Linda Hardesty

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

How can wireless help close the US digital divide?

There are quite a lot of places in the United States where there is no wired or wireless internet connection. The Federal Communications Commission is currently in the first phase of creating more accurate maps to identify these unserved areas. Even if there are macro wireless towers in a rural area, those towers provide service to smartphones.

Communications Workers challenge Verizon’s purchase of Tracfone

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is taking issue with Verizon’s proposed acquisition of Tracfone. The trade union says Tracfone is one of the largest providers of Lifeline services in the United States, and it fears those services could be jeopardized if Tracfone is acquired by Verizon. CWA also says the prospect of the acquisition raises significant antitrust concerns, which could negatively affect consumer prices and workers’ wages in the wireless industry. Verizon is trying to buy the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Tracfone for $6.9 billion.

Should the FCC oversee open RAN for the sake of national security?

The Federal Communications Commission held a ground-breaking, marathon virtual event Sept 14, hosting numerous stakeholders in the wireless ecosystem to discuss open radio access networks (RANs). The main impetus for the event was to promote open RAN technologies for 5G as an alternative to RAN equipment from the Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE. Currently, the choices for telecom equipment are fairly limited to the big vendors Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Huawei.

Verizon tries to prevent T-Mobile from getting more 600 MHz spectrum

Verizon is appealing to the Federal Communications Commission to prevent T-Mobile from getting its hands on leases of more 600 MHz spectrum. T-Mobile applied for instant spectrum leases with Channel 51 License Company and LB License Co. to lease 600 MHz spectrum in a number of major markets, including Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle, among others. Channel 51 and LB License Co. had been lending 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile to help the carrier boost its network during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fixed Wireless Access projected to grow dramatically, but it still has problems

There’s a huge opportunity for fixed wireless access (FWA) growth around the world, and that opportunity has been especially highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Counterpoint Research Senior Analyst Tina Lu said only 45% of households worldwide had broadband at the end of 2019. But if Chinese households are removed from the equation, only 28% of global households are connected to broadband. “This is the primary drive to the growth of FWA,” said Lu. “Also Covid-19 is making broadband a priority. It’s not just a luxury.

Altice USA adds 70,400 broadband subscriptions in Second Quarter 2020

Altice USA reported that total unique residential customer relationships grew +1.8% year over year during its second quarter 2020. That number drops to growth of 1.4% when adjusted to exclude customers greater than 90 days delinquent due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Altice reported its best-ever residential broadband net additions of 70,400 in Q2 2020 compared to 13,000 in Q2 2019.

T-Mobile strikes 600 MHz spectrum leases in 8 out of 10 top markets

T-Mobile has applied for instant spectrum leases with Channel 51 License Company and LB License Co. to lease 600 MHz spectrum in a number of major markets, including Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle, among others.

Dish reluctantly extends its 600 MHz spectrum loan to T-Mobile

The days of Dish and T-Mobile playing nice may be coming to an end. On March 13, during the height of the coronavirus crisis, Dish lent its portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days in order to bolster wireless capacity during the pandemic. Recently, T-Mobile asked Dish for an extension of its 600 MHz spectrum loan until June 30. T-Mobile says the continued use of Dish’s spectrum is necessary to support the needs of customers who are still working and learning from home.

ISPs seek compensation to Keep Americans Connected

The nation’s internet service providers, both for fixed and mobile services, are beginning to see the economic impacts from their pledge to not disconnect customers during the COVID-19 crisis.