Jon Brodkin

US fiber broadband shortage: Only 30% of homes have fiber access

A new study commissioned by the Fiber Broadband Association finds that fiber broadband is now available to more than 30% of households across the US, and fiber networks should reach 50% of homes by 2025. But 50% coverage would, obviously, leave another 50% of homes without access to the fastest wireline broadband technology. Reaching 80% of homes instead of just 50% would require an additional cash infusion of $52 billion over the next 10 years, the study says. Going from 80% to 90% would then require another $18 billion.

Verizon’s 5G network isn’t good enough to cover an entire NFL stadium

Verizon announced that its 5G service is available in 13 NFL stadiums but said the network is only able to cover "parts" of the seating areas. Verizon 5G signals will also be sparse or non-existent when fans walk through concourses and other areas in and around each stadium. The rollout of 5G is more complicated than the rollout of 4G was because 5G relies heavily on millimeter-wave signals that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles.

New York City sues T-Mobile, alleging 'abusive' sales tactics

The New York City government sued T-Mobile, alleging that its Metro stores routinely use "abusive sales tactics" such as selling used phones as if they are new and charging customers for services they didn't order. "Abusive sales tactics are rampant at Metro stores," the complaint says.

DOJ’s plan to make Dish the fourth major carrier has a fatal flaw

When the Department of Justice approved T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint, the DOJ's antitrust officials insisted that an unusual remedy could replace the competition lost in the merger. Sprint will no longer exist as a separate entity if the DOJ's plan is finalized, reducing the number of major nationwide mobile carriers from four to three.

The FCC has no idea how many people don’t have broadband access

A new broadband mapping system is starting to show just how inaccurate the Federal Communications Commission's connectivity data is. In Missouri and Virginia, up to 38 percent of rural homes and businesses that the FCC counts as having broadband access actually do not, the new research found. That's more than 445,000 unconnected homes and businesses that the FCC would call "served" with its current system.

Verizon sues Rochester to avoid paying 5G fees, says the FCC has its back

Verizon has sued the City of Rochester (NY) in order to avoid paying fees for deploying 5G equipment and fiber lines. Verizon's lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of New York on Aug 8, claims that the fees are higher than those allowed by federal law. As proof, Verizon points to a Federal Communications Commission preemption order from 2018 that attempts to limit the fees and aesthetic requirements cities and towns impose on carrier deployments. Rochester imposed its new fees in February.

Frontier network outages get worse in NY, triggering state investigation

Frontier Communications customers are reporting more outages and longer repair times, and state government officials have decided to investigate.

Verizon demands $880 from rural library for just 0.44GB of roaming data

A small library that lends out mobile hotspots is facing a tough budget decision because one of its borrowers accidentally ran up $880 in roaming fees, and Verizon refuses to waive or reduce the charges. The Tully (NY) Free Library has an "unlimited" data plan for the hotspots, but Verizon says it has to pay the $880 to cover less than half a gigabyte of data usage that happened across the border with Canada. Generally, the library pays $40 a month for each of the three hotspots, for a total of $120 a month.

FCC finally gets around to denying net neutrality complaint against Verizon

The Federal Communications Commission has finally gotten around to denying a network neutrality complaint filed against Verizon in July 2016, two years before the FCC eliminated its net neutrality rules. The complaint by Verizon customer Alex Nguyen was the only formal net neutrality complaint the FCC received during the three years its rules were in place.

Chairman Pai’s new gift to cable companies would kill local fees and rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is continuing his multi-year battle against local broadband regulation with a plan that would stop cities and towns from using their authority over cable TV networks to regulate Internet access. Chairman Pai's proposal, scheduled for a vote at the FCC's Aug 1 meeting, would also limit the fees that municipalities can charge cable companies. Cable industry lobbyists have urged the FCC to stop cities and towns from assessing fees on the revenue cable companies make from broadband.