Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband Technology Digital Inequality

Top 10 Broadband Stories of 2020

Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group. Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Broadband Breakfast has provided continuous text and video content in 2020 on the topic of broadband in America.

As we approach the end of the year, it is good to revisit broadband stories of 2020.

Drew’s ‘top 10’ Broadband Topics

10 – The fall of China, ZTE and Huawei broadband manufacturers

9 – Spectrum sharing, new technologies are enabling radio frequencies to be used in new and more innovative ways

8 – Open access networks, new fiber networks

7 – Traditional telephone network future

6 – Broadband is infrastructure that needs valid maps

5 – Reverse-auctions and rural broadband / RDOF – Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

4 – Big tech lawsuits, consumer & innovation balance

3 – COVID Teleworking / Working and Learning

2 – Digital Inequality

1 – Federal Government & infrastructure investments

In Western North Carolina, state and federal broadband topics will continue to drive how and when broadband improvements will be made.

Please contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project Team with any questions you may have.


Clark, D. (2020, December 30). Drew Clark: The Top 10 Broadband Stories of 2020, and What They Mean for 2021. Broadbandbreakfast.com. http://broadbandbreakfast.com/2020/12/drew-clark-the-top-10-broadband-stories-of-2020-and-what-they-mean-for-2021/

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Transylvania

Transylvania County

Additional $4.2M Funding for Broadband Access

The WNC Broadband Project Team recognizes and celebrates high-speed internet growth funding for Transylvania County.

Congratulations Comporium!

In part thanks to state funds, Comporium will have $4.2 million to expand rural broadband access in Transylvania County. 

Transylvania Times

The Transylvania Times. (2020). Comporium Receives Funds To Help With Broadband Access – Transylvania County, NC. The Transylvania Times. https://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2020/12/28/news/comporium-receives-funds-to-help-with-broadband-access-transylvania-county-nc/47588.html

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding NC General Assembly Policy

Legislative Priority

Broadband Connectivity

January 13th brings the next North Carolina General Assembly session.

In the Carolina Journal article linked below, it suggested lawmakers should consider the following solutions:

  1. Leave broadband service and investments to private providers.
  2. Streamline permitting, remove unnecessary regulations.
  3. Remove obstacles to building wireless infrastructure on public property and public-rights-of-way, allow lease agreements for pole attachments that encourage developing infrastructure.
  4. Find solutions through open markets and competition, rather than government take-over.
  5. Offer a direct consumer subsidy, much like a voucher, that rural residents in unserved and underserved areas can use to purchase discounted broadband or devices.
  6. Put guardrails around the GREAT grant program to encourage innovation, focus on unserved areas, leave room for advancing technologies, provide grants instead of ongoing funding streams.
  7. Minimize and modernize fees at local and state level to avoid duplicative billing and keep costs low.
  8. Protect jobs and investment by upholding the state’s 2011 Level Playing Field Act, which regulates local government competition from private business.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project team is advocating for high speed internet improvements. Contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project team with any questions.


Broadband tops list of legislative priorities for upcoming session  – Carolina Journal. (2020, December 28). Carolina Journal. https://www.carolinajournal.com/opinion-article/broadband-tops-list-of-legislative-priorities-for-upcoming-session

EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_8_12_2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7ae5defd0d-b290c0ab16-122536853#new_tab

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Latency RDOF Rural Satellite Starlink

WNC Red-Green?

FCC Broadband Opportunity Map

RDOF Phase 1 Results

Is your rural Western North Carolina community striving for broadband?

Is Starlink low earth satellite a possibility for your internet needs?

The Federal Communication Committee has developed a drillable map of ‘Rural Digital Opportunity Funding‘ or RDOF – Phase 1 results by:

  • Gigabit: low latency
  • Above baseline; low latency
  • Above baseline; high latency
  • Baseline; low latency
  • Minimum; low latency
  • No Winning Bidder

https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Contact a member of the WNC Broadband Project Team to learn more about getting dependable, high-speed internet in your community.

Also See

5G in WNC

Challenges Facing Satellite-Based Internet

Frequently Asked Questions About Broadband

Latency and Satellite for Internet Service…

Delay is the time that it takes for the bits of information or data to get across the network and back. Delay is typically measured in milliseconds (msec) or 1/1000th of a second. Two-way applications, such as conferencing, are sensitive to delay. Minimal delay is also very important in interactive gaming applications. For today’s Internet access, 20 msec is excellent. Most applications can tolerate delay of two to three times this length without an adverse effect.

Broadband Latency

Nelius, J. (2020, December 11). Here’s Where SpaceX Has Promised to Provide Starlink Internet. Gizmodo; Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/heres-where-spacex-has-promised-to-provide-starlink-int-1845850942

Federal Communications Commission. (2020). Federal Communications Commission. https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Categories
Broadband funding Economic Development Education Telehealth

$7 Billion for Broadband

United States Relief Package

Funding to help improve broadband in the US is coming. States, communities, counties, and cities need to have a framework to apply for this opportunity.

In North Carolina these frameworks can include:

  • NC Broadband Infrastructure Office
  • NC Councils of Governments or county COGs
  • Tribal Groups
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Tele & Cable Companies
  • Wireless Internet Service Providers
  • Local Broadband Providers
  • Internet Satellite Providers
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Cities and Municipalities

In the Metro Asheville area, there are two entities that advocate for broadband improvements for our economic future:

  • WestNGN for Buncombe, Madison, Henderson, and Transylvania Counties
  • WNC Broadband Project for North Carolina’s western counties

Learn More About the $7B for Broadband

Margaret Harding McGill. (2020, December 21). COVID relief bill provides $7 billion for broadband access. Axios

https://www.axios.com/broadband-access-covid-relief-bill-7-billion-5be48439-c1a4-4927-a0c4-515312a1d281.html

Kelly, M. (2020, December 21). US relief package provides $7 billion for broadband. The Verge.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/21/22193133/us-coronavirus-covid-relief-stimulus-package-broadband-huawei-zte

Categories
Affordability Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC

Digital Divide, Biden

$20B Rural Broadband Infrastructure

Biden’s plan for rural America specifically references spending $20 billion in expanding rural broadband infrastructure, tripling funding for Community Connect broadband grants to expand access in rural areas, and reforming the Lifeline program, which subsidizes internet and phone services for low-income participants.

Universal Access

the Biden administration could expand universal access by subsidizing service in underserved rural and urban areas and helping those without access purchase the connections they need. He noted that this should be a high priority because people cannot apply for jobs, make online transactions, or access government services without high-speed broadband

Darrell West, VP & Director at the Brookings Institution

Nearly one-fourth of Americans who live in rural areas lack access to fixed broadband services, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress report.

https://www.inc.com/amrita-khalid/biden-broadband-plan.html

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team advocates for high-speed internet for education, healthcare, economic growth, and more. Can your internet service become better? Let your community policy makers know.

Also See

2021 Policy Priorities

Hello President Elect Biden

Categories
Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology FCC Fiber Gigabit Latency

Future-Proof Tech

As funds are planned for improving high-speed internet or broadband, policy makers will want to ‘future-proof’ technology and service investments.

Putting a priority on network development with faster downloads & uploads speeds, but also lower levels of latency; the time it takes for data to be transferred between its source and its destination, measured in milliseconds. Network latency affects satellite internet, cable, and some WiFi connections.

This will ideally create forces toward more fiber technologies to “ensure that those benefiting from the networks will be able to use tomorrow’s internet applications as well as today’s.”

The FCC or Federal Communications Committee uses a weighted scale of internet performance tiers with the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding.

RDOF Broadband Tiers

  • Minimum > 25/3
  • Baseline > 50/5
  • Above baseline > 100/20
  • Gigabit > 1 Gbps/500 Mbps

Read more about the tier details at: An Overview Of The FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Community Development Economic Development Education Policy

Call-To-Action

WNC Broadband Activism

Western North Carolina has a ‘Call-To-Action’ from our recently published ‘2021 Broadband Policy Priorities.’

Your WNC Broadband Project team continues to be engaged in community, city, WNC county, and regional broadband topics. Our activism needs your support. How?

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate the critical need for universally available and affordable high-speed broadband internet access for delivering quality remote education, telemedicine, and work-from-home capability.

Policy makers must lead an initiative to solve the WNC “digital divide” between the wealthy and the under-resourced and between our urban and non-urban residents.

Given the importance of broadband and the growing digital divide in our region, policy makers must create enabling legislation and policy that will ensure universally available and affordable broadband now.

Your Broadband CTA

A broadband policy maker is someone who sets the plan pursued by a government or business.

For broadband topics, your Call-To-Action or CTA is to communicate and follow-up with your network of policy makers including:

  • Government Officials in the City, County, Region, or State
  • Community Leaders in Education, Economic Development, Healthcare Professionals
  • Business Leaders

All policy makers need to effectively create plans. The acceptance of a plan is based on the feasibility including the financial and legal considerations.

What are the broadband issues that should be on a policy-maker’s radar?

Top 5 WNC Broadband Issues

The WNC Broadband Project Leadership team has summarized the top five WNC broadband issues.

Learn more at our 2021 Broadband Policy site.

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Economic Development Education Policy Telehealth YouTube

Broadband, Biden

Broadband Breakfast Live

The election is behind us. What does the future of broadband have in the future with the Biden Administration?

Listen to the discussion on broadband and the FCC policy future:

  • Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group; Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast, Washington DC-Baltimore Area
  • Scott Wallsten – President and Senior Fellow at Technology Policy Institute, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Mark Jamison, Ph.D. – Research & Education Director, Gainesville, Florida
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, November 11: Broadband and the Joe Biden President-Elect Administration
Categories
Broadband funding

NC Broadband Grants

North Carolina provides grant opportunities for communities to receive funding for broadband. As part of a continue snippet series of videos, Representative Jake Johnson discusses the GREAT grant.

The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program funds the terrestrial deployment of broadband within unserved areas of economically distressed counties. The grants help bring high-speed internet to thousands of North Carolinians, businesses and farms in the most rural and remote areas of the state. These areas include both Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties as well as rural census tracts located in development Tier 3 areas that are currently served by less than 25 megabytes per second download and 3 megabytes per second upload speeds.

The grants are available to private broadband service providers and are designed to connect these areas with broadband as quickly as possible.

https://www.ncbroadband.gov/grants/great-grant

Disclaimers

The WNC Broadband Project (Project) aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.

It develops tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs.

As a community-supported initiative building on the work of West Next Generation Network (WestNGN), it is not owned or controlled by any affiliate of WestNGN.

The WNC Broadband Project is also not financed by any corporate entity, as such financing would be inconsistent with the Project’s independent community engagement focus.

The views, opinions and products of the WNC Broadband Project are the sole responsibility of the Project team and its advisory board, acting in their personal capacity and not in any capacity related to WestNGN, UNC Asheville, or any other WestNGN affiliate.