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.
On February 5th, The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released its most recent quarterly report updating the status of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The report summarizes activities between April, 1-June, 30 of 2015, and it indicates BTOP initiatives are coming to close. 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.
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
On May 7, 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) hosted the 2014 State Broadband Initiative (SBI) Grantee Workshop. Over 100 grantees from 48 states and territories, including staff from the Utah Broadband Project, attended the workshop.
The workshop included presentations from states sharing best practices to encourage broadband deployment. States were also asked to rank the most important purposes and functions of their state broadband program.
The Utah Broadband Project was asked to share success stories and highlighted Utah’s Map of the Month Series. To get an insider’s perspective of the workshop check out all the #SBI14 tweets in one place.
The new website is designed to help educate stakeholders on the development of the network, which will be a collaborative effort between federal, state and local agencies. FirstNet was made possible through H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which funded the network.
The Act established a grant program focused on assisting a myriad of state, local and other jurisdictions with implementing the NPSBN. This effort was designed to deploy the most efficient and effective means to use and integrate infrastructure, equipment and other architecture to satisfy wireless and data service needs.
Administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA), Utah received $2.2 million dollars through the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP).
To visit the new FirstNet website click here.
This month’s installment in our Map of the Month series looks at the number of broadband providers capable of providing a ‘fixed’ broadband connection at a defined advertised speed threshold to residential consumers across the state.
The term ‘fixed’ broadband includes cable, DSL/copper, and fiber optic wireline-based technologies, as well as fixed wireless technologies. Basically, everything except for broadband provided directly to smart phones and other mobile devices qualifies as ‘fixed’ broadband.
All speeds are expressed in terms of maximum advertised download speed as reported to the Utah Broadband Project in Fall of 2013
Maps are available for three broadband speed levels:
- No. of Fixed Broadband Providers, Speed >= 25 Mbps (home office technical users)
- No. of Fixed Broadband Providers, Speed >= 10 Mbps (distance education/entertainment)
- No. of Fixed Broadband Providers, Speed >=3 Mbps (basic consumer service minimum)
The number of providers, especially at the higher speed tiers, is one well-recognized indication of the amount competition in the broadband services market.
The areas colored on the map represent the populated areas of Utah that broadband providers are advertising to.
- Areas shown in dark red on the maps have at least 4 qualifying providers at the map’s specified speed. These areas are greater in number at lower broadband speeds.
- Areas in yellow are served by a single provider, and are more likely to be found in rural areas where competition is less expected since the challenges of providing broadband are significantly more substantial.
More detail on provider service area, technologies and speeds for specific locations can be found by using the Project’s Interactive Map.
The FCC recently announced that beginning in September 2014, broadband data collection responsibility will shift from NTIA and state entities (such as the Utah Broadband Project) to the FCC through a revised Form 477 (The full text of the order can be accessed here).
State mapping entities will continue to collect data through September 2014, with one overlapping data submission, before all data collection authority is assumed by the FCC in 2015.
Many broadband providers have approached us with questions, and while we don’t know all the details about how data will submitted, we have learned much about what data the FCC will be requiring all broadband providers to submit in the future. We were recently given a helpful presentation about what changes we can expect to the new Form 477 and new requirements for providers. To view this presentation, please visit our Slideshare page.
If your company is a broadband provider and has questions, or needs assistance, with this transition in data collection, please contact the Utah Broadband Project at broadband.utah.gov.