CCG Consulting

Is Broadband Essential?

For many years, I’ve heard people say that broadband is essential. But what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that broadband is important in a lot of people’s lives, or does it mean that broadband is something that society can’t live without? Grocery stores, gas stations, and auto repair shops could all be considered essential for society.

Big ISPs Hate the Federal Communications Commission’s Digital Discrimination Rules

The big ISPs certainly have their knickers in a knot over the adoption of digital discrimination rules by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC was required to adopt some version of digital discrimination rules by language included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

In-kind Contributions for BEAD Grants

The process of winning Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program grants is expensive, and grant applicants should do everything possible to lower out-of-pocket costs for winning a grant. One of the most interesting ways to lower the cost of accepting a grant is through the use of in-kind matches. In-kind contributions recognize non-cash benefits of property, goods, or services that will benefit a BEAD project.

The Definition of Upload Speed

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the process of increasing the definition of broadband from today’s paltry 25/3 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 100/20 Mbps. This article looks at the FCC’s decision to consider 20 Mbps as the definition of upload.

Fifty States – Fifty Different BEAD Grants

When the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) suggested Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant rules, a lot of industry folks assumed that states would largely follow the NTIA suggestions and that there would be a lot of similarity in the BEAD grant rules between states. It turns out that the opposite is happening, and many State Broadband Offices are taking unique approaches. In this article, I compare the BEAD grant rules for Georgia and Illinois.

Cable Company Speed Claims

My perception of internet service providers (ISPs) and cellular advertising is that companies push the envelope more every year in trying to make claims that can give them a marketing edge over the competition. What’s funny about many ads is that carriers try to differentiate themselves from their competitors, even though their peers are delivering essentially the same product to the market. The competition between cable companies and fiber overbuilders, however, is not based on equivalence.

Bundling Cellular with Broadband

The biggest cable companies have been successful in recent years in bundling cellular service with broadband and cable TV. The cable companies launched their cellular products by operating as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). That’s an industry acronym that means that the cable companies purchase and resell cellular minutes, texts, and data from one of the big cellular carriers. The biggest cable companies have also selectively started to install their own cell sites in their busiest neighborhoods to totally bypass the cellular carriers.

Tackling Junk and Hidden Fees

The Federal Trade Commission recently proposed rules that would stop businesses from charging hidden fees. The agency estimates that junk fees cost consumers tens of billions of dollars per year. The new rules would prohibit companies from jacking up bills with hidden and bogus fees and instead require that businesses clearly disclose their fees to customers.

One More BEAD Map Challenge

There is still one more chance for local communities or broadband service providers to fix the maps that will be used to allocate Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program grant funding. Under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) rules for the BEAD grant process, every State Broadband Office (SBO) must conduct one more challenge process to the broadband maps.