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The Power of Empowering Marginalized Communities - Episode 600 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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Pharr, Texas Leads Regional Effort to Build Municipal Fiber Network

On the southern border of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, Pharr, Texas is the home of the largest commercial bridge from Mexico into the U.S. Now the city is working on building an equally impressive virtual bridge to every home in Pharr with the construction of a municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The progression has been steady despite pandemic induced setbacks, as city leaders are determined to solve the connectivity challenges in Pharr by leveraging the assets the city already owns while taking advantage of the unprecedented amount of federal funds now available to help communities expand access to broadband. 

The Future of Community Networks and Fixed Wireless | Episode 53 of the Connect This! Show

Join us live on Friday, September 16, at 1pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by Deborah Simpier (Co-founder at Althea Networks, Sommelier Finance, and Gravity Bridge) and Sascha Meinrath (Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University, Founder of X-Lab). They'll discuss the advantages of different wireless deployments (LTE vs. licensed spectrum vs. unlicensed spectrum) as compared to fiber, the present and future of distributed, member-owned networks, and more.

Yavapai County, Arizona Pushes Forward with $20 Million Broadband Expansion

Yavapai County, Arizona is pushing forward with a $20 million plan to shore up broadband access across the region. While dramatically scaled back from a $55 million proposal pushed last year, county leaders are hopeful that the effort still drives significant upgrades across the rugged and predominantly rural desert county.  

In Our View: Slightly Better FCC Maps on Horizon, Maybe

Now that Internet Service Providers have submitted (or were supposed to submit) their most recent data on exactly where they claim to offer broadband service, the FCC announced last week, starting on September 12, states, local and Tribal governments, service providers, and other entities can submit bulk challenges to the data currently in the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) system. While the agency is making a gallant effort to fix its notoriously inaccurate maps, we still see a few potential holes in the fabric.