Linda Hardesty

GCI strikes deal with Intelsat to expand service capacity in rural areas

The Alaskan service provider GCI has struck a $150 million deal with Intelsat to expand capacity for telecommunication services in rural areas. GCI has delivered geosynchronous (GEO) satellite-based connectivity for 35 years to provide data, video and voice services in the state. The new deal not only provides GCI with continued access to C-band and Ku-band capacity, which is already part of GCI's satellite service portfolio, but it also provides new access to statewide Ka-band capacity.

Verizon argues for TracFone purchase to Acting FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel

The Federal Communications Commission is still reviewing Verizon’s proposed purchase of TracFone Wireless from América Móvil. Verizon CEO of the Consumer Group, Ronan Dunne, and TracFone CEO, Eduardo Diaz Corona, met with Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to try and convince her that the transaction is in the public interest. Their main argument is that a combined Verizon/TracFone will introduce a third facilities-based provider in the prepaid segment to compete against T-Mobile’s Metro and AT&T’s Cricket.

WISPA addresses Rural Digital Opportunity Fund award concerns in letter to FCC

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) sent a letter to Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel yesterday related to its concerns about Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) awards. The FCC has indicated a preference for fiber deployments, which offer the highest broadband speeds as well as symmetrical speeds for both the upstream and downstream.

Charter requests limited Rural Digital Opportunity Fund waiver after finding lots of inaccuracies

Charter Communications filed a waiver request on May 11 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to its award in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. Charter, like all RDOF auction winners, promised to bring broadband to unserved areas.

Frontier plans 495,000 new fiber passings in 2021

Frontier Communications emerged from bankruptcy. The company's new strategy has everything to do with deploying more fiber. Frontier plans to double its fiber network to ultimately pass more than 6 million homes and businesses. In 2021, it plans to extend its fiber to pass 495,000 more locations. It’s already extended the network to pass an additional 100,000 new locations in the first quarter. Frontier’s network, comprised of fiber and copper connections, spans 25 states.

AT&T gives gratis bump-up in fiber speeds

AT&T Fiber is giving its customers a free bump in speeds, boosting its 100 Mbps customers to 300 Mbps, and its 300 Mbps customers to 500 Mbps. AT&T will still offer its 1 gig plan as well, and these customers get HBO Max included. For a number of years fiber has been regarded as too expensive to deploy in most places. But the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a renewed interest. With so many people working and learning from home, they’re clamoring for faster broadband. And they’d like it to provide symmetrical downstream and upstream speeds.

Verizon CTO compares fiber to fixed wireless access

Both Verizon and T-Mobile have been touting fixed wireless access of late as a way to help close the digital divide, take market share from cable companies, and reap new revenues. But the fixed wireless access players are being questioned about the desirability of wireless as compared to fiber. The analysts at Cowen recently hosted Verizon CTO Kyle Malady, who admitted that fixed wireless is not fiber-like. But Verizon also has experience with fiber via its Fios product, which has been in place for eight years.

Facebook lays fiber across the entire state of Indiana

Facebook is laying fiber across the width of Indiana to connect a couple of its own data centers, and it will lease excess capacity on the fiber to telcos or other providers that are interested. Facebook has completed the first phase of the build, laying over 77 miles of fiber to connect the I-70 corridor from the Indiana/Ohio border to downtown Indianapolis. Phase One was 100% funded by Facebook via its wholly-owned subsidiary Middle Mile Infrastructure.

WISPA claps back at fixed-wireless critics in RDOF dispute

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) doesn’t appreciate all the scorn being heaped on fixed wireless access (FWA) technology, which is coming from some groups that didn’t win as many Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) awards as they had hoped.

The biggest RDOF winner, LTD Broadband, responds to naysayers

LTD Broadband garnered the largest award of any company in the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction. As part of its RDOF pledge, LTD will provide broadband in parts of 15 states at speeds of at least 1 Gbps down and 500 Mbps up. And it’s promised to lay fiber when necessary to achieve those gigabit speeds, which may mean it will primarily be laying fiber with its RDOF money. Corey Hauer, CEO of LTD Broadband, said LTD plans to deliver