Closing the Digital Divide Requires Expanded Skilled Workforce

Multiple strategies are helping overcome the fiber workforce shortage that could slow broadband expansion.

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Fiber Connect 2021: A Focus on Fiber, Open Access, Community Broadband And Public-Private Partnerships

The Fiber Broadband Association’s annual conference, Fiber Connect, held in Nashville in July, showcased many fiber community success stories and a variety of innovations that promise to expand fiber deployment. As one of the telecom industry’s first in-person trade shows since the pandemic began, it highlighted fiber’s role as the preferred way of delivering symmetrical broadband speeds, state and federal funding mechanisms, open-access, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks and pricing. It also brought to light how broadband newcomers, particularly municipal broadband providers, need to overcome political and lobbying challenges from incumbents and think tanks, and the significance of public-private partnerships.

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Combining Resort-Style Living With Instant-On Gigabit Broadband: Desert Color in St. George, Utah

Desert Color is banking on attracting residents and businesses with its resort-like feel and fiber-based, gigabit-speed internet. Broadband Communities thanks Ryan Coates, marketing manager for Desert Color, and CenturyLink for helping develop this profile.

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Deploying Fiber Faster and Cost-Effectively With Microtrenching

This technique is gaining popularity across the country because it costs much less than other deployment methods and can be done in days instead of weeks.

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Fiber Provides a Competitive Advantage for Multifamily Communities

With remote here to stay, retrofitting multifamily buildings with fiber has never been more important. But it can be expensive and challenging for a host of reasons.

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2021 Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100

Fiber-to-the-home leaders and innovators for 2021

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Creating a Frictionless Fiber Broadband Experience: Sunbridge in Central Florida

Offering homeowners instant-on, 10 Gbps, fiber-based gigabit service, Sunbridge, a master-planned community, stands out from other developments in Florida’s competitive real estate market. Our thanks to Alex Figuero, vice president of operations at Tavistock; Karlee Kunkle, senior communications manager at Tavistock; and Matt Hirsch, sales account manager at ADTRAN for helping compile this profile.

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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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Showcasing Managed Wi-Fi Potential in Multifamily Communities: Beckert’s Park in Washington, D.C.

Beckert’s Park is taking a big shot at making managed Wi-Fi a key amenity for multifamily properties. Our thanks to Judd Ullom, director of development for Foulger-Pratt; Herb Sharpe, vice president of multifamily sales for Boingo; and Chris Cauthen, director of multifamily sales for Boingo.

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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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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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A New Transition

Broadband Communities may be passing the editor torch but will continue to provide insight and perspective on the ever-changing broadband industry segment.

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Closing the Digital Divide for Low-Income and Special-Needs Residents: Main Street Connect

Main Street Connect is a new apartment complex in Montgomery County, Maryland, that offers symmetrical 50 Mbps internet services and digital training for low-income and special-needs residents via a partnership with the county government’s Department of Technology Services. Broadband Communities thanks Joseph Webster, the department’s chief broadband officer in the Office of Broadband Programs; Marjorie Williams, the department’s broadband, cable and franchise division manager; and Pierre Trudeau, CTO of Positron, for helping compile this profile.

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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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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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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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Building a Foundation for a Broadband-Enabled Smart Community: The Reef at Winkler

The Reef at Winkler, a new luxury multifamily community owned by MJ Development Southeast and managed by Greystar in Fort Myers, Florida, leverages Boingo Wireless managed Wi-Fi services to deliver consumer broadband and smart-community applications. Our thanks to Matt Valentine, a partner at MJ Development Southeast; Ben Vander Velden, senior channel manager at Boingo Wireless; and Layne Spencer, vice president of sales and marketing for IOTAS, for helping assemble this profile.

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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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Bridging the Indoor, Outdoor Learning Experience With Fiber and VoIP: Windham Woods School

Windham Woods School employs FirstLight Fiber’s fiber-based internet and unified communications services to increase reliability and responsiveness for its growing student body. Broadband Communities thanks Matt Taffel, assistant head of school and middle/upper school director for Windham Woods School, and Chris Canney, enterprise account executive at FirstLight Fiber, for helping assemble this profile.

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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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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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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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Service Providers, Vendors Create New Foundations for Multifamily Broadband, IoT

At the Broadband Communities Virtual Summit 2020, participants shared stories about how they are driving broadband into multifamily properties to enable higher speeds and provide a host of IoT services for residents and building owners. Following are some highlights of conference sessions focused on the multifamily market.

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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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Managed Wi-Fi Shows New Utility for Providers, Vendors

Service providers find new opportunities to build managed Wi-Fi networks that support voice, data and building-management applications.

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Connecting Retirees With Families During COVID-19: Angelus Plaza in Los Angeles

Bandwidth reseller Commercial Connectivity Services (CCS) is giving retirees in Angelus Plaza a way to communicate with their families via fiber-based broadband. Our thanks to Jeff Skolnick, president of CCS, and Brian Higgins, CEO of Aditum, for help assembling this profile.

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Telecommuting From the Slopes: Roam at Winter Park, Colorado

Roam at Winter Park, Colorado, hopes to draw outdoor enthusiasts with its access to the Fraser River, skiing, open space and fiber-based broadband. Broadband Communities thanks Chip Besse, managing partner at the Fraser River Land Company, and CenturyLink for help gathering information for this profile.

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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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A Powerful Tool to Expand Internet Connectivity

The I3 Connectivity Explorer allows users to assemble and analyze essential data needed to assess their communities’ current situations, envision their goals, and develop action plans.

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When a High-Touch Industry Goes “No Touch”

COVID-19 is accelerating tech adoption in multifamily housing. Technologies that remain relevant post-pandemic will need strong connectivity, underscoring the importance of critical broadband infrastructure.

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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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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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2020 Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100

Fiber-to-the-home leaders and innovators for 2020

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Beyond Business as Usual: How Consolidated Communications Is Navigating the Pandemic and Preparing for the ‘New Normal’

Speed, continuity, flexibility and creativity enabled the company to meet the challenges staff and customers face as COVID-19 changed the ways people live and work overnight.

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Why FTTH ‘Shines’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lisa R. Youngers, president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, delivered this testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation in March.

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Vantage Gives Temple University Students XFINITY’s Wi-Fi, IPTV Combo

Temple University students who reside at Vantage, an off-campus housing property, have access to two new amenities: XFINITY’s IPTV and buildingwide Wi-Fi. Our thanks to Mark Caltabiano, VP of asset management for The Goldenberg Group, and Adrian Adriano, VP of strategic initiatives for XFINITY Communities, for helping compile this profile.

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Passive Optical LAN Enables Operational Savings: Idaho Falls’ Thunder Ridge High School

A high school in Idaho adopts a passive optical LAN system to reduce operational costs. Our thanks to Dave Lawes, RCDD, PMP, account manager for System Tech, and John Hoover, director of marketing at Tellabs, for helping gather information for this profile.

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Fiber Dominates First Batch of ReConnect Awards

~ This article will appear in the March/April issue. ~

The Rural Utilities Service made good on its promise of world-class service. The first ReConnect grants and loans offer convincing proof that private investment could work in unserved and underserved areas, even though Wall Street shuns them.

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Help Is on the Way: Rural Broadband Funding Update

The USDA’s ReConnect Program and the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will help bridge the digital divide and drive the community broadband movement.

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Making Instant-On Gigabit Connectivity a Reality: Grand Central at the Junction

Grand Central at the Junction, a new MDU development in Wentzville, Missouri, is equipping residential units with CenturyLink’s fiber-based broadband service and its rapid service-provisioning platform CenturyLink ON. Our thanks to Guy Huntley, MDU account manager for CenturyLink, and Tom Kaiman, CEO of Mia Rose Holdings, for helping gather information for this profile.

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Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s

Key strategies to deploy broadband in the areas that need it most.

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Broadband to Make Key Transitions In 2020

Large incumbent telcos, independent telcos, cable operators and electric cooperatives set bold broadband plans for 2020.

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Rejuvenating a Building With Wireless and Automation Technology: Los Angeles’ FourFortyFour South Flower

Coretrust Capital Partners is transforming Los Angeles’ FourFortyFour South Flower with new wireless and automation technology. The property owner tapped Connectivity Wireless Solutions to install a distributed antenna system that will improve current 4G and upcoming 5G wireless technologies. Our thanks to Mark Niehus, director of strategic accounts for Connectivity Wireless Solutions, and Thomas Ricci, managing principal for Coretrust Capital Partners, for helping gather information for this profile.

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Private Investors Take Interest in Open-Access Fiber Networks

As open FTTH networks emerge again in the United States, investors dedicate capital to community networks that will support an array of traditional internet, telehealth and building management services.

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Springfield, Missouri, and CenturyLink Expand Fiber Network

In CenturyLink’s first major venture outside its traditional service area, it is leasing fiber from Springfield City Utilities to make Springfield a gigabit city.

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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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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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FTTH Is Central to a Smart, Responsive Planned Community: Pecan Square in Northlake, Texas

Pecan Square, a housing development in Northlake, Texas, is working with Frontier to provide 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps speeds to support an array of streaming and Amazon home service applications. Our thanks to Rachel McGallian of Frontier and Andrew Pieper at Hillwood Communities for help completing this profile.

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2019 Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100

Fiber-to-the-home leaders and innovators for 2019

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Broadband Mapping Is a Mess. No One Knows What To Do About It.

As Congress and the FCC look for solutions to fix the problem of broadband mapping, they should consider a variety of factors, including speeds, prices, availability and reliability of service and competition.

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Luxury Residents ‘Blanketed’ in Wi-Fi, IoT Apps: Ten Thousand, Beverly Hills, California

By blanketing its Ten Thousand property with Wi-Fi,  Crescent Heights is easing how its Beverly Hills residents interact with technology. Our thanks to Diego Salas, CTO of Bel Air Internet and Brian Locks of Crescent Heights for helping gather information for this profile.

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Missouri Innovation Center Takes Advantage of Gig Services

Startup businesses use broadband to compete and grow.

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A Digital Inclusion Blueprint For Public Housing

Monkeybrains and the city of San Francisco partnered to deliver gigabit service to public-housing residents.

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Is Fiber at the Tipping Point?

Medina County, Ohio, is trying a new model for financing and building rural broadband. If the model succeeds, it may be adaptable to other localities.

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Why Broadband Should Be a Utility

Delivering great broadband to everyone in a community requires thinking about broadband in a new way. Some cities have already made that shift.

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Q&A With Jannine Miller, Senior Advisor for Rural Infrastructure, USDA: USDA Supports Rural Broadband

The Department of Agriculture experiments with new ways to drive rural broadband deployment.

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Making Mobile Service an Amenity: Fourth and Madison, Seattle, Washington

Wireless coverage in office buildings is no longer a nice-to-have feature. It’s now something that business tenants expect. Seattle’s Fourth and Madison wants to stand out from the crowded office property pack by enhancing mobile coverage for its business tenants. Our thanks to Conner Hayes, assistant property manager of Hines, and Thom Antonopoulos, executive vice president of Connectivity Wireless Solutions, for helping gather information for this profile.

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New Funding For Rural Broadband

The passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act and the opening of a funding window for the ReConnect program will help narrow the rural digital divide.

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Buy Local (Including Broadband)

Providing broadband locally – with help from electric utilities – can be a good way to anchor rural economies.

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Looking Ahead: Broadband in 2019

Fiber, cable and wireless providers, along with electric cooperatives, have big plans for broadband in 2019.

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