The people who work in the communications industries.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces $133 Million Available Through the Broadband Opportunity Program

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) commited $133 million in funding to broadband Internet projects in the second application cycle through the Broadband Opportunity Program. The program was created to expand broadband Internet service to unserved areas of this state, which will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of local economies.

Ohio ‘ahead of the game’ with broadband workforce training, says Lt. Gov

Like most states, Ohio has its own approach to bolstering broadband accessibility. One area where Ohio is seeing progress, Lt. Governor Jon Husted (R-OH) said, is in enhancing its broadband workforce. Lt. Gov Husted, who also leads Ohio’s Office of Workforce Transformation, explained Ohio State University (OSU) has developed a curriculum for 5G and high-speed internet expansion, which can be used by other colleges and universities as well as the private sector.

Impact of Prevailing Wages

Broadband providers have been complaining that the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program rules are adding a lot of cost to building broadband networks. One of the issues adding the most cost to BEAD-funded networks is the requirement that all construction be done using prevailing wages. That means wages that are paid at Davis-Bacon wage levels—to include benefits.

Tech industry keeps outracing the government

While CEOs of the companies leading the AI wave met at the White House on May 4, the leaders of the Biden administration's antitrust campaign against tech giants were also gathering for a stock-taking a few blocks away. In each arena, the industry has so far lapped its would-be regulators — but at least with AI, the race is still young.

Buy America and BEAD

In the State of the Union speech earlier in 2023, President Biden made it clear that he wants to see the monies spent on infrastructure projects follow the Buy America rules. The law says that purchasing funded by the US government should have a preference for using American-made products. The rules allow for waivers from this provision, but the presumption is that without a waiver that American goods must be used.

Hearing from the American People: How Are Automated Tools Being Used to Surveil, Monitor, and Manage Workers?

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is releasing a public request for information (RFI) to learn more about the automated tools used by employers to surveil, monitor, evaluate, and manage workers. The RFI seeks to advance our understanding of the design, deployment, prevalence, and impacts of these automated technologies. Employers are increasingly investing in technologies that monitor and track workers, and making workplace decisions based on that information. Through this RFI, we hope to gather:

TIA CEO: BEAD hinges on workforce and waivers

Workforce and waivers. Those were two of the key themes and indeed the potential stumbling blocks for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program deployments, said TIA CEO Dave Stehlin. Now that the US government has issued a waiver for its Middle Mile grant program, the prospect of forthcoming relief for the BEAD program seems more promising. The waivers in question relate to Buy American requirements associated with the Middle Mile and BEAD programs.

The U.S.’s $42.5 Billion High-Speed Internet Plan Hits a Snag: A Worker Shortage

The federal government is missing a crucial link in its plan to greatly expand access to high-speed internet service in rural America: enough workers to get the job done. Fiber splicers—the workers who install, maintain and repair wired broadband networks—are in short supply. “We’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” says Jason Jolly, chief executive of Fiberscope LLC, a Sullivan (MO)-based company that does contracted fiber-splicing work.

State Governments Continue to Add Digital Equity Staff

A  wave of states has recently created new full-time positions to work on digital inclusion and digital equity.

How much will shipping costs impact rural broadband builds?

Operators across the board have already flagged rising deployment costs related to inflation, geopolitical issues, and labor shortages. And it’s no secret that shipping delays of all stripes have plagued construction projects across the nation since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Between international shipping container delays, shortages of truckers, the steady climb of the price of diesel, and rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve, it would seem that telecom is slated to take a serious hit in costs