The Federal Communications Commission is required by law (under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) to initiate a notice of inquiry and report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. This annual broadband report is incredibly important because the findings and conclusions are designed to help Congress and the FCC develop policies that ensure all Americans have robust broadband access. Reports with inaccurate data on broadband availability can skew the findings and prevent unserved and underserved areas from gaining access to broadband. The public has not yet seen the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, but the FCC published a news release about the key findings.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced the “Facilitate America's Superiority in 5G Technology (5G FAST) Plan” to ensure the United States wins the race to 5G wireless connectivity. The plan includes the nation’s largest spectrum auction in December 2019 and the promised future creation of a $20.4 billion rural broadband investment fund, “The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,” to help close the digital divide.
Today, Public Knowledge joins 17 rural, consumer, community media, tech rights, academic, and civil rights groups in launching Broadband Connects America, a coalition dedicated to ensuring all Americans have access to high-speed broadband.
In Swanton, California, just over 50 miles outside of tech Mecca Silicon Valley, my family can’t get reliable internet. Though affordability remains the number one barrier to internet adoption, we don’t lack connection because of a budget crunch. Instead, we lack access because we live in a rural area and carriers like ours, AT&T, have stopped investing and maintaining internet infrastructure in less populated areas.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Report and Order on “one-touch, make-ready wireline infrastructure.” The Order creates a one-touch, make-ready option for simple make-ready work that allows a single crew hired by the new provider to do all of the make-ready work at one time.