Does your wireless company participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
This is the third in a series of articles looking at which providers are opting to offer services supported by the Affordable Connectivity Program. Here, Benton looks at the offerings of the largest wireless companies in the United States. According to wireless trade association CTIA, all three national providers and numerous regional providers support the Affordable Connectivity program—representing approximately 95% of existing wireless subscriptions and covering more than 99% of all Americans.
Our Challenge to Finally Close the Digital Divide
This is a historic time for broadband investment. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the high costs of being offline. In response, Congress, over the past year, passed two laws—the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan—with an unprecedented amount of funding devoted to promoting digital equity. Communities should be engaged now to help craft long-term connectivity goals and ensure that diverse voices are part of the discussion—and that’s our job.
Six Community Broadband Networks
One might think this is the moment for community broadband networks. The truth is, locally-directed networks have been serving their communities for a long, long time. In discussing his administration’s plans for broadband, President Joe Biden noted that municipal and cooperative networks should be favored because these providers face less pressure to turn profits and are more committed to serving entire communities.
Broadband Prices are Soaring. Competition is the Answer
Despite clear evidence to the contrary, lobbyists have long claimed that U.S. broadband is extremely competitive and incredibly affordable.
Broadband for America Now
In October 2019, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society issued Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s. The agenda was comprehensive, constructed upon achievements in communities and insights from experts across the nation. The report outlined the key building blocks of broadband policy—deployment, competition, community anchor institutions, and digital equity (including affordability and adoption).
Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s
The purpose of Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s is to collect, combine, and contribute to a national broadband agenda for the next decade, enlisting the voices of broadband leaders in an ongoing discussion on how public policy can close the digital divide and extend digital opportunity everywhere. Leaders at all levels of government should ensure that everyone is able to use High-Performance Broadband in the next decade by embracing the following building blocks of policy:
Investment in Broadband Infrastructure Can Create Cost Savings and Community Self-Empowerment
Building new broadband infrastructure is a big investment for any municipality. While the cost of that investment shouldn’t be overlooked, it’s equally important to consider the significant cost savings that can be reaped with publicly owned infrastructure. Many cities have slashed the cost of connecting their schools to broadband by opting to build their own infrastructure, instead of continuing to pay a private provider for connections. Portland (OR), for example, had been paying an incumbent provider $1,310 per month for 10 Mbps connections to schools.
All Americans should be able to use the Internet. How do we get there?
It's easy to say all Americans should be able to use the Internet in the 21st century, which is probably why several leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have done just that. It’s much harder to say how to get there. Almost everyone, even on both sides of the aisle in Congress, seems able to agree on the need to fix the maps first. That’s because the Federal Communications Commission relies on coverage reports from industry, and carriers have incentive to exaggerate their reach.
Municipal Broadband in Cambridge: Feasibility and Business Model Options
The City of Cambridge's (MA) comprehensive year-long municipal broadband feasibility study. The report examines the feasibility of the City of Cambridge implementing a municipal fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service, providing a detailed FTTP design and cost estimate, and a range of business and financial models for building, operating and providing service to all premises in Cambridge.
Peggy Schaffer: Maine towns should control their internet future
Community decision-making is the foundation of Maine’s DNA. Town meetings, volunteer school boards, and local planning efforts are all central to what makes this Maine. Dozens of communities have started this process with local people identifying locations and groups needing better service to develop plans addressing these gaps. But these community-led efforts are under threat from big monopoly internet service providers, who fear competition will lose customers.