Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Will budget reconciliation and debt ceiling affect expanding rural broadband?



There isn’t much out there about whether an emergency connectivity fund through the FCC  gets through a compressed reconciliation process tied to debt ceiling in Dec. 2021.

Look at this article from the summer.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Can a non-profit rebroadcast major network material to low income people without violating copyright?


Central VA 2021-4

Locast, a streaming service non-profit that rebroadcast major channels mainly to low income consumers, has been shut down; but at issue is whether a non-profit’s rebroadcast would violate copyright law.

The New York Times explains in an article Sept. 2 by Edmund Lee.

Leonard French explains in a video.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Progressive Policy Institute on broadband, does not encourage startups


Shenandoah Valley 2021-7

The Progressive Policy Institute has an important blogpost on broadband policy, June 10, 2021, here. 

It takes a position that it is easier to fund broadband extension with existing carriers than it is to encourage new startups, a curious stance.

There is also attention to price controls on broadband.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Lack of rural broadband and labor shortages


rural northern MN, 2011/6

Here’s an article, a little dated (May 17, 2021), by Ben Casselman, in the New York Times, explaining why lack of reliable broadband is hindering rehiring of workers in businesses (especially retail) as pandemic restrictions ease with vaccinations, link

The article focuses on businesses in Marion County, Iowa.  It talks about a manufacturer of asphalt paving equipment, in an area SE of Des Moines.  Getting high enough speed access to his own plant is one thing, but workers don’t want to live here if the access at home is not good.

Of course, this was a real problem with virtual online school.

Counter to the story might be the idea that in rural areas vaccinations are not always going particularly well.

Monday, June 07, 2021

FCC emergency broadband benefit, more info


Leesburg VA church 2021/6

The FCC has said it would contribute $50 per family(?) for those households qualifying for emergency broadband assistance, mostly in rural areas, story.  

The terms may be generous, less than $198000 income (family?) and losses due to pandemic.

The less dependent a place is on physical wiring, the better, maybe.

Here is the Emergency Broadband Benefit link

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

California's SB4 to enhance rural and low-income broadband


Sacramento Capitol, 2018/9

Here is a guest commentary on “Cal Matters”, suggested reading from a tweet from Electronic Frontier Foundation. It is by Lena Gonzalez, a state senator, Democrat, from Long Beach.

She supports Senate SB4, to help subsidize rural high speed broadband with surcharges on existing telecom providers.

The broadband would have to be efficient enough for any small business to run continuously or for school or reasonable entertainment uses.

But we are getting into a world where totally wireless connections (that don’t blow down in storms) get better all the time, although not around wildfires.

Here is the text of SB4.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

FCC offers emergency broadband assistance for people or families with certain income loss


Kitty Hawk, NC

The FCC has announced a benefit, emergency broadband, for persons or families who meet certain criteria of need.

The FCC information page is at this link

The program was mentioned on ABC Good Morning America today.