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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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband Funding Gets Respect, But Not a Final Law … Yet

There are provisions common to multiple pending broadband funding bills; expect them to end up in H.R.2, which the Senate should vote on after the November 3 elections.

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Editor's Note: MDU Problems and Solutions

2020 is a challenging year for multifamily broadband, but it presents opportunities as well as dangers.

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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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Bandwidth Hawk: Broadband for Everyone Means Higher Earnings Nationwide

Expanding broadband access and consumer cost-reduction subsidies is a cost-effective way to reduce child poverty. In fact, it can easily pay for itself.

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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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Rural Electric Co-op Expands Access to Fiber Optic Network During the Pandemic

To provide more people with broadband, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation quickly installed Wi-Fi hot spots and is launching a neighborhood program to gauge community interest in accessing its network.

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ACE Fiber Takes on Mississippi’s Glaring Broadband Gap with Multi-Gig FTTH

ACE collaborates with other co-ops, confronting cost and culture challenges and providing broadband to more residents in Alcorn County.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Blue Ridge Mountain EMC Transforms Broadband Have-Nots Into Broadband Haves

The electric cooperative’s fiber broadband service attracts second homeowners and telecommuters to communities in the Southeast where broadband was once nonexistent.

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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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Making Rural Deployments A Reality

People in rural areas simply can’t rely on the same fiber-rich, centralized split model that works in more densely populated areas. Distributed tap architectures may offer a solution.

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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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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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Verizon Targets New York State’s Rural Communities with FTTH

Verizon is leveraging state and FCC funds to connect several rural New York state communities with FTTH. This service will offer residents and businesses access to services typically found in larger cities.

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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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V and E Bands Key to the 5G Revolution

They offer an affordable, accessible way for smaller and rural providers to gain spectrum and deliver on the promises of 5G.

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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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Fiber Moves Forward

Speakers at the 2019 Broadband Communities Summit, held in Austin in April, agreed that every community wants – and needs – great broadband. How best to deliver great broadband to MDUs, master-planned communities, underserved towns and rural areas is still up for debate, however. Following are some highlights of speaker presentations.

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Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies Deploy FTTH

An independent telco leverages technology to offer next-generation services.

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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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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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Editor's Note: Shovel Ready

Communities across the United States have shifted from “Why fiber?” to “How?”

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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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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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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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Mahaska Communication Group Lights Iowa Towns

Frustrated with its connectivity options, a manufacturer built its own fiber connection. One step led to another, and now the company is changing lives throughout a rural Iowa county.

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Cruzio Launches FTTH In Santa Cruz

Though its planned partnership with the city didn’t materialize, Cruzio now has an ambitious plan to deliver high-speed broadband throughout much of Santa Cruz County.

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Mapping as a Strategic Tool

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative used VETRO FiberMap to reduce troubleshooting time and meet demand for new fiber broadband service.

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Editor's Note: A Tale of Two Nations

A special section on rural broadband will help you prepare for the Broadband Communities Summit.

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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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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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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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Building a Community Vision

The technology challenge for a rural community is closing the gap between the digital infrastructure that is profitable for commercial providers but serves only part of the community and the infrastructure necessary to serve all community members. Local leaders, driven by a clear, aspirational vision of their community’s future, can proactively address this gap.

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Q&A With Jeremiah Sloan, Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation: Arkansas Co-op Builds Fiber Fast

Using a digital network construction solution helped CECC deploy a fiber network 55 percent faster than expected and 12 percent under budget.

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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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Working With What’s There

To deliver broadband cost-effectively, a community’s best option may be to partner with the incumbent telephone company.

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Benefits and Challenges Of Regional Broadband

For rural communities struggling to connect to the internet, working together at any point in the process can yield benefits. 

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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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Prosperity and Broadband Access

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

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Topics in Economic Development

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

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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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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: 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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Editor's Note: Is Fiber Too Expensive?

Communities need to take all the costs and benefits into account – and if the answer is “yes,” they need to revisit the question every few years.

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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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Putting the Gigs to Work

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

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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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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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You Can Build It, But Will They Come?

Even when the business case for rural broadband looks compelling, you still have to sell the product.

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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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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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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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A Busy Year Ahead for Broadband

There’s much to look forward to – more fiber to the home, more deep fiber, more wireless, smarter homes and buildings.

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Two Electric Co-Ops Deliver Fiber

For electric co-ops, the stakes are high: Building broadband is an expensive, risky move into unfamiliar territory, but failing to build broadband can mean losing customer bases and stranding their electric assets.

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A New Technology Standard To Narrow the Digital Divide

The L.1700 standard can help support rural communications in developing countries – and perhaps in the United States as well.

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Social Broadband

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

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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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Visions of the Network of the Future In Orlando

The Fiber Broadband Association – formerly the FTTH Council – broadened its technology base but its conference emphasized fiber to the home as the ultimate goal.

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Bandwidth Hawk: Another Detour for Rural Residents

Welcome to the world of white boxes (for the haves) and white spaces (for the have-nots).

 

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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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Editor's Note: Three Paths To Broadband Success

Three award winners illustrate different approaches to connecting the unconnected.

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Fiber Mapping Supports Network Growth

How should a small, agile fiber overbuilder decide where to expand next?

 

 

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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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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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Editor's Note: Serving the Underserved

New ideas are needed to get adequate broadband to rural areas.

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Fiber in Kent County

A partnership among a county government, a regional dark fiber network and a retail service provider is a win-win-win deal. The biggest winners are the county residents making a quantum leap from dial-up to FTTH.

 

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Breaking Telecom Monopolies

In many rural areas, traditional operators have failed to invest in telecommunications infrastructure. Strategic investments by property owners, groups of owners, local associations and local governments can jump-start competition.

 

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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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5G is Not the Answer For Rural Broadband

5G wireless, due to begin rolling out in 2020, will improve mobile broadband and support the internet of things. It may even be suitable for fixed broadband in dense urban areas. But it has neither the capacity nor the cost-effectiveness to address the rural fixed broadband gap.

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Rural Broadband And Quality of Life

To preserve what matters most to rural quality of life, it’s necessary to balance digital opportunities and technological disruptions.

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No Municipal Utility? No Problem

Until recently, most municipal fiber networks were built by existing municipal utilities. Experience with outside plant, billing and customer service gave them a head start toward providing broadband. But today, cities without utility departments are forging new paths to build and operate broadband networks.

 

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A Local Ownership Approach to Broadband

How to pay for the last mile, sustainably and at low risk

 

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Partnership for Rural Broadband

Together, electric co-ops and small rural telcos have what it takes to bring advanced broadband to underserved rural areas.

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LS Networks Launches Connected Communities Project

A middle-mile network provider in Oregon has a new mission: creating 25 rural gigabit communities.

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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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