Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, believes that the Federal government needs to help state and local governments figure out how to bridge the digital divide as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates a need to expand broadband to areas that don’t have it and to provide better services. […]

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FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved final rules for a program that will funnel $20.4 billion over ten years to communications service providers to extend fast broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of the U.S.






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United Kingdom authorities said today they will allow communications service providers to use in their networks a limited amount of equipment made by “high risk vendors,” and impose restrictions on more extensive use of equipment from those firms.






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The recent approval by the House of Representatives of two bills to improve the Federal government’s efforts to assemble and maintain accurate nationwide broadband service maps is adding weight to an ongoing push by the Federal Communications Commission to do the same in order to direct funding and other regulatory help to bringing more broadband options to underserved areas.






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The Federal Communications Commission announced appointments to its Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force that will work on strategies to advance broadband communications deployment on agricultural land and promote precision agriculture.






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The Department of Agriculture (USDA) made its first investment under its ReConnect pilot program to support broadband availability, offering $2.85 million to a local service provider in Tennessee, the department announced October 18.






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Two bills introduced in the House aim to improve the accuracy of the oft-maligned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband availability map by changing reporting requirements and allowing community groups access to funds to do their own reporting.






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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on a report, order, and further notice of proposed rulemaking dealing with the accuracy and usefulness of its Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC) that aims to more accurately determine residential and small business locations in the U.S. that do not have access to broadband services.






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Cyber America Connected Internet of things

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on August 1 voted to approve reports, orders, and notices of propose rulemaking that taken together aim to improve mapping the availability of “fixed” broadband service – the type generally provided by cable and phone companies – in the U.S.






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The FCC on August 1 voted to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on a range of proposals that would establish a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund funded with up to $20.4 billion to subsidize the further buildout of broadband services to rural areas of the U.S.  that don’t have widely available high-speed broadband service.






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There are two fairly obvious ways–plus another great big one that is more philosophical in nature–to look at the announcement late Tuesday from the Federal Communications Commission that the agency’s chairman, Ajit Pai, is circulating to his fellow commissioners a draft report to Congress finding that the digital divide in America narrowed “substantially” during 2017, and that rollout of broadband service in the U.S. is happening in a “reasonable and timely” way.






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The bill expected to be approved by the House and Senate today to fully fund Federal government agencies through Sept. 30 provides $550 million for the Agriculture Department’s rural broadband loan and grant pilot program, which supports the creation of broadband infrastructure in rural parts of the U.S., according to a Democratic party summary of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.






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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, a broadband industry group that represents more than 800 independent and community-based telecommunications companies in rural and small-town America, announced Friday that it elected new board members at its fall board meeting.






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In a report released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could do more to expand broadband access on tribal lands. The GAO offered three recommendations to the FCC, which the agency agreed with.






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