Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2019

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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EDITOR'S NOTE Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7 times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage paid at Rosenberg, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband Communities, PO Box 303, Congers, NY 10920-9852. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Copyright © 2019 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. CEO Barbara DeGarmo / PUBLISHER Nancy McCain / E D I TO R - I N - C H I E F Masha Zager / E D I TO R -AT- L A R G E Steven S. Ross / A S S O C I AT E E D I TO R Sean Buckley / ADV ER T ISING SALES ACCO U N T E X E C U T I V E Irene Prescott / E V E N T S CO O R D I N ATO R Dennise Argil / CO M M U N I T Y N E W S E D I TO R Marianne Cotter / AR T DIR EC TOR Karry Thomas CO N T R I B U TO R S Rollie Cole, Sagamore Institute for Policy Research David Daugherty, Clarus Broadband Heather Burnett Gold, HBG Strategies Joanne Hovis, CTC Technology & Energy Trevor Jones, OTELCO Michael A. Kashmer, Digital Broadband Programming Consultant W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Bryan Rader, UpStream Network Craig Settles, Gigabit Nation Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine B ROAD BAN D PRO PE R TI E S LLC CEO Barbara DeGarmo V ICE PR ESIDEN T, BUSINESS & OPER AT I ONS Nancy McCain CHAIR MAN OF T HE BOAR D Robert L. Vogelsang BUSINESS & EDI TOR IAL OFFICE BROADBAND PROPER T IES LLC 19 09 Avenue G • Rosenb erg, T X 77471 281. 342.9 655 • Fa x 281. 342.1158 w w w. bro adb andcommunities .com | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 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 | J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 T he divide between digital haves and have-nots has never been greater. About 40 million U.S. households – close to one-third of the total – now have access to FTTH services. (Fiber deployment, though it seems frustratingly slow to those still waiting, is far more rapid than the deployment of copper and cable networks, which took two to three times longer to reach the one-third mark.) Tens of millions more have access to very good broadband – even gigabit service – through fiber-to-the-building or hybrid fiber-coax networks. Still more have access to broadband that meets the FCC's minimum standards. In fact, in large parts of the United States, residents take adequate broadband for granted and aren't aware that broadband access is still a problem for others. Meanwhile, the have-nots fall further behind. Even if they have better service than they had last year or five years ago, they are increasingly disadvantaged. For example, the fiber assets manager of Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation, an Arkansas co-op that is deploying FTTH, describes (p. 62) what underserved families in his service area must do – drive long distances, keep children up late – to make sure homework is completed each evening. Many digital have-nots are in low-income neighborhoods of metropolitan areas that are otherwise well-served. is urban divide continues to reinforce the cycle of urban poverty. e other large group of have-nots, and the most difficult to address, are in rural areas. RURAL BROADBAND e Rural Telecommunications Congress, an organization that advocates for rural broadband, has put together sessions on rural broadband for the Broad B and Communities Summit for a number of years. To preview the rural track at this year's Summit, RTC members contributed several articles to this issue. On p. 34, Drew Clark, president of the RTC, discusses the ReConnect program, included in the March 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, and the Farm Bill broadband programs. Both should provide much-needed injections of funds to rural areas, but the funds come with challenging restrictions. See the Bandwidth Hawk (p. 22) for ideas about how to overcome those restrictions. Eric Ogle of Magellan Advisors explains (p. 36) why local companies, especially electric utilities, offer the best hope for rural broadband – and gives advice about the types of partnerships likely to move these projects forward. Finally, Michael Curri of Strategic Networks Group argues (p. 40) that, to take control of their digital futures, rural communities need to develop a vision of what they want broadband to do for them. Without an overarching vision, he says, any policies will be piecemeal and reactive. Don't miss the Summit – it's in Austin again this year, April 8–11. v A Tale of Two Nations A special section on rural broadband will help you prepare for the Broad B and Communities Summit.

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