USF Programs Should Embrace Competition

One of the primary goals in enacting the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was to let anyone enter any communications business—to let any communications business compete in any market against any other firm.

Obstacles abound as Pennsylvania plans for surge of federal broadband funding

In the coming years, Pennsylvania will receive more than $1 billion in federal funding to bring high-speed internet access to everyone in the state. It’s a historic opportunity and a serious challenge, according to a new plan from the state Broadband Development Authority that outlines how it will accomplish that goal over the next five years.

National Lifeline Association Submits Comments to Senate Universal Service Fund Working Group

Congress and the Federal Communications Commission must act swiftly and purposefully to ensure that low-income households continue to have sustainably affordable access to communications services through a fully funded low-income program that is structured to effectively close the affordability component of the digital divide while preserving program integrity. National Lifeline Association (NaLA) offers the following recommendations and observations:

DOCSIS 4.0 vs. Fiber

Comcast and Charter intend to upgrade cable networks to DOCSIS 4.0 to be able to better compete against fiber networks. The goal is to be able to offer faster download speeds and drastically improve upload speeds to level the playing field with fiber in terms of advertised speeds. It’s anybody’s guess if these upgrades will make cable broadband equivalent to fiber in consumers’ eyes. From a marketing perspective, there are plenty of people who see no difference between symmetrical gigabit broadband offered by a cable company or a fiber overbuilder.

Holland City Council Approves Broadband Expansion Bonds

After an apparent lull, the effort to have broadband access across the city of Holland (MI) looks to be back on the fast track. The Holland City Council unanimously approved the authorization of selling up to $23 million in unlimited tax general obligation bonds to fund the expansion of the Holland BPW’s broadband Internet transport services. The vote comes a year after voters approved the issuance of up to $30 million over 25 years for this initiative. According to Mayor Nathan Bocks, the financial effect on property owners won’t be immediately evident.

Albuquerque (NM) now has a broadband office

For the city of Albuquerque (NM), providing high-quality and affordable internet is a priority. The majority of households are connected, but that doesn’t mean everybody that needs it has it and it doesn’t mean it’s affordable or reliable. Albuquerque needs more competition, more providers, better infrastructure to fill in the gaps and more affordable options. What the broadband office is dong to fill in those gaps is:

What does breaking up Big Tech really mean?

The Big Four—Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet—are unquestionably in the government’s crosshairs. Yet their stocks are more valuable than ever, which suggests that investors, at least, are betting that the antitrust hullaballoo won’t add up to much. Why?  One reason is that in going after Big Tech, trustbusters are going after some of the most popular companies in America. Surveys routinely find that Amazon is the most trusted company in the US, with Google and Apple not far behind in the “most admired” rankings.

Underline's affordable fiber program challenges incumbents

Fiber network provider Underline Infrastructure launched its Opportunity Program to provide low-cost, high-tier internet service for households that qualify for the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). “If a family qualifies for the ACP—and we're honored to serve them—we will serve up no less of a performance or a service tier than what a 'paying family' would receive,” Thompson said.

Sen. Warner, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage Competition in Social Media

US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in reintroducing the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, legislation that would encourage market-based competition with major social media platforms by requiring the largest companies make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms, and to allow users to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy and account settings. The Act would increase market competition, encourage innovation, and increase consumer choice by requiring

Bountiful, Utah, builds a municipal broadband network

The city of Bountiful, Utah, with a population of around 45,000, plans to begin construction of a new municipal broadband network in August 2023. Bountiful has partnered with Utopia Fiber to install and operate the open-access network. The city-owned fiber network will provide gigabit speeds to residents and businesses who elect to participate.