Ryan Johnston

The Consumer Broadband Nutrition Label: What you Need to Know

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules outlining how broadband providers must design the label, what information it needs to include, and where it should be displayed. The FCC also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking public comment on crucial accessibility and including network management statistics. Such requirements include the following:

Resounding Silence: The Need for Local Insights in Federal Broadband Policymaking

In the past, the Federal Communication Commission has made sweeping changes that have impacted communities without local input. The federal government is now poised to do the same again. This paper examines the public comment process at the FCC and whether municipal filers ultimately influence the Commission’s decisions. This paper suggests that the FCC must improve its community outreach efforts, specifically through the following suggestions: 

Let's Keep Driving Forward on Connected Cars & Next-Gen Wi-Fi

These days, there isn’t a lot of harmony in the world of technology policy. But there is a bright spot of bipartisanship in a section of our airwaves: the 5.9 GHz band. In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to modernize the rules in this spectrum to allow both Wi-Fi and automotive safety tech to operate. This win-win was celebrated by proponents of car safety and broadband alike. But now the Department of Transportation (DOT) is working on a study that may purposely have been designed to undo this decision.

New 'digital equity' data, mapping tools opened to state and local agencies

Civis Analytics, a data science firm that helps state and local governments refine their public engagement, has a new technology suite to help agencies better understand the digital divide. “Digital Equity Intelligence Center” is a library of data models and an interactive map-based application.

The Infrastructure Act and the Need for Continued USF Support

While the recent COVID-response programs are welcomed additions to the effort to connect all people, they are only one part of the total ecosystem required to achieve universal service. The Universal Service Fund continues to be an important part of that ecosystem. Specifically, the Lifeline program’s voice and data and voiceonly subsidies for consumers is not replicated elsewhere, and the Emergency Connectivity Fund program does not reach as far or cover as many needs as the E-rate program. One program does not serve all ends.

Alaska needs a broadband office, task force tells governor

To understand what’s “likely the most unreliable,” level of broadband coverage in the country, Alaska should open a statewide broadband office and prioritize data-driven infrastructure spending, a task force of state legislators, agency executives, rural officials and tribal leaders concluded.

Broadband infrastructure funding could be 'life-changing,' advocates say

Since President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure act into law last week, state broadband officials have expressed optimism that its $65 billion in broadband funding can close their digital divides for good.

North Carolina prepares for a $1 billion broadband push

Despite nearly 70,000 North Carolina households and businesses conducting internet connection speed tests as part of a year-long survey, the state “still has a lot more to do” before it can begin a $1 billion broadband expansion, according to state officials. The survey, launched in July 2020 by North Carolina State University’s Friday Institute, found that at least 450,000 households, or roughly 10 percent of the state, lacks adequate broadband coverage.

Baltimore and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program continues to have a positive impact on many communities nationwide, but persistent challenges to accessing the benefit limit full participation.

Tennessee to spend $500 million in American Rescue Plan funding on broadband

Tennessee will spend $500 million of its funding from the American Rescue Plan to expand broadband, though exactly where the money goes hinges on a statewide coverage map that’s still being developed.