The newly updated Lifeline Program will now help low income Americans access high-speed Internet. Voted on by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) March 31, the proposal will allow qualifying consumers to use the $9.25 monthly Lifeline subsidy for stand-alone broadband and bundled mobile voice and data plans. Continue reading
The 2015 USDA Rural Development Progress Report details the investment of $29.75 billion spent on rural development in Fiscal Year 2015. $256.6 million of these funds were spent by the Rural Utilities Service to improve existing telecom infrastructure or build new telecom infrastructure, including broadband networks. This investment impacted 2.8 million rural subscribers across America.
The Utah Broadband Outreach Center in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) released an updated residential broadband map today, providing an enhanced tool to help businesses and consumers locate available services in their communities.
Last fall, the Broadband Outreach Center’s mapping team worked with 23 Utah broadband providers to update the residential broadband map. An additional 14 broadband providers confirmed no updates. This was the first time map updates were actively collected by the team since the Broadband Outreach Center was created and broadband provider participation was as high as it has been in the last 5 years. To learn more about the Center’s map data efforts, check out the data submission guidance webpage. Continue reading
Happy New Year and welcome to the first 2016 installment of the Broadband Outreach Center’s Map of the Month series.
This month we’ve mashed up two state-by-state level datasets that, together, show relationships between access of high speed Internet and overall employment rates. The map color codes each state into one of nine classes, each of which considers broadband and employment rates together.
Since its inception in April 2012, over 40 maps have been published in the Utah Broadband Outreach Center‘s Map of the Month series. And, that’s in addition to the BOC’s mainstay maps like the residential broadband service map and locate.utah.gov, the commercial fiber availability map. For this end of the year addition to the MOTM series, we have reorganized BOC maps and map apps into an all-in-one online map gallery. The gallery presents overview graphics and text descriptions for each map. Continue reading
Updated November 29, 2016
As the 114th Congress winds down, progress with proposed legislation has been extremely limited. Recently, however, the House passed an amended Communications Act Update (S. 253) that contains a few bills that had previously passed the House, including:
- H.R. 2583- The Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act
- H.R. 734- The Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act
- H.R. 4596- The Small Business Broadband Deployment Act
- H.R. 3998- The Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act
Below you can find a running list of proposed legislation we have seen from the 114th Congress. These bills and discussion drafts focus on auctioning spectrum, improving the deployment of conduit, streamlining the permitting process for use of federal lands, creating an inventory of federal assets and facilities related to broadband infrastructure, and making changes to the regulation of pole attachments. When the 115th Congress begins, expect to see proposals for similar legislation that could impact broadband stakeholders.
On September 30, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that PandoLabs in Park City, Epicenter in Green River, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah and the Cedar Band of Paiutes will be the recipients of Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG). Rural Development State Director Dave Conine said that “these grants will support the emergence of small business in our rural communities, leading to to job growth and economic stability.” Continue reading
On September 15, 2015, Pew Research Center published its latest study entitled Libraries at the Crossroads which outlines what Americans want in their local libraries. The survey research indicates that though library usage has declined, “the public is interested in new services and thinks libraries are important to communities.”
The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy published an article this month, State-Level Broadband Policy: A Compendium of Resources and Approaches which outlines why broadband policy matters for civic participation, education, health care delivery, economic growth, worker training, and public safety. Angela Seifer, adjunct fellow at the Pell Center, wrote the article to synthesize several examples of successful state-level policies and recommend various best-practices for implementing robust broadband programs.