The Future of LTE - Episode 581 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on another special edition of the podcast, join us as we revisit a captivating conversation from the most recent episode of our biweekly livestream Connect This! show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell and Travis Carter will be joined by regular guests Doug Dawson and Kim McKinley as well as special guest Mike Dano. Together, they dive deep into the future of mobile wireless and LTE networks, how we got here, and where are we going next as well as rural mobile wireless, market dynamics, 5G hype, and more.

This serves as a sequel to their comprehensive examination of LTE history in Episode 79 of Connect This! For more information on Connect This! and to find previous episodes, please visit our webiste at

This show is 67 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed.

Transcript below.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.


Ry Marcattilio (00:00:00):
Welcome to episode 581 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. My name is Ryan Marcattilio. We've got another special episode for you. This week, Christopher has been traveling an inordinate amount of time with limited calendar space to record. So we're bringing over a conversation from the most recent episode of our biweekly livestream Connect This! show that we think you'll enjoy. Mike Dano, editorial Director, 5G and Mobile Strategies at Light Reading. Joins Christopher Doug [00:00:30] Dawson from CCG Consulting, Kim McKinley from Utopia Fiber, and Travis Carter from USI. Fiber to have a conversation about the future of Mobile wireless and LTE networks. If you're interested, it's the follow-up to our definitive history of LTE, which you can find on episode 79 at Enjoy.

Christopher Mitchell (00:01:00):
[00:01:00] Welcome to our show. We're back. We're doing an episode of Connect This and I'm excited. This is going to be a fun one. We've got Kim McKinley welcome.

Kim McKinley (00:01:28):
Hello, hello. I am here [00:01:30] to tell you all the rumors are not true. Ruthie Bader. Ruthie Bader Katz is not getting a sister. Sandra Day oat today after

Christopher Mitchell (00:01:41):
Sandra Day.

Kim McKinley (00:01:42):
Sandra Day Ocat, or we're going to go with Henry Kaser, but I like Sandra Day Ocat, but that is not happening. Thank you. And

Christopher Mitchell (00:01:52):
It's a hard day in your household that you have. Anyone else that you've killed off?

Kim McKinley (00:01:58):
Nope, but I've got fresh Botox [00:02:00] and I'm ready for connect this now. Let's go in.

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:03):
Excellent. Doug Dawson, CCG Consulting. Welcome back.

Doug Dawson (00:02:09):
Oh, welcome to you the intro music. I always hear music in my head. I've got that syndrome where I 24 hours a day hear music. I'm hearing that song all the time. I love it, but it's killing me. Just so

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:20):
You, alright, we got update to some piece of Live Jam music and that that'll help you out.

Doug Dawson (00:02:27):

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:29):
We got Travis [00:02:30] Carter, USI Fiber. Welcome back. Trav.

Travis Carter (00:02:33):
Well, hello my friend. Should I be the one that brings the obvious up? That's a pretty fancy headset there. Doug. Is that new? No, that's

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:42):
The regular

Doug Dawson (00:02:42):
Headset. No, that's the old regular one.

Travis Carter (00:02:44):
It's, it looks different. It looks like. It looks like it's way out. So

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:49):
It does sound good right now, but Doug will be rocking a new microphone soon.

Doug Dawson (00:02:53):

Travis Carter (00:02:54):
I love it. All right.

Doug Dawson (00:02:56):
I'll be on a pro microphone soon. Yes.

Christopher Mitchell (00:02:59):
Alright, [00:03:00] so six months ago or so I saw Lumen or CenturyLink or someone with that history of the company in my alleyway and I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. Last Tuesday I got fiber installed, I've got gigabit fiber, gigabit symmetrical here at the house. It's working pretty well, but I have four or five trips over three weeks. So this is my life is that I spend time at home, I finally get the fiber installed and then I move back into living in airports. So super. But it's been good so far.

Travis Carter (00:03:30):
[00:03:30] Congratulations, Travis.

Christopher Mitchell (00:03:32):
You felt like before I was having some issues with my connectivity, so let me know how this is going.

Travis Carter (00:03:37):
You look amazing,

Doug Dawson (00:03:38):
Mr. You actually look and sound good today. I think there's a difference.

Christopher Mitchell (00:03:42):
Yeah. Alright, well maybe it's just sleeping on the red eye from San Francisco.

Doug Dawson (00:03:46):
Oh, I didn't say you look good. I just said

Travis Carter (00:03:50):
Look amazing. So yeah, well done Mr. Mitchell.

Christopher Mitchell (00:03:53):
We are going to spend a lot of time today talking about wireless and 5G and what's happening in the [00:04:00] mobile wireless space with Mike Dano from light Reading. So we're excited about that is a wonderful read. Puts out a lot of well-written stuff in a publication that is not prone to hyperbole. So somewhere you can read different folks for different reasons, but Mike is a good one to get a sense of what's actually happening out there. So welcome to the show, Mike.

Mike Dano (00:04:23):
Hey, well thanks for having me very much. And I actually wanted to do a shout out to Doug Dawson because Doug, I am a [00:04:30] religious reader of your blog. Every day I log onto it, it's great stuff. So if we're trading compliments, I want to send one out your way and I only do it in part to receive a gentler treatment from you all.

Doug Dawson (00:04:45):
Just so you know, I read everything you write as well.

Mike Dano (00:04:48):
Thank you very much.

Christopher Mitchell (00:04:49):
So Mike, we wanted to start by asking you about what's been happening. If I set the stage on that, I would say 20 17, 20 18 [00:05:00] started to hear these ideas percolating around government that 5G was going to change everything. We need to significantly change the regulatory structure. We need to make sure that there was enough spectrum for these big companies because 5G was going to change everything. And there was people like Blair Levin, who I am very fond of, who I think were out there saying, no, this is not going to change very much at all. And there was other people who I think we're pointing out that 5G could [00:05:30] in fact be very impactful, but it would not be in the short term. It would be in a longer term. And so what I would like to ask you is what are some of the things, and we can go into a lot of different things about this, but what are some of the things that we have seen in the past five years that are kind of newer and fresher?

Mike Dano (00:05:49):
Sure. No, and Wright, didn't 5G change the world and usher in the fourth industrial revolution and cure cancer and the dishes? I thought that that had already happened now.

Christopher Mitchell (00:05:59):
Yeah, no, I'm [00:06:00] coming to you from a mobile vehicle which is remotely piloted and surgeons from somewhere in Australia are operating on me as we speak.

Mike Dano (00:06:09):
Yeah, very cool. With

Kim McKinley (00:06:10):
A lemon drop. With a lemon drop of martini too. Exactly.

Mike Dano (00:06:14):
Yeah. Once the 5G gets me some mixed drinks, I'll be happy about it. But no, you're right. There was tons of hype and broadly it did not live up to it. And I mean I think there's a lot of reasons around that. Plenty of stuff to say about it. But I mean [00:06:30] I have a couple of big takeaways now roughly five years in is that the level of hype at the beginning was way too high and early 5G networks were pretty much garbage. But just like all wireless technology, it's gotten better. And even just this year we've actually seen some pretty fairly impressive improvements in nationwide 5G coverage and performance and I expect [00:07:00] that to continue through this year, next year, the years to come, it's just going to get better from here on out. So there was nothing revolutionary that happened, but certainly evolutionarily it's better now.

And so you ask what's new now, what's kind of the new thing that we've seen? I think the one that I would definitely point to is fixed wireless. I think you can kind of argue the long-term viability of fixed wireless, but I think that [00:07:30] you really do have to acknowledge the massive impact that fixed wireless has had on the US market for the past couple of years. I mean fixed wireless has always been out there, but certainly 5G fixed wireless running over 5G specifically has had a major impact on the market this year. So we're not

Christopher Mitchell (00:07:47):
Talking about two guys in a truck using unlicensed, I think you're talking about T-Mobile, Verizon Home Services, is that right?

Mike Dano (00:07:53):
Correct. Yeah, it's the fixed wireless running on the mobile network but being broadcast in a fixed [00:08:00] scenario, and I mean we've seen all the numbers from the past year. It's basically 90 to a hundred percent of all new customers are fixed wireless generally.

Doug Dawson (00:08:11):
Have you gotten any feel for where those customers are coming from? I keep trying to figure that out.

Mike Dano (00:08:16):
Yeah, I mean my understanding of fixed wireless is it's really a neighborhood by neighborhood story. So some neighborhoods have none. Some neighborhoods have lots of fixed wireless customers. It's [00:08:30] all based on where the capacity is in the network. And so the way that I think about it is, so if you have a cell tower, it's pointed at the freeway, that side of the cell tower is completely devoted to mobile. It's mostly serving the people on the freeway. It's making sure that everybody can stream TV in their cars while they hurdle down the freeway at 60 miles an hour. But the other side of that cell tower facing the other direction might be devoted to fixed wireless. And so when you think about it that way, it's really just [00:09:00] where people are, which cell towers have the extra capacity and where those houses are in relation to the cell tower.

Christopher Mitchell (00:09:08):
Now, one of the things that I think is interesting is we're sitting here in 2023, you're saying this is sort of the year of fixed wireless. One of the things that I got from your writings and others I think more on light reading than other places is that the manufacturers of the gear that does this, they were expecting massive orders three, four years ago and I realized [00:09:30] that there was a pandemic, but I don't think that the pandemic disrupted this as much as some other things. I feel like we saw the same thing, which was a bunch of those vendors I think geared up to have those, the three or four top carriers doing big investments in this and then didn't see it. Is that what happened?

Mike Dano (00:09:47):
I mean, yes and no. So I think it depends on whether you thought that it was going to be the world's biggest payout in terms of buying equipment. I don't think it was that, but it is fair to say that [00:10:00] all of the 5G carriers spent huge amounts of money over the past couple of years, but mostly that's on spectrum. They bought a bunch of spectrum so that they wouldn't fall behind. The amount of spectrum that a carrier owns is directly related to how fast their service is and how many customers they can support and what kind of services they can offer. So spectrum is critical. But in terms of overall spending on the network equipment, I think that they did spend heavily initially, [00:10:30] but certainly this year we're seeing the big suppliers like Ericsson in Nokia have said, especially starting this summer, that demand has cratered and they're just not selling the equipment that they expected to.

Even knowing that the spending would start to slow down this year, there was sort of hints about it, but I think the spending slowdown was far more dramatic than anyone expected. And I think that's directly related to the fact that they're just not making as much money as they had hoped about 5G. It is just not [00:11:00] paying off in the way that they had expected. That's not to say they're not making money from it. That's not to say that no one is using it. And that's not to say that it's not enabling new features somewhat, but in terms of the 5G Bonanza has not happened.

Christopher Mitchell (00:11:14):
Well, and this is where, and I want to see if Travis and Kim have any questions, but the observation I'll make is that this is why I thought Blair Levin was so prescient previously, which there's different ways of looking at this in trying to figure out, make a prediction for the future. But from his point of view, he was always asking [00:11:30] where's the additional revenue going to come from? What part of the United States has people that want to spend a lot more on mobile wireless or on the fixed wireless? And I think the sense was that most people would not want to switch to a mobile, sorry, to a fixed wireless package in their homes and that no one wants to pay more per month for their mobile subscriptions. And so there was always too much hype relative to the expectations of revenue.

Doug Dawson (00:12:00):
[00:12:00] And we've seen that in other places. Korea did exactly the same thing and nobody bought it. I mean, they had a complete crater. They thought it was going to just take over the country and no one would pay extra,

Mike Dano (00:12:12):
Right? Yeah. And Verizon tried it. I mean their first 5G offer was $10 extra and they quickly realized that no one was going to stomach that. But what we've seen actually in the past year, which has I think been pretty interesting is so the carriers realized they couldn't charge extra for 5G. [00:12:30] And so instead what they're doing is literally just raising prices on all their services. And so all of the carriers have done that to some degree. Verizon has done it very aggressively and openly. They've just raised prices on existing or legacy service plans. T-Mobile did it a little bit differently. They raised prices on some of the activation fees and other kinds of stuff like that. But by and large, all of the carriers raised prices and fees in some way. And as a result, [00:13:00] their free cash flows are increasing now because they've raised prices. So I guess my point is that they didn't sell anything extra that people wanted to pay for necessarily unless you count fixed wireless. But what they did do is just raise prices and no one freaked out. Everyone said, okay, we'll pay a little bit extra because we really want this service. So I'm not sure that's exactly what they had initially hoped for, but they did get more money from it. It just [00:13:30] didn't offer anything necessarily new to do. So

Christopher Mitchell (00:13:33):
Travis or Kim, any questions before I roll into another one?

Travis Carter (00:13:38):
I want to ask Kim, do you see in your market that the little cell phone in a box guys or making any kind of impact on your fiber network? No. And remember we learned on our last episode, if you do have that little home wireless thing, turn your ceiling fan off. So your web call work, remember we

Kim McKinley (00:13:59):
Still need that [00:14:00] guest on the show. What kind of ceiling fan does that man have that he cuts off his Internet connection?

Travis Carter (00:14:06):
Mike, my buddy has it. So whenever you're on a FaceTime call, he has to turn it off, otherwise we can't talk because the fan is using all the bandwidth. So that's the backstory there.

Christopher Mitchell (00:14:17):
But this gets back to I think Doug's question of sort of like where are the fixed wireless additions coming from? I think we're not seeing enough erosion from the big cable companies that it's necessarily coming from them. Some [00:14:30] of it I think, sorry, just finish off. I got to think some of it is that the fixed wireless is hitting areas in more rural areas where they don't have as high quality of service. So there's some of that. I'm guessing

Doug Dawson (00:14:42):
A lot of it is in the rural, because I've been looking at very detailed, I've been buying very detailed county by county data, and so then I can really see who's doing what. And there's a lot of fixed wireless popping up in the rural areas and those folks have nothing. So this, and it probably makes sense out there, you get a

Christopher Mitchell (00:15:00):
[00:15:00] Fixed wireless from T-Mobile and Verizon and At&t,

Doug Dawson (00:15:03):
So all of a sudden they're delivering, if you live within one or two miles at the cell tower, you're getting between one and 300 megabits after that if the speeds just die. And so there's a lot of rural sales here, but cable companies collectively only added 8,000 customers last quarter. They're feeling something from this, they're losing customers. The trouble is they're not saying neither of these two parties is saying where they're getting the customers from.

Mike Dano (00:15:28):
Yeah. Yeah. It's

Doug Dawson (00:15:29):
Really, [00:15:30] when I look at the speed test, I'm not seeing nearly as many urban ones.

Mike Dano (00:15:34):
I mean, if you're in an urban area, you probably have fiber, right? I have fiber, it's $50 a month. I have no interest in fixed wireless. I don't see the reason to do that. But yeah, if you're in a rural area or I think the other thing is if you don't like your current carrier, and I think that, I mean I specifically moved off my cable company because they randomly added TV to my bill and I thought that was pretty crappy. So I looked for an opportunity [00:16:00] to cancel that service. And I think that that's probably true of a certain percentage. I think there's lots of reasons why they're picking up customers, whether it's people don't like their current provider, people are in rural areas and don't have another option. Maybe you have satellite and that's terrible and now you have fixed wireless. I think there's a lot of reasons and it's a different reason for each location and there's lots of different locations. So I think it's really, that's why I say it's a neighborhood by neighborhood thing. I think it's really a matter of what is happening in that neighborhood. [00:16:30] It could be a lot of different factors, but if you look across the country, they're getting five or 10% eventually, I think in the next year or two, they'll probably have between five and 10% of the broadband market is on 5G fixed wireless.

Christopher Mitchell (00:16:45):
Now, when you said earlier that I think one of the things that took away from your opening comments was that the experience of 5G is improving, I don't know that I've seen that entirely myself, whether it's in sports stadiums where I [00:17:00] feel like there's times where I've had good experiences and times where I've had bad. And I think that's more about good Wi-Fi often than the 5G necessarily. I think we still get lots of reports of people where they're getting a faster speed test on 4G than 5G, but what are you actually seeing as opposed to the anecdotes that I collect?

Mike Dano (00:17:16):
Yeah. And again, that is neighborhood by neighborhood story, but I think if you look at the broad scope, if you look over the last five or 10 years, I think you will see a pretty impressive amount of improvement [00:17:30] over 4G, 5G in general. And I think the real, after having covered the early days of 5G for several years, what I came away with was that it was mostly vaporware up until about the beginning of 2022 of last year, and especially this year. And the reason is is because they tried to do millimeter wave first. So 5G over millimeter wave spectrum only works [00:18:00] in tiny little areas inside of stadiums or in downtown areas, and it does not cover cities. And so for the first couple of years of 5G, there was basically less than 1% of the US population could even access it. And so that was the first version of 5G.

The second version of 5G was over the low band spectrum, which is the same spectrum they used for 4G. And the percent improvement between 4G on low-band spectrum and 5G on low-band spectrum is like 10 [00:18:30] to 15% improvement, which is nothing. You barely even notice that that was the second phase of 5G. First phase was millimeter wave, second phase was low band. Neither one of them made any impact. And only really last year, and especially this year, you're starting to see 5G on the mid band spectrum. And that is the kind of spectrum that really shows a dramatic improvement in speeds and performance. And that's the one where I have done just on my own personal phone, [00:19:00] I've done tests and I'll get 150 megabytes a second on a mid band 5G signal, which is faster than my home Internet, which is, I mean, if you had told me that at the beginning of 4G, hey, in 10 years your phone is going to be faster, your phone connection is going to be faster than your home Internet connection. And I would've said, that's ridiculous. There's no way that's going to happen. And here we are 10 years later and I'm routinely now [00:19:30] getting speeds that are double or even triple the speeds of my home Internet connection, which by the way is only a hundred megabits a second. I see no reason to upgrade it. Everything works fine on a hundred megabits, but to get that much more on my phone is just sort of impressive. But that's specifically due to the mid band spectrum that has only recently become available.

Doug Dawson (00:19:51):
And I have to counter that a little bit because I talk to a lot of wisp guys and they watch wireless more than anybody I know. I mean, that's all they do all day. And they're [00:20:00] all saying just in the last year that the stuff that is being called 5G, yes, it got way faster a year ago and now it's starting to lag already. I think that there's a good reason for that in that quite honestly, they've been too successful. Part of is that they're using that spectrum for the fixed wireless guys, so they're draining their own capacity. And every year total wireless usage on cell phones climbs 20%. I mean, their [00:20:30] big problem is they can't keep up with growth on the wireless networks look out three or four years and they're in trouble again, except that they're going to put out C-band now for another fix. But it's tough to be a wireless engineer because every couple of years demand catches up to capacity. It's

Mike Dano (00:20:46):
A rough world. And if you think about the problem that they're in, which I think fixed wireless really highlights. So let's say you have a really fast 5G network and [00:21:00] you sell smartphones, right? You have mobile services and people pay maybe $60 a month for that, right? Typically they consume 10 gigabytes or 20 gigabytes a month on that smartphone and you get $60 from it per month. That's a pretty good deal. You'd really want more of those. But the problem is now everybody has a phone and they're not going to pay any more, so you're not going to get any more money from that service. Well, now you offer fixed wireless, right? But the problem with fixed wireless is that the usage is 500 gigabytes [00:21:30] a month and how much are you getting per month? Well, you're getting even less. You're only selling it for 30 or $40 a month. So the usage of fixed wireless on the mobile network is 10 times that of a mobile smartphone, but the revenues are actually less than what you would get from a smartphone customer. So the economics are basically awful for fixed wireless in general compared with smartphones. But it's basically the only [00:22:00] thing they have. How else are they going to make extra additional money and gain extra additional customers? There is nothing yet out there.

They're going to all go bankrupt. That's what that means. I don't necessarily believe that. I think that in the future you'll have glasses that connect to 5G, you'll have all sorts of stuff. I do think that that will happen, but it's going to be a while.

Christopher Mitchell (00:22:23):
I'm curious about something that has less to do with 5G and it's more, you mentioned [00:22:30] that they all just raise prices. I've been on Tinging forever. I feel like Ryan Reynolds is trying to undermine the big carriers as much as possible, although T-Mobile is now buying that out, I guess, potentially. But I am just curious as a mobile strategist, what exactly is going on that we still have most people wanting to pay so much when, I mean I travel a lot and I'm putting more and more data across this, but I'm still paying, my wife and I combined our plan. It's like sometimes $60, usually it's like 40 [00:23:00] something on Ting or on a mint or something like that. So why do we see such little uptake of those deals when it's affordable and it seems to be the same network?

Mike Dano (00:23:11):
Yeah, I mean, you're right. It is the same network. That's a good question. I'm not entirely sure. I think I'll speak personally is that so sometimes those prepaid plans don't have international roaming options or the international roaming options are very expensive or they don't offer a hotspot, and I use [00:23:30] hotspot a lot, or the family plans are not great. And you've got a bunch of kids who are using tons of data, I would argue extenuating factors that are pushing some of us into the standard $60 a month, unlimited plans and away from the lower cost plans that don't offer some. I also have two lines. I have my business phone line coming into my phone and my personal phone line, [00:24:00] I pay for that. And in some cases, those types of services are not offered by the Ryan Reynolds of the world. And so in some cases it's pushing people to the more expensive plans, those extra bells and whistles. Maybe you have a watch that you want to connect, for example.

Christopher Mitchell (00:24:18):
Now I just want to, the question we got in the audience there about the tings, the mints, et cetera, cricket I guess are MVNOs mobile virtual network operators. And [00:24:30] I've always wondered this. I've had fantastic reliability for the most part except for where the network has signaled just seems to be low. I've never felt like I was deprioritized on a big cell on a congested cell. So do you have any sense MVNOs a lower priority if there is congestion?

Mike Dano (00:24:47):
They definitely are. Yeah. I mean Verizon at t, they're reserving the premium connections for their premium customers. And you're right, [00:25:00] you're probably not seeing that and you might not even know it if you are seeing it, right? How would you know if you are deprioritized? Unless you're literally standing next to a premium Verizon customer and you're on Charter Spectrum mobile, it's really hard to find out if you're being deprioritized, for example. So if it works for you, great, but if you find that the connection is slow and you're not real happy, then it could be the case that you're being deprioritized. And [00:25:30] the other thing is, Doug, like you mentioned, there's more traffic on the networks. Presumably that concept of deprioritization will become more important is in the future as more traffic goes onto the network, including from fixed wireless.

Doug Dawson (00:25:44):
Well, interestingly, when I look at the speed tests, I will find a home who has getting 300 megabits from T-Mobile. So it's like that's a great connection, and I look at a full 12 months and I'll find three or four times a year where they're getting four. I go, they just got deprioritized. [00:26:00] And they're going, well, what's wrong with my Internet? And you don't see that with the other technologies where it drops so low and then comes back because take five speed tests the same day. It's like they just got nailed.

Mike Dano (00:26:11):
Yeah, the reliability is weird. And the other thing is I'm not necessarily worried about a speed test at home or at a friend's house who also has Wi-Fi when I need it. It's like I'm at a convention and I have a story that I need to file and there is no other connection and I need to do it right now. [00:26:30] And so in that case, there's a lot of traffic at that location anyway, but I want to pay for the better service because in that situation, I really want have it right. I don't want to be deprioritized. I want the premium service that is going to work for me in that super busy convention center.

Doug Dawson (00:26:53):
But you would care a lot if you were buying the fixed wireless of your

Mike Dano (00:26:56):
House. Yes, yes. Fixed wireless is a much different scenario.

Christopher Mitchell (00:26:59):
Well, [00:27:00] and I'll just note that I have said two conflicting things, and one is that I feel like I hadn't been deprioritized. And the other is I have a bad experience in Sports Stadium, so

Mike Dano (00:27:11):
I know's hard to know. Now what would be great is they just not

Doug Dawson (00:27:16):
To mention Chris, that you're on the deprioritize this guy list, just so you know.

Mike Dano (00:27:22):
Right. I've written enough about Verizon that I'm sure I'm being deprioritized. Not that I subscribe to them, but yeah, if [00:27:30] they could, they would. But I mean, wouldn't it be great if you had a bad connection at that sports stadium and it just said, Hey, improve your connection for $1? I would like that. I don't know why they don't offer it.

Christopher Mitchell (00:27:44):
Sure. So I'm curious, something that Doug has said before, which is something we hadn't gotten deeply into, but we're not seeing a lot of new rural towers being built for better wireless as we're waiting for the mobility fund to be [00:28:00] available and start subsidizing those. And I was just curious to what extent we do see private investment that is not government subsidized in expanding rural cells. What is the role of the federal government in actually expanding rural towers and things like that? And from your facial expression, I'm guessing you may not have a great answer on that.

Mike Dano (00:28:22):
I dunno. If I were in a rural area waiting for a cell tower, I don't think I'd hold my breath. I think that that [00:28:30] is a rough business model for a couple of reasons. I mean, one is that very few carriers are investing in their networks even in urban areas where they make a lot of money. So if they're not doing it there, why would they do it in a rural area where they make much less money? The other problem is that building a cell tower in a rural area is often more expensive than building it in an urban area according to what the carriers say. And then, yeah, so you'd make less money on it, costs more. [00:29:00] I'm not sure why you would build it. The other thing is a lot of the carriers that are serving those areas the way that there used to be a lot more wireless network operators in rural areas, and what has increasingly been happening is that those companies are either selling or it's gotten so bad that they're literally just shutting down their network because it costs too much to run.

And they're not even selling their towers or customers, they're just selling their spectrum, meaning that there's so little demand for that rural network [00:29:30] that they can't even sell their customers, that they're just giving up and shutting everything down and just walking away because you can't make money in rural areas. So I think that 5G fund, it might make a dent. I hope it does. I think that offering 5G in rural areas is probably one of the hardest telecom business models. There is. And here's the other thing too is that you guys are probably aware of the whole 5G from space [00:30:00] thing that they're doing, which is, it's called direct to device or supplemental coverage from space. SpaceX is doing it, a couple other companies are. And basically it's literally just connecting your cell phone to a satellite in a rural area where you don't have a cell tower or a signal.

So that technology does work. There are a number of companies that are going to offer it in the next few years. So if you had that opportunity, now the [00:30:30] speeds are very slow. It's not like you're going to offer Netflix over that connection, but you'll probably be able to text, able to make a phone call depending. So if you knew that that technology was coming to cover those rural areas, would you invest in a cell tower in a rural area now or would you just wait a couple of years knowing that there's going to be a satellite to do that anyway?

Christopher Mitchell (00:30:48):
Yeah, I mean, this is one of those things that I feel like people don't always appreciate is that even if you only take 10 to 20% of the market, that's enough to kill the economics for someone that might be providing a better service in [00:31:00] the area based. Now I'm

Doug Dawson (00:31:03):
Curious, but the math is, I mean, there's broadband out of cell towers only two to three miles and voices is about six. In any rural area, that's not very many people. Even if you got 'em all, it's not very many people.

Christopher Mitchell (00:31:17):
So I'm curious about something that gets into questions we've had in the chat. And I remember a conversation I had with Tim NoLTE 10 years ago when he started building out. They're in the midst of building out EC fiber in Vermont. [00:31:30] Anyone who knows anything about wireless in Vermont, nobody likes towers. Everyone wants better wireless service. It's a big conundrum. But at that time when they were running fire up and down the roads, Tim expected a future in which they would be putting femto or pico cells just up on top of the poles that they had and that they would be offering some kind of mobile solution there. I don't hear anyone doing that. I don't know what the feasibility of it is. Is that something that is possible? [00:32:00] What's going on there?

Mike Dano (00:32:02):
I mean, yeah, installing those networks is expensive. So the economics are hard. And especially right now you've seen the stock prices of at and t and Verizon just plummeting. They're trying to cut expenses, cut jobs, cut spending on their networks in order to have a good story for Wall Street that they've got free cash flow. So really there's just [00:32:30] not a lot of motivation to invest in any kind of network that's not in a sports stadium where you get that obvious benefit for a relatively low investment covering those rural areas. It's just the economics were hard a couple of years ago, and I think the economics are even harder today, and I think it really depends on where that is. [00:33:00] But yeah, I mean, I'm here in Colorado and they put in cell coverage up in Clear Creek Canyon. They did it from that. They routed fiber under the ground and every couple miles they've got a little tower, a little small tower. And having coverage in that canyon is awesome. It is great to have coverage there, and I'm so happy they did that. But the expense is probably significant, and I doubt that they're going to do that everywhere.

Christopher Mitchell (00:33:27):
I was just watching them build that in outside Rocky Mountain National [00:33:30] Park three foreign weeks ago where I saw the towers were up. They were still open a little bit, but they were small cell right along the road and they were 20 feet off the ground at most 15 feet off the ground. It was really cool. Kim,

Kim McKinley (00:33:45):
So you're in a national park, Christopher?

Christopher Mitchell (00:33:48):
No, I'm on the road leading to a national park.

Kim McKinley (00:33:49):
Oh, okay. I was like, that's not what I usually look at when I'm in a beautiful area of, look at that beautiful cell tower over there. Isn't it magnificent? I was just,

Christopher Mitchell (00:34:00):
[00:34:00] No, it was so park and they were, I mean, they're not attractive, but it's like you're on a road, it's like it's beautiful around you, but unless, I mean the rules, the view is already spoiled by the road. So throwing some towers alongside of it that are like 20 feet tall, it's not that, it's not a significant additional intrusion, I don't think, Travis.

Travis Carter (00:34:19):
Well, if you break down, you'll be happy that tower's there. So

Doug Dawson (00:34:24):
I've spent the last 50 years as I drive looking up at Paul's, my life hates me.

Kim McKinley (00:34:30):
[00:34:30] And look how cool we're, and look how cool.

Christopher Mitchell (00:34:34):
Yeah, I don't know how much, but this is a very common thing. Take a picture of this, take a picture of the quick hearing.

Doug Dawson (00:34:41):
But to answer your question, those boxes on those little towers are not cheap. They thought the price would come down and they'd be reasonable. They're still using, they're building a couple hundred thousand small cell sites a year, but they're going in very, very congested downtown stadiums and an awful lot of them are going on top of business buildings and they beam it down inside the business building [00:35:00] so they're not putting 'em on streets. That was the big promise. It's just not happening.

Christopher Mitchell (00:35:05):
And I think Ezra's asking a question that is similar to what I was asking, which is a little bit different, which is that would cities, if they were trying to do this, would there be a partnership? And my impression is that big companies just, they don't want to make little tiny partnerships like this. Maybe it would be with a Crown Castle or someone like that that might be there, but I just feel like it's one of [00:35:30] those things where I feel like if we ignore the transaction costs, it would be great, but there's just enough problems of making those arrangements that it doesn't happen. That's my impression.

Doug Dawson (00:35:38):
I've looked at MVO business plans and you just can't make money out of, as a little guy if you do it, if you want to somehow increase your stickiness of customers, but you don't make a penny on him as a little guy.

Christopher Mitchell (00:35:52):
So then the other question I had, let me see. Oh, the question about the overall, [00:36:00] I listen to the Verge with Neli Patel and every now and then he just goes off about the fiction that is Dish as the fourth network and how Dish is just blatantly lying and it's hilarious. And then I read some of the Wall Street analysts and they treat it like it's a real thing and that they're more or less meeting their obligations. And I was just curious if you can give us a better sense for people who aren't familiar, the federal government allowed Sprint to be bought by T-Mobile in part because Dish was going to provide a fourth market [00:36:30] option. And depending on who you ask, either they're on their way or it is never going to happen. And everyone that should have been obvious to everyone,

Mike Dano (00:36:38):
Oh boy, dish Network, dish 5G, sit back and relax. I could go on and on about Dish. And here's my big takeaway is that, so I cover the industry not to figure out or not to invest in the winners and take money away from the losers. I am only in it for a good story. [00:37:00] That's what I like. I like a very interesting, compelling story. And Dish is the most interesting and the most compelling story in the industry because you're right, you could say that they're failing and they're a disaster or you could cup half full. They did build a network and they are offering services and it really depends on how you look at them. And I think, again, I'm looking at it from the angle of a story, and it's a great story. It is an underdog story. If [00:37:30] Dish is one thing, they are an underdog. And so

Christopher Mitchell (00:37:33):
You're saying that the final chapter hasn't been written. That's what I'm, the final

Mike Dano (00:37:36):
Chapter has not been written. But boy, they are teetering more closer and closer to bankruptcy than I think that they would like. They'd like to have. They'd like to show some wins and every quarter you kind of hope for them, the underdog and Come on guys, you can pull out some get it. Some more customers find some growth, and every quarter it's just another disaster. So I mean, we'll see if they are successful, [00:38:00] but the takeaway is that they did build a network. That network does work. They have a lot of really dedicated smart people working on this, and they built a 5G network that covers 240 million people for 6 billion total, which is about the amount of money that Verizon spends per quarter almost. So if you look at it from that perspective, pretty impressive. [00:38:30] They cover a lot of people and for spending a fraction of what the big guys are spending. The problem is that they have hardly anyone using that network. It's very unclear whether that network actually works well and they are losing just thousands of customers every month. So it's not looking great, but it is a very interesting story.

Christopher Mitchell (00:39:00):
[00:39:00] Doug, is there anything you wanted to add on to that?

Doug Dawson (00:39:02):
No, it's the biggest head scratcher I've ever seen. Now they made some early bad technology choices, and so it took 'em longer to roll out there because they went with Open ran and it wasn't ready. But yeah, I've only talked to three or three actual customers and they said that it's not good. So the few little people I've talked to had problems with it, and that's never good. There's no reason that they're [00:39:30] not spending any money on ads. If you ever seen a dish ad, I've not.

Mike Dano (00:39:34):
Yeah, I mean they really, it's pretty crazy. But they kind of just got started, honestly, just when the new iPhone came out, they have a specific plan for that iPhone. It's a pretty good deal, honestly, you get a brand new iPhone for no trade, you don't have to trade in your current phone to get that new iPhone. You just get a free iPhone and then start paying your monthly bill. So it's actually quite aggressive if you look at it [00:40:00] from that perspective. And that just started about two months ago. So really from my viewpoint, they've been building for the past two to three years. And only in the past couple months have we actually seen them offer something that is a real competitive offer that is worth somebody considering it

Christopher Mitchell (00:40:23):
So exposing.

Doug Dawson (00:40:24):
I haven't looked, but aren't they going for like 40 a month instead of 60? I haven't seen their

Mike Dano (00:40:27):
Logo. So their offer is $60 a month, [00:40:30] but you get a phone without a trade-in and right away.

Christopher Mitchell (00:40:36):
But it's an iPhone. Yeah,

Mike Dano (00:40:37):
It's a brand new iPhone. And then you start,

Christopher Mitchell (00:40:44):
I'm curious, exposing my ignorance. So I'm on Ting Wireless, that was bought by Dish, right? Does that mean I'm on the Dish Network or not? No, it's not separate.

Mike Dano (00:40:54):
No, you're on somebody else's network. They're starting to load people onto their network. They use at t and T-Mobile [00:41:00] networks.

Kim McKinley (00:41:01):
And Mike, you don't know this about Chris and it doesn't shock any of us, but he's a green texter, so that means he's an Android guy. So he wouldn't even get the free iPhone if he went over to the Dish network.

Travis Carter (00:41:12):
It's a sad day. No, no. He has his Windows phone.

Christopher Mitchell (00:41:17):
I have the Google phone and I love it. I have the Pixel seven. I will show you some of my photos. I took playing pool in a lovely lit environment.

Travis Carter (00:41:27):
We not do a group chat with Mr. Mitchell because he's a green texter.

Mike Dano (00:41:30):
[00:41:30] I'd love to see your pictures, but I don't think it'll send it to me.

Christopher Mitchell (00:41:39):
The last question I had was where are we going next? What's actually on the horizon?

Mike Dano (00:41:44):
Yeah, I mean, nothing that's outstanding. It's sort of the same old, same old, maybe a dish bankruptcy, maybe a dish sale to Comcast. We'll see. So you'll see, [00:42:00] I think fixed wireless will continue to do well through 2024, and then it'll start to peter off once the network capacity gets full. And then I think is, there's a couple of things that I think that are interesting but not material in any way. So there was a thing that they announced just about a month ago. It's a little pin that you wear on, it looks like the Star Trek communicator. I don't know if you remember the

Christopher Mitchell (00:42:26):
Pendant. Right. And it's from some of the Apple folks. I think

Mike Dano (00:42:28):
It's really kind of neat [00:42:30] because it's got a camera that looks out and then it has AI that you talk to, and then it has you hold your hand in front of it and it broadcasts the screen onto the palm of your hand so that you can see it that way. So it's not a phone at all, but it does a lot of phone stuff. And anyway, it's just like I've never seen anything. It really cool works on the T-Mobile network, definitely a 5G application. It's that kind of stuff that I think is, I don't know [00:43:00] the demand for it, but when the iPhone first came out almost 20 years ago, 15 years ago, I wasn't interested in that. I didn't think that that was very cool. And here we are 15 years later and I'm completely wrong. So I mean, I'm interested in that and I think that there'll be additional devices like that. I don't know if you've been in a Tesla lately, but man, it does all kinds of stuff. You watch movies and a lot of that stuff is connected. So I think it's going [00:43:30] to be little bits here and there. And then maybe we'll get the glasses that are connected to 5G that are totally augmented reality type stuff, but nothing in the near term.

Christopher Mitchell (00:43:45):
Travis, how was your range anxiety lately? Are you tesling or not anymore?

Travis Carter (00:43:50):
Well, I bought a Hummer ev, the new GMC big truck. And so I'm back on battery now driving around. The Tesla is parked, and now [00:44:00] I'm driving a GM attempt at an ev. Let's just say Tesla's got it figured out. Let's just put it that way.

Christopher Mitchell (00:44:09):
I've driven that Hummer in Forza Horizon five and had good acceleration.

Travis Carter (00:44:14):
Well, can I ask the question that everyone wants to know since we have Mike here today, how do you feel about 13 G? We're worried about that. Yeah,

Mike Dano (00:44:29):
It's going to blow your socks off.

Travis Carter (00:44:29):
Yeah, [00:44:30] see, I knew it. I knew it. I knew

Mike Dano (00:44:32):
Totally amazing. It'll wash the dishes, I think. Yeah. Yeah. I mean they talk about six G and it's vaporware. No one knows what it's going to do. The one thing that I think is cool though is that one of the things they're talking about is it's going to sense, it's, it's going to have physical sensing, so it will know where you are in a room. It will know all the objects in the room. It'll be able to create that room in a 3D environment. I don't know. The sensing part is very interesting [00:45:00] and I don't know what they're going to do about it, but that's kind of a new thing that

Doug Dawson (00:45:06):
Well, that allows for cellular company to really smile on you.

Mike Dano (00:45:09):
Oh, yeah. Yeah. It'll know exactly what you do.

Doug Dawson (00:45:14):
Exactly. Be careful at which hand you use to do it.

Travis Carter (00:45:19):
I do want to spread some good news about 5G though. Now, if any of you out there that are building a network, you will not get just harassed by your senior lenders [00:45:30] and your banks about is 5G going to take over the world anymore? So at least we're through that era now. That's kind of done.

Doug Dawson (00:45:40):
Yeah, it's a small victories. It's a small Victor victory. We're losing the six G War to the Chinese. I read that the other day. They were serious about it.

Travis Carter (00:45:51):
I didn't know there. I didn't even know there was a war going on in six G Now. Okay, another

Doug Dawson (00:45:56):
There is,

Kim McKinley (00:45:57):
Doug, you're not supposed to believe everything you read on the Internet. [00:46:00] I'm just

Doug Dawson (00:46:01):
Oh, I'm just saying

Kim McKinley (00:46:02):

Doug Dawson (00:46:02):
Of, I didn't believe it. They believed it. It's like, are you kidding me?

Kim McKinley (00:46:06):
And I need to know when 13 G comes out to, can it change the color of my glasses depending on what I'm wearing?

Doug Dawson (00:46:12):
You can change the color of your eyes.

Travis Carter (00:46:14):
Everything it can do.

Christopher Mitchell (00:46:16):
Yeah, I'll recommend ALTEred Carbon. For people who haven't seen that, the book is wonderful. The series on Netflix is terrific, but I think that is the 13 G. I don't think that's six G.

Travis Carter (00:46:28):
Okay. Yeah. [00:46:30] Just commenting on these networks, which is interesting, Mike, what I've seen here, at least in the Twin Cities in Minneapolis, is the 5G fixed wireless networks are okay for a certain segment of the population as long as there's a decent fiber provider, decent cable provider in the town where we've seen issues is these cell towers get so oversaturated so quickly that if it's all you have, yeah, if you're the first person on, it's [00:47:00] amazing. But by the 10th person, I don't know if you're watching much Netflix at night anymore, everyone. So

Mike Dano (00:47:07):
Yeah, actually a big part of that I think is that if you have an older phone, the older phone won't have the new spectrum bands that they're deploying. And the new spectrum bands is where all the capacity is, or most likely used spectrum bands. And so if you have an older phone, you're competing with everybody else. And so it's good to get a new [00:47:30] phone that does all the new spectrum bands that may not be overloaded.

Travis Carter (00:47:33):
Do you have a sense of how many megahertz each of these providers has out there in production?

Mike Dano (00:47:40):
I do. I mean, I don't track it directly, but the best chart that I've seen is from the analysts at Raymond James, and they said that under six gigahertz, T-Mobile has 350 megahertz, and at t Verizon have about 300 megahertz. [00:48:00] And Dish is somewhere around 200, 1 50 megahertz under six gigahertz.

Travis Carter (00:48:06):
So Doug, you've run a wireless company before. You can just simply do the math and you can determine how much bandwidth that is. Yeah, it's not a lot, but

Christopher Mitchell (00:48:14):
I think

Travis Carter (00:48:14):
That's where it's not a lot when you look at an urban area. Yeah, yeah, correct.

Christopher Mitchell (00:48:18):
But that's where the small cells really matter. I got to think. I mean, there's a world in which if we ignore reality, this is a weird way to start into something.

Travis Carter (00:48:28):
That would be the show, isn't it?

Christopher Mitchell (00:48:30):
[00:48:30] What I'm saying is that if you have 200 megahertz, you could actually kick the butt of someone with 300 if you have a ton more local towers ultimately.

Travis Carter (00:48:39):
Yeah. And I

Kim McKinley (00:48:40):
Have the serious question on this, guys. You're interrupting my very serious question I

Christopher Mitchell (00:48:45):
Have. Here it comes.

Kim McKinley (00:48:47):
Okay, you ready? You ready for this? So is this where the chill part came into Netflix and chill when you couldn't get onto the Netflix with your connection?

Travis Carter (00:48:56):
Exactly. Yeah.

Kim McKinley (00:48:58):
I was wondering. Interesting.

Travis Carter (00:49:00):
[00:49:00] So if you're actively dating, get 5G because you can.

Christopher Mitchell (00:49:06):
Yeah, that's great. Hey, while it's

Travis Carter (00:49:07):

Kim McKinley (00:49:12):
I just had a question. Thank you for answering it.

Christopher Mitchell (00:49:15):
Well, related to all of that, I do want to ask you, Mike, is there a future with the spectrum that's available and likely to be forecast to be available where the mobile, I'm sorry, the fixed wireless [00:49:30] on the mobile networks could actually serve a majority of people in the city? My sense is there is no world where that's possible. It's kind of like Travis says about Comcast. Every time he takes a customer off the Comcast node in the neighborhood, Comcast service gets better. The mobile fixed wireless is only going to work as well as most people are not using it, I'm assuming.

Mike Dano (00:49:52):
Yeah, that's good. That's a good way to look at it. It's best if unused. Yeah, I think if everyone's Netflix and chilling on fixed wireless, [00:50:00] yeah, it's not going to be great. But yeah. Yeah, overall capacity,

Kim McKinley (00:50:04):
The population goes up though the population goes up,

Travis Carter (00:50:07):

Mike Dano (00:50:08):
More population. Yeah. But yeah, the overall wireless capacity is a fraction of overall wired capacity. But there's things that you can do on wireless to increase capacity. Obviously you can add more spectrum, that's what [00:50:30] they like to do. But you can also split cells, like you said, the small cells help. And then you can also use additional unlicensed spectrum. So I think that there is a potential for if they really want to double down on fixed wireless, there is a potential for them to use the six gigahertz band as a capacity

Travis Carter (00:50:52):
Band. Which band was that? The unlicensed. Here we go. What was that? When did that happen, Mike?

Mike Dano (00:50:59):
The [00:51:00] six gigahertz?

Travis Carter (00:51:00):
Yeah. Was that any administration that came out in,

Mike Dano (00:51:06):
I see this as a loaded question.

Travis Carter (00:51:08):
I was curious if that's a new available thing and that's like a thousand megahertz, isn't

Mike Dano (00:51:13):
It? It's like a thousand megahertz. It's

Travis Carter (00:51:15):
Ingenious whoever did that.

Christopher Mitchell (00:51:17):
The part of me that loves this is that it is just that Travis imagines that I think nothing good happened during the PI administration, but I've said before, and though PI did it in ways that really I think were harmful in [00:51:30] some ways to tribes, the tribal priority window at 2.5 gigahertz is huge for tribes and others were not willing to do that. So I will give commissioner chairman Pi his due for getting some decisions. Very right,

Travis Carter (00:51:44):
The most significant FCC decision in our lifetime. Not

Christopher Mitchell (00:51:48):
Even true Carter phone, man. Well, were you alive for Carter phone? Maybe not Travis. How old that

Travis Carter (00:51:52):
In the Woodrow Wilson administration?

Christopher Mitchell (00:51:56):
So I mean, if we go with Doug's lifetime, it's a much wider

Travis Carter (00:52:00):
[00:52:00] Selection. Mike, if you ever argue with question, I do want to let you know that I'd missed the telecom act of 34 hours. Yes.

Christopher Mitchell (00:52:10):
Alright. So Mike, if you want to stick around, we've got 10 minutes left and we're going to talk briefly about whether or not it is better to have Internet access or not. But if you want to take golf also, you should feel free,

Mike Dano (00:52:22):
Right? Yeah. Unfortunately I do have to go. But thank you so much for having me today. I really appreciate it.

Travis Carter (00:52:27):
Thanks Mike. You Thanks Mike. Awesome.

Christopher Mitchell (00:52:30):
[00:52:30] That was wonderful.

Mike Dano (00:52:31):
Take care.

Travis Carter (00:52:32):
Thanks so much. See you.

Christopher Mitchell (00:52:34):
So I saw something that it happened at a time in which I was very vulnerable to it because you're scrolling through Instagram as you're waiting three hours for a flight. And one of the comics that it popped up for me on the reels was talking about how Gen Z and millennials are going back and forth about who has it worse and it's so hard and they're [00:53:00] inheriting a despoiled planet where nothing works and this and that. And I was just super, super angry. And then I saw an article in The Atlantic about how it's really great to not have the Internet in a house, and I was just livid. And so I just wanted to share for a minute that everyone who thinks that we are living in a spoiled wasteland or about to go into it, should read a biography of someone who was born in the 18 hundreds and get a sense of what life was like then. And I will unequivocally say [00:53:30] that it is better to have Internet access in your home and then as a privilege, you could turn it off if you want to, but this is ridiculous. Anyone else want to want to get off my lawn with?

Kim McKinley (00:53:40):
You used to think this, Chris. These people didn't know the world before the Internet, so they didn't know what didn't exist. So for me, I work in this industry, but I'm a little bit of a hippie and I only have one tv, one computer. I don't have a lot of gadgets in my house. I have a lot of other things connected, smart home stuff. [00:54:00] But they don't understand that just because you can have minimal devices doesn't mean you want no devices. Like I said before, the show, who the heck wants to start breaking out their encyclopedias to find out what something means? And how often do you update? Did your parents update your encyclopedia set? I think mine was 10 plus years old when we had it, and half the crap you couldn't even find in there or where to look for it. So there's some benefits. I think the younger generation just doesn't [00:54:30] even understand what they don't understand.

Doug Dawson (00:54:32):
Well, and they're missing the big picture because every business you buy from, every government you work with, they're all massively using the Internet. And things wouldn't show up in your grocery store and there wouldn't be things for you to buy outside your home. Businesses have gone purely online. I mean, it's

Christopher Mitchell (00:54:50):
Amazing for inventory management and things

Doug Dawson (00:54:52):
Like for everything, for timekeeping, for accounting, you name it, they do everything online nowadays. It's like, and do they have a job outside the house? [00:55:00] The company has certainly gone online unless they're a hiking guide and even that's online to find clients. So it is a privilege to be able to turn it off at your home. And I don't even know if I could do that anymore, but it would be an interesting day.

Christopher Mitchell (00:55:17):
So we've gone through situations where I haven't had it. I place

Doug Dawson (00:55:21):
Places it, I've traveled

Christopher Mitchell (00:55:22):
Places without. This week I was struggling and it was very slow and it was a number of things were, oh, just quick. I'll just quit. No, I felt like [00:55:30] my hand was gone. Travis,

Travis Carter (00:55:33):
I can't even believe we're having this conversation. So are you saying no Internet?

Christopher Mitchell (00:55:38):

Travis Carter (00:55:39):
Yeah. Well, we grew up with no Internet and we didn't know what we didn't know. But I'm going to tell all you young kids out there, it's way better now. Yeah. I don't think a lot of these kids have seen a flashing 12 on their VCR and

Kim McKinley (00:55:56):
I was the remote control back in the day. This is a different [00:56:00] kind of different

Travis Carter (00:56:02):
Watching commercials. Remember when you had to like, oh, it's seven o'clock my show's on.

Christopher Mitchell (00:56:08):
But even beyond that, I mean, so that's the way it touches us directly. But if we go down the thread that Doug was polling, you look at the medical innovations that have come because of clinics and researchers all being able to share information and now with ai, and granted, we could spend a whole show talking about fears we have about how this could be used in ways that are profoundly antisocial [00:56:30] and destructive. But as of right now, almost every researcher in every field can talk in real time with any other colleague around the world and almost any language. And if that's not true this month, it will be true in six months. And it is truly remarkable and I think some of the progress that will come about it is wonderful. But for me, one of the moments just came, and this is just so frustrating, I hear people talk about how hard they have it.

Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, different Norris, George Norris [00:57:00] populist in a great way who helped make a number of the policies that allowed us to electrify the entire country. Among other things, he lost multiple children early on in their lives. He lost his wife who is pregnant when their carriage went on too fast of a bumpy ride in the early 19 hundreds I think it was, and they had to move on. I think he spent three weeks near death because of a dental extraction that was not [00:57:30] working out well. And I have no patience for people who are going to be all like things aren't perfect.

Kim McKinley (00:57:36):
Okay, first of all, let's end the show on a positive note. Thanks Chris, with the death and stories. Second of all, are we going to all start talking about how we walk to school for five miles uphill both ways?

Christopher Mitchell (00:57:51):
I'm deliberately picking a time before any of us were born. And I mean it gets worse if you go back further.

Travis Carter (00:57:57):
We are officially those people, these [00:58:00] darn kids and their rock and roll music and all their fancy gadgets and their TikTok. Yeah. They don't know how good they have it.

Doug Dawson (00:58:07):
My first year of college is the year that calculators came out. I mean the little,

Travis Carter (00:58:14):
And I remember the math teacher saying, you can't rely on a calculator. You'll never have access to one. Right, right.

Christopher Mitchell (00:58:21):
So the other thing I wanted to note, and this sets the stage I think for expectations. Our next show could very well be about what we think is [00:58:30] going to happen in 2024, but I just happened to see this summary from the invaluable Keller Heckman daily, let's call it thrice weekly broadband list. Wrapping up stories, and I'm just going to read directly from the quote, California's federal funding account received 484 applications requesting 4.6 billion. That is more than double the 2 billion that was budgeted for the program. If you go to Wisconsin, 124 applications [00:59:00] requesting 221 million from the state's broadband infrastructure grant program that has 42 million available. So 42 million is available from a capital projects fund, and it got five times the number of requests. And so as we are talking about our frustrations and the challenges of this, I think I would just put a stake in the ground that we are better off that we have these programs available.

And I think that in nearly every state, and I might even [00:59:30] say every state, we will see more money applied for than is available from these bead programs. And so as Travis says, he doesn't know who's going to go for this money, someone's going for the money, people are going for it, and it's resulting in real investment in rural areas. It might not be perfect as if we were the four people who are the kings of the land and the kings and queen of the land, but we're better off than we were when government was talking about maybe spending money on infrastructure and never actually doing it. So any thoughts on that?

Doug Dawson (01:00:00):
[01:00:00] We like your speeches.

Travis Carter (01:00:07):
Well, I would love to see the list. Yep.

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:12):

Travis Carter (01:00:12):
Because I'd love for Doug to walk through the economics of it because I'm hearing it's just ridiculous how this isn't a dollar for dollar grant.

Doug Dawson (01:00:21):
I don't think you're going to be able to make money on people are going for the state grants. They don't want to fight the bead rules, so they're all flocking into those state grants.

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:29):
I was curious, [01:00:30] so these grants that I just listed off are other funds that were available through the federal

Travis Carter (01:00:34):

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:35):
Prior to the bead program. Now they do have substantial reporting requirements and things like that. They're not as onerous.

Doug Dawson (01:00:43):
California does. Most of 'em are not as bad. California is, but yes. Okay.

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:47):
California is also giving you a hundred percent of the money. And so yes,

Doug Dawson (01:00:50):

Travis Carter (01:00:51):
What're clear. Christian, what you just said was not bead.

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:54):
That is not yet bead. Bead is not yet available.

Travis Carter (01:00:56):
Okay, got it. Got it.

Christopher Mitchell (01:00:58):
This just made me think about [01:01:00] a prediction. And so Travis, would you be so bold to suggest there will be multiple states in which the state does not get in, which there will be more money available than there are requests for money available. Do you think that will happen

Travis Carter (01:01:12):
With bead?

Christopher Mitchell (01:01:13):

Travis Carter (01:01:14):
No. No. I think the incumbents will soak up all the dollars in each of the states. It's

Doug Dawson (01:01:21):
Just my, I think there'll be a half dozen where they get everybody served. That's about, there's some that got a pretty good amount of bead, but most will not make it.

Christopher Mitchell (01:01:28):
But Doug, would you say, or [01:01:30] Kim, I'm curious, would you say that you would think that there will be one or more states in which there are areas that no one goes after funds for and the state has money under bead for rural areas and nobody pursues that money?

Kim McKinley (01:01:46):
Absolutely. I think there's going to be areas like that because there's only little pockets that would qualify. So if there's only a little pocket of 10 homes or whatnot and there's nobody there and there's not enough money or whatnot or resources [01:02:00] or do they have anybody to maintain the network down there? Absolutely think there's going to be areas that nobody goes after.

Doug Dawson (01:02:05):
Hey, the state of Georgia bead rules that you have to file for whole county, they may have no one apply for bead there, including Comcast and At&tt. How

Kim McKinley (01:02:13):
Much did Georgia get?

Doug Dawson (01:02:16):
About a billion. They all get about a billion, which

Christopher Mitchell (01:02:19):
Is the more blue they were, the more they got more blue, the more purple. Sorry, ruined that joke. It did seem like states that were more up for grabs [01:02:30] in the elections got more money than was forecast. So on Travis,

Travis Carter (01:02:34):
Did Rhode Island get virtually the same amount of money as

Doug Dawson (01:02:37):
Everybody gets a hundred million?

Christopher Mitchell (01:02:39):
Rhode Island got a hundred million in change. I think New Jersey is similar.

Travis Carter (01:02:43):

Kim McKinley (01:02:44):
I don't remember what it was, but it's like Missouri got 1.6 billion, but Kansas right next to it got 400 or 500 million or something remarkably less for the land size and Utah got 300 plus million. It's a very just interesting [01:03:00] how they split the money up.

Doug Dawson (01:03:01):
It's only got 300 million because you built all this stuff.

Kim McKinley (01:03:06):
We know. We know we're kind of a big deal, Doug. I mean

Christopher Mitchell (01:03:08):
If you look at the maps west of the Missouri, so west of the Mississippi and certainly west of the Missouri, we see fewer people. And so I suspect, and I'd have to look at this to be sure, I suspect that Missouri has a significantly higher number of people who need service than are in Kansas. They do. They

Doug Dawson (01:03:24):
Do. Yep.

Christopher Mitchell (01:03:26):
So I am in Maine next week. [01:03:30] Ruen just asked about it and oh, he says he won't be able to make it, but I'm going up there on Wednesday for an event on Thursday next week in Bangor. So for our main folks or anyone in New England, we'll be wonderful to see any of you there. We're going to be doing a broadband for beginners type workshop. So aside from that, I think we're about wrapped up for the day. Hold

Travis Carter (01:03:56):
On. Do we want to answer our picture we got or not?

Christopher Mitchell (01:03:59):
I was going [01:04:00] to do that for the

Doug Dawson (01:04:00):
Next, do we have a show before Christmas?

Christopher Mitchell (01:04:03):
Yes, I'm going to work with you all on getting a show before Christmas. I am in two weeks. I am at the Stag Bowl. I'm taking photos of the Division three National Football Championship. So have to try and

Kim McKinley (01:04:15):
Find that on your phone.

Christopher Mitchell (01:04:16):
Yeah, I'm going to be using my phone. I'm going to only share it with non iPhone people.

Travis Carter (01:04:24):
The other one,

Christopher Mitchell (01:04:26):
I don't know if the workshop will be recorded in Maine, but we will be finding a date [01:04:30] to do a show. We'll probably talk a little bit about what has gone on and what we forecast for the next year. Ry, do you want to pop this up? Let's talk about it quick. Travis, did you look into it? Yeah,

Travis Carter (01:04:39):
Yeah, yeah. Okay,

Christopher Mitchell (01:04:39):
Let's respect that and get it.

Travis Carter (01:04:40):
It's pretty quick. So this was somebody asking that they had a thousand feet of this fiber cable. So I looked it up. It's a 12 strand armored fiber cable. So a thousand feet of that. If you were buying at retail's, probably $1,500 wholesale. [01:05:00] It's probably a hundred bucks if you could find someone to buy it. The problem with 12 strand at least, I don't know about you Kim, but in most networks I've seen you wouldn't even deploy it. It's too low of an account anymore.

Christopher Mitchell (01:05:11):
So if Ryan, if you want to follow up with that person, if they are still looking for it, we're about to build a loop probably. And we were looking to possibly do 72 count fiber, but a Rantin town ranch for a tribal broadband bootcamps. We're planning [01:05:30] on doing a little bit more in depth stuff and we were looking for some low cost bulk fiber. So Travis, you and I can talk about this, but I don't know if anyone else here has tail ends or things like that that they would like to contribute to a tribal broadband bootcamp. We're going to be building a ring around 35 acres as part of a teaching tool for different groups that come through.

Travis Carter (01:05:52):
There you go. Yeah, real ends would work.

Christopher Mitchell (01:05:57):

Travis Carter (01:05:58):
Alright, well done. Nice show guys. [01:06:00] Nice show.

Christopher Mitchell (01:06:01):
Wonderful to be with you all. Thank you so much, Kim. What's up? You just unmuted. I saw.

Kim McKinley (01:06:07):
I was just going to say bye.

Christopher Mitchell (01:06:08):
Just being ready. Oh, being ready. I think probably about, did your eyes just change color?

Kim McKinley (01:06:17):
It was a 13 G, it was a 13

Christopher Mitchell (01:06:19):
GI think we'll probably get back together in 18 or 19 days. And Travis, I dunno if you said anything else. Did I glitch any other time?

Travis Carter (01:06:29):
No, just once [01:06:30] for me. But just once. I do want to let you know Adam's family is repaired, so you are welcome to come back over and put the high score back on it again.

Christopher Mitchell (01:06:38):
Awesome. Alright. Alright, well I'll be see you in about an hour. Hi everyone. It's been fun to chat with you. Definitely a huge thanks to Mike Dano for joining us and we will be back in 18 or 19 days probably. Take care.