USF/ICC Zone

The changing landscape of USF and ICC have profound implications on the broadband ecosystem. Stay tuned to Telecompetitor for the latest news, analysis, & commentary.

Bi-Partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus Wants to Bridge Digital Divide

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A bi-partisan Congressional Rural Broadband Caucus plans to focus on bridging the rural-urban digital divide. According to press material, the group will “facilitate discussion, educate Members of Congress and staff and develop policy solutions.” Four Congressmen will serve as co-chairmen, including Kevin Cramer (R- N.D.),...Learn More

Commissioners Argue FCC Broadband Speed Definition, CAF Plans

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As expected, this year’s Broadband Progress Report from the FCC will state that broadband is not being deployed in a timely fashion. As adopted at today’s monthly FCC meeting, the report also notes a widening rural/urban disparity in available broadband speeds, said FCC officials at...Learn More

NTCA Rural Wireless Survey: Are Competitive Pressures Lessening?

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Although substantial challenges still remain, rural wireless carriers are finding it a bit easier to compete when it comes to handset availability, roaming, and obtaining spectrum at auction, according to a new report from NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. Carrier concerns about their ability...Learn More

FCC Broadband Report: 10% Nationwide and 39% in Rural Areas Lack 25 Mbps Service

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is circulating a draft of this year’s Broadband Progress Report within the commission which states that 10% of Americans cannot get broadband service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. The numbers are quite different for...Learn More

Consumer Group Protests Proposed FCC Lifeline Program Restrictions

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Concerns about the potential for fraud has led the FCC to consider limiting Lifeline payments for broadband Internet or voice service to low-income households participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Furthermore, applicants would need to obtain vouchers monthly or make use of...Learn More

Study Finds Four Broadband Adoption Success Factors

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Aiming to help bridge the ¨digital divide,¨ a new study from the Benton Foundation identifies four core, interrelated digital inclusion activities deemed essential in helping low-income individuals and families access and make good use of broadband connectivity. Based on a survey of eight digital inclusion...Learn More

FCC Unbundling Requirements Relaxed; Rural Voice Requirements Raise Funding Issues

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The nation’s incumbent telecom carriers will not have to comply with certain long-standing regulatory requirements that the FCC today deemed to be outmoded – including certain requirements to unbundle network infrastructure for resale to competitors. The FCC’s action came in the form of an order...Learn More

Three Companies Awarded $5.2 Million for FCC Rural Broadband Experiments

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The FCC has authorized more than $5 million in funding for three more rural broadband experiment awardees. The funding will help cover some of the costs of bringing broadband service to parts of price cap carrier territories where broadband is not available today. The new...Learn More

Mayors Ask FCC For Lifeline Low-Income Broadband

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A bipartisan group of mayors and officials from 44 cities sent a letter to the FCC December 11 supporting the agency’s proposal to improve low-income families’ Internet access through the federal Lifeline program. Most important among the multiple benefits envisaged, subsidizing Internet access for low-income...Learn More

Broadband Adoption: Brookings Researchers Uncover New Drivers

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New research about broadband adoption from the Brookings Institute reinforces some previous findings but also breaks new ground, uncovering some previously unobserved factors that can have a significant impact on broadband adoption rates. The Brooking institute study focused on the top 100 metro markets, exploring...Learn More

CAF Broadband Support for Rural Carriers Could Vary Based on Density

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Small rate-of-return communications service providers with less than 10 locations per square mile would have more time to build out high-speed broadband in comparison with service providers serving denser areas, according to USF reform recommendations made by telecom association ITTA, which represents mid-size service providers. ITTA...Learn More

School Broadband Report: 23% of Schools Lack Fast Broadband

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Higher-speed Internet access has been provided to an additional 20 million U.S. K-12 students over the past two years, according to EducationSuperHighway, a non-profit organization dedicated to upgrading Internet access in every public school classroom in the nation. Looking ahead to further progress in its...Learn More