Friday, March 02, 2018

Rural Broadband in 2018

First off you have historic CAF funding: $2 Billion CAF II Auction Will Provide Broadband Expansion Funding. The Connect America Fund has been helping to bridge the digital divide that rural America is facing.

On the one hand, the National Journal asks, "Does Rural America Really Need Billions in Federal Broadband Funds?" Experts are increasingly skeptical that Washington will allocate enough infrastructure money to wire rural America with high-speed internet, despite CAF funds. Will Corporate America figure it out before the Duopoly? Experiments from SpaceX, Facebook, Alphabet and more may find the answer. However, the big bet is on 5G, which is a a marketing buzz term. 5G technology and chips are not delivering any more speed than 4G LTE can. Go figure! IEEE Spectrum has a good read.

The Brookings Institute writes, "Communities can’t afford to wait for the federal government to obtain next gen broadband."

"It’s been less than a decade since the release of the National Broadband Plan, but the evidence is now even stronger that next-generation broadband networks create a number of benefits. Various studies have concluded that such networks result in improved property values, improved economic performance, and lower broadband prices—benefits shared across the general community," Blair Levin states.

"The FCC in 2016 estimated that connecting rural areas to next generation broadband is a $40-80 billion challenge... What is far more promising, however, are a number of models of community-led upgrades that did not exist in 2011." It's up to the private sector.

BTW, Alphabet says Google Fiber is on hold until they can make it 10x better than it is - in other words, on hold in definitely.

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