The answer to resolving Vermont's digital divide? Make all electric utilities deploy fiber.
That's the solution that Democratic candidate Christine Hallquist, former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative before resigning this year to run for governor, has suggested and plans to promote if elected, according to a recent article in the Burlington Free Press. (A review of Vermont Electric's 2018 plan or general website could find no sign of broadband services.)
Vermont taxpayers would not, however, reimburse the utilities. Power companies, which would be legally prevented from selling to consumers, could only wholesale their Internet connectivity to service providers, Hallquist told the Vermont newspaper.
"I think the electric utility providers are going to want to do it anyway," she told the Free Press. "So we'll make it a requirement, but youíre not going to get resistance from the electric utilities."
When four executives from electric coops presented a panel discussion during ADTRAN Connect, it was one of the most heartfelt press conferences I've ever attended. It definitely was one of the few times I've grown emotional hearing a conversation about broadband. Nobody in the room was unaffected. Everybody knew these gentlemen sincerely care about their members, their coops and bringing Internet connectivity to everybody in their footprint.
These executives also know they have a responsibility to their members to stay in business in order to continue providing power to these rural customers who otherwise will, most likely, be left alone for way longer than it otherwise would take.
It costs about $21,000 per mile to lay fiber in rural America, according to a June 2018 study conducted by Ericsson and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). How many miles is each utility expected to cover with fiber before it gets contracts with local cable operators, ISPs or telcos?
The intention is great: Most of us want high-speed broadband for all. But let's slow our roll and not demand that small utilities expend untold resources bringing a perhaps undesired service -- all at their own expense -- unless it's part of their business plan. It makes sense for many utilities. But not, necessarily, for all. And the governor is not the one who makes that decision.
The number and power of Britain's so-called altnets is growing, increasing access to fiber-based gigabit broadband for residents and businesses where incumbents such as BT, Virgin and Openreach did not deliver.
After NTIA asked for public comments on map improvements in October 2018, the FCC decommissioned the agency's broadband map in early December but did not say whether it will use any of the public's great ideas on its own (largely panned) map.
The case of Mozilla v. FCC is slated to begin in the D.C. Circuit Court on Feb. 1, marking what's expected to be the beginning of a protracted legal battle that may continue well into the 2020 presidential race.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON Ė and we havenít even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, letís demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future Ė whatever it may hold.