Rural telecommunications providers continue to invest in wireless services despite growing concerns about competition and difficulty negotiating roaming agreements, according to NTCA’s 2012 Wireless Survey Report.
The report found that 62% of respondents are providing wireless service to their customers and they continue to make significant investments in their wireless services. The cumulative investment in wireless facilities by rural local exchange carriers now averages $11.7 million per carrier, with an additional $1.4 million, on average, invested in spectrum. Read more
AT&T is personally asking people to not text and drive. According to a September 19 New York Times article, Randall L. Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive of AT&T, opened a speech to major investors about the dangers of texting and driving.
According to the Times, Stephenson has been making the request to all manner of audiences including conversations with leaders of other companies. Read more
NTCA participated in a high-level planning session to examine initial steps necessary to prepare for the launch of the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN). Hosted by Textron Systems Advanced Systems, on June 27 and 28, the session, titled “War Games 2,” focused on the roll of stakeholders in the reallocated 700 MHz D Block Spectrum.
In the Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2011, Congress reallocated the D Block spectrum for the creation of a national public safety network that will fall under the governance of the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA is in the process of putting together a governing board titled, “FirstNet.” NTCA nominated a member to represent rural telco interests on FirstNet. Read more
Broadband take rates in rural communities continue to rise as more consumers recognize the value of the Internet, but regulatory uncertainty surrounding the national broadband plan (NBP) poses a severe threat to future deployment in rural America, according to a survey by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA).
The “NTCA 2010 Broadband/Internet Availability Survey Report” found that member company broadband service providers’ overall broadband take rate was 55%, up from 38% one year ago.
A full 100% of respondents offer broadband to some part of their customer base, with 94% providing DSL and 68% deploying fiber to the home or fiber to the curb. Despite the inherent challenges and significant costs associated with fiber deployment, particularly in high-cost rural areas, the 2010 survey revealed a 15% net increase in deployment (up from 59% one year ago). Read more
Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF of the entire five part series.
Resources: Places to Go to Learn More
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP)
- Electric Power Research Institute
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
- National Broadband Plan, Recommendations on Energy and the Environment
- National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC)
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
- National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC)
- NTCA’s October 2, 2009, comments submitted to the FCC on smart grid
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Smart Grid Overview
- Utilities Telecom Council (UTC)
Crucial to the smart grid ecosystem is the development of an open architecture defined by clear, accepted standards for interconnection, interoperability, performance and monitoring. These standards will provide a necessary foundation for an intelligent network and the many devices which will interface with the grid.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is intimately involved with the standards development process. “We need uniform ways of communicating for the smart grid network to be successful,” said Bob Saint, principal engineer at NRECA. “Electric cooperatives don’t have the staff or resources to customize solutions. We need a device that is plug-and-play, or as near plug-and-play as possible for a variety of network architectures.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), which started working on smart grid standards in 2007 when it was tasked to do so by the Energy Independence & Security Act, is spearheading national standards efforts. To carry out its mission, NIST received $15 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Read more