The people who work in the communications industries.

Cities and counties need to prepare for broadband construction as BEAD monies flow to the public sector

As Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program funding starts to stimulate increased broadband planning and construction, some industry experts predict an increased need for workers skilled in several tasks, such as the ability to read and understand complicated maps showing all the existing underground facilities near a broadband installation site, and the ability to operate equipment for trenching, earth-drilling and wire-cable placement on poles.

Shentel taps Render Networks to streamline fiber construction

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) is employing Render Networks' construction management platform to handle the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) expansions for its Glo Fiber brand—which offers multi-gigabit broadband internet access, live streaming TV and digital home phone service in183,000 households across Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Render's platform will be used in all markets where Shentel is building, and is already in three markets right now. The network construction platform leverages geospatial, task-level data for automation.

Labor Downsizing

I’m mystified when large internet service providers (ISP) and carriers have significant layoffs at a time when they seem to be doing well; it’s a pattern that we’ve seen over and over during the last several decades. The latest big layoff is coming from T-Mobile, which announced in August that it is eliminating 5,000 jobs, about 7 percent of its total workforce.

Peak TV Is Over. A Different Hollywood Is Coming.

The labor agreement that writers struck with studios and streaming platforms will likely accelerate the end to “peak TV," a decade that included an explosion of programming for viewers and job opportunities for talent in Hollywood. Streamers will have to find a way to pay increased talent costs—from the writers’ settlement, along with an earlier deal with directors and whatever is finalized with actors—without adding to their overall production costs. That will likely mean that companies will make fewer new shows and cancel even more that are on the bubble.

How AI can put mistakes into overdrive

 A new study of more than 750 strategy consultants showed that AI helped them produce better content, more quickly in many tasks—but the consultants were "less likely to produce correct solutions" by attempting tasks of similar difficulty which fell outside the AI model's capabilities.Of the consultants asked to develop new ideas—a challenge within GPT-4's known capabilities—those who received both AI access and guidance "consistently" performed better than those given AI access only.

Federal money will help Baltimore workers get ‘shovel ready’ with broadband infrastructure jobs training

Baltimore (MD) Civic Works Program Director Eli Allen was approached by Paniagua’s Enterprise, a Baltimore-based communications construction company, to find workers capable of laying out fiber-optics for broadband and doing the accompanying construction work. “ [Paniagua’s Enterprise] identified a significant skills gap in being able to hire workers for these critical jobs, and have seen… an increased investment in the work,” explained Allen.

Connecting neighbors to high-speed Internet service in rural Texas

In August, I had the pleasure of visiting Totelcom’s—a family-owned, rural telecommunications provider—offices and training facilities in De Leon, Texas. The visit provided insight into the work and challenges of rural providers, and how much those challenges can vary across a state as vast and geographically diverse as Texas. Totelcom trains its workers on the job by partnering new employees with more experienced staff who show them the ropes and provide valuable mentorship.

​​​​​​​Biden-Harris Administration Announces Investments in Domestic Production of Electronics Equipment Used in High-Speed Internet Networks

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires the use of Made in America construction materials and manufactured products for federally funded infrastructure projects, including high-speed Internet service deployment under the Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative. As a result, Calix is announcing an initial investment of up to $6 million, and an ongoing investment for operations of up to $15 million per year, which will result in creating approximately 100 American jobs.

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Regulate Use of Artificial Intelligence to Make Critical Decisions like Housing, Employment and Education

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2023, to create new protections for people affected by AI systems that are already impacting decisions affecting housing, credit, employment, education, and other high-impact uses.

Billions to Connect Everyone to High-Speed Internet Could Still Fall Short

Under President Joe Biden, rural Americans could benefit from the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to expand fast, affordable internet access across the country by 2030. However, the lack of broadband infrastructure is particularly problematic in rural areas, where internet service is often unavailable or limited. Attempts to get broadband to everyone are not ne