Despite touting the benefits of broadband in rural communities, President Donald Trump has not proposed to set aside specific federal funding to further the broadband expansion cause.
In the president's infrastructure plan released on Monday, he instead proposes that the federal government commit $200 billion to infrastructure projects over the next ten years. Half of that money would go toward initiatives where state and local governments would be required to raise at least 80% of the necessary capital. Another $50 billion would be allocated for: federal loans aimed at increasing private investment, "transformative" infrastructure projects and funding for improvements to federal office buildings.
The final $50 billion in the president's plan is set aside for rural initiatives. However, while President Trump includes broadband in this bucket of funding, broadband projects will have to compete with other rural development plans including road repair, bridge updates and much more.
Many in government have feared that any infrastructure bill out of the White House wouldn't do enough to provide financial support for expanding broadband access in rural areas, and indeed that the government's focus would be on removing regulatory barriers and incenting private industry to invest its own capital.
"What I get a little bit nervous about is when you talk about removing these barriers thinking that that magically means the [broadband network] lines will be deployed," said Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) recently at the Incompas Policy Summit. "There's got to be an investment fund."
For now, it looks like that investment fund is limited, and that broadband will have to fight for priority alongside other high-demand infrastructure projects.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.