Route Fifty: Ensuring State Broadband Grants Go the Extra Mile. “As state governments have prioritized improving broadband infrastructure across the country, they’ve rapidly expanded grant funds like the popular Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. But to ensure the money is well spent, states are requiring grant applicants to meet certain requirements—like providing matching funds or establishing education campaigns to teach residents internet literacy skills.”
Route Fifty: Frustrated by Flawed Broadband Maps, States Are Trying to Create Their Own. “State officials tasked with overseeing expansion of broadband to their residents say it is paramount to have accurate information about where infrastructure and service is lacking. But because connectivity data collected by the Federal Communications Commission often overestimates broadband’s reach, many states are trying to gather their own data, sometimes going door-to-door to query residents, to better understand service gaps.”
Ars Technica: FCC data fails to count 21 million people without broadband, study finds. “The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband data dramatically underestimates the number of Americans without access to home Internet service, a new study has found. The actual number of people lacking home-broadband access is about twice as high as the FCC estimate, the study found.”
The Verge: Google Fiber is dropping its TV package to focus solely on high-speed internet service. “Google Fiber announced today that it will be dropping its TV package option to focus solely on providing high-speed internet service. It will still provide the service to existing customers who pay for it, but the company says ‘customers today just don’t need traditional TV’ anymore when so many options are available online through over-the-top TV services and streaming platforms.” Maybe this will speed the Google Fiber rollout, but I’m not holding my breath.
Ars Technica: CenturyLink, Frontier took FCC cash, failed to deploy all required broadband. “CenturyLink and Frontier Communications have apparently failed to meet broadband-deployment requirements in numerous states where they are receiving government funding to expand their networks in rural areas. CenturyLink notified the Federal Communications Commission that it ‘may not have reached the deployment milestone’ in 23 states and that it hit the latest deadline in only 10 states.” Note this fail did not stop CenturyLink from winning a $1.6 billion federal contract this month.
Route Fifty: They Were Promised Broadband and High-Tech Jobs. They’re Still Waiting.. “Kentucky’s plan to bring broadband to remote parts of the state has sputtered and its future looks increasingly bleak. State leaders told rural residents it would create better business opportunities. But instead, they keep getting left behind.”