Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 5 9 For most of the last century, state public service commissions ensured that rural areas of the United States had telecommunications service reasonably comparable to that available in urban areas. e authority of public service commissions has been steadily cut back over the past 20 years, but public service commissions still have the authority and responsibility to ensure that companies that receive public funds provide quality telecommunications services. Before a company receives public money from the Universal Service Fund, of which CAF is one component, the state commission must certify the company as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC). If I were a resident of one of the 20 states in which ViaSat submitted winning bids, I would ask my state commission to ensure that all ETC applicants can deliver quality voice service. According to the FCC, this requires actual users of the service to rate the service at an average of 4.0 out of 5.0, using a test known as the voice Mean Opinion Score (MOS). Recently, ViaSat petitioned the FCC to dumb down the FCC's testing methodology. Specifically, ViaSat is asking that the voice tests be done in a lab rather than in actual real-world calls, that the test of voice quality be a one-way script rather than conversation, and that ViaSat, rather than a neutral third party, conduct the test. (ViaSat's request to the FCC can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/yc68cjek.) Perhaps ViaSat knew when it bid that it couldn't meet the current standard under the current testing protocol. My skepticism is based on ViaSat's representations to officials at the FCC in 2014 and 2015 that it could not meet the voice standard. In one meeting with the chairman of the FCC, ViaSat said its internal testing resulted in scores lower than 4.0. I trust something has changed in the past State public service commissions can refuse to certify ViaSat as an eligible telecommunications carrier – and thus disqualify it for CAF II funds – if it cannot provide quality voice service. bbcmag.com/subscribe | 877.588.1649 Subscribe today! Broadband Communities continues to be the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. In every issue, we offer in-depth news, expert insights, and practical know-how on all aspects of outfitting properties and communities with broadband solutions. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment to Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises while keeping readers up to date on the available solutions capable of serving their practical needs. FREE to those who qualify. 3 Original Research 3 Trusted Reports 3 Latest Trends 3 Industry News with articles on 3 Technology 3 Finance 3 Marketing 3 Law

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