Joan Engebretson

How 5G Fixed Wireless Became Verizon’s Star Player in Just One Year

2022 was an important one for Verizon fixed wireless access (FWA) as the company turned up the service using C-band spectrum and 5G in major metro markets.

Republican Senators Urge NTIA to Redefine Reliable Broadband, Fixed Wireless Access Opportunities at Stake

Seven US senators sent a letter to Alan Davidson, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, urging NTIA to revise its definition of reliable broadband for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. In establishing rules for the program, NTIA omitted fixed wireless service that relies totally on unlicensed spectrum for last mile connectivity from its definition of reliable service – a decision that impacts the BEAD program in two ways. 

Rural Utilities Service Administrator: Latest Round of ReConnect Apps Exceed Available Funding Threefold

The latest round of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ReConnect rural broadband funding program received three times as many applications as there is funding for, said Andy Berke, administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, which is responsible for awarding the funding. Round 4, the latest USDA ReConnect round, has a budget of $1.15 billion to cover some of the costs of deploying service to unserved or underserved rural areas. USDA began accepting applications for funding in early September.

Northleaf Capital Partners buys controlling interest in Mercury Broadband

Northleaf Capital Partners acquired a controlling interest in Mercury Broadband and will invest up to $230 million over the next several years to support the provider’s expansion plans. Mercury Broadband, also known as Mercury Wireless, won Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) money to cover some of the costs of deploying a combination of fixed wireless and fiber broadband to unserved and underserved rural areas of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. Northleaf, a “global private markets investment firm,” raised $21 billion in private equity, private cre

Cox Gigablast Advertising Claims Challenged – Some Upheld, Some Not

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of Better Business Bureau National Programs has upheld some claims made by Cox in television and radio advertising for its Gigablast internet service but has advised Cox to make changes to the advertisements. BBB National Programs is a non-profit organization that resolves disputes between advertisers. The decision came in response to a challenge from AT&T. In the ads, Cox states that it has gigabit available everywhere – a claim that NAD said is true throughout areas where the advertising has run.

Will Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Rules Drive States to Rethink Anti-Municipal Broadband Laws?

The Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program has $42.5 billion available to cover some of the costs of bringing broadband to unserved and underserved rural areas. States will administer the program but must first have a plan approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and, as new research from BroadbandNow shows, some states face an important hurdle as they prepare their plans—a hurdle that involves anti-municipal broadband laws.

Starry Defaults on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Winning Bids

The Federal Communications Commission said it was ready to authorize Starry's winning Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) bids in eight states. However, the company has told the FCC that it plans to default on all its winning bids, including those in one additional state. Starry had a winning bid totaling about $269 million. The news of the default came in an FCC public notice that also listed some other companies that had informed the FCC of plans to default on at least a portion of their winning bids. Defaulting companies are subject to a base forfeiture of $3,000 per census block group

Vermonters Put Full Court Press on Middle Mile Funding Application

Vermont stakeholders have collaborated on an application for $114 million in funding through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) middle mile grant program. If awarded, the funding would represent over 10% of the approximately $1 billion allotted to the NTIA program, which has proven to be a highly competitive one. The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) spearheaded the application. The request would cover some of the costs of the proposed 1,663-mile fiber network.

Nextlink Adds 10 Gbps Fiber to Its Arsenal

Nextlink, one of the biggest winners in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, will be using 10 Gbps XGS-PON fiber broadband infrastructure from Nokia to connect 200,000 homes in 12 states; including 6 states that it already serves and 6 new states. XGS-PON fiber technology can be easily upgraded to 25 Gbps in the future.

Next Update of FCC Broadband Map Likely Won’t be a Moment to Celebrate

The next update of the Federal Communications Commission broadband map, expected in late November or early December, is likely to have a considerable number of errors, according to sources familiar with the broadband data collection initiative on which the map will be based. The new map will be based on data collected from broadband providers. Those providers were required to enter broadband availability data on a per-location basis into an FCC-provided database.