Most Republicans and many Democrats have framed broadband much like Ronald Reagan would: Get government out of the way, remove regulations, and let too-big-to-fail incumbent providers bridge the digital divide. A favorite target is public rights-of-way—every street plus about ten feet of land on each side where utility poles or underground utility lines are located, and where internet service providers attach or bury lines and equipment that transmit internet data.
In the borough of New Oxford (PA), ten miles east of the county seat (Gettysburg), the non-profit media group Community Media of South Central Pennsylvania is leading the charge to bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) victory for the approximately 102,000 residents spread out across the rural county’s 520 square miles. But with restrictive state laws that protect incumbent providers from competition by not allowing municipalities to provide broadband service, and scarce funding for non-governmental entities to build broadband infrastructure, victory is far from certain. About 10 years ago a coun
In August 2020, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to retain its current benchmark for broadband internet access service: 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload. Areas believed to have 25/3 service already do not qualify for most broadband subsidy programs, though most agree that the FCC has poor data on whether that level of service definitively exists in any given region.
Over the summer, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to bring high-speed Internet service to the alarming number of households who do not have reliable access within the nation’s third-largest school district, called Chicago Connected. The program aims to provide free high-speed Internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools students. At the end of Sept, during a virtual town hall meeting, Mayor Lightfoot said that while CPS was making progress connecting eligible families, they had not yet reached the goal. “We’re not where we want it to be.