AT&T executives hailed growing momentum in its fiber business after posting strong net additions in Q2 and predicted the pace of subscriber growth will pick up in the back half of the year as large swaths of new coverage come online. The operator added 246,000 consumer fiber customers in the quarter, more than offsetting non-fiber broadband and DSL losses to achieve 28,000 total consumer broadband net additions. The latter figure compared to a net loss of 102,000 in the year-ago period.
The Federal Communications Commission has yet to distribute funding to the winners of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction, but that isn’t stopping Charter Communications from getting to work on rural coverage expansion projects. Charter handed Gibson Technical Services a contract to handle construction for its RDOF projects in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Regional US broadband provider Midco announced a $500 million fiber project, aiming to deliver 10 Gbps service to hundreds of thousands of locations in the Midwest. Midco currently provides fiber service to around 460,000 homes and businesses across the Midwest; the company said its multi-year Fiber Forward initiative will connect 300,000 homes and businesses with 10-gigabit capabilities, with 150,000 locations each in North and South Dakota. Midco President and CEO Pat McAdaragh said in a statement that the company will “deploy a mix of next gen fiber technologies” to realize its goal.
President Joe Biden prepared to sign an executive order which among other things aims to boost broadband competition, but progress could be limited by a deadlocked Federal Communications Commission. The order largely aims to bring back policies championed by the Obama Administration which were either reversed or abandoned under President Donald Trump, but this may be unlikely without a Democratic majority in the FCC. The five-member FCC is currently one head short, with the current four Commissioners evenly divided along political lines. Biden has yet to nominate a fifth Commissioner.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) urged Congress to incorporate worker protections in a proposed infrastructure deal that includes billions in broadband funding, aiming to ensure its members aren’t cut out of buildout efforts. Specifically, CWA’s newly launched Build Broadband Better campaign calls for the legislation to include enforceable provisions which protect workers’ right to organize and prohibit companies that receive federal broadband funding from subcontracting construction work to circumvent union workers. While the infrastructure package is expected to be the primary
US broadband provider WideOpenWest (WOW!) inked a pair of deals to sell off five service areas for a combined $1.79 billion. WOW!’s move includes two separate transactions: a $1.13 billion deal with Atlantic Broadband covering its Cleveland and Columbus (OH) markets and a $661 million sale of its Chicago (IL), Evansville, (IN), and Anne Arundel (MD) service areas to Astound Broadband. The deals are expected to close in the second half of 2021.
The Federal Communications Commission released a breakdown of its enrollment numbers for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. Overall, the FCC figures showed 3.08 million households were signed up for benefits as of June 27, with 75,880 of these on Tribal land. That figure was up from the 2.3 million the FCC touted on June 7.
Broadband might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about farming, but an executive from heavy equipment company John Deere argued maybe it should be. Nancy Post, director of the Intelligent Solutions Group at John Deere, stated that connectivity has been an integral part of farming for a long time, noting satellite in particular has been used for at least 20 years to help steer tractors out in the fields of rural America.
UK operator BT teamed up with satellite company OneWeb to explore how the latter’s service could help close broadband gaps in areas beyond the reach of its mobile and fiber networks. Working together under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the companies aim to determine how connectivity from OneWeb’s constellation could be used to deliver increased coverage and capacity to consumers and businesses in remote areas across the UK. In addition to using OneWeb’s technology to improve mobile service, they aim to explore other connectivity options including fixed wireless access broadband.
President Joe Biden backed a new $1.2 trillion infrastructure package which would shave $35 billion off the funding total originally proposed for broadband improvements, insisting the lower amount was still enough to connect every citizen to high-speed internet. The bipartisan plan negotiated by Senate leaders includes $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, a steep drop from the $100 billion Biden pitched in March 2021. Little detail was available about how the broadband funds would be spent; analysts at New Street Research speculated some $40 billion could be devoted to grants for state