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Lincoln Park and Smart City Initiatives in Fort Pierce with Jason Mittler - Episode 590 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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Bipartisan Push To Make Broadband Grants Tax Exempt Moves Forward

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers continues to make slow but steady progress on legislation that would make federal broadband grants tax exempt, providing significant relief for big and small companies alike trying to bridge America’s stubborn digital divide. Telecom industry watchers have been warning for years that upwards of 21 percent of new grants would need to be paid back to the United States government in the form of taxation, complicating project financing and scale.

No-Cost GIS Resources Available to Tribes Through BIA

Geospatial software licenses and training are available to Tribes and can be a huge help for building their own broadband networks. The BIA's Branch of Geospatial Support (BOGS) offers free geospatial software, geospatial training, and geospatial technical assistance to more than 900 BIA employees and 4,000 Tribal personnel.

Massachusetts Broadband Coalition Is Formed With Focus on Public Private Partnerships

Representing 26 towns across Massachusetts, from Cape Cod to Chelsea, an informal group of mostly town officials have formed the Massachusetts Broadband Coalition in search of a way out of a broken monopoly broadband market to ensure that everyone in their individual communities has access to high-speed Internet. The newly-formed coalition has recently started to meet monthly to share information about what kind of alternatives there might be, or could be, to the big cable monopoly provider in their towns.

Montana Tweaks State Ban On Community Broadband, But Most Restrictions Remain

Hoping to ensure it can actually spend its share of historic broadband funding, Montana lawmakers have tweaked the state’s restrictions on community broadband. However, experts say most of the state law’s pointless restrictions remain intact, undermining state efforts to bring affordable, next-generation broadband access to Montana residents.

SAVE THE DATE: Building for Digital Equity

Save the date and join us June 7 at 3 pm ET for the second Building for Digital Equity event of the year, which comes weeks ahead of when states will receive their BEAD funds from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. As with previous B4DE events, this will be another virtual gathering that will offer up strategies to help simplify the complexities (and opportunities) of broadband connectivity.

South Carolina Grants Fund 56 New State Broadband Projects

The South Carolina Broadband Office (SCBBO) has announced 56 newly funded projects through its new broadband grant program. South Carolina historically hasn’t been a hotbed of community broadband deployment, and is one of 17 states that have passed restrictions on municipal network creation, funding, and expansion. Still, there are numerous electric cooperatives in the state busy creatively bridging the digital divide that stand to benefit from an historic infusion of new grant funding.

Boulder, Colorado Gets Ready to Roll on Citywide Fiber Network

With the construction of its 65-mile dark fiber backbone nearly complete, city officials in Boulder, Colorado are now ready to move into the next phase of their plan: build out a citywide fiber network. Last week, the city issued a Request for Information (RFI) “to gauge the interest of for-profit and nonprofit entities in forming a public–private partnership (PPP) with the city to make Gigabit per second-class bandwidth available to all Boulder homes and businesses.”

Two New Episodes of the Building for Digital Podcast Now Available

This week we are giving you a double dose of our new Building For Digital Equity podcast. Episode 4 features Kim Ilinon and Ella Silvas, two Interactive Media Design students from the University of Washington-Bothell. And in Episode 5 we talk with Susan Corbett, Executive Director of the National Digital Equity Center, about how she went from being the owner of a small ISP in rural Maine to a national digital equity advocate.

Connect Humanity Project Aims To Bring Broadband To Rural Appalachia

Connect Humanity and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) have struck a new $7.9 million coalition partnership they say will help deliver affordable, next-generation broadband networks to more than 50 communities across 12 Appalachian states. ARC has already been awarded $6.3 million via its new Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) program, which aims to solve the connectivity crisis in a region that lags well behind the national average.