A vintage tune from ABBA and a new bill carrying the same acronym aimed at rural broadband have a little something in common: They both involve money, money, money.
US Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Thursday proposed the American Broadband Buildout Act of 2019 (ABBA), a bipartisan bill aiming to help rural parts of the US gain access to broadband services. It's also a follow-on to a recently introduced bill seeking to overhaul the US broadband mapping process.
ABBA directs the FCC, which currently defines broadband as minimum speeds of 25 Mbit/s downstream and 3 Mbit/s upstream, to provide up to $5 billion in matching grants to help rural parts of states improve and upgrade their broadband infrastructure for services like OTT video, telemedicine and online education.
ABBA's aim is to fund projects in unserved areas, where broadband is unavailable at speeds that meet the FCC standard. It calls for federal funding to be matched through public-private partnerships between the broadband service provider and the state in which the infrastructure project will be built.
"Narrowing the focus to those areas will ensure that the money goes where it’s needed most, and will protect against 'over-building' where broadband infrastructure is already in place," Collins said in a statement delivered on the Senate floor.
Projects are also designed to be future-proof in the sense that they can be upgraded to stay in stride with the demand for more speed and bandwidth.
Collins, a native of Aroostook County in Mississippi, noted that rural communities often struggle to attract and retain physicians. She sees telemedicine as a way to help those civilians gain access to proper medical care.
"Broadband can help bridge the gap by enabling innovative health care delivery in these rural communities," Collins said in the statement. "Our bipartisan bill would help rural communities access high-speed Internet and overcome this digital divide by funding broadband where it is needed most."
Jones added that in his state and in other parts of the country, reliable, speedy Internet services remain hard to come by in some areas. "It's no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity for modern life," he said. "This bill will help public-private partnerships fund broadband development in the areas that need it most."
The bill received some cheers from a range of groups and organizations, including the Northern Light Home Care & Hospice, which operates six home care and hospice locations in Maine; the
Telecommunications Association of Maine; and the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.
"In particular, we appreciate the legislation's emphasis on directing funds to areas that need them the most, as well as a requirement for the FCC to immediately improve its fixed broadband maps at a sub-census block level," NCTA said in a statement.
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.
The cable industry took a major step in the battle for Gigabit broadband supremacy with the announcement of its 10G Platform vision. The key to realizing this vision hinges on leveraging the right access technologies and network architectures to provide the best balance of benefit versus cost.
One network path has the MSO embracing Next-Generation Hybrid Fiber Coax (NG HFC), which includes:
Distributed Access Architecture (DAA)
Full Duplex DOCSIS (FDX)
Virtual Cable Converged Access Platforms (vCCAP)
Fiber-to-the-Home/Business (FTTH/B) is another network option, affording gigabit broadband scalability and 10Gbps service capability. How is an MSO to decide where which option works best and what to do now to prepare its networks for the onslaught of high-bandwidth residential and business applications?
During this webinar, Jack Burton, principal of Broadband Success Partners, outlines current and new access network architectures. Additionally, he will examine the facts and debunk some common misconceptions surrounding both fiber and NG HFC network deployment and maintenance.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:00 p.m. New York / 5:00 p.m. London
Wi-Fi is the foundation of the connected home for consumers; yet, it’s often a source of frustration. With the imminent release of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard – combined with a strong Managed Wi-Fi offer – service providers can reverse subscriber frustration while tapping into new revenue streams.
Key topics include:
What’s different about Wi-Fi 6 and why it matters to your subscribers
The importance of offering Managed Wi-Fi and its connection to Wi-Fi 6
How you can elevate your brand and gain a strong foothold in the home network.