In other news, Liberty Global's broadband fight, Cable One's broadband gains, Shentel's ambitious fixed-wireless plans and some new names in the SCTE•ISBE org chart.
Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren wrote a blog post that discussed her plans for giving all municipalities the right to build and run their own broadband infrastructure. Warren wants to create a new federal office to oversee an $85 billion federal grant program to expand nationwide broadband access and appoint pro-net neutrality FCC commissioners, in addition to boosting the FCC's Office of Native Affairs and Policy. She also plans to improve broadband-map accuracy; ban "sneaky" and "anti-competitive" maneuvers by incumbents, and work toward passing the "Digital Equity Act, which will invest $2.5 billion over a decade to help states develop "digital equity plans and launch digital inclusion projects."
In Broadband, People Trust
With billions of public dollars already poured into broadband subsidies each year, all presidential candidates should say how their government will most efficiently and effectively empower operators to deploy speedy Internet connectivity to under- and unserved premises.
Liberty Global saw its second-quarter revenues drop 6% due partly to tough competition in markets like the UK, where altnets and incumbents are ramping up infrastructure investments. Liberty Global's Virgin Media subsidiary isn't sitting still in that market as the carrier unveiled its own ambitious fiber deployment plan last month.
Residential broadband and business services provider Cable One added 20,392 broadband subscribers for a total of almost 613,000 during its second quarter. This 8.5% year-over-year increase drove the operator to residential broadband revenue of $132.82 million. (See Residential Broadband, Biz Services Drive Cable One Forward in Q2 .)
Regional operator Shentel is raising 2019 capex guidance from $150 million to $170 million to cover its entry into fixed wireless access (FWA) as part of its wireline and wireless infrastructure. Shentel serves parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania with a combination of fiber, DOCSIS 3.1 and LTE fixed wireless. Shentel plans to spend about $17 million for approximately 90MHz of spectrum licenses in the 2.5GHz band covering a total of 1 million points of presence. Eventually, Shentel's FWA service will cover half-a-million households, including 280,000 rural premises that today get broadband solely via satellite. (See Shentel to Get Bigger Using Mix of Fiber, Cable & LTE Fixed Wireless.)
The Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers (SCTE) and its global arm, the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE), said today Geoffrey Matt had been promoted to vice president, Finance and Accounting. Previously, Matt was the director of finance for SCTE•ISBE, a position he'd held since joining the non-profit in 2016. Matt replaces Cathy Karch, who retired last month. In this role, Matt develops and executes financial strategies to ensure budgetary compliance and other responsibilities that enable the organization to act as the "applied science arm of the cable telecommunications industry."
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.
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.