Editorial

We Need More Programs Like Project OVERCOME

One of the very first programs I managed upon my arrival at US Ignite in 2021 was Project OVERCOME. We selected six communities to pilot advanced wireless and community broadband adoption programs through a rigorous solicitation and review process.

Pew providing data that policymakers need to close the digital divide

Many Americans lack access to high-speed broadband which has allowed communities to get what they need without having to leave their homes. And so, just as the oceans commission developed the facts necessary to create solutions, Pew convened experts and conducted research to gather the data that policymakers need to make a difference and to expand access to this critical broadband infrastructure. Pew has been working at both the state and federal levels on broadband issues. Far from just a rural issue, broadband access is a concern all around us, in unserved city blocks and neighborhoods, w

President Biden throws a wrench into his own infrastructure plans

The nation’s spring construction season is starting up, and, in theory, it should be a big one. The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act devoted more than $1 trillion dollars to upgrading the country’s roads, rails and ports. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act is supposed to pump tens of billions more into renewables and other energy infrastructure.

Fiber infrastructure is not a ‘natural monopoly’

Some people in the telecommunications industry like to compare the copper or fiber lines transmitting data under our feet to railways. They are both natural monopolies, they argue: duplication is wasteful, the high costs of construction deter new entrants, and economies of scale are essential for survival. But laying fiber costs much less than laying a railway track. The very fact that over 100 alternative network providers — or “altnets” — have popped up, backed by billions in private capital, suggests the financial incentives are there to multiply the infrastructure.

When Will Affordable Connectivity Program Funding Run Out?

On June 24, 2022, I wrote an Op-Ed urging policymakers to fully fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). I predicted that funding for the ACP is likely to run out by mid-2024 and called for action at the state and federal levels to extend that funding. We’ve had some follow-up questions on how we came up with our projections. The four assumptions used to model our projections are as follows:

Is the fiber hangover real?

Analysts have been in a tizzy warning that fiber players across the board are slowing their network deployments after a record build year in 2022. But is the fiber hangover actually real? Or are actual build figures still expected to increase? Fiber Broadband Association CEO Gary Bolton said that the reduced estimates are “not indicative” of the overall trend in fiber deployments. “I think these are just short-term adjustments, but everything we’re seeing is foot on the gas.” So, is the fiber hangover real? Only time will tell.

It is Past Time To End Digital Discrimination—No More Excuses

Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to pass rules designed to end digital discrimination. The directive could not be more clear: Enact regulations to “eliminate” existing digital discrimination on the basis of “income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin” and to prevent it from recurring in the future.

The Affordable Connectivity Program: Time Is of the Essence for Congress to Act

Congress should extend the worthwhile Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP) promptly by appropriating additional funding. At the same time, it can consider revising the program to better target the ACP benefit to those lower-income households most truly in need and adopting measures to minimize, to the extent possible, any waste, fraud, and abuse in the program. The ACP represents one-half of the federal government's push to make it possible for every American to access a high-speed Internet connection.

Why is New York City Removing Free Broadband In Favor of Charter?

In January 2020, former-Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY) announced New York City’s Internet Master Plan, setting a path to deliver broadband for low-income New Yorkers by investing in public fiber infrastructure.

Broadband Leaders Gather

When Jase Wilson with Broadband Money reached out to share that he was convening a gathering of broadband leaders in Florida to have some off-the-record conversations about funding, state activity, challenges, and opportunities and asked me to be around the table, it was hard to say no. From state broadband office leaders to community leaders to a few policymakers and interested parties, the conversations were fast-paced and ran the gamut from technology to deployment to sustainability of networks to the role that anchor institutions play in the mix. We also all committed to Chatham House r