Broadband Communities

Proposed bulk billing ban takes heat at Broadband Communities Summit

Linda Willey, who delivered a keynote address discussing the state of the multifamily industry on behalf of the National Multifamily Housing Council at the Broadband Communities Summit, said a current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to ban bulk billing offers a “serious threat for industry operations and the future of affordable broadband access for residents.” Out of over 92,600 units offered at Camden’s properties, Willey said less than .05 percent of residents moved out because of the bulk technology packages offered by Camden, according to recent data from the company.

Involving local stakeholders is crucial for success with publicly owned networks

Engagement is key with any successful public broadband network hoping to get off the ground, according to Chris Walker, the senior executive director of Infrastructure Strategy Noa Net, a non-profit public broadband organization owned by public utilities that operates in the Pacific Northwest. Kerem Durdag, the CEO of Maine-based Great Works Internet, said providers need to realize it’s alright to make money, but it’s also alright to have a social contract defining how a given project will benefit the community.

How the FCC misses the mark with bulk billing and digital discrimination

With the Federal Communications Commission's recent proposal to ban bulk billing arrangements in the multifamily industry, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) has been hard at work to ensure policymakers understand the full impact on the multifamily broadband industry.

Lifeline Assistance Program to continue providing services regardless of ACP’s future

Life Wireless, the Lifeline Assistance Program’s provider for Telrite Holdings, has vowed to continue accepting applications for their Lifeline Assistance Program after the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) runs out of funding in May. Life Wireless offers free service, data usage, and smartphones to low-income Americans. Subscribers are eligible for Lifeline Assistance Program help if they receive government assistance or if their income level is at or exceeds 135 percent below the federal poverty level.

White House calls for ACP renewal at Connected America

On Day 2 of Connected America, a surprise guest took to the stage to issue a rallying cry for affordable connectivity across the USA. Austin Bonner, Deputy US CTO from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, warned that 23 million people stood to lose affordable connectivity if the Affordable Connectivity Program’s (ACP) funding is not renewed and urged a divided Congress to make additional funding a priority. Despite only around half of eligible households taking advantage of the program, funding is running out.

Advocate remains hopeful ACP funding will be renewed as new enrollment freezes

Enrollment for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has frozen, as of 11:59 pm on February 7, according to the website for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but advocates like Gigi Sohn believe that momentum is on their side to keep the program alive. Sohn, the American Association for Public Broadband’s executive director, has been a leading voice to keep the program, which provides subsidies for nearly 23 million Americans to help pay for broadband services.

GoNetspeed set to begin work on Connecticut project that will reach over 10,000 locations

The first residents and businesses to connect to GoNetspeed’s fiber internet network in Manchester, Connecticut will be brought online this spring, according to the Alabama-based provider, which said 10,700 locations in total will be connected when all is said and done. Construction on the project is expected to begin in February, according to a January 22 release from the company. GoNetspeed Chief Operations Officer Tom Perrone said GoNetspeed’s network is intended to grow with the Hartford County community while adapting to Manchester’s needs.

Federal Communications Commissioner Gomez ‘dismayed’ at ACP funding inaction

Federal Communications Commissioner Anna Gomez, who was confirmed by the US Senate in September 2023, has joined calls to renew funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Nearly 23 million households nationwide rely on the program, which provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. “We are at a critical time for the program and I am dismayed that the commission finds itself with no choice but to initiate the wind down process,” said Commissioner Gomez.