[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission took its first major step toward overhauling the controversial Lifeline program in a move that will punish not just low-income citizens but perhaps small, innovative service providers as well. Yes, Lifeline was once teeming with fraud, waste and abuse. Yes, the program still has significant flaws. And yes, companies that fail to provide adequate services should be forever barred from Lifeline for preying on some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The Broadband Forum is striving to better inform broadband providers of the work it’s doing in technical standards, with the help of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA). In July, the Broadband Forum and FBA partnered to focus on developing and educating the broadband industry on best practices.
Asked about net neutrality, Verizon Business CEO Kyle Malady said the Federal Communications Commission has flipped back and forth on the issue over the years. In his view net neutrality wasn’t needed before it was instituted, it wasn’t missed after it was revoked, and it still isn’t needed.
Plans to spend Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program dollars to connect underserved populations could be impacted by state elections, according to broadband policy experts. Among the ten states that got the largest BEAD allocations, three (Missouri, North Carolina and Louisiana) will hold gubernatorial elections before the end of 2024. Executive Director of ConnectLA Veneeth Iyengar—Louisiana’s broadband program—plans to have as much BEAD work as possible done before th
Mediacom has completed a fiber-optic network expansion in rural Truesdale (IA), delivering phone plans and download speeds of up to 2 Gbps with a focus on low-cost accessibility. Truesdale is the tenth community that Mediacom, the fifth largest cable operator in the US, has constructed through collaboration with the Empower Iowa Rural Broadband Grant Program. The operator has expanded its fiber network to over 1,400 locations in rural Iowa through that public-private partnership.
Tachus Fiber, with help from private equity partner Crosstimbers Capital Group, is set to spend $100 million to expand its footprint in the Houston (TX) metropolitan area. The company has the aim of adding 100,000 passings in southwest Houston by the end of 2025.
A House Commerce Committee hearing centered on the future of rural broadband funding had industry leaders testifying on the improvements they deem necessary for the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to be effective. US Telecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in addition to financial backing, Congress can take non-funding actions to expedite and improve programs for rural broadband, and spoke against BEAD’s letter of credit requirement, which he contended could “actually reduce the amount of broadband deployed in the next few years using private capital.” Additi