5G Fund Urged Revisit, National Distance Learning Week, Airport WiFi Speeds

US Cellular recommended the FCC conduct update the criteria of the 5G Fund in light of new funding sources.

5G Fund Urged Revisit, National Distance Learning Week, Airport WiFi Speeds
Photo of Laurent Therivel, US Cellular CEO

November 7, 2022 – The United States Cellular Corporation is urging the Federal Communications Commission to initiate a process that will update the criteria of its two-year-old 5G Fund in light of new broadband funding developments.

In a letter authored by the company’s counsel David LaFuria on Thursday, USCellular urged in a meeting with FCC officials to revisit the 5G Fund’s criteria to update its objectives with the increase in fiber density created by the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, ensure Americans are not left out of technological advances, and revisit the amount of money required to bridge the 5G mobile gap for unserved groups.

“Additionally, UScellular expressed support for establishing funding for operating expenses to ensure continuity of coverage in areas that received universal service support, as well as for the expansion of the Affordable Connectivity Program,” the letter said.

The 5G Fund was created in 2020 with the goal of distributing $9 billion over 10 years to bring 5G service to unserved areas in the US. Awardees must offer minimum speeds of 35 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. The NTIA’s BEAD program – established after the passing of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021 – aims to bring speeds of at least 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.

U.S. Distance Learning Association holding webinars this week

The United States Distance Learning Association announced Sunday it will hold webinars this week to celebrate National Distance Learning Week and its 15th anniversary.

The theme for this year, according to the announcement, is leadership in all aspects of distance learning. Webinars will be broadcast at 1 p.m. Eastern and 3 p.m. Eastern throughout the week.

The USDLA held its 35th national conference earlier this year in Nashville, Tennessee. Speakers spoke about online teaching, digital strategies for classrooms and student engagement through technology.

In 2020, it held a conference online on broadband inequity with some speakers who spoke about the impacts of COVID-19 on distance learning.

Fastest Wi-Fi speeds at US airports

Metrics company Ookla said Monday that San Francisco International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport have the fastest Wi-Fi among 50 of the busiest airports in the US, according to a third quarter study.

The median download speeds at those three airports were reported at 203 Megabits per second, 177.16 Mbps and 162.38 Mbps, respectively, in the third quarter of this year.

Los Angeles International Airport reported 50.59Mbps download speeds and is one of the slowest WiFi connections, Ookla said. Pittsburgh and Houston have the slowest free – speeds, which sit at below 50Mbps.

Ookla is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

Popular Tags