Tag: "mapping"

Posted January 18, 2023 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the show, the staff get together to bend their collective imagination to what we expect to see as the biggest news stories of 2023. Returning to join Christopher are Sean Gonsalves, Christine Parker, Emma Gautier, and Ry Marcattilio to discuss the BEAD funding rollout, mapping, the current state of preemption laws, Starry, the FCC, and more. 

Who will be right? Wrong? We'll have to wait until December to find out!

This show is 46 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript coming soon. 

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

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.

Subscribe to the Building Local Power podcast, also from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on iTunes or Stitcher to catch more great conversations about local communities, the concentration of corporate power, and how everyday people are taking control.

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

Posted January 3, 2023 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the podcast, Christopher Mitchell join's Drew Clark on Broadband.Money's Ask Me Anything series, and in true fashion, he never ducks the hard questions. With audience questions, Drew and Christopher cover wide ground, including why the national broadband marketplace needs publicly owned infrastructure options, the benefits of open access models, how cities can prepare for BEAD and other federal funding, and other steps communities can take to make sure that when they do work with third-party ISPs that they maintain some measure of control (like performance-based contracts).

This show is 53 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript coming soon. 

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

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.

Subscribe to the Building Local Power podcast, also from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on iTunes or Stitcher to catch more great conversations about local communities, the concentration of corporate power, and how everyday people are taking control.

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

Posted January 3, 2023 by Sean Gonsalves

As the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is set to unleash an unprecedented amount of federal funds to expand high-speed Internet access as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Internet for All” initiative, all 50 states and U.S. territories have now received their initial planning funds.

Just before Christmas, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is administering the broadband funds in the infrastructure bill, announced Massachusetts as the final state to receive its portion of the planning funds ($6 million) in a joint press conference with outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the end-of-the-year allocation of planning funds for Massachusetts marked a significant milestone in the federal government’s support of state broadband offices rolling out competitive grant programs to build new broadband infrastructure and an array of other initiatives to close the nation’s digital divide.

All 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have now received these planning funds. In a matter of months, we’ll begin to see plans from around the country, detailing how each state will connect all their residents to high-speed, affordable Internet service.

With the broadband-related portion of the IIJA made up of two major funding sources – $42.5 billion in the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and $2.5 billion in Digital Equity Act (DEA) programs – each state will receive $100 million in BEAD funding, plus an additional amount based on a formula that includes how many unserved and underserved households are in each state.

The initial planning grants from the NTIA are meant to help states navigate the biggest hurdle of the IIJA:...

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Posted December 14, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead Sean Gonsalves and GIS and Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker to talk about how bad data can blind us and good data can drive positive policy solutions. First, they talk about a new guide developed by ILSR to help citizen-advocates, nonprofits, and state and local elected officials navigate navigate the FCC's frustrating new Broadband Data Collection initiative. Intended to create new national broadband maps and drive the $42 billion BEAD infrastructure dollars starting in 2023, Christopher, Christine, and Sean talk about sticking points in the process, what's important to know, and what happens if our national broadband data continues to perpetuate harmful inequities.

Then, Christine fills Sean and Christopher in on the latest news with the Affordable Connectivity Program dashboard release earlier this fall, designed to unpack and visualize what folks need to know about the $30/month service benefit in order to help the most people and plan for future policy solutions. Christine shares how it was designed and lessons learned along the way, including what happens when an non-governmental entity (in this case, USAC) is given authority to manage critical social welfare programs but not compelled to share in clear enough ways what the public needs in order to perform accountability and research on them.

This show is 33 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript coming soon. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the...

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Posted November 28, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Join us live on Friday, December 2nd, at 2:00pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting). 

They start the show by talking about early sticking points in the FCC's new mapping fabric, and what kinds of troubles providers are having in submitting data sets. The panel then talks about types of fiber deployments (GPON vs. XGSPON vs. Active Ethernet) and their longevity, scalability, and marketplace economics as compared to cable networks, fixed wireless networks, and Low-Earth Orbit satellite networks. They close the show by talking about the fundamental role of government in delivering essential services and innovation.

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback and ideas for the show.

Subscribe to the show using this feed or find it on the Connect This! page, watch on YouTube Live, on Facebook live, or below.

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Posted November 16, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Dustin Loup, Project Manager of the National Broadband Mapping Coalition, housed at the Marconi Society. Dustin joins us to talk about the new national Federal Communications Commission broadband maps, currently under construction and intended to replace the current and hopelessly broken one to prepare for tens of billion in federal broadband funding.

There will hopefully be many improvements in the new maps, the first version of which is due out this month (we're not holding our breath): more granular data, more precision, and a better picture to drive future infrastructure investment in smart, efficient ways. Christopher and Dustin talk through what they hope to see, before turning to some of the problems the see emerging. This includes the frustrating walls already placed around the (tax dollar-funded) data, almost entirely restricting access to researchers and policy makers for accountability purposes, the probability of abuse by large providers, and the troublingly large $50-million contract to ConstQuest proposed in a recent announcement by NTIA to get access to something the federal government has already paid for, to administer the $42.5 billion BEAD program.

This show is 18 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript coming soon. 

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

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes ...

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Posted November 15, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Join us live on Tuesday, November 22nd, at 1:30pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting). Special guest Mike Dunne, from FiberRise, will join partway through the show. The panel will talk about the first version of the brand-new FCC broadband maps, released last Friday, internal Cable One emails admitting the company's misuse of the challenge process to block competition from publicly funded providers, updates on the broadband nutrition label, and whether rising interest rates will spell an end to the fiber boom. 

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback and ideas for the show.

Subscribe to the show using this feed or find it on the Connect This! page, watch on YouTube Live, on Facebook live, or below.

Posted October 19, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Join us live on Thursday, October 20, at 11am ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting). They'll dig into the chase for gigabit Tarana by Travis, a new LA County report which finds significant pricing disparities by Charter Spectrum in low-income neighborhoods, and Starry's recent decent to abandon all of its Rrural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) bids. Special guest Dustin Loup (Marconi Society, National Broadband Mapping Coalition) will join later in the show to talk about the recently announced FCC contract with Cost Quest for the new national broadband availability maps.

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback and ideas for the show.

Subscribe to the show using this feed or find it on the Connect This! page, watch on YouTube Live, on Facebook live, or below.

Posted September 6, 2022 by Sean Gonsalves

Welcome to another installment of In Our View, where from time to time, we use this space to share our thoughts on recent events playing out across the digital landscape and take the opportunity to draw attention to important but neglected broadband-related issues.

As its ongoing work to revamp the agency’s notoriously inaccurate broadband coverage maps continues, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced last week the opening of a window for states, local and Tribal governments, service providers, and other entities to challenge the service data submitted by providers over the summer.

At the end of June, as FCC chairwoman Jessica Ronsenworcel noted, the FCC “opened the first ever window to collect information from broadband providers in every state and territory about precisely where they provide broadband services.” 

The key word here is “precisely” because the truth is: no one really knows precisely where broadband is, or is not, available. And with tens of billions of dollars in federal funding being spent to deploy high-speed Internet infrastructure, accurate mapping data is essential for targeting where those funds would be best allocated in each state and U.S. territory.

Historically, the FCC relied on self-reported submissions of Internet service providers (ISPs) for information on which locations they serve and what speeds are available at those addresses. However, in practice, that meant the FCC maps could declare an entire census block to be “served” by a broadband provider if that provider claimed the ability to serve just one home in the entire block; thereby overcounting how many households have access to broadband.

The Broadband DATA Act was passed to fix that glaring problem by requiring the FCC to use a more refined methodology to verify if the data submitted by ISPs is accurate.

To that end, the FCC will now rely on something called the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (BSLF), which will combine a...

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Posted August 31, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Update November 2022:  The previous version of this dashboard included both Enrolled and Claimed household numbers. At the time, we believed that these two values (as reflected in the publicly available USAC releases) represented an important (and increasingly so) reality where a large number of the households that were eligible and enrolling in the benefit were not using (or claiming) the benefit. Thus, the data seemed to show that millions of households who had been cleared to use the program were not getting the benefit each month. After further conversation with administration representatives regarding the ACP data releases, it seems this is not the case. Instead, the difference between Enrolled and Claimed households only reflects the procedure via which ISPs participating in the program are submitting payment claims to USAC at irregular intervals. Thus, sources say, all Enrolled households should be using the benefit, and reflect the best numbers for understanding how much of the fund is being used at present. We have adjusted the dashboard to reflect this.

On January 1st, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with $14.2 billion in funding designed to help American households pay for the monthly cost of their Internet subscription. In May, we published a story about the fate of the program, based on a prediction model we built that was intended to visualize how long we might expect the $14.2 billion fund to last before needing new Congressional appropriations to sustain it. Back then, the data showed that the fund would run out some time in 2024.

We’re back today not only with a new and improved model (based both on more granular geographic data and fed by an additional 16 weeks of enrollment data), but a new dashboard that pulls together a host of information from the Universal Service Administrative Company on where and how the Affordable Connectivity Program money is being spent. 

A New Resource for Broadband Advocates, Local Policy Makers, and Elected Officials

Located at ACPdashboard.com, this new resource from ILSR includes information local broadband advocates, nonprofits, state legislators, and...

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