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NTIA and RUS release rules for first broadband stimulus grants

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) released the rules for disbursement of the broadband stimulus funds. The rules affect three programs -- the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, the RUS Broadband Initiatives Program and the State Broadband Data Development Program -- and will account for about $4 billion of the $7.2 billion allocated for broadband in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The rules defined three terms -- unserved, underserved and broadband -- which were an area of much debate in hearings held earlier this year. Read More »

New broadband report: End of scarcity, open architecture, and broadband competition

The latest report from two leading broadband research organizations -- the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Silicon Flatirons Center -- summarizes a discussion among leading broadband experts on institutional strategies to advance broadband policy goals. There was considerable agreement on the value of using targeted subsidies to provide ubiquitous broadband for a basic level of access, the need to ensure robust middle mile capability; and the potentially misleading nature of "peak" broadband speeds. The roundtable could not reach closure on how to evaluate the nature and extent of broadband competition and other issues. Read More »

In Minnesota and Ohio, Connected Nation make strides in broadband assessments

In Ohio and Minnesota, Connected Nation groups just released updated maps on broadband availability and survey data on broadband adoption. Such assessments are crucial as states and others vie for funding for broadband expansion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Read More »

Map of Kansas will highlight areas lacking broadband access

In a new group effort, headed by the Kansas Farm Bureau, the entire state of Kansas will be mapped to show areas having and lacking broadband access. The map will display broadband accessibility down to the street or even farm road level. This map will be instrumental in paving the way for universal broadband coverage in Kansas. Read More »

Direct fiber broadband connection a leading real estate perk

Real estate industry, take note: today's homebuyers are looking for broadband that's delivered fast, consistently, and directly to the home. The Fiber-to-the-Home Council announced recently that a staggering 82% of broadband-using homebuyers rank direct fiber connections as the number one real estate amenity. Read More »

Telemedicine key to health care reform

Medical experts recently released a white paper that touts telemedicine as a core component of health care reform in the United States. Telemedicine will control cost inflation and provide additional benefits that "greatly exceed the costs," according to the white paper. Health-e-Access Telemedicine Network run through the University of Rochester Medical Center is a great example of the potential of telemedicine. Read More »

Biden: CWA “had it exactly right - speed matters”

On June 24, Vice President Biden told the 2,000 delegates attending the CWA national convention in Washington, D.C.: "You had it exactly right - speed matters." Biden highlighted the $7 billion in broadband grants in the stimulus bill and emphasized that broadband investment is about creating good jobs for workers in the industry, in our nation, and solving the many challenges we face as a nation. Read More »

Pew broadband report reveals penetration disparity and broadband roadblocks

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released the home broadband adoption report of 2009 on Wednesday, June 17, describing this year's successes and shortcomings in broadband penetration. Speed Matters is happy to see that 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home - a 15% increase from last year. Unfortunately, the report shows that there is still a significant digital divide in the United States along racial, income and geographic lines. Read More »

The Breadbasket needs broadband too

In a USA Today article, peanut farmer Jeff Roper explains how high-speed Internet would help agriculture, by increasing the efficiency of his farm's irrigation system. If Jeff had broadband access, he would save about an hour every day and increase the productivity of his farm. Thousands of rural Americans across the country have fallen victim to the digital divide. Read More »

Coalition to support broadband for schools, libraries, and healthcare is formed

Leaders in the education and healthcare industries have come together to form a coalition to promote broadband access in schools, libraries, and healthcare facilities. The formation of the public-private partnership Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition was announced Thursday, June 11 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, in Washington, D.C. Read More »

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