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.

Justice Department And Federal Trade Commission Seek Comment on Draft Merger Guidelines

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are releasing a draft update of the Merger Guidelines (Draft Guidelines), which describe and guide the agencies’ review of mergers and acquisitions to determine compliance with federal antitrust laws. The goal of this update is to better reflect how the agencies determine a merger’s effect on competition in the modern economy and evaluate proposed mergers under the law. Both agencies encourage the public to review the draft and provide feedback through a public comment period that will last 60 days.

After BEAD Allocation, Gigi Sohn Advocates Municipal Broadband to Close Coverage Gaps

Municipal broadband providers, which play a vital role in bridging the digital divide, should have equitable access to federal funding regardless of state regulatory roadblocks, said Gigi Sohn, executive director of the American Association for Public Broadband.

Ookla Market Reports Available for Second Quarter 2023

Ookla's Market Reports identify key data about internet performance in countries across the world. In the United States in second quarter 2023, T-Mobile was the fastest mobile operator with a median download speed of 164.76 Megabits per second (Mbps). T-Mobile also had the fastest median 5G download speed at 220.00 Mbps, and lowest 5G multi-server latency of 51 milliseconds (ms). Spectrum edged out Cox as the fastest fixed broadband provider with a median download speed of 243.02 Mbps. Verizon had the lowest median multi-server latency on fixed broadband at 15 ms.

The Fiber Land-Grab

It’s becoming clear that we are now deep into a fiber land-grab. By that, I mean that companies that overbuild fiber are moving as quickly as possible into markets to build fiber. The biggest broadband providers have publicly discussed their plans for building a lot of fiber in 2023. I call it a land grab because these providers are all hoping to get to towns and neighborhoods first in order to dissuade anybody else from building fiber there.

Gigi Sohn laughs at incumbents’ argument against community broadband

American Association for Public Broadband Executive Director Gigi Sohn’s hope is that the incumbents that oppose community broadband will come to realize that there are better business opportunities for them to support the concept rather than fight it. For instance, they could have bid on the project in Bountiful City (UT), rather than use shadowy tactics to try and kill it. For decades, these incumbents have argued that taxpayer dollars should not be used to compete against their private investments. In response to that, Sohn said, “I’m sorry to laugh.

Small Maine Towns Say Public Broadband Money Should Go to Public Networks, Not Corporations

A Republican, a Libertarian, and a Democrat meet over a beer in the small town of Liberty, Maine. Bob Kurek, Joe Meadows, and Phil Bloomstein, each a selectman from their respective towns, may disagree on many issues, but they unanimously agree when it comes to broadband funding: Public funds should support publicly owned fiber-optic networks. Kurek, Meadows, and Bloomstein are three of Waldo Broadband Corporation’s (WBC) five volunteer directors.

Revisiting the Impact of Killing Net Neutrality

Ajit Pai recently wrote an article in the National Review where he talks about how his decision as head of the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality was the right one. He goes on to claim that repealing net neutrality was the driver behind the current boom in building fiber and upgrading other broadband technologies.