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Stay up to date with this consolidated list of related news from industry analysts and government sources!

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Broadband Deserts

Pots and Pans

Sep 23, 2022

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Black Churches 4 Digital Equity Connects Communities to the Affordable Connectivity Program

Event

Benton

Sep 23, 2022

On September 24, Black Churches 4 Digital Equity is hosting its National Affordable Connectivity Program Sign-Up Day in 34 cities across the United States. The coalition aims to increase participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program, the Federal Communications Commission's broadband subsidy program, by community members of African American, faith-based institutions. Through this event, Black Churches 4 Digital Equity aims to raise awareness of faith-based institutions' efforts to help close the digital divide. Black Churches 4 Digital Equity was launched in 2021 by the Multicultural Media and Telecom Internet Council (MMTC), a national, non-partisan, diversity nonprofit working to promote and preserve equal opportunity, civil rights, and social justice in the mass media, telecommunications, and broadband industries. Currently, Black Churches 4 Digital Equity includes 25 Black churches and Black church nonprofit organizations across nine states and the District of Columbia. “We see it as a larger work, to educate church leaders about how the digital divide is shaping so many issues within our community and how they can be policy advocates and champions locally and nationally in these discussions,” says Dr. Fallon Wilson, Vice President of Policy at MMTC.

Kid working from home

FCC Awards Almost $55M in ECF Program

Telecompetitor

Sep 22, 2022

The FCC’ Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program is committing almost $55 million in a new funding round that will support about 125,000 students in five areas. The new round focuses are California, Indiana, Michigan, Puerto Rico, and Texas. The announcement…

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Broadband Needs of Rural Small Businesses and Federal Programs to Support Them

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

In a 2021 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that some small businesses lack access to broadband, but may benefit from federal programs that fund deployment in rural areas. Small businesses can likely reap the benefits of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) and the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) funding to expand broadband deployment. Yet, despite these benefits, much of the literature GAO reviewed suggests that FCC's current broadband minimum benchmark speeds—25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading and 3 Mbps for uploading—are likely too slow to meet many small business speed needs. The FCC and RUS have helped increase broadband speeds in rural areas. For example, USDA’s ReConnect is mostly funding projects that propose to build fiber, which is generally associated with the fastest speeds available. However, in the GAO's July 2021 report, they found that FCC has not assessed the speed needs of small businesses to inform future benchmark analyses; which causes a lack of assurance that its benchmark is sufficient for supporting broadband access that meets the needs of small businesses. Thus, the GAO has recommended that the FCC solicit input from stakeholders and conduct an analysis of small businesses' broadband speed needs and incorporate the results of this analysis into its determination of the benchmark for broadband.

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Advancing Digital Equity for All

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

To ensure all learners have equitable access to reliable, high-speed broadband and technology tools for learning, we must consider the three components of access—availability, affordability, and adoption. The purpose of this guidance resource is to support leaders in developing effective digital equity plans in these ways:Exploring the three components of access—availability, affordability, and adoption; Highlighting existing barriers to achieving digital equity; Providing promising strategies to overcome these barriers; Identifying key action steps for leaders. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) recommends the following to ensure digital equity:

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

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

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 user's speech." The Florida law is currently blocked by an order issued by the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which made its ruling in a lawsuit filed by Big Tech industry groups. Florida filed its Supreme Court petition several days after a Texas social media law was reinstated by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Florida's petition points to the contrasting decisions by the 5th and 11th Circuit courts as evidence that the Supreme Court should settle the over-arching questions relevant to both cases. Florida said the case over its own law is "an ideal vehicle" for considering "whether social-media platforms are 'speaking' when they host third-party speech." The Big Tech industry groups that sued Florida also said they want the Supreme Court to decide the case.

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Home Networks Are the New Industry Battleground

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

While the telecommunications industry has spent the past few decades touting the ever-increasing bandwidth of their various broadband products, a panel of top cable experts said that consumers are increasingly looking to how those services perform as they continue to pile devices and applications onto their networks. Users are becoming more concerned with how their different applications and services interact with their broadband network, Charter's Justin Colwell said. Home networks are getting more sophisticated as they increasingly have to handle more and more devices per home. Colwell said Charter averages about 15 devices connected to its Wi-Fi network per customer. Ultimately, this transformation highlights the importance of a home's Local Area Network (LAN). “If you don’t have a good home LAN, it’s like putting bicycle tires on the back of a dragster,” Colwell said. 

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NTIA Awards $29.3 Million Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant

Telecompetitor

Sep 22, 2022

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded a $29.3 million Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grant to the Native Village of Port Lions in Alaska. With today’s award, NTIA has now made 70 awards totaling more than $755.7 million…

Tarana Hudson Oak

Big RDOF Winner Nextlink Offers Details on Fixed Wireless Deployment Plans

Telecompetitor

Sep 22, 2022

Nextlink Internet has announced details about its plans to bring fixed wireless access (FWA), along with fiber broadband, to underserved and unserved rural communities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. The company…

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

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

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. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said, “As someone who lived in a rural village for nearly 20 years, I know the challenges of living in rural Alaska—high costs of living and everyday essentials, limited infrastructure, and oftentimes limited economic opportunities. I’m a firm believer that digital equality creates economic and educational equality. Broadband deployment will be a game-changer in rural Alaska."

The Data Divide

Pots and Pans

Sep 22, 2022

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ReConnect Funding, More Emergency Connectivity Fund Money, 5G Training Grant in South Africa

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 22, 2022

The Agriculture Department announced $502M will go to service providers in 20 states.

Rural Indiana

Vilsack Announces $502M in USDA ReConnect Awards, More to Come Soon

Telecompetitor

Sep 22, 2022

The USDA announced $502 million in USDA ReConnect awards this morning and at a pre-briefing with media yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the balance of awards in Round 3 of the program will be announced soon. In addition, Vilsack…

Statement on Alvaro Bedoya’s Call for Fairness Coincides With New ILSR Report on Robinson-Patman Act images

Statement on Alvaro Bedoya’s Call for Fairness Coincides With New ILSR Report on Robinson-Patman Act

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Sep 22, 2022

Alvaro Bedoya brings to the FTC deep expertise in the ways that monopolies in sectors like food, pharmacy, and tech are harming Americans and sapping the resiliency out of our economy and democracy.…

5g Network

Report: 5G Connections are Doubling Annually

Telecompetitor

Sep 22, 2022

Wireless 5G connections are doubling every year, reaching 813 million connections by the end of the second quarter of 2022, according to a report from Omdia and 5G Americas. Global 5G connections are predicted to reach 1.1 billion by the…

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Biden-Harris Administration To Give $502 Million for High-Speed Internet in Rural Communities

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $502 million in loans and grants to provide high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses in 20 states. USDA is making investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. USDA is making 32 awards in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. Many awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands and people in socially vulnerable communities. awards include:

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Overcoming the challenge of connecting rural AZ to broadband

Benton

Sep 22, 2022

Milan Eaton, director of the E-Rate program for the Arizona Department of Education, uses the federal program to install high-speed internet infrastructure in schools in remote areas across AZ. According to the White House, 14% of Arizonans live in areas with no broadband infrastructure at minimally acceptable speeds. Forty-five percent live in an area where there is only one internet provider and even if available, the costs may be too expensive. Thirteen percent of households in Arizona have no internet subscription. Eaton has leveraged E-Rate program funds with state funds to create the Final Mile Project. The goal is to bring broadband from schools to homes. The idea is to install fiber to schools and antennas strong enough to broadcast signals into the community. Educational access for students is $10 per month. Regular residential broadband ranges from $35 up to $100 per month depending on the amount of bandwidth chosen. 

Comcast Outlines 5G Deployment Strategy with Samsung as a Partner

Telecompetitor

Sep 21, 2022

Comcast has chosen Samsung to provide radio access network infrastructure for the 5G network it will be building. In a blog post on the Comcast website, Comcast Senior Vice President of Wireless Strategy Tom Nagel said the company has licenses…

Charter Stabbing Death Award

Charter Stabbing Death Award Reduced, Still North of $1 Billion

Telecompetitor

Sep 21, 2022

A Texas judge has reduced the exemplary, or punitive, damages that Charter must pay in connection with the stabbing death of an elderly Charter customer by a Charter installer in the customer’s home. Earlier this year a jury said Charter…

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Federal Funding Resources: NTIA Updates Federal Funding Site

Colorado

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 21, 2022

On Sept. 19, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced updates to their Federal Funding webpage which acts as a "one-stop shop" for applicants seeking federal funding. The CBO would like to share this valuable resource with our stakeholders as it details over 80

Starlink Slowed in Q2 Competitors Mounting Challenges

Speedtest: Starlink Slows in U.S., Worldwide

Telecompetitor

Sep 21, 2022

SpaceX Starlink download speeds decreased between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022 in every country assessed — including the U.S. — according to Ookla’s Speedtest. However, the satellite service’s median download speed in North America…

Colorado Broadband Office Banner

Advance Industry & Community Roundtable Webinars: Slides and Recordings Now Available

Colorado

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 21, 2022

On September 20 and 21, the CBO hosted it's first round of Advance Industry and Community Roundtable meetings. In order to establish a regular cadence of communication with our partners, the CBO will hold these Roundtable meetings bi-monthly. The slides and recordings from the first Industry and

The Rural Broadband Association

Heading to the Golden Gate City

The Rural Broadband Association

Sep 21, 2022

I am writing this from the very crowded Asheville, N.C., airport at 5:30 a.m., well before the sun rises, after spending a quick minute with our Services Management Corporation (SMC) team. As I sit and wonder where all these folks came from and where they are headed, I am reminded that seeing this much activity means that Americans are back on the road in full force. The luxury of traveling when others are not is over, and I better be ready to do a quick turnaround to head to our Fall Conference in San Francisco this weekend.I am so ready for this conference and for the opportunity to gather, network, and exchange ideas with NTCA’s community-based broadband providers. I always find myself reenergized after spending time with our members and hearing how busy they are with their business plans, connecting more Americans with broadband. The programming and presenters we have lined up are top notch and so timely. We have a trifecta of critical policy folks joining us to share wisdom and perspective from their respective programs and agencies. We will have Trent Harkrader, chief of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, Evan Feinman, director of the historic Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Farah Ahmad, deputy undersecretary for rural development at U.S. Department of Agriculture. I cannot wait to hear what they all have to share on where these critical funding programs stand today.Our various sessions include topics such as thinking like a futurist, gadgets in a gig world, workforce development, supply chain next steps, network demand, cybersecurity, the future of Universal Service, and so much more. These are in addition to key committee and leadership gatherings. I can’t wait to see everyone there.Still, even as I type, it really strikes me how important it is to our advocacy efforts to continue to collect data on where the industry stands. That data is a key part of the narrative with policymakers. I get it though. When we look into our overcrowded inbox, our first thought is, “I simply don’t have time to give someone more information that has no benefit to me.” At a time when we are all making judgements on where our time, energy, or staff resources are spent, that makes sense.But what if I told you that nearly every survey that NTCA seeks your input on has something in it for you?When we inquire about your broadband deployment, for example, this data is directly applicable and regularly used with state and federal policymakers. It is a huge tool in setting the community-based broadband community apart from others in this industry. For example, last year’s results showed that 75 percent of NTCA member customers had access to fiber to the home (FTTH) technology. I have literally watched policymakers’ eyes do a double blink when I share that statistic, particularly because they assume the companies we represent in rural and high-cost markets are behind the curve. Nothing could be further from the truth. At a time when it is more important than ever to differentiate the services NTCA members provide in rural America when compared to national providers, that statistic alone tells a key part of the story. At a time where so much state and federal support is flowing for broadband deployment, your participation in our 2022 survey will enable us to showcase how essential NTCA members are to getting the job done in your communities. It will also showcase how valuable you are as partners due to your spirit of service and vast deployment experience, making you critical players in any additional funding coming down the pike.We can only tell that factual story with more facts! So, please take a minute. Refill your coffee or pass this link along to someone on your team to help us share your story of success, dedication, and support for future-proof network deployment. Your information is so critical, and we are extending our deadline to October 7. My thanks in advance. Your story is a powerful one to share!© 2022, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association All rights reserved. 4121 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203Explore NTCA Sites

Biden Wants American at ITU, FCC Acts Against Chinese Telecom, Mid-Band Spectrum Needed

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 21, 2022

Doreen Bodgan-Martin is running to head the United Nations’ technology regulator.

Overestimating Inflation

Pots and Pans

Sep 21, 2022

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Speed-Tests: Substitute for, or Complement to, Broadband Maps?

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

The Federal Communications Commission’s existing broadband availability maps have been heavily criticized as inaccurate, especially for the purpose of distributing billions in subsidy dollars to extend broadband networks to unserved areas. In a rush to distribute the National Telecommunication and Information Administration's (NTIA's) Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) subsidy dollars, a few states have initiated their own mapping efforts and some advocates have proposed alternative mapping means using speed-test data to identify areas that lack adequate broadband. The usefulness of speed-test results to identify unserved or underserved areas has not been evaluated, and there are several reasons to doubt their utility:The results are not encouraging. Speed tests do not appear to be good proxies for actual broadband deployment. In areas where the Ookla data indicate broadband speeds are below the 25/3 Mbps threshold, about 86% of locations have broadband service available above that threshold. At the 100/20 Mbps threshold, about 94% of locations may purchase service meeting or exceeding that threshold. Other peculiarities are found, suggesting that speed-test results are not a suitable substitute for rigorous and careful mapping efforts, such as those the FCC is currently undertaking.

Comcast 10G

Comcast Sees Year-End 2023 for Symmetrical Multi-Gigabit Deployments

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

Comcast said it has completed a successful test of newly designed full-duplex DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX) amplifiers, which according to the company, was “the final core element of the 10G ecosystem that needed to be tested to ensure 10G technology could…

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Connecting Low-Income Families Using Broadband Vouchers

ACP

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Major federal broadband consumer subsidy programs that have been implemented, in the U.S. (the Lifeline, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)) are rebates administered through broadband providers. Yet, uptake in these programs among eligible households has been modest. Direct-to-consumer voucher subsidies have been widely applied to non-broadband social benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), yet there is limited implementation for broadband. There has been increased advocacy for direct-to-consumer broadband voucher programs to replace rebates on consumers’ bills because, some argue, they reduce administrative costs, improve program transparency, and increase competition by supporting broader connectivity options and providers. At its conclusion, ABC connected over 200,000 students (in 107,000 households). Ultimately, the success of The Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students program presents evidence of three critical design elements for increasing uptake in broadband affordability programs: (1) Targeted outreach through trusted messengers; (2) Removing barriers to enrollment; and (3) Combine multiple mechanisms/network technologies.See the full working paper for a detailed overview of the method, results, and discussion of findings here. [Erezi Ogbo is the winner of the TPRC and the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society 2022 Early Career Scholar Award]

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Changing Our (Virtual) Reality: Telehealth and the US Maternal Health Crisis

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

As society works to address the systemic barriers that contribute to the maternal health crisis, it is important to recognize the role that telehealth could play in improving the United States’ maternal health outcomes. Policymakers should take the following into consideration: 

Chips Act Hires, Telehealth Key to Address Birth Mortality, Ookla Rates 5G in College Towns

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 20, 2022

The White House announced six hires to take charge of $52-billion semiconductor program.

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Estakio Beltran named Washington State Broadband Office Digital Equity Manager

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

The Washington State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce has hired Estakio Beltran to serve as Digital Equity Manager. Beltran comes to the job with significant experience working on equity policy, program development, and community-driven solutions to inequity. During more than a decade working in Washington DC, Beltran advised senior members of Congress and high-ranking officials as public policy professionals. Beltran stated that improving connectivity across the state can address digital inequities and ensure that everyone in Washington has full access to opportunities, power, and resources to flourish and achieve their full potential. Working in collaboration with the Washington Public Works Board and Community Economic Revitalization Board, the state broadband office recently was awarded $30 million from the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for last-mile fiber and wireless projects aimed at overcoming barriers to broadband access and connectivity in five rural Washington counties (Ferry, Jefferson, Kittitas, Okanogan and Stevens). In addition, the 2022 state supplemental budget provides over $100 million in operating, capital, and federal broadband funding.

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Northeast Mississippi Community College Addresses Need for Fiber Optic Technicians with Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path™ Course

Fiber Broadband Association

Sep 20, 2022

Workforce training course will help supply quality fiber technicians to build local broadband networks

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Two Republican judges just let Texas seize control of Twitter and Facebook

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Conflicting lower court rulings about removing controversial material from social media platforms point toward a landmark Supreme Court decision on whether the First Amendment protects Big Tech’s editorial discretion or forbids its censorship of unpopular views. A panel of the conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down an opinion, effectively holding that the state of Texas may seize control of content moderation on major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Governments that say conservative voices are the ones most often eliminated by the decisions of tech companies scored a major victory with the ruling, as the law now bars companies from removing posts based on political ideology. The stakes are rising not just for the government and the companies, but because of the increasingly dominant role platforms such as Twitter and Facebook play in American democracy and elections. Social media posts have the potential to amplify disinformation or hateful speech, but the removal of controversial viewpoints can stifle public discourse about important political issues. However, legal experts closely tracking the case said the 5th Circuit decision is at odds with long-standing court precedent and warned that the Texas law would force the companies to disseminate what they consider misinformation and harmful content on their platforms.

Security threat

FCC: Two More Chinese Companies Pose a Network Security Threat

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited and Pacific Network Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC have been added to a list of companies that are deemed a threat to national security by the FCC Public Safety and Security Bureau….

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FCC Expands List of Communications Equipment and Services That Pose a Threat to National Security

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

The Federal Communications Commission lists Pacific Network Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC and China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited on its list of communications equipment and services that have been deemed a threat to national security. The actions implement recommendations in letters filed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)on behalf of Executive Branch interagency bodies. These letters explain how PacNet/ComNet and China Unicom are subject to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese government, and the national security risks associated with such exploitation, influence, and control.

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The Michelson 20MM Foundation and Partners Bring Philanthropy Together to Launch Digital Equity Pooled Fund

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Housed at the Michelson 20MM Foundation, the Digital Equity Pooled Fund is a new collaboration between 20MM, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), and California Community Foundation (CCF) that is focused on advancing digital equity in California. The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and The Center for Accessible Technology (CforAT) will comprise the Fund’s inaugural cohort of funded partners. "By pooling our funds to support ongoing, hands-on technical support for community-based organizations and local governments to participate in the state's critical regulatory processes, we are making a shared investment in leveling the playing field for the people and communities most affected by the digital divide,” said Shayna Englin, Director of California Community Foundation's Digital Equity Initiative. TURN’s work centers on advocating for affordable and dependable utility services and standing up for consumers across the state as an independent and unbiased voice. TURN’s Voice for Broadband Equity Project, directly supported by the fund, will provide training and technical assistance to BIPOC-led and BIPOC- and low-income-serving organizations who want to participate in proceedings at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Concurrently, CforAT represents people with disabilities before the CPUC for both telecommunications policy and energy policy.

Man on laptop

What’s Next for the Universal Service Fund?

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

The wheels are finally turning on Universal Service Fund (USF) reform, after being a talking point for years without much progress by those in power. As it stands, communications providers contribute to the USF based on their interstate and international…

Northeast Mississippi Community College

FBA Fiber Training Program Gains Another Community College

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC) will soon offer the Optical Telecom InstallerCertification Path (OpTIC Path) program created by the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA). The FBA fiber training program is aimed at helping to combat a severe shortage of skilled fiber…

College students researching

NCREN Network Will Support New NCShare Research Network

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

The new North Carolina Shared Research & Education collaborative infrastructure (NCShare) has received a pair of grants from the National Science Foundation. The awards total $1,382,425. NCShare, which was unveiled with the announcement, is aimed at boosting science, technology, engineering…

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Smartphones and older users remain an uneasy match

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

More than ever, services and businesses from banks to doctors' offices and restaurants to airlines expect users to have access to smartphones — but many older people still lack digital skills, and products don't always take their needs into account. A December 2021 survey conducted by AARP found that three in four people over the age of 50 say they rely on technology to stay connected, but 42% of them say that technology is not designed for all ages. Many new features introduced in Apple and Google products, such as iOS’ Crash Detection and Android’s Live Translate, aim to save lives or actively improve real-time in-person interactions. But older users still show hesitancy to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. Advocates worry that these older non-users might miss out on ways that health apps paired with phones could improve their lives. For older users to fully embrace the smartphone, they'll have to get more comfortable with the technology and confident that they can find uses for it that will improve their lives.

data center switch

Report: 400 Gbps Demand Fueled Router Market Growth

Telecompetitor

Sep 20, 2022

North America was a bright spot in an otherwise flat year in the router and aggregation switch market, according to the Dell’Oro Group. North America bucked the worldwide trend with double digit revenue growth driven by demand for 400 Gbps…

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Underline Receives New Investment for Infrastructure To Connect Communities

ACP

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Underline, the nation’s intelligent community infrastructure platform, is connecting American communities on a foundation of open access fiber. To support existing projects and drive continued US expansion, a fund managed by Ares Management’s Infrastructure Opportunities strategy joins Underline as a strategic investor—adding a scaled global investment manager to the existing investor group. Underline is the first digital infrastructure investment Ares will make through its Infrastructure Opportunities strategy—a leading infrastructure investor with approximately $4.3 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2022. Through this investment, Underline can offer service to residential customers on full fiber connections with symmetric gigabit speeds for $65/month—no installation or equipment fees, no contracts, no data caps, and no forced bundles. In addition, Underline members can select their broadband provider from a choice of three on the online Marketplace and can switch between them at ease. Transforming community connectivity must also include a plan to address the growing digital divide that presents a barrier to upward mobility for individuals and families. Underline’s Opportunity Program provides the standard tier of service—500/500 Mbps— at no cost, for households that qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and symmetric gigabit service for $35/month. 

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Underline Receives New Investment for Infrastructure To Connect Communities

ACP

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Underline, the nation’s intelligent community infrastructure platform, is connecting American communities on a foundation of open access fiber. To support existing projects and drive continued US expansion, a fund managed by Ares Management’s Infrastructure Opportunities strategy joins Underline as a strategic investor—adding a scaled global investment manager to the existing investor group. Underline is the first digital infrastructure investment Ares will make through its Infrastructure Opportunities strategy—a leading infrastructure investor with approximately $4.3 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2022. Through this investment, Underline can offer service to residential customers on full fiber connections with symmetric gigabit speeds for $65/month—no installation or equipment fees, no contracts, no data caps, and no forced bundles. In addition, Underline members can select their broadband provider from a choice of three on the online Marketplace and can switch between them at ease. Transforming community connectivity must also include a plan to address the growing digital divide that presents a barrier to upward mobility for individuals and families. Underline’s Opportunity Program provides the standard tier of service—500/500 Mbps— at no cost, for households that qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and symmetric gigabit service for $35/month. 

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Joshua Edmonds Departing as Detroit Digital Inclusion Lead

Benton

Sep 20, 2022

Detroit Digital Inclusion Director Joshua Edmonds is departing the city to head up a nonprofit organization that also works in the digital equity space. Edmonds has taken a position as CEO of DigitalC, a Cleveland-based nonprofit focused on getting people connected to high-speed, affordable Internet. He started with the city in December 2018 and was named Detroit’s director of digital inclusion in January 2019, making him one of the first people in the country to head up digital equity work within a municipal government. He departs as one of the most experienced and longest-tenured full-time digital inclusion staffers in any American city hall. The city is launching a nationwide search for Edmonds’ replacement. Edmonds said, “[Detroit has] an effective community engagement strategy with Connect 313, a plan for infrastructure, and three years of committed ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funding that will begin flowing to communities this fall and early next year."

The Latest Stats on Broadband Usage

Pots and Pans

Sep 20, 2022

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Comcast SCTE_Network_Efficiency

Comcast Aims to Double Energy Efficiency by 2030

Telecompetitor

Sep 19, 2022

Comcast aims to double its network energy efficiency by 2030. The company made the announcement at the SCTE Cable Tec Expo 2022 conference, which is being held this week in Philadelphia. If achieved, the move will reduce electricity used per…

The FCC Mapping Fabric

Pots and Pans

Sep 19, 2022

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Arizona loses its broadband director thumbnail

Arizona loses its broadband director

Broadband.Money

Sep 19, 2022

Arizona's well respected broadband director said that he's stepping away

Infrastructure inextricably linked to digital equity and broadband mapping thumbnail

Infrastructure inextricably linked to digital equity and broadband mapping

Broadband.Money

Sep 19, 2022

At a Telecommunications Policy Research Conference session on lessons learned from past broadband deployments, panelists link role improving infrastructure with digital equity.

T-Mobile 5G Coverage

T-Mobile Will Deploy New 2.5 GHz Spectrum ASAP

Telecompetitor

Sep 19, 2022

T-Mobile plans to deploy the new spectrum that it won in the recent auction of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band as soon as it receives its licenses from the FCC. The company was by far the biggest winner in…

iPhone Smartphone

FCC Licenses Lynk Global Satellite to Phone Service

Telecompetitor

Sep 19, 2022

The FCC has awarded Lynk Global what the company says is the world’s first commercial license for a service that connects satellites directly to standard mobile phones. Lynk says it will launch commercial services for a global constellation of satellites…

CTIA Wireless Survey 2.4 Trillion Text Messages

CTIA: Wireless Investment Was $35B in 2021

Telecompetitor

Sep 19, 2022

The CTIA 2022 Annual Wireless Industry Survey found that the US wireless industry made a record investment of almost $35 billion last year in efforts to expand, improve and operate its networks, driven by 5G rollouts. The organization says that…

Broadband Labels Should Include Practical Applications of Internet Packages: MIT Researchers

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 19, 2022

The FCC's broadband label might include the number of movies one can watch at a time with a certain plan.

Digital Asset Regulation, Texas Social Media Law Upheld, WISPA Endorses California Tech Neutral Bill

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 19, 2022

The White House released a "comprehensive framework" for the regulation of digital assets.

Colorado Broadband Office Banner

Digital Equity Planning Grant & ACP Overview Webinar: Slides & Recording Now Available

ColoradoACP

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 16, 2022

On September 15, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), along with the CBO, hosted a webinar to discuss the Digital Equity (DE) Planning Grant and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). We reviewed what to expect from the DE planning process, the program timeline and our proposed

Colorado Broadband Office Banner

Broadband Deployment Board Prepares for Winter 2022 Grant Cycle Appeal Hearings and Upcoming Timeline

Colorado

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 16, 2022

Winter 2022 Grant Cycle Appeals Hearing On Aug. 25, the Broadband Deployment Board (BDB) completed its application review for the Winter 2022 Grant Cycle. BDB decisions regarding applicant's ability to meet the Minimum Requirements for both the High-Cost Support Mechanism (HCSM) Funding and American

California Social Media Law, Rosenworcel Deep in Space, Changes at I3 Connectivity Explorer

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 16, 2022

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will limit the online collection of children’s data.

The Big Ethernet Carrier Market

Pots and Pans

Sep 16, 2022

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Big Fight Over Costs of Pole Attachments Pits New Entrants Against Utilities

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 15, 2022

Many of the commenters urge the FCC to change the standards it uses for cost-sharing of pole replacements.

FTC Forum Hears Evidence that U.S. Should Follow European Union Privacy Model

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 15, 2022

The agency is proposing to use its own authority to regulate tech platforms for their 'commercial surveillance'.

SEC Adds Crypto Offices, Google’s Antitrust Appeal Rejected, State Farm Invests in ADT

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 15, 2022

The SEC will add industry offices that are focused on crypto assets, and industrial applications and services. 

White House Presses Outreach Initiatives for Affordable Connectivity Program

ACP

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 15, 2022

White House officials urged schools and other local institutions to engage in text-message and social media campaigns for the ACP.

The 12 GHz Battle

Pots and Pans

Sep 15, 2022

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Letter of Intent Learnings and Best Practices Webinar: Slides & Recording Now Available

Colorado

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 15, 2022

On September 14 & 15, the CBO hosted webinars to discuss learnings and best practices surrounding the 87 Letters Of Intent (LOIs) our team received for broadband projects across the state. Presentation slides and recording can be found below. Learn more about LOIs and the Advance Colorado Broadband

50 years in the quest to understand broadband deployment thumbnail

50 years in the quest to understand broadband deployment

Broadband.Money

Sep 14, 2022

The 50th TPRC is the “must-attend” gathering of all the broadband and telecommunications geeks.

Are BEAD Grants Large Enough?

Pots and Pans

Sep 14, 2022

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Leslie Durham, the Delta Regional Authority's Alternate Federal Co-Chairwoman, to Head New Agency to Help Local Governments With Infrastructure Planning thumbnail

Leslie Durham, the Delta Regional Authority's Alternate Federal Co-Chairwoman, to Head New Agency to Help Local Governments With Infrastructure Planning

Broadband.Money

Sep 14, 2022

Leslie Durham is the new executive director of the Louisiana Infrastructure Technical Assistance Corporation

Wisper Internet CEO Takes Issue With Federal Government Preference for Fiber

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 13, 2022

Wisper CEO Nathan Stooke said the attitude to connect more Americans should be to let the “best technology win.”

Jeff Pulver and Noah Rafalko: A Humble Request to the FCC on Robocalls

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 13, 2022

Blocking bad actors requires a whole new way of thinking, the authors say in this ExpertOp exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

New Lumen CEO, Ericsson Testing Drones, Starlink Challenges FCC on RDOF

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 13, 2022

Johnson will replace former CEO Jeff Storey, who announced his retirement after a 40-year career.

5G Connected Traffic Structures Will Facilitate Safer, Environmentally Friendly Travel: Industry

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 13, 2022

The release of more spectrum will help move autonomous vehicles forward.

Tribal Communications partners with Ready.net to close the digital divide in Indian country thumbnail

Tribal Communications partners with Ready.net to close the digital divide in Indian country

Broadband.Money

Sep 13, 2022

Partners bring together experience, resources, and relationships to support and position Tribes across the country to expand broadband internet across Indian Country.

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Louisiana to Leverage the Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path™ Program to Close the Digital Divide by 2029

Fiber Broadband Association

Sep 13, 2022

Bossier Parish Community College offers Fiber Broadband Association course to build skilled workforce and support ConnectLA aggressive broadband plans

Affordable Connectivity Program Fraud, Biden Touts Intel Plant, Cybersecurity in Schools

ACP

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 12, 2022

An FCC watchdog report said some service providers were signing up multiple people on one person's information for ACP benefits.

Mayors: Don't Miss Your City's Share of Billions for Broadband thumbnail

Mayors: Don't Miss Your City's Share of Billions for Broadband

Broadband.Money

Sep 12, 2022

America's gearing up to make its largest – and almost certainly last – investment in broadband. By default, most of that money is set to flow away from urban areas. Mayors can and should get their share to connect constituents.

Averting a Mapping Disaster?

Pots and Pans

Sep 12, 2022

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North Carolina Officials Tout Recent Investments in Rural Fiber

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 09, 2022

North Carolina hopes to achieve 80 percent subscription to broadband services among its citizens.

Satellite Cell Service

Pots and Pans

Sep 09, 2022

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New Hampshire Awards, Journalism and Content Moderation, Truth Social Roadblocks

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 09, 2022

This is New Hampshire’s second round of Treasury Department's Capital Projects Funds, following a $50 million award in June.

FCC’s Fabric Challenge Process Important Part of Getting Map Right, Agency Says

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 08, 2022

Despite confidence in its mapping fabric, an FCC panel said the challenge process is important.

The Rural Broadband Association

A Time For Reflection and Gratitude

The Rural Broadband Association

Sep 08, 2022

I don’t intend to use this blog as a running memorial, but there are simply some folks in the rural broadband industry lost before their time who have been top of mind for me and part of the idea behind the creation of this blog is sharing what is on my mind with whoever is gracious enough to be reading this. So here it goes.My heart and the collective heart of NTCA certainly goes to our friends and companies that are based in the Dakotas, particularly South Dakota, which has had more than its share of loss in our industry this past year. Typically, thankfully, the biggest concern for some of these cooperatives and companies has been how early winter will start or how soon the ground will thaw for fiber deployment. But with a great deal of sorrow, we have watched leaders in the industry from the northern plains pass far too soon. The most recent loss this week was Bryan Roth, longtime General Manager for TrioTel Communications in Salem, as well as manager of ITC in Clear Lake and longtime President for the South Dakota Network (SDN). Through his leadership, Bryan oversaw huge investments in fiber optic expansion and the deployment of the SDN data center. He was always focused on moving South Dakota forward. Bryan was also a fixture at NTCA meetings, quick with a joke as well as a programming suggestion. Bryan had a cancer diagnosis a few years ago and fought one of the toughest battles against this cursed disease as I have witnessed. From trying different medical options to ensuring that his days were filled with choices of time spent with those he loved most, Bryan was surrounded by his friends and colleagues in South Dakota who made a point to drop by his home regularly or set up FaceTime chats when it was tougher to gather in person. He passed just a few days after being inducted into the South Dakota Cooperative Hall of Fame with his family by his side.Bryan’s passing came on the heels of our industry losing another South Dakota leader, Rod Bower, CEO and owner of Kennebec Telephone Company, who passed unexpectedly the week prior.This loss was even more shocking to me having just seen Rod a few weeks prior while I was visiting South Dakota.Rod was another amazing individual who found a way to fulfill as many needs as possible for his local community. Rod was known to see a void and fill it. Need an auto parts store? Rod was on it. Need to entice a movie theater to town? Rod was your man. In all, he created seven or more local businesses to enrich the lives of those he served. He was a true servant leader.We started the year with the passing of Mark Shlanta, CEO of SDN. A longtime visionary for how community-based entities could come together to create a fiber network throughout the state of South Dakota long before fiber was a hot commodity, he positioned South Dakota for success in ways that brought large investments into the state.All that I have been thinking about is the rest of our membership in South Dakota every day this week, knowing that these losses weigh on every single rural broadband executive and every single member of their boards at a time when there is already enough angst to be managed. I am mindful that this missive is sad, but it is important information to share with the NTCA membership given the presence that every one of these gentlemen had at NTCA meetings and in the formulation of policies and paths ahead for this industry. Take a little bit of time to reflect on the gifts that Bryan, Rod, and Mark brought to those who knew and worked with them and be grateful that we had the time together that we did. This is also a reminder to give those we care about a hug next time our paths cross because life is indeed too short.© 2022, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association All rights reserved. 4121 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203Explore NTCA Sites

Fiber Providers Feeling the Heat of Inflation as Cost of Materials, Labor Rise

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 08, 2022

One fiber tools company says inflation is hitting broadband developers hard.

Cogent Buys T-Mobile Wireline, $81 Million from Emergency Connectivity Fund, Digital Redlining Study

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Broadband Breakfast

Sep 08, 2022

T-Mobile is focusing on its wireless business, while Cogent wants to eventually replace its leased network.

More WiFi Spectrum

Pots and Pans

Sep 08, 2022

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Open Radio Access Networks Can Save Energy, Say Panelists at Industry Summit

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 08, 2022

Broadband players in both the fiber marketplace and 5G space are pushing for energy-efficient networks.

Open Radio Access Networks Can Save Energy, Say Panelists at Industry Summit

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 08, 2022

Broadband players in both the fiber marketplace and 5G space are pushing for energy-efficient networks.

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Winter 2022 Grant Cycle Appeals Deadline Extended

Colorado

Colorado Broadband Office

Sep 07, 2022

Broadband Deployment Board decisions from the Winter 2022 Grant cycle were posted on our website on Aug. 31, 2022, officially starting the countdown for the appeals process. The Appeals & Right of First Refusal (RoFR) submissions deadline has been extended from Sept. 5 to Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11

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Broadband Industry Unites to Launch State Broadband Office Educational Webinar Series

Fiber Broadband Association

Sep 07, 2022

Leading industry associations will deliver monthly educational webinars for State Broadband Offices focused on key areas of interest in support of NTIA BEAD program

In ‘Office Hours’ Sessions, NTIA Addresses Questions of Middle Mile Grant Applicants

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 07, 2022

Sarah Bleau, Middle Mile Program Director at NTIA, reminded attendees that the Middle Mile program is not for last-mile grants.

AT&T Sues T-Mobile Over Ad, Nokia Partners with Ready, LightPath Expanding

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 07, 2022

T-Mobile is being sued over an ad that said AT&T only gives discounts to seniors in Florida.

Jay Anderson: Is Texas the New Home for Robust Internet Access?

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 07, 2022

Cost of doing business is driving companies into markets with favorable tax rates and fewer regulations. Here’s how they’re prioritizing.

FCC Map in November, Settlement with Frontier, North Carolina Broadband Grants

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 06, 2022

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has set November as target date for broadband map.

Letter-of-Credit Rule Draws Criticism in Broadband Effort

Letter-of-Credit Rule Draws Criticism in Broadband Effort

Arkansas

Arkansas Business

Sep 05, 2022

Aristotle chief says hurdle is costly and likely to keep small firms out of program.

Promoting Affordable Connectivity Program, Google Bars Truth Social, T-Mobile Wins 2.5 GHz Auction

EventACP

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 02, 2022

Microsoft and CWA plan to host a traveling series of events promoting the ACP subsidy.

Missouri City Utility to Complete Fiber Build Using Utility Lease Model

Broadband Breakfast

Sep 02, 2022

Pioneered with city-owned Huntsville Utilities in Alabama and Google Fiber, the utility lease model makes unlit fibers available to others.

The Rural Broadband Association

Workforce Development Top of Mind as Labor Day Looms

The Rural Broadband Association

Sep 01, 2022

It has been really gratifying to see NTCA members working so fast and furiously to build out broadband to communities still waiting for robust service, many of them outside of NTCA traditional service territories, given the work they have done to also connect their ILEC territory with future-proof technology. Yet, one constant in the broadband space is that the work is never done. Whether it is installs, upgrades, or maintenance, there is certainly more than enough work to go around. That has never been truer than it is today.That is why it is fitting that NTCA stepped up to the White House Talent Pipeline Challenge that came along with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the significant amount of broadband funding coming down the pike. This summer-long challenge was set to fill high quality jobs that will help rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and supply chains here at home while continuing our transition to growth in the years ahead. How could we not participate in any effort that looks to increase the number and skills of broadband employees of the future? We submitted three partnership ideas to the White House as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure successful implementation of the BEAD portion of the IIJA to support broadband workforce development in rural communities. High-tech employee retention and recruitment in rural markets is even more challenging than urban markets, so we are committed to doing all we can to support the 850 community-based broadband providers who we represent across the country.The brief version on what we have submitted includes: As my partner on this workforce effort, NTCA Vice President of Policy and Industry Innovation Josh Seidemann would say, the following is the “dance track”:On Northwood Technical College: Northwood Tech offers an expansive range of online courses to build broadband industry knowledge for the post-secondary market, but students will also need an opportunity to ply their skills in the field. Just like medicine, there is only so much you can learn from a book. At some point, you need to see a real patient or splice a real length of fiber. So, the arrangement with Northwood Tech and their existing Broadband Academy envisions NTCA working with our members to identify core competencies and corresponding Northwood Tech learning paths. That’s the easy part. Then, we help our members develop apprenticeship-type programs where students can pursue both online academic offerings with Northwood Tech with actual, mentored work experience in our members’ companies. There are still some unpaved avenues here. For example, whether NTCA and Northwood Tech could create a “badging” approach whereby (i) NTCA would craft a template for an acceptable apprentice-type program that would be (ii) consistent with Northwood Tech and other industry standards and (iii) present that to members who would (iv) adopt it and then (v) matriculate apprentices in that program, who upon completion would (vi) earn a certificate of completion from Northwood Tech and/or NTCA.On NREA: We are finding a perpetuating issue of students not being aware that there are “cool” careers in the broadband industry. Given both the anticipated needs not just in mid-term deployment but long-term operation and maintenance, we want to build awareness and get students on those tracks. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it,” but the fact is that students “see” broadband every day in their devices. They just don’t always realize that it is broadband. So, the NTCA/NREA proposal envisions our members working with local school districts to identify existing and create new curricula that correlates to broadband industry needs. This coursework would be combined with internship opportunities, “ride-alongs,” job fairs, etc. The overall goal is for our industry to ID the needs and to then help schools build coursework around those needs and to support the schools by offering kids hands-on opportunities to learn more.With CWA: NTCA and the CWA have agreed to work together to expand training and good job pipelines for broadband technicians. Beginning with broadband providers who are currently engaged with both NTCA and CWA, this commitment includes NTCA offering our member companies the opportunity to have employees participate in a subsidized OSHA 10 training course designed for telecommunications technicians and delivered by OSHA-authorized CWA trainers who are technicians themselves. These trainings will be offered online primarily and NTCA will create a recognition program for those who complete the training. Additionally, NTCA and CWA agree to explore avenues for making registered apprenticeship accessible to NTCA member companies. If there is one thing I have learned on this deeper dive into apprenticeships it is that it is an entire bureaucracy unto itself. Still, I do think there are avenues for NTCA to pursue additional apprenticeship support for broadband specifically if federal resources are available.All that to say that NTCA is not slowing down on any fronts as we prepare for additional resources in this space. We are always noodling about what we can do to eliminate as many obstacles as possible for our members. Ensuring there is the 21st Century workforce of the future is one of those challenges we are meeting head on!© 2022, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association All rights reserved. 4121 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203Explore NTCA Sites

Detroit residents to conduct their own broadband audit after historic outage thumbnail

Detroit residents to conduct their own broadband audit after historic outage

Broadband.Money

Aug 30, 2022

Broadband.money is working to help local communities win and defend their share of broadband grant funding.

Media Release: New Guide Helps Home and Community Composters Prevent Rats images

Media Release: New Guide Helps Home and Community Composters Prevent Rats

Event

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Aug 29, 2022

A newly released guide from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) aims to support composters at community gardens, schools, urban farms, and other community venues in successfully managing their composting process to prevent attracting rodents.…