Blog posts tagged with 'Ntia'
Friday, June 07
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (or NTIA, if you’re into acronyms) has released its U.S. Broadband Availability Report, and overall it it shows an increase in broadband speeds and penetration. Some highlights:
• Basic Availability: Ninety-eight percent of Americans have access to wired or wireless broadband at combined advertised download speeds of 3 Mbps or greater and upload speeds of 768 kbps or greater (referred to as 3/768 here).
• Wireline: Just over 93% of Americans have access to advertised wireline broadband at speeds of at least 3/768, and almost 93% of Americans have access to at least 6 Mbps. Ninety-one percent of Americans have access at 10 Mbps, but access drops to 78% at 25 Mbps.
• Wireless: Approximately 81% of Americans can access mobile wireless download speeds of 6 Mbps or greater. Nearly 26% of the population can access fixed wireless download speeds at 6 Mbps.
While most Americans now have access and better speeds, the report concludes that more investment will be needed in order to meet the demands of consumers going forward:
Broadband service at basic speed levels is now widely available, but even for basic speeds, gaps still persist between rural and urban communities. These gaps between rural and urban broadband availability become larger as speeds increase; and as speeds increase, the overall level of broadband availability decreases, regardless of whether the user is located in an urban or rural area. Similarly, far more providers compete for customers when the service offering is at the lower broadband speeds tiers. Cable dominates the provisioning of broadband service at the higher speed tiers, followed by fiber to the premises. The implication of this finding is important because in areas where the technology deployed today is not capable of providing broadband service at speeds of 50 Mbps, 100 Mbps or a 1 Gbps, most companies or communities will need to significantly upgrade their infrastructure to offer these speeds when consumers, businesses or institutions demand them.
The full report is available at the NTIA website.
Friday, February 01
How important is spectrum to the wireless industry? So important that normally fierce competitors are working together. As Phil Godstein of Fierce Wireless reports:
AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA inked an agreement with the Department of Defense to explore the possibility of sharing 95 MHz of spectrum that is currently used by the Pentagon and other federal agencies located in the 1755 - 1850 MHz band.
The announcement comes as the FCC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration encourage spectrum sharing between commercial and government users as one way to meet Americans’ seeming insatiable demand for mobile broadband.
So far, Sprint is sitting out the agreement, though Goldstein notes they will “follow the group’s work.”
Friday, July 13
Eliza Krigman of Politico reports that lawmakers in the House are increasingly applying pressure on the federal government to make more spectrum available for wireless use:
The Federal Spectrum Working Group, co-chaired by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday asking for detailed information about the activities of government spectrum users. And lawmakers focused on the issue at a Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing earlier Tuesday.
“Federal spectrum can help alleviate the spectrum crunch,” Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) said. “We should conduct a spectrum inventory of the military and elsewhere to see how much they have to see what’s available that could help the private sector.”
Thursday, July 05
Paul Barbagallo of Bloomberg BNA examines the promise — and challenges — of the government sharing spectrum with wireless providers:
So far, neither the FCC nor the NTIA have begun to address the many questions that are now beginning to emerge: Who will share with whom? If wireless carriers must share spectrum that is licensed to federal government agencies, who retains priority access? What are the rules for the wireless carriers when they are using spectrum licensed to the federal government? And, perhaps most critically, what “type” of sharing ultimately will be promoted?
Currently, there are three sharing models under consideration: Geographic-based sharing, in which a wireless carrier may use a federal agency’s frequencies only in certain geographic areas; “temporal”-based sharing, in which a wireless carrier may use a federal agency’s frequencies only during certain times of the day or year; and technology-based sharing, in which wireless carriers and a federal agency would each use a cognitive, or “smart,” radio device that can search wide swaths of a spectrum band for “quiet,” or unused, frequencies over which to transmit and receive data. As for the latter, another important question looms: What will the new software required for each mobile device mean for the size, weight, battery life, and, ultimately, the cost of the handset?
Barbagallo’s full story is definitely worth checking out.
Tuesday, June 05
Speaking of spectrum, over at Fierce Wireless Philip Goldstein is encouraged by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s suggestion of sharing some of the government’s airwaves with wireless providers, but cautions it won’t be an easy move:
As with many things that get talked about in Washington though, spectrum sharing—specifically between government entities and commercial carriers—is more conjecture at this point than anything else. It will take years to make such sharing a reality, and the biggest hurdles will not be technical but more basic elements like how much spectrum government agencies—especially the Department of Defense—will be willing to give up. In order to get both sides on the same page to make spectrum sharing a reality, there is going to have to be significant and consistent socialization of both government spectrum administrators and the wireless industry.
Tuesday, March 27
Today to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) released the report “An Assessment of the Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband in the 1755-1850 MHz Band.”
The NTIA’s proactive efforts to identify spectrum available for commercial deployment deserves recognition. Quickly making more of this limited, valuable resource available to fuel consumers’ smartphones, laptops and tablets is crucial for supporting the American ingenuity of small business owners, students, teleworkers and innovators across our nation.
Consumers count on using their mobile-broadband-powered devices to be more productive, utilize educational resources, access better health care, and tap into job opportunities. It is essential that policy makers bring more spectrum to the market now so that wireless providers can meet consumer demand by expanding and enhancing their wireless broadband networks.
Wednesday, November 02
Like a number of states, Louisiana received a stimulus grant to build out broadband access. Unfortunately, the state will now be returning the $80 million it received. As The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang reports:
The NTIA’s grant to Louisiana Broadband Alliance was intended to create a fiber optic network stretching 900 miles to the most economically distressed areas of the state. Six state agencies said they would coordinate on the project, which was to provide access to schools, libraries and health care facilities.
But the project didn’t meet the NTIA’s deadlines, and the state changed plans and didn’t give enough technical and financial details to ensure the project would be completed.
“We have worked closely with the state throughout the last several months to rescue this project but have now concluded that we have to move on,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling, who heads the NTIA.
Tuesday, August 16
Often, we humans seem to get a bit beyond ourselves. We invent a new product, a new technology, a new way of seeing the world and before too long it seems we’re playing catch up with the inventions of our wondrous imaginations. It’s hard to believe it was just eight years ago that the BlackBerry smartphone first took the business world by storm. And it was a mere four years later, Apple’s iPhone would bring the power of the smartphone to the masses.
Today, smartphone adoption is increasing at an unprecedented rate. According to a recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 35 percent, or one-third, of American adults now own smartphones. That’s a lot of adoption in a short amount of time, and it shows no signs of abating.
But, while the allure of the gadget certainly drives the desire for smartphones, it’s the underlying infrastructure that powers this explosive growth. That infrastructure is what supports mobile broadband, allowing access to the Internet minus dependence on wires and desktop computers. The unifying goal of ubiquitous, transformative access to the Internet gets closer to reality, particularly as long as innovation and necessary investments from the private sector continue – taxpayers cannot afford to foot the bill for infrastructure build-out on their own.
Ever since the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) first identified America’s growing technology adoption gap in 1995, there has been much warranted concern over the “digital divide”. But now, thanks to the expansion of mobile broadband, dramatic progress is being made. According to Pew’s study, 44 percent of African Americans and Latinos — two groups consistently on the losing end of the digital divide — are now smartphone users. And among that group, 38 percent mostly use their phones to access the Internet.
And yet, access is only half the story. The sequel relates to what gets done with that access. It’s big fun to use your smartphone to download music and videos, sporting events, and to text your friends. Youth of little or no privivilege need to better understand that access to the Internet can indeed transform their lives and prospects for the future. Those smartphone gadgets on their hips or in their pockets are grounded in technology that on a grander scale helps doctors save patients, business owners create successful businesses, teachers better educate and train their students, and job seekers better position themselves to win the jobs of the future.
In short, as we continue to close the “digital divide” through increased deployment and adoption of mobile broadband, let us also increase our focus on the transformative power of the Internet to help close the “opportunity divide.” As we applaud our brown and black youth for hooking up with the Internet, let’s not neglect to ask “So whatcha going to do with it?”
Wednesday, August 10
Last week, IIA Strategic Counsel Henry M. Rivera spoke at the 2011 Educational Conference of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Below are his remarks. — IIA
It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here with you at LCLAA’s educational conference.
I did a little research on LCLAA and found that since its inception, LCLAA has worked tirelessly to advance the social, economic, political, human and civil rights of all Latinos and has provided a strong voice for Latino working families nationally. So I’m honored that i’ve been asked to address this distinguished organization.
I feel some kinship with LCLAA because throughout my career, beginning with my appointment to the FCC as the agency’s first Hispanic commissioner, I have had the privilege of advocating for policies designed to both promote and preserve equal opportunity and civil rights in the communications industries, and to close the digital divide. So I have long appreciated the magnitude of the challenges that LCLAA faces.
Following my brief remarks, you will hear from a distinguished panel on the role of broadband in creating jobs and closing the digital divide, an issue that is critical to all of us. So in the few minutes I have with you, I would like to give you an overview of what’s at stake in this debate, why we need to care, and why now is the right time to act.
Monday, April 04
Last Friday, the House Communications and Technology subcommittee passed a bill aimed at keeping a watchful eye on how broadband stimulus dollars are spent. Reports Hayley Tsukayama of the Washington Post:
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Communications and Technology subcommittee, said the legislation clarifies language that requires the programs to give back money awarded to projects that have been canceled. And it institutes a new requirement that would keep Congress in the loop regarding the awards.
The bill refers to stimulus funds granted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which administers the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program launched two years ago to support the expansion of broadband access to all communities. The legislation also applies to stimulus-funded grants made by the Rural Utility Service’s Broadband Intiatives Program.
Meanwhile, as Broadband Breakfast’s Jonathan Charnitski reports, the GOP’s move isn’t sitting particularly well with House members from across the aisle:
Democrats on the panel did not dispute that the intent of the legislation was sound. Several did, however, slam the bill as redundant and a waste of the subcommittee’s time.
“We passed a bill which is already law and current Agency practice,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), ranking member of the subcommittee after the hearing. “There are real issues the Subcommittee should be addressing to improve the economy, spur competition, and enhance public safety.”
Thursday, February 24
How popular is the Broadband Map released last week by the NTIA and FCC? Popular enough to garner 150 million hits — an average of 1,000 hits a second — in its first day.
Friday, February 18
Yesterday, the Commerce Department released its National Broadband Map. In response, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said the results of the survey showed broadband stimulus has been effective. Via Sara Jerome of The Hill:
The head of NTIA’s telecom arm, Lawrence Strickling, said in a briefing that the map lends credence to the broadband grants the Commerce Department doled out across the country.
That’s because the map reveals major connectivity gaps at anchor institutions. Less than 4 percent of libraries have broadband speeds of faster than 20 mbps, he said. These institutions, including schools, received some of the broadband grants.
He added that the impact of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) wouldn’t register on the map because the grant program often pays for middle mile buildout, while the map should availability to end users.
On a related note, over at Network World, Brad Reed has dug through the map and penned a piece on “6 cool things learned from the National Broadband Map.” It’s worth checking out.
Monday, November 15
Spectrum has been called the “oxygen of the wireless world,” and with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski warning America is facing a spectrum crisis due to the explosive growth of wireless broadband, today’s release of a plan from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (PDF) to free up more spectrum is critical. From the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Larry Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council in the Wall Street Journal:
Rarely is there an opportunity to simultaneously catalyze private-sector investment, help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and increase much needed government revenue. President Obama is seizing just such an opportunity with his commitment to nearly double the amount of available commercial wireless spectrum over the next 10 years. Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the first step by announcing a plan to free up 115 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum.
Given wireless broadband’s potential not just in job creation and innovation, but in helping close America’s digital divide, we praise the Obama administration and NTIA for taking this important step.
Tuesday, September 14
The $7 billion in stimulus funds set aside for broadband expansion continues to be distributed, with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announcing yesterday that 35 new broadband projects will be receiving funding. At The Hill, Gautham Nagesh breaks down the projects:
Ten projects worth about $360 million will go toward providing middle-mile networks; Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona and Illinois received the bulk of the funding. Another $60 million will be used on to create or expand public computing centers at colleges, schools and libraries including Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. The other $60 million in grants will go to broadband programs focused on health services and underserved communities.
All told, the price tag for this latest round is $482 million.
Thursday, August 19
Yesterday, RUS and NTIA announced $1.8 billion in broadband stimulus grants. Among those awarded were satellite broadband providers and emergency responders.
All told, 94 projects received grants.
Friday, February 19
Yesterday, the NTIA announced 10 new projects have received broadband grants. All told, $357 million in grants were promised to projects in eight states: California, Florida, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
(Via Multichannel News.)
Monday, February 01
Via Government Tech, last week the NTIA sent out 1,400 rejection letters to broadband grant hopefuls. Those who have been rejected are being encouraged to closely study the grant proposals that have been approved so far before re-applying.
Thursday, January 21
Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the latest batch of broadband grants. In all, $63 million in grants were awarded to three states: Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina.
So far NTIA has awarded $253 million in grants, roughly 3.5 percent of the eventual total.
Tuesday, January 19
As the NTIA and RUS continue to sift through a mountain of broadband grant applications, they’re seeking to simplify the rules for applying in the future. Reports Wireless Week:
According to a statement by RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, the application process has been streamlined to “make the process easier for applicants and target our resources toward ‘last-mile’ broadband connections to homes and businesses.” Both the NTIA and RUS received widespread complaints about the application process after the first round of funding when businesses became frustrated with a lack of transparency and the complexity and length of the application.
Tuesday, December 01
Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a handful of new recipients for state broadband mapping grants. The states chosen were Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.