The USDA is encouraging network operators to deploy symmetric broadband more quickly than its counterparts in the Federal Communications Commission.
When operators apply for funding or grants, those deploying infrastructure with symmetric speeds of 100 Mbit/s or higher get 100 out of 100 points in that category, compared with a much lower score for those meeting the FCC's minimal 25 Mbit/s upload speeds, said Chad Rupe, acting administrator for USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Services. He was speaking at Fiber Broadband Association's Fiber Connect in Orlando this month.
Partners in Bridging the Digital Divide
The USDA has 47 state directors who work with service providers on cutting the red tape, said Chad Rupe, acting administrator for USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Services.
As it writes a new bill to fund rural broadband that will open for public commentary in December, the United States Department of Agriculture wants to ensure high-speed broadband reaches unserved people in a reasonable time frame with solutions that last, Rupe said. It's considering whether to give higher rankings to certain technologies, although that is unlikely given the time constraints of fiber over wireless, for example, he said. And that would put the USDA in providers' decision-making shoes -- a place it does not wish to be, he said.
"One of the things we've looked at... is how long does fiber last versus how long does equipment last that is less robust? Everyone I talk to says fiber is the long-term solution," said Rupe. "[But] we can't leave people behind for 30 years. We have to be somewhat technology agnostic."
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
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.
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Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
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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.