Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Headlines Daily Digest
Communications & Democracy
Stories From Abroad
The Fiber Broadband Association and strategy consulting firm Cartesian released a study that explores the costs associated with deploying all-fiber networks to all households across the entire US. More than 19 million Americans lack access to broadband — and the vast majority live in rural communities. In fact, 24% of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps service, but less than 2% of urban Americans lack this same broadband access. Deploying fiber in rural communities will be a key step to solving the digital divide in the United States.The study finds that:
- Today, we are on a pace to deploy all-fiber networks to about 50% of US households by 2025.
- These accelerated all-fiber builds are driven by increasing consumer demand for higher performance broadband, provider willingness to focus on long-term returns, and government efforts to lower barriers to deployment costs and provide targeted subsidies.
- By 2029, we can pass 90% of US households by increasing current spending on all-fiber networks by approximately an additional $70 billion. (Passing 80% of US households with fiber will require spending approximately an additional $50 billion.)
- We can achieve this objective and ensure virtually everyone has access to future-proof networks through innovative deployment models, government efforts to lower access to essential infrastructure, and efficiently provided government support.
Verizon is breathing new life into its rural New York state markets, launching plans to make Fios fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service available in parts of Coogan, Schenectady and Washington (NY) counties. Upon completion of the network in the next two years, Verizon will offer fiber-to-the-home services to about 15,000 rural NY premises. This deployment of FTTH broadband service was made possible through the company's partnership with NY state and the Federal Communications Commission through the New NY Broadband Program. The program is a public-private partnership designed to provide incentives to service providers to deploy last-mile broadband connectivity in underserved and unserved areas. What’s striking about its work with the FCC is that Verizon had been a lone holdout, turning down $144 million in CAF-I and CAF-II program funding to expand broadband in the rural areas it serves. Last Feb, however, the service provider announced that it would invest $106.6 million leveraging state and federal funds to bring broadband to unserved parts of rural NY.
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