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12 Days of Broadband

Utility Companies and Pole Attachers Debate Responsibility for Pole Replacement Costs

The controversy is about the rates that internet companies seeking to put fiber on utility poles need to pay.

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From the 12 Days of Broadband:

Over the course of 2022, the heat has risen in the debate surrounding pole replacement costs. The issue is all the more salient with the need to attach new fiber installations as part of the large amount of federal funding for broadband.

The specific controversy centers around the rates that broadband companies seeking to put fiber on utility poles need to pay the owners of the poles, often utilities. Internet companies claim that utility companies place an undue financial burden on attachers.

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Reporter Teralyn Whipple studied business at Brigham Young University. She has a love for the people in the Washington area, and hopes to share her love for people through her writing.

12 Days of Broadband

State Broadband Offices Face Major Challenges With Limited Resources

State officials are responsible for the disbursal of federal broadband infrastructure funds, but many offices are understaffed.

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From the 12 Days of Broadband:

State broadband officials must administer funding programs, build broadband availability maps, promote digital equity, coordinate with federal agencies, and much more. They have consistently argued that engaging robust staking engagement and diverse partnerships is indispensable to their success.

Although the bulk of the broadband industry’s scrutiny is now directed federal government, the source of what many experts call a “once-in-a-generation” investment in broadband infrastructure, once those grants are issued to the states, state officials must plan and oversee the final disbursal of those funds.

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12 Days of Broadband

Legislators Discuss Banning TikTok Over Growing Security Concerns

The Senate recently passed a measure banning the app from government devices.

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From the 12 Days of Broadband:

Year by year, tensions between the U.S. and China continue to grow. And in this Cold War 2.0, the battle over information technology and policy often appears to be at the heart of the conflict.

Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei has been effectively barred from the U.S. market for well over a year. But the constraints are tightening. And while Huawei has been central to China’s global communications aspirations, disputes over technology are now affecting all sorts of Chinese-owned companies. Even ByteDance’s TikTok, arguably the world’s hottest social media company with more than 100 million U.S. users, now appears in jeopardy.

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12 Days of Broadband

Will Congress Permanently Extend the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The program is helping low-income households afford internet access, but some experts warn that the fund will soon be depleted.

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From the 12 Days of Broadband:

Some say that people are not enrolling in the Federal Communications Commission’s new subsidy for low-income households, the Affordable Connectivity Program. Others say that at the rate people are subscribing, the fund will soon run out of money.  

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Dec. 13, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance warned that the ACP is at risk of being deplenished. “Unless Congress takes action, this vital program will go away in just a few short years,” said the nonprofit’s executive director Angela Siefer at the hearing.

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