BBWN Bites: FCC Chair Brings Rural Broadband Plan to Committee
Also today, UK's KCOM to spend $130-million on full-fiber rollout, while ITS gets about $59 million infusion from Aviva Investors, Colt densifies in European cities, Lebanon looks to go full-fiber and more from the fixed-broadband world.
The new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund came a step closer to reality when FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday presented rules for his fellow commissioners to consider before a Jan. 30 vote. The rules establish a two-phase process for funding in rural areas that prioritize high-speed services, including gigabit broadband, although the agency's minimum speed standard remains 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.
Having completed deployment of a full-fiber infrastructure to around 200,000 premises across Hull and East Yorkshire in 2019, KCOM Group now plans to invest about £100 million ($130.5 million) to expand its broadband network to tens of thousands more homes and businesses, the Macquarie subsidiary said. (See UK's KCOM Plans $130M+ Fiber Investment.)
UK wholesale fiber broadband altnet ITS received £45 million ($58.7 million) in funds from Aviva Investors. The open access network provider, which today operates in Northwest, Northeast and Southeast England (including Greater Manchester, Bristol and London), as well as in North Wales, will use the infusion to deploy networks in other areas, passing more than 200,000 premises, ITS said.
Colt Technology Services densified its IQ Network in and around London, adding 110 kilometers (about 68 miles) of fiber. Colt similarly densified its networks in eastern Europe, Dublin and Berlin.
Although it's been reliant on DSL for a long time, Lebanon's government plans to cover the entire country with fiber-based infrastructure by year-end 2022, in large part because of 5G, according to BuddeComm research.
Answering London's Call for Fiber
Colt has been densifying its networks in European cities, including London, so its high-speed broadband networks can support 5G and data-intensive uses such as cloud-based financial applications.
(Photo source: Negative Space, Pexels)
BT is using Ateme's encryption encoder to protect its satellite-uplinked content from piracy. It plans to offer this solution to its media and broadcast customers worldwide to help further curtail illegal use of its proprietary media. (See BT Combats IP Video Piracy With Ateme Encoder.)
US Ignite promoted Chief Operating Officer Joe Kochan to CEO, replacing outgoing Executive Director Bill Wallace, who will be the new executive chairman of the board. Wallace replaces outgoing Executive Director and Chair Sue Spradley, who led the non-profit smart-city advocacy group for seven years. Chief Strategy Officer Nick Maynard took over Wallace's former COO role.
(Pai homepage photo courtesy of the FCC.)
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News.
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.