Also in this roundup: thousands more get fiber in rural UK; Halifax County, Virginia, finds $2M in CARES Act for broadband; NCTA builds "K-12 Bridge to Broadband."
In an otherwise polarized nation, Americans apparently agree on one thing: that the US Congress should fund broadband. That’s according to a new poll by Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) and Morning Consult showing that 90% of US voters support using Congressional funds to expand Internet access for those currently living in areas not serviced by a broadband provider, with 88% saying they support Congress funding those who cannot afford broadband. Additionally, 62% said Congress should take immediate action to close the digital divide.
While we wait for miracles to happen, more states and localities are doing what they can to figure it out on their own. This week Halifax County, Virginia, allocated just under $2 million in CARES Act cash for broadband. According to the Gazette-Virginian, $1,228,000 was allocated for broadband and an additional $750,000 for towers. (Stats from BroadbandNow show Halifax County with under 50% broadband coverage.) And in North Carolina, the USDA announced a $21.6 million federal grant for Pender County, with the government agency specifying that Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC) will deploy a FTTP network to connect "17,424 people, 209 farms, 285 businesses, 19 educational facilities, nine health care facilities, seven fire stations, and seven post offices to high-speed broadband internet in Pender County."
Meanwhile, the cable industry is pitching in a bit as well. This week NCTA – the Internet & Television Association, a broadband technology trade association, in partnership with EducationSuperHighway (ESH), launched a new K-12 Bridge to Broadband initiative to help increase home connectivity solutions for students. According to the announcement, the initiative will "scale innovative solutions that are helping public school districts and states identify and potentially connect students in low-income families, enabling more students to participate in remote or hybrid learning." Participating cable providers include Comcast (Xfinity), Charter (Spectrum), Cox, GCI, Mediacom, Midco, Sjoberg's and Vyv. The release affirms that participating members will create a "sponsored service," whereby school systems purchase broadband on behalf of low-income students at a discounted rate.
In the UK, Openreach and Virgin Media proceeded with ongoing fiber rollouts. Virgin Media announced it has connected 5,600 homes in New Rossington, Doncaster, as part of its FTTP Project Lightning, with average top speeds of 516 Mbit/s. BT's Openreach announced that it's 25% of the way done with its fiber build in the three Cambridgeshire locations of Ely, Glinton and Helpston. The company says work will continue for the next year to make "gigabit-capable" broadband available.
CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney and SCTE/ISBE President and CEO Mark Dzuban say the now-merged organizations will spur cable's rollout of 10G, DOCSIS 4.0 and fixed-wireless, as well as efforts to bridge the digital divide.
Today’s access network architecture is under mounting pressure due to a continued surge in the number of connected devices, a proliferation of bandwidth-intensive customer applications and dramatic shifts in usage patterns related to the pandemic, such as work-from-home and e-learning.
Learn why now is the right time for cable operators to build greenfield networks or expand their existing networks with 10G PON, arming customers with high-speed symmetrical broadband. Gain a clear understanding of the drivers impacting the access network and the various approaches being considered to deliver higher speed services. Plus, find out the best practices that operators are employing as they leverage the latest in passive optical technology to future-proof their networks.
Topics to be covered include:
Node + 0 (Fiber Deep)
DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX/ESD)
FTTP and 10G PON
Provisioning 10G PON within a DOCSIS B/OSS environment