BroadbandUSA Newsletter December 2017

Fri, December 01, 2017

Download PDF version here.
Vol 2 | Issue 12 | December 2017

Broadband Enhances Public Safety
Public safety personnel must make life-saving decisions in a matter of seconds. Broadband facilitates quick decision making and enhances public safety efforts in the following ways:

  • Broadband facilitates a coordinated response. With a robust broadband network, communities improve interagency communication and access larger databases.

  • Broadband gets first responders to the scene without delay. Broadband-enabled technologies, such as smart streetlights with cameras and roads with embedded sensors, provide real-time data on traffic patterns and the fastest route to emergencies.

  • Broadband helps public safety officials make informed decisions. Public safety officials use broadband to access live videos of emergencies and arrive on the scene with the most up-to-date building floorplans and utility information.

  • Broadband allows communities to prepare. Cities and local governments use broadband technology to track severe weather and send alerts in real-time, helping residents take the appropriate precautions to ensure their safety.

States have long realized the importance of enhanced public safety and have worked to ensure that first responders have the access to the communication networks they need. Currently, they are states are evaluating whether they will participate in the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet), the public safety broadband network providing first responders with the advanced communication technologies. As of December 1, 35 states and territories have opted into the network. The remaining states have until December 28, 2017 to opt-out of the network. NTIA recently released the State Alternative Plan Program (SAPP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) providing guidance on the application process for funding those states that choose to build their own networks. In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Resources (PSCR) recently announced a $5 million program to support research, development and testing of user interface technologies for improved public safety. Pre-applications are due December 29, 2017. Interested in learning more about how broadband benefits public safety? Contact us at or 202-482-2048.

Broadband News and Updates

Federal News

State News

Funding Opportunities

Public Safety/FirstNet

Stakeholder Resources

Other Broadband News

New Broadband Resources

BroadbandUSA released Sustaining Broadband Networks: A Toolkit for Local and Tribal Governments to help local and tribal governments meet the current and future broadband needs of their communities. The Toolkit discusses five actions that government leaders should take to sustain broadband networks over the long term. The FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) approved several draft recommendations at its meeting on November 9. The BDAC plans to approve final recommendations at the next meeting on January 22 and 23, 2018. The mission of the BDAC is to advise the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of broadband by reducing and removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment.

BroadbandUSA Spotlight

Last month during the ConnectHomeUSA Summit, BroadbandUSA’s Doug Kinkoph was named to the ConnectHomeUSA governing board. ConnectHomeUSA aims to bridge the digital divide for families with school-age children living in HUD-assisted housing across the country. It brings together community leaders, government officials, nonprofit organizations and industry groups to help provide low-cost broadband access, devices and training for public housing residents. Click here to watch a video recording of the conference.


BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar Series

There will be no Practical Broadband Conversations webinar in December. The webinar series will resume on January 17, 2018.

Topic: Practical Broadband Conversations: Innovative Funding Solutions for Digital Inclusion Programs
Date: Wednesday, January 17 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
Overview: Effective digital inclusion programs are essential for communities, supporting efforts such as workforce development, educational attainment, financial literacy and better access to health care. Finding financial support for such programs requires creative partnerships, coordination with civic leaders and messaging that articulates the benefits of such programs to communities. Join our webinar to learn how communities have funded digital inclusion programs using a variety of funding options such as local philanthropies, city budget mechanisms and private sector support.

Click here to register. Please pre-register for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Missed last month’s webinar on the role of electric co-ops in rural broadband expansion? Click here to view the presentation and here to listen to the audio recording. Visit our webinar archives here for more past Practical Broadband Conversations webinars.


NTIA Events

There will be no BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations webinar in December. The series will resume on January 17 with a webinar Innovative Funding Solutions for Digital Inclusion Programs. Register for the webinar here.

Events of Interest

December 5-6, 2017
The Resources Uniting Rural American Leaders (RURAL) Conference
The RURAL Conference will be held in Hot Springs, VA. BroadbandUSA’s Jean Rice and Don Williams will speak at the event. Click here to learn more.

December 5-6, 2017
Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) Autonomous Transportation Workshop
TIA will host a workshop on how communications will change vehicles and transportation. The workshop will be held in Arlington, VA. Click here to learn more.

December 7, 2017
TIA Smart Buildings Working Group Meeting
TIA will launch its Smart Buildings Working Group with a meeting in San Jose, CA. Click here to learn more.

December 10-13, 2017
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Capitol Forum
NCSL’s Capitol Forum will be held in Coronado, CA. Click here to learn more.

Policy Corner

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team welcomes David Redl, who was sworn in on November 21 as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the Department of Commerce and will serve as Administrator of NTIA. The Senate confirmed Mr. Redl on November 7. Click here to learn more.

Contact Us

If you are interested in receiving technical assistance, email or call 202-482-2048. For more information, visit our website at