Katya Maruri

Broadband Offices’ Perspectives on FCC Broadband Map Deadline

State governments were asked to submit challenges to the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission's new National Broadband Map ahead of a Jan. 13, 2023 deadline. So, how have states navigated this process, and what are they working on next until these funds are allocated? 

What Are Broadband Labels and Are They Useful?

To help consumers better understand broadband options, Congress has mandated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revamp its concept of broadband labels, with the goal of providing more detailed info about competitive offerings from different providers. The idea is that providers use these templates to share information like the base monthly cost of broadband, activation fees, optional monthly charges, discounts, and other details regarding performance and reliability with consumers.

What One Library Is Doing With Federal Broadband Funding

To provide schools and libraries with the digital services they need to expand remote learning, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). To date, the ECF has doled out $7.171 billion. What libraries and schools are doing with the money will inherently vary depending on their individual needs. One library in Chicago Ridge, IL, however, recently detailed what it has done with its ECF money.

Can State, Local Government Use Broadband Expansion to Create Jobs?

As a historic amount of funding comes down from the federal government to the states to expand broadband, industry experts estimate this will create new jobs, and there are steps state governments and other groups can take to support this growth. In fact, some states are already proactively working on expanding their broadband workforce to meet current and future needs, while others have seen an increase in the need of trained professionals to help build out infrastructure.

What Is a State Broadband Advisory Board?

To help coordinate broadband efforts at the state level, policymakers have turned to legislation and executive orders to create statewide broadband advisory boards, task forces, and other similar agencies. At its core, a broadband advisory board is made up of individuals from different sectors who advise state broadband programs, governors, or legislatures. However, not all advisory boards are the same.

How Can State, Local Gov Help Ensure Sustainable Broadband?

With more state and local government agencies prioritizing broadband, experts say it is important to make sure the work they are doing is sustainable. In fact, Merit — an independent nonprofit corporation governed by Michigan’s public universities — is hosting an 

Fort Worth, Texas, Partners With Cisco to Expand Wi-Fi Connectivity

Fort Worth, Texas, is partnering with Cisco Systems to offer free Wi-Fi within five of the city's underserved neighborhoods, potentially providing Internet access to as many as 40,000 residents this fall. The outbreak of COVID-19 exposed connectivity challenges in Fort Worth, illustrating the importance of residents having access to a reliable Internet connection at home to participate in education, healthcare and employment opportunities.

Tips for State Broadband Offices Prepping for Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program Funding

The federal government is in the midst of distributing an unprecedented amount of broadband funding to states. In 2021 the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) created the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which is poised to grant states a historic amount of funding totaling $42.45 billion in order to expand high-speed Internet access. To get the money, however, eligible states and territories in the US must submit initial planning funds applications ahead of the  August 15 deadline to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Colorado Communities Work Together to Expand Rural Broadband

At least 14 communities — and potentially more soon — in Colorado have banded together to help establish better broadband access for rural residents of the state, and they recently shared some insights into their work. Members of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) met on August 9 to discuss collaborative efforts.

Is Google Fiber Coming to a City Near You? It Just Might Be

In March 2010, Google Fiber burst onto the Internet provider scene, offering cities the promise of high-speed broadband service. That promise, however, became an increasingly complicated proposition that eventually forced the company to pause expansion efforts in 2016. When Google Fiber first launched, it offered cities Internet that reached speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. To put this into perspective, the average household in the US has an Internet connection of just under 20 megabits per second (Mbps), according to Lifewire. Typical high-speed service ranges between 25 and 75 Mbps.