Top Broadband Brass in Biden Administration: Girl Power

Benton reports on recent (acting) additions to the President Biden’s broadband team.

At the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair…

President Biden designated FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel was first appointed to the FCC by President Barack Obama, taking her seat on May 11, 2012. Although President Obama renominated her for a second term in May 2015, the Senate failed to act on her nomination and she briefly left the Commission on January 3, 2017. With strong support from Senate Democrats, Rosenworcel was renominated by President Donald Trump and regained her seat on August 11 of that year. Prior to joining the agency, she served as Senior Communications Counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee under the leadership of Senator John Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI). Before her time on the Hill, Rosenworcel was a key staffer of FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.

At the NTIA, Evelyn Remaley as Acting-Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information…

Admittedly we first saw this news in a Tweet from Politico reporter John Hendel, but the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s website confirms that Evelyn Remaley is the new Acting-Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

Most recently, Remaley served as NTIA’s Associate Administrator for Policy Analysis and Development. In that role, Remaley led a team of experts providing senior policy support to the head of the NTIA (when it had one during the Trump administration), the Secretary of Commerce, and the White House on issues impacting the Internet and digital economy. In addition, Remaley led the Department’s Cybersecurity Policy efforts.

At the FTC, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission…

Finally, President Biden designated Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Slaughter has served as an FTC Commissioner since May 2018. As a Commissioner, Slaughter has been an advocate for greater resources for the FTC and promoted equity and inclusion efforts. She has championed aggressive use of the FTC’s authorities. She has also been particularly outspoken about combatting systemic racism, growing threats to competition, and the broad abuse of consumers’ data. Before joining the FTC, Chairwoman Slaughter served as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), now the Senate Majority Leader.

The meetings are becoming more gender-balanced but as someone who has been sitting around a broadband table for 25 years, often in the extreme minority, I love to see this! The Benton article includes links to a number of related articles.

Senators Klobuchar, Smith and 151 others ask FCC to look carefully at RDOF applications

Telecompetitor reports

A broad coalition of Republican and Democratic senators and representatives have sent a letter to the FCC asking the commission to thoroughly vet RDOF auction winners. At stake is $9 billion in rural broadband funding awarded through the reverse auction, which was completed last year.

The letter was championed by Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Thune, as well as Representatives James E. Clyburn and Tim Walberg. Also signing the letter were an additional 153 senators and representatives.

Service providers were required to submit a short-form application in order to participate in the auction, which awarded funding for an area to the bidder that committed to deploying broadband to unserved locations in the area for the lowest level of support. A weighting system favored bids to provider faster service with lower latency.

Senator Smith and Senator Klobuchar both signed the letter. Here’s the paragraph (from the letter) that highlights their concern…

As responsible stewards of USF funds, we ask that the FCC redouble its efforts to review the long-form applications that will now be submitted. We urge the FCC to validate that each provider in fact has the technical, financial, managerial, operational skills, capabilities, and resources to deliver the services that they have pledged for every American they plan to serve regardless of the technology they use. We also strongly encourage the FCC to make as public as possible the status of its review and consider opportunities for public input on the applications. Such transparency and accountability will be essential to ensure the success of this program and to minimize any opportunities for fraud or abuse.

I have written about some of the concern about RDOF in Minnesota. And just earlier today I wrote about how many providers do not seem to be meeting their obligations in deploying broadband with federal CAFII funding. Here concerns outlined by Telecompetitor…

As Telecompetitor has noted, the 10 biggest RDOF winners won a combined 76% of the total funding awarded. Four of those winners are companies that traditionally have used fixed wireless technology who bid in the highest speed category (1 Gbps downstream), at least for some areas.

Fixed wireless equipment manufacturers persuaded the FCC that they had equipment capable of supporting gigabit speeds, although the technology is relatively unproven, especially for rural areas. Perhaps recognizing that, the big fixed wireless RDOF winners left themselves the option of deploying fiber broadband to meet their buildout requirements – one of them even bid to use fiber broadband exclusively for gigabit deployments. But some stakeholders have questioned whether some of the winners can afford to deploy gigabit fiber for the level of support awarded.

Also among the top 10 RDOF winners is satellite broadband provider SpaceX, whose technology also is relatively unproven. The company is in the process of deploying a constellation of non-geostationary satellites to support its bid in the second-highest speed category – 100 Mbps downstream.

Frontier and CenturyLink report they may not have met CAF II deployment deadlines for 2020 – in MN and other states

Telecompetitor reports

The CAF II program awarded funding to the nation’s larger carriers to bring broadband to unserved and underserved rural areas within their local service territories. Frontier accepted $283 million in funding annually and CenturyLink accepted $514 million annually.

Funding recipients were given six years to complete buildouts to a specific number of locations and were given interim deadlines to complete deployment to a specific percentage of locations.

In a letter to the FCC, CenturyLink said it met or exceeded the program’s December 31, 2020 milestone in 10 states but may not have met the 100% milestone in 23 states. Frontier told the FCC that it met the year-end 2020 milestone in eight states but may not have reached it in 17 other states.

The companies must report more definitive deployment data by March 1.

Last year at this time, Frontier said it had met the CAF II deployment milestones for year-end 2019 in 16 states but might not have met the target in 13 others. CenturyLink said it had met milestones in 10 states but might miss the target in 23 others.

Frontier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2020, but attributed this year’s deployment delays to the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than the bankruptcy.

Neither company reports meeting their goals in Minnesota…

According to CenturyLink, states for which the company may not have met its 2020 CAF II deployment target include Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

States for which Frontier may not have met its 2020 CAF II deployment target include Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Frontier said it expects to meet its final CAF II deployment milestone by June 30 in all outstanding states except Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, where the expected completion date is September 30.

The frustration is that this leaves many people without broadband – again. The goal is to build to 25/3 (even lower in some areas) and they haven’t done that. To put that in perspective, it does not get them closer to the MN State speed goal of 100/20 by 2026. In Minnesota we are used to the State MN border to border broadband grant rules where project must build networks that are scalable to 100/100. That is not the case with these networks and getting to 25/3 does not mean getting to 100/20 will be easier.

Also there is the concern for customers that the promise or threat of building has kept competitors out of their market. The promise of a CAF II network has made it more difficult for the communities to get funding from other sources. CAF II funding focused on the providers only – communities didn’t not sign up or on to the program.

Annual FCC Broadband Deployment Report – MN fares well for 25/3 speeds

The FCC has just released the latest edition of the Annual Broadband Deployment Report

The Federal Communications Commission today
released its annual Broadband Deployment Report, which shows that significant progress has been made to bridge the digital divide. For example, the gap between urban and rural Americans with access to 25/3 Mbps fixed broadband service has been nearly halved, falling from 30 percentage points at the end of 2016 to just 16 points at the end of 2019. Additionally, more than three-quarters of those Americans in areas newly served in 2019—nearly 3.7 million—live in rural areas, bringing the number of rural Americans in areas served by at least 25/3 Mbps broadband service to nearly 83%, up 15 points since 2016. The report showed an
overall decrease of more than 20% in the number of Americans without access to 25/3 Mbps broadband service since last year’s report, from more than 18.1 million at the end of 2018 to fewer than 14.5 million at the end of 2019.

The FCC has determined that they have done a good job…

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires that the FCC determine annually whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans “in a reasonable and timely fashion.” Given the compelling evidence before it, the 2021 report finds
for a third consecutive year that deployment is occurring in a reasonable and timely manner. Nonetheless, the Commission continues its work to close the digital divide with the upcoming 5G Fund auction and the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase II auction.

Here’s the summary for Minnesota:

And a look at how those 25/3 numbers look when you add wireless coverage to the mix:

They have a lot of detailed national tables, I’m including a high level look…

And I’ve tried to pull out the Minnesota info. It’s nice to see that Minnesota is well above average for 25/3 but the Minnesota state goal is 100/20!

Deployment of Fixed Terrestrial Fixed 25/3 Mbps and Mobile 4G LTE with a Minimum Advertised Speed of 5/1 Mbps Services By State and County (December 31, 2019)[1]

State, County or County Equivalent Pop. Eval. % of Pop. with Fixed 25/
3 Mbps
% of Pop. with Mobile 5/
1 Mbps
% of Pop. with Fixed & Mobile Pop. Density Per Capita Income ($2018)
Minnesota 5,639,445 97.5% 100.0% 97.5% 70.8 $37,192
Aitkin County 15,886 72.2% 100.0% 72.2% 8.7 $27,646
Anoka County 356,909 99.2% 100.0% 99.2% 843.7 $35,806
Becker County 34,422 94.2% 100.0% 94.2% 26.2 $29,710
Beltrami County 47,182 99.3% 99.5% 98.8% 18.8 $24,781
Benton County 40,887 92.6% 100.0% 92.6% 100.1 $28,566
Big Stone County 4,991 93.5% 100.0% 93.5% 10.0 $30,489
Blue Earth County 67,650 99.2% 100.0% 99.2% 90.5 $28,824
Brown County 25,008 97.8% 100.0% 97.8% 40.9 $30,373
Carlton County 35,871 77.3% 100.0% 77.3% 41.6 $28,117
Carver County 105,081 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 296.6 $45,637
Cass County 29,778 89.7% 100.0% 89.7% 14.7 $29,053
Chippewa County 11,800 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 20.3 $30,168
Chisago County 56,564 92.1% 100.0% 92.1% 136.3 $33,927
Clay County 64,221 98.5% 100.0% 98.5% 61.4 $29,631
Clearwater County 8,817 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 8.8 $26,173
Cook County 5,463 98.5% 92.9% 92.2% 3.8 $32,703
Cottonwood County 11,196 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 17.5 $27,209
Crow Wing County 65,055 95.1% 100.0% 95.1% 65.1 $30,900
Dakota County 429,016 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 763.1 $40,441
Dodge County 20,932 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 47.7 $32,795
Douglas County 38,140 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 59.8 $34,547
Faribault County 13,653 98.5% 100.0% 98.5% 19.2 $29,748
Fillmore County 21,067 96.6% 99.6% 96.2% 24.5 $29,440
Freeborn County 30,281 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 42.8 $28,459
Goodhue County 46,340 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 61.2 $33,400
Grant County 5,972 99.0% 100.0% 99.0% 10.9 $31,940
Hennepin County 1,265,838 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 2,286.6 $43,976
Houston County 18,600 90.7% 99.7% 90.5% 33.7 $31,453
Hubbard County 21,491 98.1% 100.0% 98.1% 23.2 $29,312
Isanti County 40,591 81.3% 100.0% 81.3% 93.1 $32,008
Itasca County 45,130 94.4% 100.0% 94.4% 16.9 $28,636
Jackson County 9,846 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 14.0 $33,358
Kanabec County 16,334 63.2% 100.0% 63.2% 31.3 $27,331
Kandiyohi County 43,194 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 54.2 $30,217
Kittson County 4,298 71.8% 100.0% 71.8% 3.9 $29,946
Koochiching County 12,229 82.3% 100.0% 82.3% 3.9 $29,051
Lac qui Parle County 6,623 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 8.7 $31,686
Lake County 10,641 91.7% 99.7% 91.6% 5.0 $33,602
Lake of the Woods County 3,740 60.7% 99.4% 60.7% 2.9 $26,526
Le Sueur County 28,871 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 64.3 $32,120
Lincoln County 5,639 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 10.5 $28,504
Lyon County 25,474 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 35.6 $30,531
Mahnomen County 5,527 92.8% 100.0% 92.8% 9.9 $20,953
Marshall County 9,336 81.1% 100.0% 81.1% 5.3 $29,670
Martin County 19,683 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 27.6 $31,091
McLeod County 35,893 98.4% 100.0% 98.4% 73.0 $31,723
Meeker County 23,222 96.5% 100.0% 96.5% 38.2 $31,819
Mille Lacs County 26,275 76.9% 100.0% 76.9% 45.9 $26,679
Morrison County 33,384 91.3% 100.0% 91.3% 29.7 $28,792
Mower County 40,061 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 56.3 $29,116
Murray County 8,194 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 11.6 $31,768
Nicollet County 34,274 95.3% 100.0% 95.3% 76.4 $31,225
Nobles County 21,629 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 30.2 $25,554
Norman County 6,375 97.6% 100.0% 97.6% 7.3 $28,351
Olmsted County 158,280 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 242.3 $39,667
Otter Tail County 58,746 98.7% 100.0% 98.7% 29.8 $30,846
Pennington County 14,119 98.7% 100.0% 98.7% 22.9 $30,625
Pine County 29,578 67.6% 100.0% 67.6% 21.0 $25,302
Pipestone County 9,123 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19.6 $29,716
Polk County 31,364 99.5% 100.0% 99.5% 15.9 $28,856
Pope County 11,247 99.5% 100.0% 99.5% 16.8 $32,943
Ramsey County 550,321 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 3,615.5 $34,049
Red Lake County 4,052 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 9.4 $29,731
Redwood County 15,170 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 17.3 $28,011
Renville County 14,548 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 14.8 $31,585
Rice County 66,963 99.0% 100.0% 99.0% 135.1 $29,767
Rock County 9,315 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19.3 $30,544
Roseau County 15,164 78.9% 100.0% 78.9% 9.1 $28,049
Scott County 148,995 99.3% 100.0% 99.3% 418.0 $39,952
Sherburne County 97,231 94.0% 100.0% 94.0% 224.6 $34,013
Sibley County 14,865 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 25.2 $30,977
St. Louis County 199,070 89.0% 99.9% 89.0% 31.9 $30,321
Stearns County 161,073 96.2% 100.0% 96.2% 119.9 $29,815
Steele County 36,649 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 85.3 $30,822
Stevens County 9,805 99.0% 100.0% 99.0% 17.4 $31,694
Swift County 9,266 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 12.5 $30,208
Todd County 24,661 79.9% 100.0% 79.9% 26.1 $25,848
Traverse County 3,259 97.6% 100.0% 97.6% 5.7 $30,553
Wabasha County 21,627 99.4% 99.5% 98.9% 41.4 $33,664
Wadena County 13,682 97.1% 100.0% 97.1% 25.5 $24,864
Waseca County 18,612 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 44.0 $28,067
Washington County 262,419 98.3% 100.0% 98.3% 682.9 $43,789
Watonwan County 10,897 99.6% 100.0% 99.6% 25.1 $27,772
Wilkin County 6,207 99.6% 100.0% 99.6% 8.3 $32,066
Winona County 50,484 99.9% 99.6% 99.5% 80.6 $28,689
Wright County 138,370 96.2% 100.0% 96.2% 209.2 $34,325
Yellow Medicine County 9,709 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 12.8 $29,379

Deployment of Fixed Terrestrial Fixed 25/3 Mbps and Mobile 4G LTE with a Minimum Advertised Speed of 5/1 Mbps Services By State and County
Segmented by Urban and Rural Areas (December 31, 2019)
[1]

  Urban Areas Rural Areas
County or County Equivalent Pop. Eval. % of Pop. with Fixed 25/3 Mbps % of Pop. with Mobile 5/1 Mbps % of Pop. with Both Pop. Eval. % of Pop. with Fixed 25/3 Mbps % of Pop. with Mobile 5/1 Mbps % of Pop. with Both
Minnesota 4,128,809 99.8% 100.0% 99.8% 1,510,636 91.4% 99.9% 91.3%
Aitkin County 15,886 72.2% 100.0% 72.2%
Anoka County 304,638 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 52,271 96.8% 100.0% 96.8%
Becker County 8,099 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 26,323 92.4% 100.0% 92.4%
Beltrami County 14,985 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 32,197 99.0% 99.3% 98.3%
Benton County 23,708 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 17,179 82.3% 100.0% 82.3%
Big Stone County 4,991 93.5% 100.0% 93.5%
Blue Earth County 48,100 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19,550 97.3% 100.0% 97.3%
Brown County 15,947 99.0% 100.0% 99.0% 9,061 95.7% 100.0% 95.7%
Carlton County 15,761 97.6% 100.0% 97.6% 20,110 61.4% 100.0% 61.4%
Carver County 81,185 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 23,896 99.6% 100.0% 99.6%
Cass County 29,778 89.7% 100.0% 89.7%
Chippewa County 5,681 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 6,119 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Chisago County 24,580 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 31,984 86.5% 100.0% 86.5%
Clay County 44,115 99.1% 100.0% 99.1% 20,106 97.0% 100.0% 97.0%
Clearwater County 8,817 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Cook County 5,463 98.5% 92.9% 92.2%
Cottonwood County 3,993 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 7,203 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Crow Wing County 23,809 99.6% 100.0% 99.6% 41,246 92.5% 100.0% 92.5%
Dakota County 405,337 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 23,679 99.5% 100.0% 99.5%
Dodge County 9,876 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 11,056 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Douglas County 17,037 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 21,103 99.4% 100.0% 99.4%
Faribault County 2,785 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 10,868 98.1% 100.0% 98.1%
Fillmore County 1,396 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19,671 96.4% 99.5% 95.9%
Freeborn County 16,945 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 13,336 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Goodhue County 24,222 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 22,118 99.4% 100.0% 99.4%
Grant County 5,972 99.0% 100.0% 99.0%
Hennepin County 1,234,251 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 31,587 99.8% 100.0% 99.8%
Houston County 7,834 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 10,766 84.0% 99.5% 83.6%
Hubbard County 3,429 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 18,062 97.7% 100.0% 97.7%
Isanti County 14,717 99.1% 100.0% 99.1% 25,874 71.2% 100.0% 71.2%
Itasca County 9,233 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 35,897 93.0% 100.0% 93.0%
Jackson County 2,745 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 7,101 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Kanabec County 3,351 96.8% 100.0% 96.8% 12,983 54.5% 100.0% 54.5%
Kandiyohi County 23,590 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19,604 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Kittson County 4,298 71.8% 100.0% 71.8%
Koochiching County 6,379 99.1% 100.0% 99.1% 5,850 64.0% 100.0% 64.0%
Lac qui Parle County 6,623 99.4% 100.0% 99.4%
Lake County 3,522 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 7,119 87.7% 99.6% 87.5%
Lake of the Woods County 3,740 60.7% 99.4% 60.7%
Le Sueur County 10,583 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 18,288 99.6% 100.0% 99.6%
Lincoln County 5,639 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Lyon County 12,829 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 12,645 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Mahnomen County 5,527 92.8% 100.0% 92.8%
Marshall County 9,336 81.1% 100.0% 81.1%
Martin County 8,763 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 10,920 98.9% 100.0% 98.9%
McLeod County 18,996 96.9% 100.0% 96.9% 16,897 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Meeker County 7,848 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 15,374 94.7% 100.0% 94.7%
Mille Lacs County 7,454 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 18,821 68.0% 100.0% 68.0%
Morrison County 8,853 99.4% 100.0% 99.4% 24,531 88.4% 100.0% 88.4%
Mower County 25,277 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 14,784 99.8% 100.0% 99.8%
Murray County 8,194 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Nicollet County 24,434 96.1% 100.0% 96.1% 9,840 93.2% 100.0% 93.2%
Nobles County 12,281 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 9,348 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Norman County 6,375 97.6% 100.0% 97.6%
Olmsted County 127,419 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 30,861 99.6% 100.0% 99.6%
Otter Tail County 15,213 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 43,533 98.2% 100.0% 98.2%
Pennington County 8,835 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 5,284 96.6% 100.0% 96.6%
Pine County 3,091 96.7% 100.0% 96.7% 26,487 64.1% 100.0% 64.1%
Pipestone County 3,706 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 5,417 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Polk County 15,820 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 15,544 99.0% 100.0% 99.0%
Pope County 11,247 99.5% 100.0% 99.5%
Ramsey County 549,150 99.9% 100.0% 99.9% 1,171 99.5% 100.0% 99.5%
Red Lake County 4,052 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Redwood County 4,260 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 10,910 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Renville County 14,548 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Rice County 48,679 98.6% 100.0% 98.6% 18,284 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Rock County 4,224 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 5,091 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Roseau County 2,424 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 12,740 74.9% 100.0% 74.9%
Scott County 121,055 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 27,940 97.6% 100.0% 97.6%
Sherburne County 53,225 99.6% 100.0% 99.6% 44,006 87.4% 100.0% 87.4%
Sibley County 14,865 99.4% 100.0% 99.4%
St. Louis County 124,539 99.5% 100.0% 99.5% 74,531 71.6% 99.9% 71.5%
Stearns County 98,473 99.8% 100.0% 99.8% 62,600 90.7% 100.0% 90.7%
Steele County 25,120 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 11,529 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Stevens County 4,995 99.7% 100.0% 99.7% 4,810 98.3% 100.0% 98.3%
Swift County 2,818 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 6,448 99.8% 100.0% 99.8%
Todd County 4,876 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 19,785 74.9% 100.0% 74.9%
Traverse County 3,259 97.6% 100.0% 97.6%
Wabasha County 7,501 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 14,126 99.1% 99.3% 98.3%
Wadena County 4,363 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 9,319 95.8% 100.0% 95.8%
Waseca County 9,205 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 9,407 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Washington County 218,979 98.8% 100.0% 98.8% 43,440 95.8% 100.0% 95.8%
Watonwan County 4,276 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 6,621 99.4% 100.0% 99.4%
Wilkin County 2,899 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 3,308 99.3% 100.0% 99.3%
Winona County 33,069 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 17,415 99.7% 98.9% 98.6%
Wright County 90,431 99.8% 100.0% 99.8% 47,939 89.4% 100.0% 89.4%
Yellow Medicine County 1,596 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 8,113 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

 

Federal stimulus will help pay internet bills and boost broadband access across Minnesota

I have written about this funding earlier; the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

Carla Green spends about six hours a day on her computer, studying for her GED, selling custom scents and doing other work.

Green, 26, has been struggling to pay $60 a month for wired internet service in her International Falls apartment — something she needs to make a better life, she says.

So she reached out to a local community action program for help and is waiting to get a provided hotspot, which she hopes will be fast and reliable enough for her school work.

Recognizing the millions of households in Green’s situation, Congress designated emergency help for families to acquire and keep internet service in the latest federal COVID-19 relief package.

The $900 billion stimulus includes $7 billion for broadband and network infrastructure initiatives, including $3.2 billion for emergency help with monthly bills for service. Rural areas, tribal governments and other underserved populations will benefit as well.

Here are some of the details on the programs that directly support current customers…

In the stimulus package, about $3.2 billion is slated to help financially struggling households with up to $50 a month for internet service (or $75 per month for those on tribal lands) with payments going directly to the service providers. Those eligible could include households with children on free and reduced school lunches, Pell Grant recipients or the recently unemployed, according to an analysis by the alliance.

The Federal Communications Commission, which is tasked with figuring out how to administer the program, is taking public comment through Feb. 16.

Details on deployment investment…

In addition, $300 million will go to expand broadband in rural areas. In Minnesota, about 17% of rural homes do not have wire line internet service with download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second, and are considered “unserved.”

About $65 million will go to improve the accuracy of broadband availability maps — one of several measures U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has advocated as co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus.

And the impact of COVID on the digital divide and vice versa…

As more business has gone online during the pandemic, it has widened the divide between those who have internet and those who don’t, he said, prompting those without internet to pay bills and make purchases in person.

“How can you limit your exposure to the coronavirus when you have to go everywhere for everything?” Meyer said.

Perhaps most importantly, the pandemic made internet access even more of a necessity for school and work, too, when millions of students and employees were sent home for distance learning and working.

FCC 10th Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report

The FCC has released the most recent Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report. It presents perspectives on empirical performance for data collected in September and October 2019 from the following fixed Internet Service Providers:

  • CenturyLink
  • Charter Communications
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Comcast
  • Cox Communications
  • Frontier Communications Company
  • Mediacom Communications Corporation
  • Optimum
  • Verizon
  • Windstream Communications

I’m just including a few of the table highlights…

Most Popular Advertised Service Tiers

Weighted average advertised download speed among the top 80% service tiers offered by each ISP

The ratio of weighted median speed (download and upload) to advertised speed for each ISP.

The ratio of 80/80 consistent median download speed to advertised download speed.

Weighted average advertised upload speed among the top 80% service tiers offered by each ISP.

FCC Seeks Public Input On New $3.2 Billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The FCC is looking for input…

Initiative to Connect Low-Income Households Funded Through Recent
Congressional Appropriation Responds to FCC’s Call to Keep Americans Connected
WASHINGTON, January 4, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau today issued a request for comment on how best to administer a new $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program created by Congress to help low-income
consumers access the Internet. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 directed the Commission to create the program, which would reimburse participating companies for providing discounted broadband service and connected devices to eligible households during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited to get to work on this new program, which responds to my call last June for Congress to fund a program to advance the Keep Americans Connected initiative that we launched when the pandemic started,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will go a long way to ensuring that low-income American families and veterans are connected during the pandemic, and that students can engage in remote learning with support from the program’s funding for connected devices. Our staff is moving quickly to stand up this program so we can quickly direct funding to consumers who need the help, while also guarding against waste, fraud, and abuse. We look forward to getting public
input on how best to structure this effort.”
The Consolidated Appropriations Act sets forth several requirements for the program: To participate in the program, a provider must elect to participate and either be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier or be approved by the Commission. Participating providers will make available to eligible households a monthly discount off the standard rate for an Internet service offering and associated equipment, up to $50 per month. On Tribal
lands, the monthly discount may be up to $75 per month.
Participating providers will receive reimbursement from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program for the discounts provided. Participating providers that also supply an eligible household with a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet (connected device) for use during the
emergency period may receive a single reimbursement of up to $100 for the connected device, if the charge to the eligible household for that device is more than $10 but less than $50. An eligible household may receive only one supported device. Providers must submit certain
certifications to the Commission to receive reimbursement from the program, and the Commission is required to adopt audit requirements to ensure provider compliance and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. In structuring the program, the Commission seeks input on a range of
issues including:
 Which providers can participate in the program and what do such providers need to do
to elect to participate?
 How should the Commission set up an expedited process for approving broadband
providers for areas where they are not eligible telecommunications carriers?
 How should the Commission and providers track participating households and verify
that they are eligible?
 What services and connected devices are eligible for reimbursement from the program?
 How should the Commission structure the reimbursement process?
 What rules are needed to ensure appropriate service on Tribal lands?
 How should the Commission and participating providers promote awareness of the
program?
 What requirements are needed for robust auditing and enforcement of federal rules?
 What reporting requirements are needed both during the program and at its conclusion?

And if you need some ideas, you can check out yesterday’s post on the NDIA’s take on the act. I expect they will come out with some recommendations soon. If you’re very interested in the discussion, you can check in with NDIA on how to be a part of them.

FCC Grants Additional 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window Licenses – including three in MN

The FCC reports

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted 22 additional applications for licenses to use the 2.5 GHz band to close the digital divide and to provide broadband and other advanced wireless services to rural Tribal communities. These spectrum licenses, which were granted to Tribal entities across the country through the agency’s first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window, provide for exclusive use of up to 117.5 megahertz of 2.5 GHz band spectrum that can be used by Tribes to connect their communities.

“We continue to make significant progress in putting this prime mid-band spectrum into the hands of Tribes so they can connect their communities to business, health care, and educational resources online,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Far too many Tribal communities are on the wrong side of the digital divide, and this Rural Tribal Priority Window is making a real difference in helping to bring digital opportunity to these communities. This is one of the initiatives of which I’m most proud during my time at the Commission.”

The Rural Tribal Priority Window was open for applications from February 3 to September 2, 2020. To date, the agency has granted 179 2.5 GHz licenses to help address Tribes’ connectivity needs. FCC staff continues to review and process all applications filed in the priority window. More information on application processing and status may be found at www.fcc.gov/ruraltribalwindowupdates.

Grants awarded in Minnesota:

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa MN 0009167226 (Granted File Number)
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community General Council MN 0009157301 (Granted File Number)
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe MN 0009132753 (Granted File Number)

MinnPost asks questions about federal broadband grants impact on MN grants

MinnPost has been following the potential impact of RDOF results on rural broadband in Minnesota. Here’s their latest

When the Federal Communications Commission announced $312 million in grants for one relatively small company to build broadband in Minnesota earlier this month, it stirred controversy among those who worry the internet provider can’t deliver what it promised.

Now that squabble over the company, LTD Broadband, has spilled over into Minnesota’s own grant program for development of high-speed internet.

The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition — made up of internet developers, local governments and other groups like Mayo Clinic — sent a letter Wednesday to state officials asking them to award grant money to build broadband in areas expected to be served through the federal program, in part because they have so little confidence in LTD Broadband. Some internet companies said the state asked them to submit bids for cash outside of the federal program zones.

Minnesota officials haven’t made a decision on how to proceed, but the state must navigate the fight over broadband money and territory while balancing the best way to get internet to rural residents — and to spend taxpayer dollars.

They get into the background of the RDOF program and get comment from LTD…

LTD Broadband won $1.32 billion nationally and $312 million in Minnesota — the most of any one company in the country and the state. The money is doled out over 10 years but projects are supposed to be built in six years. LTD’s CEO Corey Hauer said they will deliver gigabit service through fiber-optic internet.

Competitors in the business balked at the auction results because LTD Broadband is a relatively small company with expertise in fixed-wireless internet, where homes get service from a signal placed high on a structure, such as a silo. It can be cheaper to build than fiber, which requires a physical connection to houses, though state officials who run the Minnesota grant program have avoided fixed wireless, arguing it is slower and less reliable than fiber.

Hauer says LTD Broadband has some experience in fiber and is ready to quickly expand and meet the challenge of providing gigabit service to a huge and disparate geographic area.

And they talk about the impact of grant applications awaiting results with the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development (OBD)…

Minnesota’s border-to-border broadband program, run by the Department of Employment and Economic Development, has $20 million in state money to dole out. Barbara Droher Kline, a broadband development consultant working with Le Sueur County, said DEED asked people to submit bids that don’t overlap with areas to be served under the FCC initiative. That’s meant to ensure a wider swath of the state can be covered.

But with deep skepticism from developers over LTD’s ability to actually deliver services, many are asking DEED to reconsider.

Organizations such as the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition are asking the OBD to move ahead with awards. OBD is undecided…

Angie Dickison, executive director of DEED’s Office of Broadband Development, said she was limited in what she could say because the state is in an open grant round and because there are federal limits right now on discussing development plans for the FCC program. An FAQ posted by DEED says: “In deciding which projects should be awarded state grant funding, information on any federal funding announced prior to the state announcement will be considered.”

Dickison said the state is still evaluating applications and hasn’t decided how to proceed with the state grants in light of the federal auction results.  Final decisions on grants are planned for January. LTD Broadband’s “long-form application” is due to the FCC in mid-February and review could take months, Robinson said in his letter.

“We are aware of the concerns that folks have and are taking that all into consideration,” Dickison said. “We’re in a wait and see mode until we learn more about the final outcome of the auction and the end of the ‘quiet period.’”

Minnesota communities have questions and concerns on RDOF results

The results of the RDOF awards (large amounts of federal funding going to broadband providers in rural areas) are creating concern for rural communities – especially in Minnesota. I’ve written about it before – the concern is that one provider received most of the funding being invested in Minnesota over the next 10 years through the fund. That provider (LTD Broadband) is known for the work in fixed wireless but the funding is to deploy fiber.

An immediate concern is that communities have submitted proposals to the Office of Broadband Development before the RDOF announcement was made and are worried that the RDOF award will impact their chances at state funding and/or require changes to their proposals to qualify for state funding. Le Sueur County has shared a letter with me that they have sent to the Office of Broadband Development outlining their concerns. (Pasted below.) I know others have sent or plan to send similar letters. I invite folks to send me copies and I will compile them here for the public archive.

Minnesota Office of Broadband Development

Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

First National Bank Building

332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200

St. Paul, MN  55101

December 15, 2020

Dear Office of Broadband Development,

In 2020, we have made huge strides in broadband deployment in Le Sueur County for two reasons. First, because of the successful 2019 BEVCOMM (Eckles Telephone Company) Le Sueur County award and completed project and because we were able to spend about $547,000 of our CARES Act budget on broadband infrastructure fiber built around prior and current border to border applications completed by December 1, 2020.

However, there are still many miles to complete fiber installation in the county. That is one reason why we met with and helped plan for two applications in the 2020 Border to Border grant round for BEVCOMM and Metronet. Completion of these two projects would  get additional reliable service to more of the county. It is critical for our work. We are looking ahead to 2021 planning to continue our partnerships.

That is why we are asking you today to please not penalize these two applications because of the preliminary results of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction  awards announced  Dec. 7, 2020.

Because of the auction, LTD Broadband was awarded significant territory in our county and those locations are partially covered by the 2020 applications to the Border to Border program. Eliminating those partial areas would invalidate our planning process and carefully configured budgets.  The projects would no longer be viable.

We feel that for the future of our county and its citizens, fair evaluation of these grant applications by the state must be preserved. It is our concern that LTD Broadband may not be able to fulfill the FCC’s phase 2 verification and with a denial from the state, we would then be put even further behind in the process.

It cannot be overstated how important broadband service had become prior to the pandemic but since, our county government, businesses, schools and students would not have been able to function. Please help us continue our work and the work of the volunteers serving the county to bring broadband door-to-door.

We appreciate your work and the Border to Border Grant program. Thank you for supporting rural Minnesota,

Sincerely,

Darrell Pettis

County Administrator

 

“RDOF was a major fail” says MN Task Force member … we need to alert MN legislators

As promised, there’s more commentary coming on the RDOF results. And as a quick reminder – LTD was awarded nearly $312 million to build Gigabit broadband in Minnesota in the next 10 years. People are skeptical that this will happen, as MinnPost reports

In an interview, Corey Hauer, LTD Broadband’s CEO, said he was confident his company could grow fast and meet the challenge. But local competitors and broadband experts said they were concerned LTD could not deliver what it promised, especially since the company has focused primarily on wireless internet technology while it now promises fiber-optic connections.

The award came up at the last MN Broadband Task Forde meeting last Friday.

You can hear concern from at least one member about the ability of LTD (the big winner in Minnesota) to deploy the broadband that they have promised. The concern is multifaceted. Their primary concern with the federal funding is that it won’t happen. From the Task Force perspective, the greater concern is that legislators will assume that RDOF will serve the proposed areas and that therefore no further state funding is needed. An unintended consequence is that the promised funding might prevent other providers from going into those areas, companies that would have provided folks with speeds that would meet the MN broadband state goals. They are concerned that unlike what happens with Minnesota’s state program, the FCC will not follow through with oversight on provider performance.

Funny enough, an earlier iteration of the Broadband Task Force heard from LTD in February 2018. He spoke about their fixed wireless service – not fiber, which I think reflects the concerns that people have about LTD being able to fulfill the obligations it undertook through the RDOF application. They have a history of fixed wireless, not fiber. He also notes that speeds of 10/1 can be as welcome to some customers as 25/3. Again, this is from Feb 2018.

As you can hear, CEO Corey Hauser said that 80 percent of traffic comes from streamlining services. He spoke about the services they provided at the time:

  • 3 Mbps
  • 6 Mbps
  • 10 Mbps
  • 25 Mbps

(Presumably he is talking about download, since that was his focus.) He mentioned that Netflix usually required 2.5Mbps. He could only think of one use for Gig access – game updates. Then he outlines a number of applications and required speeds.

He spoke about cable companies and complaints about broadband pricing. And complaints about telecom broadband service in cities.

He spoke about utilities, building the case that a fixed wireless company has several options for broadband services. About minute 18:30 – he speaks about State funding for broadband – making the case that the State shouldn’t spend money “Cadillac” services when a lesser car will do. He’s annoyed that State funding has gone to overbuild areas where he already provides 25/3 services. He was annoyed because the services that he provided was not considered broadband by Minnesota statute. Annoyed at MN maps because they didn’t reflect his services.

He asks and answers: Why is fixed wireless best? Capital costs because he doesn’t have to spend money to reach every house until they want it. So a lower take rate isn’t a problem for LTD.

About minute 28:20, he speaks about TV White Spaces.

About min 29:42, he takes umbrage of the 25/3 speed goal as 10/1 is also a responsible service as compared to no service or satellite service. He also spoke about the CAF tiers – comparing the 25/3 and 10/1 tiers – saying both have their place.

It may be valuable to note that Reps Baker and Layman were in the meeting as well and clearly Rep Baker had been in earlier communication with LTD. It led to s discussion on government investing in technology that meets the needs today and in the future.

It would be great to see Minnesota get the upgrade that’s promised with RDOF funding – the concern is that it won’t happen and with a dibs on certain communities for 10 years, those communities are in danger of falling farther and farther behind.

LTD Broadband is big winner in MN – that’s different

Earlier this week FCC announced the winners of the RDOF funding. There was a standout winner in Minnesota – LTD Broadband. In fact, beyond Minnesota, the LTD Broadband win is one of the biggest in the US. I’ve heard from several people who have been surprised by this. This is the first, but may not be the last, compilation of what folks are saying about RDOF.

Muninetworks (Chris Mitchell) is also in a mode of comment gathering…

The auction resulted in far more gigabit – 85% of locations I believe – than anyone expected, at far lower subsidy than expected. However, there is a lot of frustration and confusion because it is not clear that some of the top bidders can deliver. NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association – shared my original enthusiasm for RDOF and our concerns – best articulated over the years by Jon Chambers from Conexon – that the FCC was going to blow this auction by not ensuring those who bid had the capacity to deliver on the promised level of service. Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA, wrote this and recently tweeted on this:
Not feeling quite as bullish about this final outcome for RDOF #1 and worry that it will take years to show that rural America is still waiting for #broadband and resources needed will be gone. Hoping @FCC has a robust back-end review so the process won’t fail Americans again.

Doug Dawson, President of CCG Consulting, has addressed this in the greatest detail so far, arguing that this “means the FCC believes that fixed wireless technology is the functional equivalent of fiber” even though the underlying point-to-multipoint architecture “can’t be used to deliver giant bandwidth to more than a few customers – and it’s not really designed to deliver gigabit download, and certainly not a symmetrical gigabit.” The result? “By allowing WISPS to claim gigabit capabilities, the FCC cheated huge numbers of people out of getting fiber.”

And specifically about LTD…

But the real puzzle is LTD Broadband, the WISP that took away the biggest awards. They are slated to get $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to build gigabit to more than 500,000 locations – often islands in the middle of non-subsidized areas.

Notice that LTD only qualified to bid to build fiber at the gigabit tier. They do not have permission to substitute wireless, from what I (and everyone else I have talked to) understand.

OK, so what? Assume that LTD will just build fiber. Cooperative Network Solutions has published a map of the winners. These are high cost areas that were bid so long ago that successful fiber network operators in the adjacent areas decided the subsidies were too low for them. Somehow LTD is going to get financing and the expertise to build these areas all out with lower subsidies than what local folks could do?  Seems improbable.

MinnPost also spoke about LTD…

While local broadband advocates celebrated the infusion of cash, the grant awards also raised some eyebrows. That’s because one relatively small company with Minnesota ties came away with the vast majority of the federal money for the state: LTD Broadband.

The company won nearly $312 million to develop high-speed internet in Minnesota, which is far more than was granted to other competitors, including larger companies like CenturyLink and local cooperatives like Arrowhead Electric. LTD Broadband’s success stretched beyond Minnesota, too. The company was awarded $1.32 billion in total for projects across 15 states, the highest amount of cash for any company in the FCC’s round of grants.

In an interview, Corey Hauer, LTD Broadband’s CEO, said he was confident his company could grow fast and meet the challenge. But local competitors and broadband experts said they were concerned LTD could not deliver what it promised, especially since the company has focused primarily on wireless internet technology while it now promises fiber-optic connections.

More on LTD…

LTD uses an internet technology called fixed wireless, where homes get service from a signal placed high on a structure, such as a water tower or a silo. It can be delivered cheaper than fiber-optic cables, which require physical connections to houses.

State officials in Minnesota prefer fiber projects in their own grant programs because they say the technology is more reliable and delivers faster speeds.

Hauer said Minnesota officials have been reluctant to support fixed wireless, which he says can meet essentially every need of home customers and businesses besides unusual tasks like downloading large games.

Still, Hauer said LTD has done fiber projects and will actually be obligated to build fiber in the grant areas. He said there may be a component of fixed wireless in broadband development for the grant program, but declined to go into details, saying the FCC prohibits divulging of certain development plans for grant-winners for now.

The company will be required to offer gigabit internet, which has speeds far above what Minnesota considers to be high-speed broadband. Hauer also contends LTD can spend less to grow their coverage, giving the feds more bang for their buck.

And a view from another provider…

Joe Buttweiler, director of business development for Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC), which is headquartered in Brainerd, said there is “a lot of anxiousness right now about the results.”

Auction winners must submit a longer application in coming months that gives more detail on their broadband plans, finances and technology to the FCC.

Buttweiler said many in the industry don’t believe LTD can offer gigabit speeds with fixed-wireless technology, but said if they intend to use fiber, “we’d love to see the plans that they’re going to provide to the FCC.”

Buttweiler said building a “full-fiber network throughout all of Minnesota” will be an expensive task that could be hard to fulfill at the cheap price LTD has promised. “I just have a really difficult time believing they can do it for that amount of money,” he said.

Buttweiler’s CTC is a member of the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, while LTD is not. CTC also is a competitor. The company was awarded $2.04 million from the FCC grants.

CNS has a map of RDOF winners

CNS has an interactive map of RODF winners. You can filter by winning bidder and/or by tier including:

  • Above baseline; high
  • Above baseline; low
  • Baseline; low
  • Gigabit; low

It looks like almost all are Gigabit low – except Space Exploration Tech Corp, which comes in at Above baseline; low.

You can zoom in and/or click on the map to get the following information: (I have pulled out the table from the example on the right.)

Winner Name LTD Broadband LLC
Locations 801
Initial Reserve 817,961
Results_id 270017905011
Tier Map Gigabit; Low
County Aitkin
State MN
Census Block Group 270017905011
Auction 904
Bid ID MN-001-7905011
State MN
County Aitkin
Census Block Group 270,017,905,011.00
Results Low
Tier Gigabit
FRN 20,926,788

FCC announces 22 RODF winners in Minnesota – LTD Broadband is big winner

The FCC reports

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that millions of rural Americans in 49 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will gain access to high-speed Internet service through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction. Auction results released today show that bidders won funding to deploy high-speed broadband to over 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses, almost 99% of the locations available in the auction. Moreover, 99.7% of these locations will be receiving broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (over 85%) getting gigabit-speed broadband. CCO Holdings, LLC (Charter Communications) was assigned the most locations, just over 1.05 million. A total of 180 bidders won auction support, to be distributed over the next 10 years.

A broad range of providers successfully competed in the Phase I auction, including cable operators, electric cooperatives, incumbent telephone companies, satellite companies, and fixed wireless providers. And the FCC’s structuring of the reverse auction yielded significant savings, as competitive bidding among over 300 providers yielded an allocation of $9.2 billion in support out of the $16 billion set aside for Phase I of the auction. Importantly, the $6.8 billion in potential Phase I support that was not allocated will be rolled over into the future Phase II auction, which now can draw upon a budget of up to $11.2 billion in targeting partially-served areas (and the few unserved areas that did not receive funding through Phase I).

 

Here are the Minnesota totals:

  • Total dollar amount: $408,150,745.60
  • Winning bidders: 22
  • Locations assigned: 142,841

Here are the winners in MN

AMG Technology Investment Group Minnesota LLC
Amount: $ 3,736,316.00
Locations: 1,408

Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Amount: $ 18,462,273.10
Locations: 4,879

CenturyLink, Inc.
Amount: $ 15,646,093.10
Locations: 3,265

Consolidated Communications, Inc.
Amount: $ 11,126.00
Locations: 12

Consortium of AEG and Heron
Amount: $ 6,709,428.00
Locations: 1,150

Farmers Mutual Telephone Company
Amount: $ 759,822.00
Locations: 332

Federated Telephone Cooperative
Amount: $ 537,399.00
Locations: 248

Fond du Lac Communications Inc
Amount: $ 1,046,123.00
Locations: 728

Gardonville Cooperative Telephone
Amount: $ 63,903.00
Locations: 24

Great Plains Consortium
Amount: $ 81,700.60
Locations: 402

Halstad Telephone Company
Amount: $ 3,118,056.40
Locations: 603

LTD Broadband LLC
Amount: $ 311,877,936.40
Locations: 102,005

Midcontinent Communications
Amount: $ 4,453,803.70
Locations: 6,058

Minnesota Connections c/o Consolidated Tel Company
Amount: $ 2,040,278.70
Locations: 979

Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Coop
Amount: $ 16,307,892.10
Locations: 5,088

Roseau Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Amount: $ 1,228,494.00
Locations: 266

Savage Communications
Amount: $ 6,090,479.10
Locations: 4,541

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
Amount: $ 8,424,807.60
Locations: 7,529

Wikstrom Telephone Company
Amount: $ 983,637.00
Locations: 228

Windstream Services LLC,
Amount: $ 6,548,964.10
Locations: 2,899

Winnebago Cooperative Telecom
Amount: $ 20,541.70
Locations: 178

Wisper-CABO 904 Consortium
Amount: $ 1,671.00
Locations: 19

 

FCC’s Pai To Step Down On Inauguration Day

Politio reports

Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai said Monday that he will step down on the day that President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

Pai’s departure had been widely expected after President Donald Trump’s reelection defeat. It is traditional for FCC chairs to step down in deference to incoming administrations from the opposing party.

As I reported just earlier today, there’s still working happening in and around the FCC.