Also in today's roundup: Reliance Jio looks to shake up India's broadband, subscribers retreat from traditional pay TV, and Microsoft called more attention to rural broadband needs in Iowa.
Tombigbee Electric Power Association on Saturday announced its 15-member board unanimously voted to provide FTTH networks to all 43,950 co-op members. The news comes six months after Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Electric Power Association Law and Broadband Enabling Act of 2019.
In his statement, Tombigbee EPA General Manager Bill Long said "local communities should have the same resources and services as those in urban areas," and his company intends to provide that access. "This job is not done until that last house at the end of that dirt road in the most rural community has access to the outside world through a world-class broadband system," Long said.
India's Reliance Industries announced the commercial rollout of its broadband and TV service. The service -- once dubbed GigaFiber and now called JioFiber -- will become available on September 5. Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled smart home and IoT-based services from Jio. JioFiber will be offered as a standard service on a WiFi router, but the provider also will offer a smart-home entertainment platform via the Jio set-top box. This is the hub for IoT and smart-home management, and is not expected to be widely available on September 5, according to publishedreports.
The largest US pay-TV providers, which represent 93% of the market, lost 1.53 million video subscribers last quarter, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). Some video providers are focusing efforts on retaining only their most profitable customers. The two largest satellite providers lost 855,000 subs in Q2 2019; the seven largest cable operators lost 455,000 subs in that period, LRG said. (See Top US Pay-TV Providers Dump Record 1.53M Subs in Q2 .)
The Federal Communications Commission today authorized another $121 million-plus in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 36,579 unserved rural homes and businesses in 16 states. This is the fourth wave resulting from last year's Connect America Fund Phase II auction.
Microsoft called closing the rural broadband gap a "national crisis." By 2022, Microsoft and ISPs will work through its Airband Initiative to deliver Internet connectivity to 3 million in unserved rural regions of the US by 2022, the company said. Like many Democrat candidates, Microsoft was in Iowa last week with a booth of its own, campaigning for rural broadband, digital inclusion or Airband. (See Microsoft: Half the US Has no Internet at Broadband Speed.)
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
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.