State

California abortion-info law ups stakes in online war between states

California's unprecedented new law to bolster protections for abortion-related personal information held by tech companies marks a new phase in the deepening legal fight between red and blue states over digital regulations. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) signed into law an abortion rights bill with a provision that protects reproductive digital information housed by companies headquartered or incorporated in the state.

Alabama Governor Ivey Awards $82.45 Million for Improved Access to Broadband through Alabama Middle-Mile Network

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) awarded an $82.45 million grant to help make statewide broadband service availability a more attainable goal throughout Alabama.

$447 million broadband infrastructure investments for dozens of Tennessee counties

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is awarding $446,770,282 in grants for the expansion of internet access across Tennessee. Nearly $50 million more will be directed to broadband adoption and digital literacy efforts. More than 150,000 unserved homes and businesses in 58 counties receiving broadband access. Priority was given to applicants with the lowest internet speeds, though all “unserved” areas (where only services with speeds below 100 Mbps download speed and 20 Mbps upload) were considered for the grant.

Communities collect granular broadband data amid wait for better federal maps

States have begun to produce their own mapping data for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grant allocation.

Lobbying the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Rules

Thirteen Republican Senators sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asking the agency to change its approach to administering some of the provisions of the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grants. The letter specifically asked for changes related to rate regulation, technology preference, provider preference, workforce requirements, middle mile deployments, and the application review process (You can read the letter here). It’s

North Carolina Launches $24 Million Digital Equity Grant Program

Gov Roy Cooper (D-NC) is launching North Carolina's first digital equity grant program, which will help North Carolinians afford high-speed internet, obtain digital devices, and access digital literacy resources. The multi-phased program, administered by the NC Department of Information Technology’s Office of Digital Equity and Literacy, will invest up to $24 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for collaborative digital equity projects. The program’s first phase will invest $10 million in total funding to support 10-15 state government entities to develop or expand digi

Wyoming is in line to receive millions of dollars for expanding internet access

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a workshop in Gillette, WY, on the $48 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding to give everyone in the country internet access. The idea is to give local governments money to expand broadband services in so-called “digital deserts” where high-speed, reliable internet isn’t available. The funding comes from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The workshop is meant to give Wyoming leaders a heads-up on how to prepare for the funding.

Nextlink teams up with Tarana to deploy CBRS spectrum in rural areas

Gigabit broadband service is coming to communities and rural areas in 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin through a partnership by Nextlink and Tarana. They expect to expand service to hundreds of rural counties over the next several years, covering over a quarter million households. Part of this ties back to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) licenses Nextlink picked up at auction in 2020.

Florida to Supreme Court: Let us regulate social networks as common carriers

The State of Florida asked the US Supreme Court to reinstate its social media regulation law that made it illegal for sites like Facebook and Twitter to ban politicians. Florida's petition said the Supreme Court should answer the questions of whether the First Amendment prohibits states "from requiring that social-media companies host third-party communications, and from regulating the time, place, and manner in which they do so," and whether the First Amendment prohibits states "from requiring social-media companies to notify and provide an explanation to their users when they censor the u

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $29.3 Million to the Native Village of Port Lions, Alaska

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded a $29.3 million Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) grant to the Native Village of Port Lions, Alaska. This grant will fund a new fiber-optic high-speed Internet network capable of Gigabit speeds. The proposed project will directly connect 930 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed Internet as well as businesses and anchor institutions. NTIA has now made 70 awards totaling $755,737,402.24 in funding through the TBCP.