Rural Broadband Zone

We cover the rural broadband community like no other. Turn to Telecompetitor to gain insight into the latest developments impacting the rural broadband ecosystem.

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

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

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?

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

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

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

Alianza Exec: Cloud VoIP Gains Speed as Softswitches Reach End of Life

Alianza’s announcement this week that three smaller cable companies will use its cloud-based VoIP offering illustrates a broader trend, said Alianza Vice President of Marketing Kevin Mitchell in an interview. After deploying softswitches and other VoIP equipment five to 10 years ago, or buying service...Learn More

FCC Adopts Rural Carrier Bidding Credit for 600 MHz Auction, Delays Other Key Issues

Updated later July 16 As expected, the FCC at today’s monthly meeting adopted a report and order that will give small rural carriers a bidding credit in the upcoming 600 MHz auction of TV broadcast spectrum.  Although the commission did not detail the size of...Learn More

Execs Detail EATEL Gigabit Launch

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

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

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

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

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