Fallout continues from the Wall Street Journal’s investigative journalism exposé that showed telecommunications companies in the US have left behind a massive network of copper cables covered in toxic lead. AT&T CEO John Stankey said “there is no public health crisis” to worry about, citing the release of lead test results by AT&T, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the state of New York.
The Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) has drafted the following document to meet the requirements for Volume 1 of its Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal. The CBO will commence a 30-day period for public comments on Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal. Volume 1 of the Initial Proposal includes the following requirements:
Treasury Department Announces Approval of Federal Funds to Connect 20,000 Oklahoma Homes and Businesses
The Department of the Treasury approved $167.7 million for high-speed internet projects in Oklahoma under the American Rescue Plan Act's (ARPA) Capital Projects Fund (CPF), which the state estimates will connect approximately 20,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. Oklahoma is approved to receive funds for broadband infrastructure projects.
The key for states to unlock their portion of the $42.5 billion in federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds is the submission and approval of their Five Year Action Plans and Final Proposal.
T-Mobile won thousands of 2.5GHz spectrum licenses around the US in a Federal Communications Commission auction that ended in 2022. But the FCC would face "criminal penalties" if it gave T-Mobile its 2.5GHz license winnings. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel explained that the FCC's "auction authority" expired in March and so far has not been renewed by Congress, which means the agency no longer has the regulatory authority to issue spectrum licenses.
Winning funding in the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) rural broadband program will be “trickier than we were hoping for,” said Charter CEO Chris Winfrey. “We didn’t get all the guidelines and [National Telecommunications and Information Administration] instructions that we were hoping for,” Winfrey said. Instead, some of the guidelines that have been established are “unhelpful to private capital.” Although Winfrey didn’t elaborate, this may have been a reference to rules that favor public/private partnerships.
The clock is ticking for state broadband offices to submit their initial proposals to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) describing how each state will carry out its competitive Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant process. The vast majority of states are still drafting their proposals and seeking stakeholder input, but that input works both ways.
The Federal Communications Commission released the funding structure for its Enhanced Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) program. With the new offer, existing A-CAM program carriers and carriers that are still receiving legacy support will be funded for the deployment of voice and broadband-capable networks in their operating regions. NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association's Executive Vice President, Mike Romano, said that as a result of the FCC’s new offers, NTCA members have more options to deliver on a mission of universal connectivity. Meanwhile, NCTA – The Internet & Televis
“Americans need an FCC that is fully equipped to expand access to affordable high-speed internet, protect and strengthen local news broadcasting, and promote spectrum innovation and emerging technologies,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell. “With today’s bipartisan vote confirming Anna Gomez as its fifth commissioner, the FCC has gained an extremely qualified, thoughtful leader who will bring her expertise and consumer-focus to deliver on these priorities.”
The Senate confirmed Anna Gomez to the Federal Communications Commission, breaking the deadlock at the agency that has lasted the entirety of the Biden presidency. The vote in favor was 55-43. Gomez’s confirmation comes after a protracted battle to confirm Biden’s initial pick for the commissioner seat, Gigi Sohn.