Light Reading
With the start of Connect America Phase II, the FCC is accepting challenges on whether individual census blocks are being adequately served by existing broadband providers.

FCC: Are You Being Served?

Mari Silbey
7/2/2014
50%
50%

Is your census block being served by an unsubsidized broadband provider? That's the question the FCC is putting to the test with the start of the Connect America Phase II challenge process.

The goal of the Connect America Fund is to provide $1.8 billion in ongoing annual financial support for organizations trying to extend broadband connectivity in high-cost areas. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn't want to subsidize efforts in regions that are already being well served by commercial network providers. As a result, the agency is relying on a map of census blocks deemed eligible for funding based on three criteria.

Eligible areas must be considered unserved by an unsubsidized competitor, meet the qualifications for designation as a high-cost region, and be located in a "price cap" territory where existing providers are already contending with network access lines that are price-regulated.

The challenge process only applies to the first funding criterion. Parties submitting challenges must file with the FCC by August 14.

The Connect America Fund is a hot-button issue because current broadband providers don't want to run up against competitors that have what they see as unfair financial advantages. As such, the FCC is trying to walk a fine line between extending broadband service and not stepping on the toes of existing cable and telecom operators.

Many broadband providers, meanwhile, have been aggressive about trying to keep competitors at bay, whether they receive government funding or not. These efforts include encouraging state-level legal restrictions on community-owned broadband services. Some legislators are fighting back against those restrictions. Most recently, several Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to promote competition and allow communities to decide for themselves how to invest in local broadband infrastructure. (See Dems Urge FCC Action to Protect Muni Nets.)

For the Connect America Fund challenge process, the FCC is pointing citizens to its online challenge process guide. The agency will review all submissions at the end of the 45-day challenge period.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/3/2014 | 10:24:47 AM
Re: Urban Renewal
Costs depend on the site and style of deployment.  It is impossible to create a single number, especially given that Unions are involved in some situations.

I am telling you (not giving you opinion) about what is being spoken about here in terms of regulation.  You can have any opinion that you want, but it is rural independent carriers that are subsidized.  You said in your first post that this was about urban deployment.  High Cost Loops is straight USAC.  Read the following link:

http://usac.org/hc/legacy/telecom-carriers/step01/hcl.aspx

seven

 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 11:24:34 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
You raise good arguments, but they are unquantified (like mine).

What exactly is the cost (per meter) of maintaining a fiber optical cable?

What is the cost of an LTE antenna/site designed for broadband access?

As I understand it, yes, you can put more users per cable/antenna -- but that doesn't mean each will get more speed and use.  These resources are like party lines.  Cramming the most per unit resource is the idea.

However, at some point, if the costs become so cheap and so easy to maintain, then it behooves them to put it everywhere.

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 10:34:33 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
jabailo,

Then you clearly need to rethink a whole lot of things.

The longest loop that I had to deal with was 80 miles and served a single home.  The line had to be installed by the Carrier of Last Resort for free.  This is an extreme illustration to help you see what you are missing:

- The number of homes served per mile of construction is much lower in rural America.  You can run a multi-fiber cable and support 1,000s of homes from one cable run through the manhole covered installation.

- The support costs to manage those remote installations are very high.  Cable breaks and equipment problems mean long trips to fix things for a few subscribers.

- Imagine the cost of installing an LTE antenna for a single home.  Before you scoff, the least dense phone company that I was aware of was Valley Telephone which was 7500 subs in 6500 square miles.  

That is why those companies get a huge amount of support for their networks.  Which is the whole point about unsubsidized companies.  AT&T and Verizon have the vast bulk of their connections in what is considered to be low cost areas so are not subsidized.

This is not speculation by the way.  It is the way the regulatory framework is constructed.  The 3rd bit that you should not is the "Price Cap" verbage in the original article.  There are still some small Incumbent LECs that are "Rate of Return" carriers.

seven

 

 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 8:16:00 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
Let me suggest another form of "competition".

Big cities are political and econonmic entities.

They have expensive real estate, they have high paying jobs, and they sell themselves by presumably offering something that you cannot get in the suburbs or rural areas.

Fast forward to the 21st century.

Now I can get 1Gig of fiber on my 2 acre summer home in the mountains, while my co-workers are sweating it out in the heat, and not able to get a halfway decent signal because of the reflections of the apartments.

Sounds like someone might get a little worried about their...investments.

 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 8:13:39 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
It would seem to me that stringing a single fiber cable along the telephone poles along a rural route or sticking a single Wimax or LTE antenna on a farm plain would be a lot less costly than having to go run the same cable by going down into manholes or scotch taping a bunch of plane "reflectors" on the side of every building.

But that's just how I think.

 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 7:58:20 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
It could be argued by some that it should be ok to "step on the toes" of the big guys. In order to bring competition and presumably better service at reasonable cost to the rural areas, the government might just allow that competition that indeed would hurt the profits of the existing guys a little bit.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 7:37:38 PM
Re: Urban Renewal
Note the commentary in the 2nd paragraph particularly the words "high cost".  Read that as rural.  

Now read "unsubsidized" in the first paragraph as Verizon, AT&T and some of Centurylink. 

That should help your comprehension immensely.

 

seven
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 12:11:40 PM
Urban Renewal
This sounds like the urban version of the rural broadband acts that were passed.  It's ironic because some of these rural areas, where there aren't even towns, now are getting Google speed optical fiber, and higher than average cable connectivity, thanks to the Government's push.

Meanwhile, there are areas in "high tech" cities like Seattle that get speeds barely considered broadband any more!    Over time it seems like any and all wired connectivity will become optical fiber.  And phone service will end up all being 5G.   But someone has to turn the first shovel...

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed