currently unserved or underserved.

In Washington state, Elliott works with communities to meet the increasing need for broadband connection. According to him, the most challenging part of closing the digital divide isn’t in providing the infrastructure, but in providing service at an affordable rate to users. He says that the number one correlating factor of broadband adoption is price.

Angie Dickison, executive director of the Office of Broadband Development for Minnesota, says that the communities most difficult to connect are the ones in most need of connection.

However, inflationary pressures may push the increased costs of deployment onto consumers and cause monthly bills to rise too high for widespread adoption to take root in rural communities, she said.

To combat this, Elliott said states need to work with service providers in public-private partnerships to subsidize the cost of deployment and keep prices low for users. Additionally, Elliott said states and localities need to hold service providers accountable and refuse to do business or offer grant money to providers who have previously failed to follow through on agreements and projects.

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