BBWN Bites: Arkansas Appoints a Broadband Czar
Also today: gigabit broadband access passes nearly one in five people in the US, Roku and Amazon split the streaming media device market and Ofcom finds most subscribers are satisfied.
Nathan Smith, who helped develop the Arkansas State Broadband Plan, assumed the role of Broadband Manager today, in addition to his current role as research director at the Arkansas Department of Commerce. With no change in salary or resources, Smith will be asked to lead Governor Asa Hutchinson's efforts to deploy high-speed broadband to all Arkansas communities with more than 500 residents by 2022. Good luck!
Only 19.7% of the US population has access to gigabit fixed-access Internet, according to a new quarterly report from BroadbandNow, which tracks publicly available providers' plan data. Half the US population could connect at 500 Mbps and 90.3% have access to wired speeds of 100 Mbps, the report found. Affordability, however, is another matter, according to BroadbandNow: Less than 50% of the US populace has high-speed, fixed-access broadband for less than $60 per month, it said.
Broadband on His Mind
An architect of the state's broadband plan, as broadband manager Nathan Smith now will oversee the deployment of these ideas.
The streaming media player market is flattening: 39% of US broadband households own one of these devices, up a mere 1% from last year, according to Parks Associates research released today. Roku and Amazon account for almost 70% of the US market. Between 1Q 2017 and 1Q 2019, Roku's share grew from 37% to 39%, while Amazon's Fire TV increased from 24% to 30%, Park Associates said. Because sales have flattened, device manufacturers may need to change strategies and focus on services and advertising instead of hardware, the research firm noted.
British regulatory agency Ofcom found the total volume of complaints per 100,000 subscribers for fixed broadband, landline and mobile decreased in the first quarter of this year, compared with Q1 and Q4 2018. Overall, consumers were happy with their services last year, Ofcom said, and most contacted operators if a problem arose. "The proportion of people who were satisfied with their communications services in 2018 was 86% for landline services, 83% for broadband services and 93% for all mobile services," the report noted.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.