Broadband for All Echoes Universal Telephone Service

Many strategies used to promote universal telephone service are in use to expand broadband access today, but one needs a few tweaks.

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Broadband and Telehealth: Doing Well Financially by Doing Good for the Community

With demand for remote health care and mental health services on the rise, pursuing telehealth is a smart marketing strategy for broadband service providers.

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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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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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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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Momentum Growing for Gigabit Wireless Access and Backhaul Using V Band and E Band Spectrum

The FCC’s support for mmWave wireless systems in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund gives rural operators another option to extend broadband services to more customers.

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To Reduce Network Operating Expenses, Choose FTTH

New research by the Fiber Broadband Association shows that all-fiber networks are much less expensive to operate than cable or copper networks.

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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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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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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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Bandwidth Hawk: Small Is Beautiful

It is suddenly cost-effective to borrow money for small deployments, or to arrange a self-amortizing lease. Here’s why – and how.

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We Are All Members of the Gigabit Society – or Are We?

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights how the U.S. broadband deficit remains a glaring and painful gap between haves and have-nots.

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COVID-19, Education and Robust Broadband

The pandemic sheds light on the gaps in online education today – and opportunities for improving it now and in the future.

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Varcomm Keeps Rural California Schoolkids Engaged During COVID-19

The independent rural telco steps up to bridge the staggering homework gap by helping economically challenged students access low-cost broadband.

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COVID-19 Widens the Digital Divide

Communications infrastructure has the power to help rural, underserved areas of the United States achieve greater success, but it means the broadband industry must ramp up its commitment to connect more of the country.

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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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Fiber Deployers Overcome Hurdles

As pandemic-related disruptions make the United States more dependent than ever on reliable broadband, FTTH deployers find ways to continue building out their networks.

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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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2020 Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100

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

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The State of Multifamily Broadband Services During the Pandemic

Independent providers are tackling the challenge of being an essential service for MDU residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband: Broadband as a COVID-19 Cure

New technologies, new funding programs, and the vastly expanded need for work-at-home broadband have trashed old business plans but made many new plans possible. Here are key strategies for deployers to consider, and ways to fund their dreams and to make necessary changes in federal rules on such issues as spectrum use and lien priority.

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Editor's Note: Good Enough Broadband

Fiber to the home proves its worth during the pandemic.

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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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From Smart Highways to Connected Ports, 5G Promises Big Gains in 2020

The technology is slated to support a broad range of applications for business and government in the year ahead.

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Two Emerging Trends Forge The Apartment of the Future

As the multifamily industry embraces intelligent buildings and self-service apartments, the importance of telecom infrastructure comes into greater focus.

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Incompas 2020 Policy Summit: Unraveling Broadband Challenges And Opportunities for Competitors, Communities

The Incompas 2020 Policy Summit, held in Washington, D.C., in March, covered key issues for competitive broadband providers. Topics included the homework gap, the modernization of UNE rules, the need for workforce training, and new partnerships between service providers and electric utilities.

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Don’t Miss Feasibility Study Opportunities

A feasibility study can sometimes seem like a necessary evil, but it can be a major contributor to the long-term success of a community’s broadband project.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband: The New Anti-Viral Wonder Drug

NEXTGEN TV – the latest branding for ATSC 3.0 – has clear technical and moneymaking advantages over ATSC 1.0, the current standard for TV broadcasting and linear cable TV.

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MDU Bulk Internet Is Affordable, Winnable, Doable

From managed Wi-Fi to DOCSIS to fiber to the unit, service providers have various options to pursue a successful MDU bulk internet strategy.

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Editor's Note: The Deadly Divide

In its economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress missed the chance to address the digital divide.

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Overcoming Barriers to Telehealth

A new report from the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee suggests strategies for increasing the use of telehealth.

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Why Is Providing Rural Broadband So Difficult?

Several state-level political strategies can help convince policymakers to provide support to broadband providers that wish to deploy in unserved or underserved areas.

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Measuring Broadband Quality

Everyone agrees the FCC should prioritize the construction of better broadband. What does that mean in practice? Two new studies commissioned by the Fiber Broadband Association help clarify.

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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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Deepfake Videos Are Spreading. Can Anyone Stop Them?

Videos doctored using artificial intelligence to make them seem real, even though they are not, increasingly challenge viewers’ perceptions of truth. Congress and the tech industry are taking some action to stop them, but will their efforts work?

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Bandwidth Hawk: Start Preparing for New TV Standard

NEXTGEN TV – the latest branding for ATSC 3.0 – has clear technical and moneymaking advantages over ATSC 1.0, the current standard for TV broadcasting and linear cable TV.

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Bridging the Broadband Availability Gap

At Broadband Communities’ 2019 economic development conference, held in October in Alexandria, Virginia, participants shared stories about how communities are improving broadband access to facilitate economic development, digital literacy and consumer choices. Following are some of the highlights of the conference sessions.

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Rural Broadband and the Next Generation of American Jobs

Rural broadband providers are leveraging their networks and working closely with educational institutions to provide the training necessary for jobs in industries ranging from health care to technology.

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Fiber Provider Strategies for Bridging the Digital Divide

Broadband is essential to a community’s survival, but building out service to rural areas comes with financial challenges. Service providers have several options to help.

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Let’s Make Internet Access Affordable And Accessible for Everyone

At the Broadband Communities economic development conference in October, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks delivered a powerful call to make internet inequality across the United States a thing of the past. A data-driven review of what has and hasn’t worked over the past 10 years will help determine the path forward, he says.

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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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Municipal Fiber in Sweden

In Sweden, municipal broadband is the rule rather than the exception. That changes everything.

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Ocala Fiber Network Finds Its Residential Service Identity

Ocala adds residential internet-only FTTH services to a multipurpose fiber network that will help it become a smart city.

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Wireless Services Abound in the Multifamily Space

5G, CBRS and Wi-Fi wireless services all have a place. Building owners and developers can choose one that best meets their specific needs.

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Planning and Design Strategies for 5G Evolution

Building out a 5G network will require a new set of network standards and operational methods. Operators should establish a set of best practices around planning, cost-to-revenue analysis, and architecture choices.

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Q&A with Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO, EducationSuperHighway: EducationSuperHighway Prepares to Sunset

With school connectivity goals accomplished, the program prepares to end, leaving new programs in place to make sure the classroom gap stays closed.

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TikTok: Friend or Foe?

Individuals and government alike worry about TikTok’s foreign ownership.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Stop Buying Huawei Equipment?

National policy is muddled, contradictory and almost certainly more drastic than security needs require. But facts don’t really seem to matter these days.

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Editor's Note: The US Needs A Community Broadband Policy

Every community shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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$20.6 Billion Rural Development Opportunity Fund Auctions Take Center Stage at the FCC

The agency looks to deliver on rural broadband promises.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Needed: Easier, Accurate Checks on Deployer Subsidies

At least 28 states now offer some form of subsidy for broadband deployers serving rural or disadvantaged areas. But high costs of validating business plans often make the funds hard to get.

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Problems With FCC Broadband Funding Endure

The proposed rules favor grant bidders who least need the money and are unlikely to bring permanent, high-quality broadband to rural areas.

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Healthy Competition Is The Way to Go

Independents set stake in the growing MDU broadband market by focusing on providing good customer service and doing things the right way. Their approach benefits property owners and residents alike.

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Bandwidth Hawk: FCC Commits to Better Broadband Data Collection

There’s evidence, but no promise, that a usable National Broadband Map is on the way. It will be awhile. We’re watching – and using artificial intelligence (AI) software to check.

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Editor's Note: Ending the Digital Divide

The digital divide is widening. Without public and private policy changes, we’ll lose the battle for universal access.

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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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Good Broadband Needs Good Maps

Insufficient government maps, plant records and marketing are a few of the challenges to accessing accurate data.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Huawei: So Many Pronouncements, So Little Change

Hobbled by lack of technical insight on telecom trade, government policy remains muddled – and dangerous for network deployers.

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Three Myths of Fiber Cleaning

Here’s what’s not a myth: Keeping fiber clean is critical to the long-term reliability of a network.

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Border to Border 2.0: Minnesota’s Broadband Reboot

Minnesota’s state broadband grant program has been praised as one of the nation’s best – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved, according to the bill’s author.

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Community Connectivity Is Threatened

Proponents bill it as a win for apartment residents and owners, but apartment owners say the recently enacted San Francisco MDU ordinance ultimately creates more hurdles for delivering high-quality connectivity.

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USDA ReConnect: Expensive Money

For many small communities, the USDA’s latest grant program may be too complex to be worth applying for.

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FCC Proposed Expansion of the OTARD Rule

Providers should explore the possible implications of the rule change and share comments with the FCC.

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Bandwidth Hawk: To Protect Network Security, Regulate Software, Not Hardware

Worried about political opposition to buying from Huawei? Here’s a short guide and a possible solution.

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Thinking Creatively About Broadband Infrastructure

To encourage new, local broadband providers, consider easing the regulatory burdens that make starting a new broadband venture costly.

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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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Bandwidth Hawk: 5G, Poles and Local Controls

Lesson learned: It does not pay to run roughshod over local concerns. The FCC finds out the hard way.

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Editor's Note: Previewing the Summit

This issue of the magazine offers an advance look at 2019 Summit program highlights.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Rural Broadband: Dividing The Spoils

Do you hope to serve a rural area that already has some broadband service?  Work around it. Literally.

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Q&A With Lisa Youngers, President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association: Advocating for Fiber Broadband

Why every 5G discussion turns to fiber infrastructure: The new head of the Fiber Broadband Association shares her vision of the industry.

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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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Bandwidth Hawk: Electric Co-ops Embrace Fiber

Hundreds of electric co-ops are considering deployment of residential or business broadband – and almost all want to use fiber.

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Google Fiber Helps Drive National OTMR Policy

Pole attachments have long been a problem for fiber overbuilders that need access to utility poles. With its new one-touch-make-ready rule, the FCC weighed in on their side.

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San Francisco’s MDU Ordinance Is a Win-Win-Win

Under a new city ordinance, renters in San Francisco can request internet services from providers of their choice. The legislation appears to be a win for ISPs, property owners and consumers.

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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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Proving a Negative

The RUS has new funds to spend on connecting unserved areas. But how can applicants prove an area is unserved?

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Bandwidth Hawk: CAF II Reverse Auction Heads for (Modest) Success

Auction winners will likely serve between 200,000 and 400,000 rural households and businesses – at best, about 40 percent of those eligible.

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News From Fiber Connect

The Fiber Broadband Association’s annual conference, held in Nashville in June, offered many fiber community success stories.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Show Me the Rural Money

Regulations for spending the $600 million appropriated in March for rural broadband will be slow in coming. Here’s why.

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What Is the ‘Ammon Model’?

Ammon, Idaho, is treating fiber network infrastructure as a utility – to the benefit of residents, providers and the municipality itself. Is this small town demonstrating the future of broadband?

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Federal Funding For Rural Broadband

If you’re wondering which rural broadband funding programs to apply for – or which will solve the rural broadband problem – here’s a brief primer.

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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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Bandwidth Hawk: BBC Financial Models Tackle New Questions

Use Broadband Communities’ free financial modeling tools to navigate the startling changes in broadband’s financial environment. And don’t trust Wall Street.

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A Path Forward To Address the Digital Divide

The FCC and a congressional committee are wrestling with recommendations to overcome the digital divide. Meanwhile, several innovative proposals before the Kansas House of Representatives offer simpler approaches to fund rural broadband.

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5G Technology: Smart Decisions for Smart Cities

5G wireless technology promises many benefits for cities and their residents, but cities need clear, well-thought-out policies for deploying the new infrastructure.

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Local Governments Are Not Barriers To 5G Deployment

In March, 36 local elected officials from Next Century Cities member communities sent the following letter to the FCC in defense of local decision-making for 5G investments, small-cell deployment and the use of public rights-of-way.

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Will Cable Companies Become Fiber Companies?

The evolution of technology is enabling cable companies to transition gradually to all-fiber networks.

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Rural Utilities Service Sees 12-Fold Increase In Broadband Funds

Springtime was especially good to rural broadband hopefuls, with new money and potentially more flexible ways of disbursement.

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Editor's Note: The Bandwidth Problem

What will it take to solve the problem?

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Bandwidth Hawk: Playing by New Rules: A Very Special Summit

Technology, economics and political change are driving a very special Broadband Communities Summit this year.

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Fiber Is on the Rise, Reports Fiber Broadband Association

Deployments of fiber to the home in North America reached record levels in 2017, and according to all indications, they will continue to increase in 2018.

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Building Fiber to Schools

Here’s a good-news story: The drive to provide high-quality internet service to U.S. schools has made tremendous progress, and the goal of universal connectivity is within sight.

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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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The Connect America Fund Reverse Auction

The FCC’s Connect America Phase II reverse auction gives competitive providers a shot at getting USF support to build broadband networks in unserved rural areas where incumbent providers have chosen not to build. The process is complicated – at best.

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FCC Should Focus On Broadband Experience

In its annual assessment of the state of advanced telecommunications capability, the FCC should forget about speed and focus on the capacity to provide an excellent broadband experience.

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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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A View From the Summit

At the 2017 Broadband Communities Summit, held in Dallas in May, fiber deployers shared their experiences and vendors displayed their new technology.

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The FCC Looks At Multifamily Housing

Bulk billing is in the crosshairs of the FCC’s most recent broadband notice of inquiry.

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State Legislators And the Gigabit Desert

How can state legislators help spread the gigabit wealth to more constituents? That’s not a rhetorical question – this legislator is looking for new ideas.

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Georgia Tackles the Digital Divide

Rural Georgians were falling ever further behind their metropolitan neighbors in terms of broadband access. Now the state legislature is preparing a comprehensive initiative to address the problem.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Driving The Digital Highway

The United States needs two regulatory roads – one for urban areas and one for rural.

 

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Broadband Forecasts for 2017

What’s ahead for the broadband industry in 2017? Growth – and preparation for more growth.

 

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