Public-Private Partnerships Offer Digital Divide Solution

Communities seek to overcome the challenges of providing broadband to residents and businesses by leveraging federal funding and private capital, enabling risk sharing in the creation of networks powered by open-access infrastructure.

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Could Fixed Wireless Access Bridge the Digital Divide?

With the ability to be deployed more quickly than fiber at a possible lower cost – especially in rural, hard-to-reach areas – fixed wireless access offers service providers another tool to give more people access to internet connectivity.

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Q&A with Mignon Clyburn: How the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Unleashed a New Era of Competition

The former FCC commissioner looks back at the legacy of the legislation.

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In His First 100 Days, Biden Proposes a Transformative, Lasting Broadband Plan

President Biden’s infrastructure plan could help communities build future-proof broadband networks that serve their distinct needs.

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Broadband Access Goes from Luxury to Necessity

The U.S. has finally gained ground on the digital divide. Let’s not lose it now.

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Fiber Connect: News From Featured Exhibitors

ANTRONIX’S LATEST NETWORK EXPANSION SOLUTION COMES TO MARKET Antronix, the market leading designer and manufacturer of broadband service products in North America, has announced its Inverse ...
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Fiber Connect: Featured Exhibitors

Contact these companies to learn more about their broadband solutions.

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Fiber Broadband Industry Faces Material and Labor Shortages

A shortage of fiber, chips, other materials and skilled labor could impact the expansion and rollout of new broadband networks.

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Overcoming Speed Bumps on the Road to Fiber

Transitioning to fiber may pose a number of installation challenges, but they’re easily outweighed by the need for symmetrical broadband.

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Public-Private Partnerships Bring Fiber to Rural New Hampshire

Westmoreland, New Hampshire, is one of many rural towns partnering with Consolidated Communications to provide Gbps FTTH broadband to businesses and residents.

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Saddleback Communications’ Fiber Network Serves as Blueprint for Advancing Tribal Broadband

The tribal provider makes good on 10-year plan to replace aging copper plant with fiber in a bid to create new opportunities for residents, students and businesses.

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Public and Private Rural Broadband Can Make Financial Sense

Community-based providers that understand the market and manage capital carefully find success where others have failed.

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In Maine, Rockport and Camden Set Fiber Broadband Vision for Region

The two towns devise a plan to bridge the state’s digital divide through collaboration, advanced tools and new federal and state funding.

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Editor's Note: Bridging the Main Street–Back Road Broadband Divide Requires a Local Touch

Communities engage in diverse broadband buildout strategies to accommodate long-term residential and business needs.

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INCOMPAS 2021 Policy Summit Highlights Regulatory and Network Buildout Issues

The event covered key issues for competitive broadband providers, including the homework gap, net neutrality, broadband mapping and the FCC’s RDOF reverse auction.

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A Michigan FTTH Network Rebuild Sets Stage for Greater Bandwidth, Smart-City Applications

Wyandotte, Michigan’s municipal utility provider is rebuilding its hybrid fiber coax network with fiber to the home to retain and attract new residents and businesses with 10 Gbps broadband, IP video and smart IoT services.

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Rural Communities Launch Publicly Owned Fiber Networks

Rural communities are deploying fiber as a way to future-proof and meet the long-term communications needs of homes, businesses, community anchor institutions and government agencies.

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A Fiber Network Spurs a New Northern New Hampshire Tech Corridor

Planning, perseverance and strategic alliances pay off for the rural community of Bristol, NH, as it overcomes obstacles to bring better broadband and better jobs to residents.

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Broadband Essential to Post-Pandemic Economies

The results of a new survey of economic development experts indicate the changing role and value of broadband and digital technology as development tools.

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National Efforts to Close the Digital Divide Require Local Empowerment

Findings from a survey of more than 120 state and local leaders confirm a need for investment in broadband infrastructure nationwide and a new approach to funding deployment.

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The New Face of Economic Development

The pandemic has redefined economic development for many rural communities.

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Editor's Note: Local Broadband Keeps Community Dollars Flowing

Broadband gives communities an opportunity to stay relevant.

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A Broadband Policy Agenda for the New Administration

The digital divide has held back the United States for too long. Now is the time to end it.

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Fiber’s Community Presence Transforms Consumer, Business Opportunities

The first virtual edition of the Fiber Broadband Association’s annual conference, Fiber Connect, held in December, showcased many fiber community success stories and a variety of innovations that promise to expand fiber deployment. The show highlighted how communities are banding together and working with state and federal agencies to build out broadband in underserved communities. It also brought to light the need to increase bandwidth and provide flexible service during the pandemic, along with the problem of permitting obstacles and other challenges.

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Q&A with Gary Bolton of the Fiber Broadband Association: On Making Fiber-Based Broadband the Nation’s Priority

The new head of the Fiber Broadband Association shares his vision for the industry.

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Digital Disruption, the Pandemic And What It Means to Carriers

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven carriers to provide the platform for essential services such as telehealth and e-commerce, but providers must increase capacity and advance automation to keep pace with demand.

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Fiber Trends: What 2021 Promises For the Broadband Industry

The 2021 broadband plans of incumbent telcos, independents, cable operators and electric co-ops will have a ripple effect on consumers and businesses.

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Multifamily Broadband Council Transitions Its Membership to WISPA

Synergies between the organizations made the choice a natural one.

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Editor's Note: Only Connect

Broadband should bring people together, not drive them apart.

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Want to Compete on an Open-Access Network? Better Read This First!

To succeed on an open-access network, providers must treat customers well, assess the competition, and take a modern approach to marketing.

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Fiber Connect: A Preview

In its annual conference, which will be held virtually from December 14–16, 2020, the Fiber Broadband Association will bring together experts in all aspects of fiber to the home (FTTH).

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Welcome to (Virtual) Fiber Connect!

This year’s event is our best ever – 30 sessions with more than 100 of the industry’s top experts plus plenty of opportunities to network and engage.

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Service Providers, Communities Seek Partners, New Methods To Overcome Rural Broadband Challenges

At the Broadband Communities Virtual Summit 2020, participants shared stories about finding new methods to extend broadband into underserved and unserved rural markets. Following are some highlights of conference sessions focused on the rural broadband market.

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Electric Cooperatives, Investor-Owned Utilities Form New Pacts to Expand Rural Broadband

Electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities are partnering with competitive providers and telcos to close the systemic rural broadband gap.

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Public Infrastructure/Private Service Model For 21st Century Broadband Proves Worthy

The emerging model presents a scalable option for communities that lack the expertise or interest to operate networks or act as ISPs themselves but want to own and control the core communications assets in their communities as a means of securing the benefits of broadband internet. Here’s a look at the model’s business case, technical elements and risks.

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Not Ready to Build? Be Broadband Ready.

A town may not be ready to take the plunge on building a network, but there are steps it can take to attract private investment.

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Making Difficult Projects Financially Feasible – With or Without RDOF

Rural communities need to understand their options and make the most efficient decisions to stretch their funds.

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Emtelle and Deutsche Glasfaser Overcome Cost Challenges to Bring FTTH to Rural Germany

The partnership takes on Germany’s goals to nationally expand gigabit networks by 2025 and to expand fiber infrastructure in schools and local enterprises.

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Successful FTTH Systems Can Be Built in Rural Areas – Without Government Subsidies

It’s actually cheaper to build in rural than in urban areas, and FTTH systems in rural areas can be profitable even with very few subscribers.

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A Boon for Network Deployers: Record MDU Construction

Private construction of multiple-dwelling-unit buildings is hitting a new record this year, with about 525,000 housing starts expected.

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Editor's Note: The Broadband Lifeline

For the economy to function at all in 2020, broadband is a must.

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Digital Town Squares Drive Economic Development

Transforming a connected community into a smart community takes vision – along with a technology strategy to turn the vision into reality.

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Private Investment in Community Digital Infrastructure

The case for private investment in community networks rests on investors’ ability to capture the networks’ impact on economic development.

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Lack of Broadband Access Linked to Childhood Poverty

There’s a new reason to provide more funds for broadband deployments, and a new tool for deployers to target the counties most in need – especially in rural areas.

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Connecting the Hoosier Heartland For Economic Development

Intelligent Fiber Network helps rural Indiana communities grow their economies and connect national and international businesses with high-speed fiber services.

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Atlantic Broadband Fiber Helps DelGrosso Foods Improve Reliability and Boost Revenue

Atlantic Broadband’s fiber-based Ethernet service enables the food services provider to cut costs and prevent and solve a host of operating problems.

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New Research on Broadband and the Economy

Universal broadband can power the economy, help the United States weather its current crises, and provide a key to recovery from today’s recession.

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The Economy Needs Broadband Now More Than Ever

To boost the economy, broadband providers and the communities they serve must unite in a vision for a connected future.

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How States Are Expanding Broadband Access

New research identifies tactics for connecting unserved communities.

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Rural Communities Turn to Electric Co-ops for Fiber

The FCC’s upcoming RDOF auction, scheduled for October, will give rural communities a chance to bid on support for fiber-to-the-home networks.

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Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities

Communities hoping to improve their broadband service have several different models to choose from. Here’s how to go about making the choice.

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Broadband Master Planning: A Holistic Approach to Meeting Broadband Goals

By defining goals, gathering data and asking the right questions, communities can develop broadband master plans that lay the groundwork for high-speed networks.

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SEMO Electric Cooperative Takes Personal Broadband Approach

The co-op overcomes cultural challenges using a collaborative approach to bring broadband to Missouri’s underserved rural areas.

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Little Falls, Minnesota, Undertakes Grassroots Broadband Effort

As the community overcomes its business-sector broadband challenges, it looks for ways to extend services to residents who have poor broadband access options.

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Q&A With Roger Timmerman and Kim McKinley, UTOPIA Fiber: A Recipe for Rural Fiber

UTOPIA Fiber is expanding through Utah and beyond, proving that fiber-to-the-home deployments can succeed even in small, rural towns.

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Anacortes Is First City in Washington to Become an ISP

When the city wanted to upgrade radio frequency communications between its water and wastewater systems, it turned to fiber optics – and in the process installed the backbone for high-speed internet.

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Landmark on Grand River Offers Students a Better Broadband-City Connection

Landmark on Grand River offers MSU students a 10 Gbps high-speed broadband network and a connection with the rest of the East Lansing, Michigan, community. Broadband Communities thanks Richard Laing, CEO of Spartan Net, and Brian Bell, COO of Harbor Bay Real Estate, for helping gather information for this profile.

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To Stack, or Not to Stack

Stacking subsidies may be the only way to get fiber to the home built in some of the most rural areas.

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Editor's Note: Communities Can Control Their Broadband Destinies

There’s more than one way to get better broadband – but how should communities decide what’s best?

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Predictions for Broadband After COVID-19

The pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way people live and work through technology.

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A2D Builds Open-Access Fiber in Warner Robins, Georgia

The mission of this competitive carrier is unusual for a private company: bridge the digital divide by building open-access, wholesale fiber-to-the-premises networks in underserved communities.

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New Research on the Digital Divide and Broadband’s Economic Impact

A roundup of recent studies about the growing chasm between broadband haves and have-nots, how to overcome this divide, and the costs and benefits of reducing it

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Taking the Economic Pulse of Community Broadband

Economic development professionals who completed the Revving the Community Broadband Economic Engine survey weighed in on the current availability, affordability and speed of broadband – and how communities are working to increase all three.

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Crossing the Digital Divide

Internet adoption rates among low-income urban populations have climbed in recent years. Joining the online world has changed their lives for the better, say members of this group in a new survey by RVA LLC.

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FairlawnGig Fiber Boosts Regional Economy

The municipal fiber network in Fairlawn, Ohio, is strengthening the city’s economic position. Now Fairlawn is using fiber to lift the rest of the area as well.

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Technology Access For an Equitable Future of Work

Technology helps individuals and local economies adapt to workforce displacement. Equal access to broadband is needed to train workers for the knowledge economy.

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Missouri Innovation Center Takes Advantage of Gig Services

Startup businesses use broadband to compete and grow.

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Broadband for Rural Businesses

Rural providers are taking aim at rural businesses with fiber and DOCSIS 3.1–based broadband services. But providers must educate this segment about using these new services to become more viable in the online world.

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Social Return Accounting

Researchers at an Australian university propose a new way to measure the social benefits of broadband.

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Editor's Note: Communities Must Have a Voice

To ensure their economic survival, communities must be active participants in broadband planning.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Update: Rural Population Loss Still Tied to Poor Broadband

Broadband Communities’ ongoing study of all U.S. counties continues to show that poor or no broadband drives away jobs and, eventually, people. However, the effect is less clear than it was in the recent past.

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Topics in Economic Development

Only fiber to the premises can support the new knowledge economy.

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Prosperity and Broadband Access

Only fiber to the premises can support the new knowledge economy.

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Impact of CAF II–Funded Networks

Two typical rural exchanges are likely to remain underserved even after upgrades supported by the Connect America Fund. This study, conducted by the Blandin Foundation, concludes that CAF funding is insufficient to support rural economic development and that more transparency is needed if states and localities are to supplement CAF funds strategically.

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Predicting Broadband Effects

A new type of statistical model helps cities estimate broadband’s effects on their economic well-being.

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Ontario Is Investing For the 21st Century

Ontario, California, a fast-growing city in the Inland Empire, leverages its growth with an ambitious fiber-to-the-home network.

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Putting the Gigs to Work

Highlights of the 2018 Broadband Communities Summit held in May in Austin, Texas

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Editor's Note: An Issue for All Seasons

The Broadband Communities Summit brings together participants in the multifamily, rural, economic development, technology and policy worlds. This issue of the magazine has something for all of them.

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Lincoln Steps Into the Future

Even if a community can’t build its own network, it can take steps to get great broadband for its citizens.

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Broadband Assistance Drives Job Growth

An innovative program in Pennsylvania leveraged stimulus funds to drive broadband deployment, adoption and use. Small and mid-sized businesses flourished.

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Training for the ‘Gig Economy’

The internet has opened new possibilities for those who have difficulty finding employment in the current economic environment. To tap into these opportunities, economic development agencies must learn to think beyond traditional workplaces and traditional jobs.

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Broadband’s Impact In Five Communities

Early results show that high-speed broadband has positive impacts for communities in rural Minnesota.

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Measuring Broadband and Job Loss: Population or Income?

New research by Broadband Communities finds a clear relationship between broadband access and median family income but no clear causality.

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Readings on Broadband and the Economy

Broadband continues to be an important economic driver, researchers say – but the story is getting more complicated.

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Social Broadband

Rural economic development requires grassroots action to build and use broadband.

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Adapting to Change

Speakers at the Broadband Communities fall economic development conference discussed how technology disrupts lives – and how it offers lifelines to help individuals and communities cope with that disruption.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband for Rural Areas and the Poor? Fuggedaboudit!

Economic development in rural areas depends on broadband access – but the FCC’s current initiatives won’t help.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband Have-Nots Beware

The FCC stacks the deck against broadband in rural and poor urban districts.

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Fiber, Multifamily Housing And the Economy

All new multifamily buildings should include fiber. It adds value and ensures residents the fast, reliable broadband they demand.

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Connecting the Unconnected

A dedicated, high-speed broadband network to connect the unconnected is a game changer for Cleveland.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Carrier Cooperation

Carriers already share many network assets, but they aren’t always forthcoming about these relationships. Why not accept the inevitable?

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The Economic Development Benefits Of Broadband

Broadband is the underpinning for some of today’s most important transformations in business activity and government services.

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