Our September map of the month revisits a topic that we explored in October of 2014 — how Utah’s broadband coverage is overrepresented in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Form 477 broadband maps. This is a policy issue and one that certainly impacts most if not all states.
On March 4th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new Consumer Broadband Labels in hopes of improving transparency for fixed and mobile broadband consumers. The new “Broadband Facts” labels draw influence from nutrition labels, utilizing an easily recognizable format to better reach consumers. The labels will provide information about price and performance for consumers. Continue reading
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
Today President Obama called upon all nonprofits, businesses, technology experts, and governments to connect 20 million more Americans to broadband by 2020. This goal, along with other supportive programs, was announced in a White House press release introducing the new ConnectALL initiative.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler recently took to the FCC blog to announce that a new order to reform universal support for rate-of-return carriers has been circulated at the agency. Mr. Wheeler announced progress has been made to support stand-alone broadband providers, improve incentives for providers to connect rural communities, and generally strengthen the rate-of-return system and rural broadband so that it can be reliable and stable for years to come.
On August 6, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission launched a Notice of Inquiry seeking comment (due by September 8, 2015) on whether consumer access to mobile broadband should be included in its annual review of the country’s broadband market. The annual review is created to assess whether Americans are receiving broadband on a “reasonable and timely basis.” Continue reading
On August 6, 2015 the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Procedures Public Notice which establishes the bidding procedures for next year’s incentive auction. The auction will begin on March 29, 2016 and is designed to “allow market forces to make available high-quality low-band spectrum for mobile broadband.” Continue reading
Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced an update to its broadband benchmarks which are now set at 25 Mbps for advertised download speeds and 3 Mbps for upload speeds. Using this updated benchmark, the FCC found that 17% of the United State’s population lack access to broadband availability. There is a significant digital divide with over half of rural Americans lacking broadband access. Despite great challenges presented by Utah’s terrain, remote communities, and federal land restrictions, the digital divide is narrower in Utah.
Changes are coming to the data collection process for broadband availability mapping data. Since 2010, states have collected data from providers, and then submitted a compilation of the data to the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). Starting in spring 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will collect mapping data directly from broadband providers using the new form 477. The transition will take place this fall, with both the states and the FCC collecting data from broadband providers. The due date for the FCC’s new form 477 is October 1, 2014. The Utah Broadband Project’s final due date for updating data is September 1, 2014. To better understand this change, this month’s map of the month explains the changes (part 1), and next month’s map of the month (part 2) will have a more in-depth analysis on how the change will affect the statewide views of broadband coverage. Continue reading