Daily Digest 4/26/2022 (twitter)

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Table of Contents

Broadband Mapping

Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Response to Senators Fischer and Masto Regarding Broadband Deployment Locations Map  |  Read below  |  FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel  |  Letter  |  Federal Communications Commission
Predicting new FCC Broadband Maps with Current Data  |  Read below  |  Mike Conlow  |  Analysis  |  Substack
California releases draft maps, plan for statewide broadband network  |  Read below  |  Colin Wood  |  StateScoop

State/Local Initiatives

States Risk Leaving Broadband Money on the Table  |  Read below  |  Kathryn de Wit  |  Analysis  |  Pew Charitable Trusts
Broadband Now or Later?  |  Read below  |  Doug Dawson  |  Analysis  |  CCG Consulting


FCC takes a new look at one cause of spectrum squabbles: shoddy receivers  |  Read below  |  John Hendel, Oriana Pawlyk  |  Politico
Dish is Key Partner in Duke University Private Wireless Network Trial  |  telecompetitor
Roger Entner: The US is hamstrung by spectrum constraints  |  Fierce

Twitter & Elon Musk

Twitter Accepts Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Company in $44 Billion Deal  |  Read below  |  Cara Lombardo, Meghan Bobrowsky, Georgia Wells  |  Wall Street Journal
With Deal for Twitter, Musk Lands a Prize and Pledges Fewer Limits  |  New York Times
How Elon Musk Won Twitter  |  Wall Street Journal
Elon Musk’s strategy for winning Twitter: ‘Ready, fire, aim’  |  Los Angeles Time
From punchline to deal in under 2 weeks: how Elon Musk won his Twitter prize  |  Financial Times
Elon Musk’s Backing Means Twitter Needs Ads to Stay Aloft  |  Wall Street Journal
Twitter lags behind its rivals. Here’s why Elon Musk bought it anyway.  |  Washington Post
Twitter Would Elevate Elon Musk to New Media Mogul Status  |  Bloomberg
Buying Twitter, Elon Musk Will Face Reality of His Free-Speech Talk  |  New York Times
Twitter Employees’ Reactions to Musk Takeover: Humor, Fear and Hope  |  Wall Street Journal
Twitter Employees Search for Answers as Musk Takeover Becomes Reality  |  New York Times
Twitter workers face a reality they’ve long feared: Elon Musk as owner  |  Washington Post
Conservatives are ecstatic about Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter  |  Los Angeles Times
Trump, Still Banned From Twitter, Says He Won't Return After Musk Buyout  |  C|Net
4 ways Twitter could change under Elon Musk.  |  New York Times
Analysis | How Twitter fits into Elon Musk's futurist agenda  |  Politico
Will free speech mean more hate speech on Twitter under Elon Musk?  |  USA Today
Erika D. Smith: With Elon Musk in charge, it’s the beginning of the end for #BlackTwitter  |  Los Angeles Times
Michael Hiltik: Here’s the danger for Twitter in Elon Musk’s view of free speech absolutism  |  Los Angeles Times
Greg Bensinger: Twitter Under Elon Musk Will Be a Scary Place  |  New York Times
How to lock down your Twitter data, or leave, before Musk takes over  |  Washington Post

More Platforms

Commissioner Carr's Letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook regarding privacy, human rights in China  |  Federal Communications Commission
The US won't catch up to Europe on tech regulation anytime soon  |  Washington Post
Editorial | Europe is writing rules for US tech companies. Where’s Congress?  |  Washington Post


Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan Announces Senior Agency Leaders  |  Read below  |  Press Release  |  Federal Trade Commission
CWA Urges Senate to Confirm Gigi Sohn to FCC with Six-Figure Ad Buy  |  Read below  |  Press Release  |  Communications Workers of America
Benton Foundation
Make Room at the Table  |  Read below  |  Jim Kohlenberger  |  Editorial  |  Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Benton Foundation
Celebrating Over 25 Years of Headlines  |  Read below  |  Jim Kohlenberger  |  Editorial  |  Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
Jon Stewart, Who Revolutionized Political Satire, Wins Mark Twain Prize  |  New York Times

Company News

Corning aims to cut fiber lead times by adding manufacturing capacity  |  Fierce
Cox Begins to Offer Multi-Gigabit Symmetrical Speeds  |  Cox Communications
Consolidated debuts Fidium Fiber in 5 new states  |  Fierce
Frontier Rebrand Aims to be the “Unmistakable Icon of Gigabit America”  |  telecompetitor
Facebook is opening a physical store to show off its virtual gadgets  |  Washington Post

Stories From Abroad

European Commission approves €2 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility to support 5G mobile networks in Italy  |  European Commission
Today's Top Stories

Broadband Mapping

Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Response to Senators Fischer and Masto Regarding Broadband Deployment Locations Map

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel  |  Letter  |  Federal Communications Commission

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to Sens Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) in response to their letter on the FCC’s efforts to implement the Broadband Deployment Locations Map. In the April 15, 2022 letter, Rosenworcel said the FCC began efforts to implement the broadband map following the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. She said on Feb 14, 2022, the FCC executed a contract modification with the developer of the IT systems with responsibility for the Broadband Data Collection to configure, develop and deploy the additional functionality needed to implement the broadband map. Rosenworcel also said the FCC engaged in extensive coordination with other federal agencies on the implementation of this effort.

Predicting new FCC Broadband Maps with Current Data

Mike Conlow  |  Analysis  |  Substack

The Federal Communications Commission is diligently working on new broadband maps. The stakes are high since all of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act broadband funding requires the new maps to exist before the money can be allocated to states. The new maps will fix a well-known flaw in the current “Form 477” maps, which is Census blocks are either served or not served - there’s no concept of a partially served block. Here, I use a simple technique to make an estimate of what the new maps might look like, using only data currently available.

[Mike Conlow writes about technology, policy, politics, and economics in various combinations in 'Mike's Newsletter'.]

California releases draft maps, plan for statewide broadband network

Colin Wood  |  StateScoop

The California Department of Technology released documents showing its recommended design for the $3.25 billion statewide broadband network Gov Gavin Newsom (D-CA) approved in summer 2021. The proposal, drafted by GoldenStateNet, the organization tasked with administering the network, outlines 8,700 new miles of “middle-mile” fiber optic cable to connect regions with poor internet access. It provides guidance on how to optimize routes of new fiber builds and recommends “joint build partnerships” to reduce costs. Maps show where the department recommends building the broadband network, based on factors including the number of underserved communities that could be reached and the ability to piggyback on other state infrastructure. The California Department of Technology is now evaluating bids for materials so it can start building, according to the release. The network follows legislation passed last year with a goal of reaching 98 percent connectivity across the state.


States Risk Leaving Broadband Money on the Table

Kathryn de Wit  |  Analysis  |  Pew Charitable Trusts

State lawmakers often joke about “waiting on Washington” to pass laws, distribute funds, or approve permits—a time-honored tradition in the halls of state governments. But today, when it comes to expanding access to broadband service, the federal government is waiting on the states. Experts estimate that providing every American with access to affordable high-speed internet—a need highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic—will cost $80 billion or more. Yet more than a year after Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), just 24 states have confirmed plans to use billions in federal dollars provided through the act’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF) for broadband expansion. States actually can use resources from two ARPA funds for broadband and related expenses, and although they can use CPF monies for other capital projects, the Treasury Department named affordable, reliable broadband as a “key priority” of the fund and made hundreds of millions of dollars available to states for that purpose right now. But much of it is sitting unused. So what’s standing in the way of full-scale deployment of these CPF resources? Among other things, state legislatures are choosing not to use CPF for broadband because they are waiting on other, potentially larger pots of federal money that may be months away rather than seizing this important opportunity now.

[Kathryn de Wit is project director of the Broadband Access Initiative.]

Broadband Now or Later?

Doug Dawson  |  Analysis  |  CCG Consulting

It is my firm belief that counties that form partnerships with regional internet service providers (ISPs) to build fiber networks--funded by both Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program grants and local matching grants--will be the ones to win BEAD grants. But this is not an easy choice. For an area that doesn’t have broadband today, the BEAD grants sound like a far distant opportunity. It’s hard to think that any recipients of BEAD grants will be constructing networks any sooner than 2024 – assuming by then that they’ll be able to get the needed fiber and electronics. Building fiber to a whole county can easily take two or three years, meaning that the last household in this county might not see fiber broadband until late 2026 – or even later with supply chain issues. The BEAD grant program is feeling agonizingly glacial to anybody in the industry. To some degree, it’s good that the grants weren’t awarded right away since most communities needed time to prepare for grants. To win the grants, somebody has to estimate the cost of building a new network, and the community must choose an ISP partner to fulfill the broadband goal. These are not things that can happen overnight.

[Doug Dawson is President of CCG Consulting.]


FCC takes a new look at one cause of spectrum squabbles: shoddy receivers

John Hendel, Oriana Pawlyk  |  Politico

Federal regulators are just beginning to tackle a technical flaw that threatens to hold back the United States’ next giant leap in communications: Many of our radios suck. The issue is a growing problem for telecom companies, which time and again have seen multibillion-dollar wireless projects run aground on claims that the new service would interfere with airwaves that other industries rely on. That was the root of a squabble in January 2022 that forced AT&T and Verizon to delay a rollout of 5G broadband service, as the wireless and airline industries jousted over whether the signals could cause planes to crash. Similar fights in recent years have pitted new wireless projects against politically powerful industries such as automakers, electric utilities and cable operators, along with the US military. In each case, companies offering new service on slices of the electromagnetic spectrum faced complaints that their transmitters’ signals would spill into adjacent airwaves — despite assurances to the contrary from the Federal Communications Commission. But some critics say the problem isn’t the newcomers’ transmitters — it’s the incumbent industries’ receivers. They maintain that poorly designed receivers ill-suited to the dawning 5G age, including the altimeters on some passenger planes, fail to filter out signals from nearby swaths of spectrum. That didn’t pose much difficulty when the spectrum was less crowded with users, but it’s becoming increasingly troublesome as the demand rises for super fast wireless connections to enable services such as video conferencing, telemedicine and connected cars.

Twitter & Elon Musk

Twitter Accepts Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Company in $44 Billion Deal

Cara Lombardo, Meghan Bobrowsky, Georgia Wells  |  Wall Street Journal

Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s bid to take over the company, which would give the world’s richest man control over the social-media network where he is also among its most influential users. The $44 billion deal marks the close of a dramatic courtship and a change of heart at Twitter, where many executives and board members initially opposed Musk’s takeover approach. The takeover, if it goes through, would mark one of the biggest acquisitions in tech history and will likely have global repercussions for years to come, including possibly reshaping how billions of people use social media. Mr. Musk will bring his commitment to a more hands-off approach on speech to a company that has struggled to reconcile freewheeling conversation with content that appeals to advertisers. Musk said after the deal was announced that he wants to make Twitter a better user experience, in part by adding new features and fighting spam. The billionaire, who is also chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, has a record of challenging conventions in disparate industries.


Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan Announces Senior Agency Leaders

Press Release  |  Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan announced the appointment of two senior agency leaders: General Counsel Anisha Dasgupta and Office of Policy Planning Director Elizabeth Wilkins. Anisha Dasgupta comes to the FTC from the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where she has served since 2014 as Deputy Solicitor General. Prior to that, Dasgupta was an appellate attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. Before joining the FTC, Elizabeth Wilkins served as Senior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff. Prior to that, she worked in several senior leadership roles at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, including Senior Counsel for Policy and Chief of Staff. Reilly Dolan, who served as Acting General Counsel prior to Dasgupta’s appointment, has returned to his previous post as Principal Deputy General Counsel. Kelly Signs, who served as Acting OPP Director prior to Wilkins’s arrival, has returned to the Bureau of Competition’s Office of Policy and Coordination as Assistant Director.

CWA Urges Senate to Confirm Gigi Sohn to FCC with Six-Figure Ad Buy

Press Release  |  Communications Workers of America

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) launched a six-figure digital advertising campaign aimed at securing Gigi Sohn’s [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] confirmation to the Federal Communications Commission. Amid the historic $65 billion investment in national broadband deployment secured through President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CWA asserts in the ads that dark money corporate groups have sought to block Sohn’s confirmation in an effort to stave off FCC actions that would help ensure all Americans have reliable and affordable access to broadband. The advertisements, which will run on Facebook, as well as news websites across Arizona, West Virginia, and Nevada, call on Democrats to stand up to corporate dark money and support Gigi Sohn’s nomination to the FCC so that universal broadband access and equitable deployment can become a reality. In addition to support from CWA, Sohn has the backing of the Consumer Technology Association and NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, among conservative, progressive, and consumer advocacy groups.

Make Room at the Table

Jim Kohlenberger  |  Editorial  |  Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

As the work of connecting everyone through broadband moves from the federal to the state level, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Broadband Access Initiative has now emerged as one of the central catalysts accelerating promising state efforts. Pew has been partnering with state governments for years to implement evidence-based solutions but is now taking it to a whole new level to deliver even more broadband progress thanks to the foresight and leadership of Kathryn de Wit. Kathryn leads a cross-functional team of researchers, communications experts, and government affairs professionals who identify and bridge research gaps and build models key to solving the digital divide. Her bold broadband vision means more states will be better prepared to seize this moment, to ensure everyone has access to affordable, robust broadband service. Anyone who has had the chance to work with Kathryn, as I've been fortunate to, understands she’s not just a smart and perceptive leader for today, but will be one of the greats of tomorrow. As we raise our sights, and look to the future, a new generation of savvy leaders is already stepping up to make a huge impact in service to our cause. Kathryn de Wit is a leader we can all look up to and learn from.

[Jim Kohlenberger is a member of the Benton Institute's board of directors.]

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Headlines

Jim Kohlenberger  |  Editorial  |  Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

As we celebrate the Benton Institute’s 40 years of impact, I'd like to take a moment to recognize one name that is a constant—a name that has become synonymous with Benton. Kevin Taglang, Benton’s Executive Editor, recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with Benton, managing a variety of Benton resources that enable more people to participate in communications policy debates. Kevin has become one of the most read, but least known policy influencers in Washington, DC. For over two and a half decades, he has helped telecommunications policymakers stay on top of the news that shapes decisions. A few weeks after the law was signed, Benton realized how much work needed to be done in the coming months and years—and what was at stake for ensuring that everyone in the U.S. has access to critical communications tools. Benton saw that various sectors of the telecommunications sector would be trying to convince regulators to write rules in a way that merely favored their bottom lines. Benton understood there was more at stake. That public policy could be made better when it is better informed.  That public interest advocates could be better prepared for the debates ahead if they could stay abreast of those debates more effectively.

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Benton (www.benton.org) provides the only free, reliable, and non-partisan daily digest that curates and distributes news related to universal broadband, while connecting communications, democracy, and public interest issues. Posted Monday through Friday, this service provides updates on important industry developments, policy issues, and other related news events. While the summaries are factually accurate, their sometimes informal tone may not always represent the tone of the original articles. Headlines are compiled by Kevin Taglang (headlines AT benton DOT org) and Grace Tepper (grace AT benton DOT org) — we welcome your comments.

© Benton Institute for Broadband & Society 2022. Redistribution of this email publication — both internally and externally — is encouraged if it includes this message. For subscribe/unsubscribe info email: headlines AT benton DOT org

Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
Executive Editor, Communications-related Headlines
Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
1041 Ridge Rd, Unit 214
Wilmette, IL 60091
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