Data & Mapping
A Q&A with John Horrigan, senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute.
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of Economics and Analytics released the 2021 reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that are subject to broadband public interest obligations.
The Maine Broadband Coalition launched the speed testing initiative Nov 23. In addition to finding out their own upload and download speeds, users will help the coalition identify slow spots around the state where the speeds are not up to snuff.
The Federal Communications Commission released data showing that the digital divide is closing. At the end of 2019, the number of Americans living in areas without access to terrestrial fixed broadband with speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps—the Commission’s benchmark for high-speed broadband—fell to 14.5 million, a 46% decrease from the end of 2016. Services at higher speeds saw even more significant deployment, with the number of Americans living in areas without broadband speeds of at least 250/25 Mbps falling by 77% since the end of 2016.
A rapid rise in the number of “power users” consuming 1 TB or more of data per month and continued migration to faster speed tiers are creating new revenue opportunities for broadband service providers, according to the Q3 2020 OpenVault Broadband Insights report. The report also provides a more detailed breakdown of the outsized impact of power users and gigabit speeds on network capacity, particularly in the upstream. Key findings in the OVBI Q32020 report include:
The next administration should launch a concerted broadband data-collection and analysis effort to support smart, timely, and informed decision-making by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other agencies that work on broadband, such as the Rural Utilities Service. Specifically, the FCC should collect (or work with others to collect) comprehensive data on the following eight indicators:
The next administration should maximize the use of all available policy tools to close the homework gap and keep it closed. First, the Federal Communications Commission should update the existing E-rate program to allow schools to ensure home access to broadband for every student and teacher (Pre-K to Grade 12). Second, the FCC, in coordination with the Department of Education, should launch a one-to-one device program for students and teachers (Pre-K to Grade 12).
St. Clair County, about 100 miles southeast of Kansas City, has a population of about 9,000 people. Roughly 18% of them live below the poverty line. Theresa Heckenlively is the head of economic development for the county, and says lack of internet access is hurting the county now, and limiting its future. “We don’t have enough service to be reliable for home and definitely not enough for economic growth,” Heckenlively said. “We see that a lot of people are coming from out of state and want to move into our rural communities.
The State of Wisconsin is serious about expanding broadband access, and that starts with accurate data
The State of Wisconsin has centered broadband mapping as a core issue in its efforts to expand access. For now, the onus has shifted to state and local governments to collect information on broadband access and adoption. COVID-19 demands accelerated those efforts, many of which were already underway in Wisconsin.
Colorado Gov Releases Broadband Initiatives Report, Signs Executive Order Establishing Broadband Advisory Board
Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) released the Broadband Initiatives Report which outlines the state’s vision to create economic opportunity for Coloradans and accomplish the administration’s Bold Four issues through changing how Colorado governs, maps, funds, and deploys broadband.