The official FCC definition of broadband has been stuck at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload since 2015. Meanwhile, the world has changed and internet usage has continued to accelerate. So, the FCC is opening an inquiry into raising that definition to 100 Mbps by 20 Mbps.
The new proposed speed definition is hardly revolutionary. The 100/20 standard is already baked into federal and state funding programs. What is interesting about the FCC's inquiry is that they are also seeking comment on setting a separate national goal of 1 Gbps/500 Mbps for the future. Now we're talking broadband!
In addition to adjusting the broadband definition, the FCC Notice of Inquiry will also examine the universal service goals of Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act.
“During the pandemic and even before it, the needs of internet users surpassed the FCC’s 25/3 standard for broadband. This standard is not only outdated, it masks the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are being left offline and left behind,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “In order to get big things done, it is essential to set big goals. That is why we are kicking off this inquiry to update our national broadband standard and also set a long-term goal for gigabit speeds.
A little cable TV news for our CBAN provider members. According to an article at CableFax, Bally Sports is looking to regain control of the Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSN's) from the now bankrupt Diamond Sports Group.
Bally reportedly offerd $850 million to take control of Diamond Sports, which is waiting for a decision on its request to delay the filing of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan to late this month.
There are a total of 39 professional MLB, NBA, and NHL teams under the Bally Sports banner.
In a move that has been welcomed by small, community-based providers, the Natonal Telecommunications Informaton Administration (NTIA) has released a waiver for the letter of credit requirement under the BEAD program.
Writing on the Keller and Heckman blog, telecommunications attorney Sean A. Stokes says, "This is big news for small and mid-size public and private entities that might not otherwise have been able to meet the LOC requirements."
There were deep concerns that the letter of credit requirement would have a chilling effect on smaller broadband providers who are interested in applying for BEAD funds to build out broadband in unserved and underserved areas, but were not in a position to follow the original LOC rules.
You can read another take about the BEAD letter of credit programmatic waiver at Fierce Telecom.
FIberFirst, a Texas internet service provider, says it will launch fiber internet services in Omaha, NE in partnership with Ubiquity, a private infrastructure investment firm. FiberFirst is the first to announce service over Ubiquity's open-access network in Omaha.
Door County, WI - a CBAN community member - remains focused on bringing better broadband to the region's residents. To advance that goal, a Broadband Grant Education Summit will take place on November 7, 2024 at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, WI.
The goal of the summit is to help communities in the region learn how to successfully seek a share of funding the upcoming round of BEAD funding. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission will receive approximately $1.1 Billion to fund broadband projects in the state.
In an interview for the Door County Daily News, Door County Broadband Coordinator Jessica Hatch said she is amazed by the progress municipalities have been able to make in such a short time while also doing their due diligence to make sure they get the best service they can get for the money they can afford.
Five CBAN provider members in Iowa have been awarded funding under the State of Iowa's latest round of broadband grants. The funds for this round, NOFA 8, were part of the state's Capital Projects Fund awarded by Congress. All told, $16.5 million in funds will help subsidize the expense of bringing fiber to hundreds of Iowans.
The largest recipent of funding was Casey Mutual Telephone Company, which will receive $4.8 million to build fiber to unserved and unserved areas of rural Madison County. Other CBAN member recipients are:
Several other CBAN provider members submitted applications but were not funded:
Grant winners have until November 22nd to negotiate any changes to their awards and execute the grant agreement. Projects funded by NOFA 8 must be complete by September 30, 2026.
Leaders in Burlington County, NJ are helping solve the broadband access gap by expanding free WiFi availability across the county. Free WIFi is now available in 20 county-owned buildings, all 15 Burlington County Libraury System branches and member libraries, and in nine county parks.
In the past year, more than 100,000 ussers have connected to the county's public WiFi service. For more information about the county's efforts, check out this article at The Sun Newspapers website.
News release provided by ImOn Communications, a CBAN provider member.
ImOn Communications, a leading provider of high-speed fiber Internet, TV, and phone services, is thrilled to announce the commencement of construction for Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Internet infrastructure in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, conveniently located just five minutes from downtown Sioux City, Iowa.
This initiative aims to deliver cutting-edge, reliable, and lightning-fast Internet connectivity directly to the homes of Dakota Dunes residents. FiberComm, a proud member of the ImOn family, will spearhead the construction efforts to bring the next generation of Internet technology to the community.
Patrice Carroll, President and CEO of ImOn Communications, expressed excitement about this significant step forward in enhancing connectivity in the region, saying, "We are excited to bring the power of fiber-optic technology to the Siouxland area starting with the residents of Dakota Dunes. ImOn is committed to delivering top-notch, high-speed Internet services that will transform the way people live, work, and connect."
FiberComm, serving as the executing arm of ImOn Communications for the Dakota Dunes expansion project, is poised to lead the construction efforts. Al Aymar, Vice President and General Manager for ImOn’s Siouxland market, shared his enthusiasm about the project, stating, "We are dedicated to bringing the future of Internet connectivity to the Dakota Dunes community. With Fiber-to-the-Home, residents can expect unparalleled speed, reliability, and a seamless online experience for years to come."
ImOn Communications plans to complete the construction and roll out Fiber-to-the-Home Internet services to the Dakota Dunes community in the coming months. The company remains committed to providing exceptional customer service and fostering a connected community.
For more information, please visit: go.ImOn.net/DakotaDunes
On a 3-2 vote along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission has moved to advance a proposal to restore so-called "net neutrality" rules. It's just the beginning of a lengthy regulatory process, with initial comments due in mid-December.
This is the second time the FCC has moved to enact net neutrality by classifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The October 19th vote came with unanimous support from the Commission's three Democratic appointees with Republican appointees voting no. During the Obama administration, the FCC enacted the net neutrality rules, but they were rescinded after less than three years during the Trump administration.
The resurrected net neutrality are basically the same as the were when they were first enacted in 2015.
The rules are generally supported by consumer advocates and content providers and opposed my many ISP's as being restrictive and expensive to enact.
At last week's SCTE Expo in Denver, you couldn't look any direction on the trade show floor without seeing some cable operator flying a giant "10G" sign. 10G is the brand name that the cable industry is using for its new DOCSIS 4.0 platform, which promised to offer up to 10 Gpbs download speeds over existin coaxial cable.
However, a national ad watchdog (the National Advertising Division) is recommending that Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, stop using 10G in its ads, Comcast's 10G claim, the organization explained, conveys a message that all consumers on the network can get speeds up to 10 Gbit/s. But such a claim is not substantiated, NAD argued, given that such speeds are currently available to residential customers only on Comcast's fiber-based Gigabit Pro service.
The impact of the recommendation could reach farther than just Comcast, as several large cable operators such as Mediacom and Spectrum are touting 10G in their advertising as well. The complaint that led to the NAD's decision was filed by Verizon and T-Mobile, which is ironic because wireless carriers themselves have been accused of sowing the seeds of confusion among consumers with their own 5G branding.
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Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.