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BroadbandUSA Newsletter May 2018

Tue, May 01, 2018

Volume 3 | Issue 5 | May 2018

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BroadbandUSA Technical Assistance to Rural Communities

May 14-21, 2018 marks the 6th annual national Infrastructure Week, so BroadbandUSA is focusing this month on connectivity in rural communities. According to the FCC’s 2018 data, 25 million Americans and 31% of rural Americans do not have broadband available to them. The BroadbandUSA Technical Assistance Team has devoted time to working with providers and local government officials to improving broadband infrastructure in rural communities.

For example, the team assisted a community in rural Alaska by providing solution- and technology-neutral advice on many issues, including market assessment, revenue modeling, construction schedules, and specific steps that the local government can implement to assist private providers speed up deployment and expansion of broadband infrastructure. A town in Virginia requested assistance during the implementation process of a new land mobile radio (LMR) public safety system. In Maine, the team provided feedback to a remote community during its Request for Information (RFI) development to attract potential broadband providers. On a regular basis, the team provides assistance to support infrastructure and digital inclusion planning, funding, and implementation efforts.

The BroadbandUSA Technical Assistance Team is looking forward to serving more rural communities through building partnerships. Contact them at .

Rural Broadband – Quick Resource Guide:

Broadband News and Updates

Federal News

State News

Public Safety/FirstNet

Stakeholder Resources


Other Broadband News

BroadbandUSA Spotlight

State Broadband Leaders Network Share Successes

Monthly, BroadbandUSA hosts a virtual meeting for the participants in the State Broadband Leaders Network (SBLN) to share news and policies that assist their states in increasing broadband access. During the March meeting, participants from 20 states shared their successes. A sample includes:

  • California’s new legislation for $300 million in broadband deployment is currently in the rulemaking process.

  • Colorado’s bill for $115 million for broadband deployment was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by the Governor

  • Tennessee’s Governor provided an additional $5 million for a total of $15 million in grant funds for 2018

  • Wisconsin allocated $35.5 million 2 programs: $13 million in broadband grants and the remaining for schools.

In addition, Brian O’Hara, Senior Director Regulatory Issues at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) also updated the participants. He reported that NRECA member serve 42 million people: 90% of areas in persistent poverty and are rural with 8 customers per mile compared to 33 per mile in more urban areas. He also noted that electric co-ops were committed to serving last mile with electricity and are now looking to do the same with broadband. For more information on SBLN, see State Broadband Leaders Network.


NTIA Events

May 16, 2018
BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar Series: Infrastructure Week Special: Successful Models and Best Practices for Rural Broadband Deployment
Digital technologies impact all sectors of the economy including agriculture, small town main streets, and regional economic development. Yet 31% of rural Americans still lack access to fixed terrestrial broadband speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. Increased interest in broadband is creating new opportunities leading service providers and civic leaders to find new models to expand rural broadband. We will explore three successful case studies and highlight best practices for successful rural broadband deployment.

  • Wes McCart, Commissioner, Stevens County, WA

  • Debra Hansen, Director, Washington State University, Stevens County Extension

  • Bob Hance, President and CEO, Midwest Energy Cooperative

  • Gina Shuler, Marketing Director, Home Telecom

  • Moderator: Karen Archer Perry, Senior Policy Analyst, BroadbandUSA

Register here

Events of Interest

May 1-2, 2018
APCO Public Safety Broadband Summit, Arlington, VA. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Broadband Summit is an annual, DC-based opportunity to discuss the latest technology advancements affecting public safety communications networks.

May 1-3, 2018
2018 Spring CTA Technology & Standards Forum, Santa Clara, CA. CTA's Mobile Health Solutions Working Group will focus on developments and review draft content for the Guiding Principles of Practice and Transparency for Mobile Health Solutions, which will include privacy and security, and regulatory compliance considerations covering existing standards, government guidance and best practices for mobile health solutions, including both devices and applications.

May 7-8, 2018
Smart Cities Week, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, CA. Smart Cities Week Silicon Valley will showcase breakthrough ideas in various technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, drones, augmented reality and advances in cybersecurity. NOTE: Wireless SuperCluster Conference, Sponsored by NIST, NTIA and Joint Venture Silicon Valley, will follow Smart Cities Week on May 10, 2018.

May 7-10, 2018
National Digital Inclusion Week, Nationwide. A national week of online and live events to support digital inclusion.

May 10-12, 2018
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2018 Spring Executive Committee Meeting, Denver, CO.
Speaker: BroadbandUSA’s Andrew Spurgeon, Smart Communities Foundation Partnership, May 10, 2018.

May 14-21, 2018
Infrastructure Week, Nationwide. A national week of events; media coverage; and education and issue advocacy to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting America's economy, society, security and future.

May 15 – 17
2018 ACE School and RUS Symposium, Atlanta, GA. The Association of Communication Engineers (ACE) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host the 2018 ACE School and RUS Symposium. This two and a half day event will host industry experts from around the country presenting on topics important in today's telecom environment, technology presentations from sponsors, and will give attendees access to networking opportunities within the industry.

May 17, 2018
Webinar: Introduction to Global Cities Team Challenge Agriculture and Rural Supercluster, 12pm – 1pm. The webinar will showcase some early action cluster projects in smart agriculture for plants and livestock, innovative rural connectivity projects, telehealth programs, and food hub efforts across the United States. Speaker: BroadbandUSA’s Jean Rice

May 21-24
Connectivity Expo, Charlotte, NC. Connect (X) focuses on the business of connectivity and provides a platform for companies and organizations to reach, influence, interact with and impact executives and leadership from a wide range of business sectors. BroadbandUSA staff will speak at this event.

Policy Corner

David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator marked National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 8-14, in a blog honoring the nation’s public safety professionals. He noted that “we may take 911 calls for granted today, but it was only 50 years ago that the first emergency call was completed in Haleyville, Alabama. We’re now on the cusp of improving our 911 system by providing our highly trained professionals with the advanced tools they need to do their jobs in the 21st century.” See complete blog here.

Want to access past Practical Broadband Conversations webinars?

Visit our Webinar Archives for past presentations, transcripts and audio recordings.

NTIA's BroadbandUSA program promotes innovation and economic growth by supporting efforts to expand broad- band connectivity and digital inclusion across America. In this role, BroadbandUSA serves communities, industry and non-profits that want to expand broadband infrastructure and promote digital inclusion.