In a Big Cable First, Charter Plans to Participate in RDOF Auction; Eyes Billions in Funding for Rural Broadband

Charter plans to participate in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. Depending how successful the company is in the auction, the build-out could involve multiple millions of locations and an investment of multiple billions of dollars, Charter said.  Major cable companies-turned-broadband providers such as Charter traditionally have not participated in government funding programs.

Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities

A description of five viable models for municipally enabled broadband. Eight percent of US markets are “well served” with broadband are “municipally enabled.” The other 92% of well-served municipalities get broadband from private service providers. Moving forward, however, public and hybrid networks may be a viable alternative for bringing broadband to communities that are not well served, researchers said. The researchers estimate that there are 6,500 such communities nationwide. The five models for municipally enabled broadband:

Ookla Q2 Mobile and Fixed Broadband Performance Report

Speedtest Intelligence reveals AT&T was the fastest mobile operator in the US in Q2 2020 with a Speed Score of 41.23 on modern chipsets in competitive geographies. T-Mobile was the second fastest, Sprint third and Verizon Wireless fourth. Although Sprint merged with T-Mobile earlier in 2020, Ookla considered the companies’ performance separately as the networks have not been fully integrated. We will combine their results when the integration is complete.

COVID-19’s Impact on the Broadband Business

The broadband market has finally been anointed as the ultimate “centerpiece” of everything people do. The first bill paid each month is not to a mortgage company, a religious institution or a credit card. It is to the broadband provider. Independent service providers that target the multifamily industry are going to see their target markets shift views in several ways once this is over. Specifically, I believe there will be a surge of new bulk internet agreements added to hundreds of communities. I believe these plans will include much higher speeds – 250 Mbps, 500 Mbps or even higher.

House Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone Stumps for Massive Broadband Investment

House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) took to the House floor to talk up the massive Moving Forward Act infrastructure bill, including its $100 billion in funding for broadband buildouts he says will close the digital divide. The $1.5 trillion-plus bill would allocate billions to subsidize broadband competition--including from municipal providers--in "underserved" areas which could mean where service is already provided by private capitol at just short of gig speeds.  "T

FCC helps Charter avoid broadband competition

The Federal Communications Commission is helping Charter avoid broadband competition in New York State with a decision that will block government funding for other broadband providers in locations where Charter is required to build. The FCC plans to award providers up to $16 billion over 10 years from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) in a reverse auction scheduled to begin in October.

America’s digital divide is an emergency

Far too many Americans are cut off from access to affordable high-speed Internet even as more of our core systems go digital. Unchecked, the result will be an America even more unequal than the one we see today. The United States has failed in the equitable delivery of this public good. The disparity will almost certainly lead to further inequity. No American should suffer the indignity of searching for Internet. Starbucks WiFi is not a social safety net.

Home Broadband Requirements: What is necessary for students (and families) during COVID-19 and beyond?

If we have learned anything during this pandemic, it is that access to broadband is now a social determinant of health, education, work, and economic security. What do we hope that our legislative and government agency leaders will consider?

Idaho’s Proposed Broadband Grant Cares More About Protecting Monopolies Than Expanding High-Quality Connectivity

As states are considering whether and how to use federal CARES Act funding to improve Internet access, Idaho is poised to enact counter-productive limits on who can use that money by excluding community-owned solutions. Though many states have been under pressure from big monopoly providers to only fund for-profit business models with broadband subsidies, those voices seem largely absent in this Idaho fight.

Google’s European Search Menu Draws Interest of US Antitrust Investigators

For the last few months, some people who bought a new smartphone in Europe with Google’s Android software were presented with an extra option while setting up the device: choosing a search engine other than Google. This so-called choice menu started appearing on new smartphones and tablet computers running Google software after March, part of an effort by the internet giant to address a 2018 ruling from European authorities that the company had abused its dominance in smartphone software to unfairly give an advantage to its search engine.