FCC redefines broadband, 14-24 million Americans still without access

By on July 23, 2010 at 12:17 AM.

FCC redefines broadband, 14-24 million Americans still without access

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In a press release dated July 20th, the FCC announced that between 14 and 24 million Americans are still without access to broadband internet, and that the “immediate prospects for deployment to them are bleak.” The report also goes on to define “broadband” as a connection that provides a 4 Mbps downlink and 1 Mbps uplink. Prior to the report, broadband was defined as providing a 768 Kbps downlink connection. The report goes on: “In an era when broadband has become essential for U.S. jobs, economic growth, global competitiveness, and democratic engagement, millions of Americans live in areas without broadband. Many of these Americans are poor or live in rural areas that will remain unserved without reform of the universal service program and other changes to U.S. broadband policy that spur investment in broadband networks by lowering the cost of deployment.” What do you think? Is 4 Mbps an acceptable speed? Should the government push telecoms to provide broadband access to more rural areas?

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AT&T's acquisition of Alltel assets from Verizon Wireless close to completion

By on June 18, 2010 at 3:23 AM.

AT&T's acquisition of Alltel assets from Verizon Wireless close to completion

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It seems like it was just yesterday, but one year has passed since AT&T and Verizon agreed to a $2.35 billion deal which would provide the former with select assets in 18 states and covering 1.5 million subscribers. Unfortunately for the two, the FCC had a lot on its plate at the time the deal was struck and the sale has been stuck in a regulatory holding pattern ever since. Now it finally looks like the FCC may be ready to approve the deal, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent an order asking that the acquisition be approved in a vote that could come in the next few weeks. Whether or not the other voting members of the commission will heed the Chairman’s advice remains to be seen, but if they do vote in favor of the deal it means good news for those divested locales who have been waiting anxiously for AT&T to roll in with its stellar 3G coverage.

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Verizon Wireless looking at rural carriers for 4G expansion

By on May 14, 2010 at 2:02 AM.

Verizon Wireless looking at rural carriers for 4G expansion

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In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdams confirmed that the wireless carrier is considering rural carriers as a means of expanding its 4G network. Under this plan, Verizon Wireless would license its 4G spectrum for a small fee to rural operators who could then re-sell the service. Either Verizon or the operator would assume the cost of building out the network and each would benefit from the agreement – Verizon would get a wider 4G footprint and the rural carrier would receive local mobile broadband coverage and a roaming agreement for coverage outside of its home network. Folks with more deer than people should not jump for joy quite yet as McAdams confirms that this is a low profit initiative for Verizon and, as such, may take a while to roll out. Nonetheless, those whose only option for broadband is still 56K dial up would agree that late is better than never.

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