AT&T/ DirecTV Deal Approval: Low-Income Broadband and Other Conditions

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Just days after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a draft order to approve AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, the full commission on Friday approved the order and AT&T and DirecTV completed the deal.  As expected, the commission is imposing several conditions on the merger, including a...Learn More

Southeastern Regional Carrier PalmettoNet Inks Big Fiber-to-the-Tower Deal

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PalmettoNet, a regional fiber network owned by 11 independent telcos, has won a big contract to provide fiber optic connectivity to more than 650 cell towers to be built by a major U.S. operator in PalmettoNet’s North and South Carolina serving territory. PalmettoNet won the...Learn More

Wheeler’s AT&T/ DirecTV Approval Plan: Any Rural Conditions?

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AT&T could be required to submit all of its interconnection agreements, along with regular network performance reports, to the FCC as a condition of FCC approval of the company’s plan to acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal announced in May 2014. In a statement...Learn More

CEO: PocketiNet Gigabit Will Overbuild Tier 3 Markets

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The latest player to enter the gigabit arena is PocketiNet Communications – and the company isn’t quite like any other service provider that has launched gigabit service. The company operates in Tier 3 markets in the northwest, including its home market of Walla Walla, Washington...Learn More

$86 Million in USDA Broadband Loans and Grants Announced

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The USDA today announced $85.8 million in broadband grants and loans for broadband infrastructure projects. USDA broadband loans offer low-interest loans to rural network operators. Broadband loans went to five network operators in four states. Two Minnesota companies – Garden Valley Telephone and Consolidated Telephone...Learn More

Execs Detail EATEL Gigabit Launch

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Louisiana-based EATEL is the latest small telco to begin offering gigabit service. Today service is available to about one third of the company’s footprint but “very soon we will have it across the entire network,” said Toby Dubois, EATEL executive president of product management and...Learn More

NTCA Launches Gig Certified Program for Rural Telcos

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NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association has announced a gigabit certification program for its rural telco members, reminding us that rural telcos have made substantial progress in deploying gigabit services. “By becoming a Certified Gig-Capable Provider with NTCA, you will join a national campaign to...Learn More

CTO: Agile Networks Taps Multiple Wireless Technologies for High-Speed Rural Broadband

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Workers at a 10,000-acre wilderness facility owned by the Columbus Zoo now have mobile Internet data connectivity, thanks to service installed by Agile Networks, a network operator that recently completed a statewide Ohio broadband build-out offering speeds of up to 1 Gbps, primarily in rural...Learn More

Moffett: AT&T FTTH Commitment is Bad News for Cablecos

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Pending approval of its DirecTV acquisition, AT&T’s commitment to a major expansion of its fiber-to-the-premises network could create some major challenges for cable companies, notes Craig Moffett, senior analyst for financial research firm Moffett Nathanson in a research note issued this week. Last week an...Learn More

AT&T/DirecTV Approval Expected to Include Broadband Deployment Condition

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AT&T may be required to commit to deploying higher-speed broadband to more rural customers and to offering stand-alone broadband as a condition of its acquisition of DirecTV, which could receive Justice and FCC approvals as soon as next week, according to news reports. According to...Learn More

FCC’s Pai: A One-Page Rule Change Could Enable Stand-Alone Broadband

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The rule changes required to enable rural carriers to use Universal Service funding to support stand-alone broadband can fit on a single page, argued FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in a statement released yesterday. To support his assertion, Pai included a single page appendix to his...Learn More

Wheeler Recommends Rural Auction Credits in 600 MHz Auction

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Small rural companies bidding on spectrum in the upcoming auction of TV broadcast spectrum would have the opportunity to obtain 15% bidding credits if a proposal made by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week is adopted by the commission. Wheeler’s proposal, which is circulating within...Learn More