Individuals who primarily Reside in a Rural Area

Federal Broadband Funding Report: These Agencies Are Funding Internet for All

On May 8, 2023, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth released its second annual report

"A Very Rude Culture Shock"

Barbara Drӧher Kline thought she knew what she was getting into when she moved halfway across the country and bought a 1890s farmhouse in rural Le Sueur county, Minnesota. Contractors advised her to tear the house down, but she loved a fixer-upper, especially after she had refined her remodeling skills on her previous home in California, a redwood log cabin near San Francisco. Drӧher Kline wasn’t scared by a rural lifestyle either. Both she and her husband, John Kline, had roots in the state, and he had grown up nearby.

Bringing broadband to West Virginia is an uphill climb, experts say

About 27 percent of households in rural West Virginia currently lack access to 25/5 Mbps internet speeds. The US Department of the Treasury disbursed West Virginia’s $136.3 million in Capital Projects Funds (CPF) dollars in May 2023—and the entirety of the funding is going towards broadband access initiatives across the state. Since all broadband solutions throughout the state pose unique challenges because of topography, there is a case to lean into what is considered a superior solution anyway: fiber. “At this point, it’s as future-proof as you can get.

Closing the Digital Divide With the Affordable Connectivity Program

The federal government is in the process of deploying billions in broadband funding—including more than $80 billion in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars—to ensure that every American has access to reliable, high-speed internet. But even when infrastructure investments deliver network access to unserved and underserved communities, families won’t benefit unless they can afford internet service.

FCC Announces the Start Date for Performance Measures Testing for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund, and the Connect USVI Fund

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces January 1, 2024 as the start date for the requirement to begin one year of pre-testing and reporting of speed and latency results for the Bringing Together Puerto Rico Fund Stage and the Connect USVI Fund Stage 2. Testing will begin on January 1, 2025. For the carriers participating in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), pre-testing will begin on January 1, 2025, and testing will begin on January 1, 2026.

Maximizing new federal investments in broadband for rural America

Congress appropriated $65 billion through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to close the digital divide and ensure universal access to reliable, high-speed, and affordable broadband across the US. The cornerstone—$42.45 billion—rests with the implementation of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which entrusts execution and deployment of the resources to state governments. To maximize the opportunity that BEAD presents and to close the digital divide once and for all, we recommend the following 11 points:

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, BEAD supercharge US digital equity efforts

Across the country, broadband advocates and representatives are crunching numbers to figure out how to implement an often under-examined piece of the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program puzzle: What does digital equity look like? Passed alongside BEAD as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Digital Equity Act (DEA) provides $2.75 billion dollars that will be parsed between states and territories to help them implement digital equity plans.

Is Charter the Largest Rural Broadband Provider?

Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said that the company is the “largest rural provider today.” Charter was the largest winner of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction in terms of passings and is slated to bring broadband to over 1 million rural homes and businesses. The company says it is ahead of schedule and has already built 40% of those passings.

Unwinding the PSTN

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) network has been used for interconnection to the local incumbent offices and tandem switches, for connecting to 911 centers, for connecting to operator services, for connecting to cellular carriers, or for connecting to other neighboring carriers. We are finally starting to see that network being shut down, route by route and piece by piece. But like everything related to operating in the regulated legacy world, it’s not easy to disconnect the PSTN connections called trunks.