USTELECOM Association News

Chairman Pai's net neutrality proposal will boost the digital economy

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 28, 2017

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's announcement about his plans to restore U.S. innovation by rejecting Title II regulation of the internet is a huge win not only for consumers, but for our connected economy and digital democracy. In an Axios op-ed on Thursday, USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter explained why Pai's plan is heading in the right direction for the FCC and the nation. With a proposal focused on consumers, those worried about net neutrality will have the security of "clear and enforceable rules to safeguard [their] online freedoms," Spalter wrote. Learn more.

Consumers won't get a modern, open internet from Title II

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 27, 2017

USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter discussed his viewpoints on Title II and the open internet and its effects on consumers and the economy in an op-ed posted on news site Morning Consult today. Spalter notes that all sides continue to strongly support consumers’ right to be in control of their online experience. All sides also agree government should have the authority to enforce these protections. What they don’t agree on is whether net neutrality rules can only be achieved by imposing utility-style regulations written in 1934. Learn more.

Utility regulation and broadband network investment

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 26, 2017

USTelecom recently issued a research brief, "Utility Regulation and Broadband Network Investment: The EU and US Divide," examining the adverse effects of restrictive Title II regulations on US broadband investment per capita. Following the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 decision to start regulating the industry like local water and gas companies, broadband investment ticked down a billion dollars. Based on European investment levels, which take place under a Title II-like regime, US broadband investment per capita could decline as much as 50% if it fell to European levels. That's a reduction in infrastructure investment of roughly $44 billion yearly. Learn more.

Rural areas to benefit from ROR flexibility changes

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 25, 2017

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission approved an order allowing Rate-of-Return carriers to receive money from universal service funds for high-cost projects that might exceed their average cap, giving them more flexibility. The change will allow carriers to extend broadband service to hard-to-reach homes. "Fixing this quirk in the rule will help spread deployment to the highest cost portion of rural America in dire need of access to broadband," stated USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter. Learn more.

May 11 webcast: Extending Broadband to America's Underserved

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 24, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund (CAF) and Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) funding present a significant opportunity to expand broadband coverage in rural and remote areas. However, delivering broadband services to this underserved segment presents major challenges due to low population density, varied and difficult terrain and long loop lengths. Join us on Thursday, May 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight time, as ADTRAN co-hosts this presentation, outlining technology options (copper, fiber, and fixed wireless) to deliver 10, 25 and 100Mbps services, and exploring deployment issues. Register today.

FCC takes a step toward speeding broadband deployment

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 21, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission took action to move toward speeding deployment of next-generation networks by removing barriers to investment, accelerating the transition from old copper networks to IP networks and reducing unnecessary FCC regulations. USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter stated, "Removing barriers to infrastructure investment is perhaps the single most effective way to achieve the commission's goal of accelerating wireline broadband deployment." Learn more.

De-tariffing will lead to more BDS

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 20, 2017

In 1934, Congress decided tariffs were necessary to protect consumers from unreasonable and discriminatory prices because there was virtually no phone service competition to keep providers from charging whatever they wanted. With more competitive markets, there's less need for tariffs to counter possible anti-competitive behavior. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed removing tariffs when a service once dominated by a monopolist becomes highly competitive. For example, widespread long distance phone service competition meant there were no more dominant providers, so the FCC got rid of tariffing requirements. A more recent example of tariffs outlasting their usefulness is in the market for certain high-speed business data services, or BDS. Learn more.

BDS reform should put broadband first

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 19, 2017

Getting mired in the important details of Federal Communications Commission proceedings can distract from the big picture goal we all share: making sure broadband is available to all businesses and consumers throughout the nation. Accomplishing this will take a continuing commitment from providers that have already invested billions of dollars to build modern fiber networks. Increasing investment in new broadband infrastructure will directly create jobs, economic opportunities and more competition. Today's business broadband or business data services marketplace is markedly different from just a few years ago. A regulatory update to reflect this new marketplace reality is undoubtedly overdue. Learn more.

The future of voice recognition

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 18, 2017

Voice control is rapidly replacing the keyboard stroke, mouse click and finger tap as a preferred way to control computers, smart devices and personal data. Less than three years after it was introduced, Amazon's Echo sits on a table in about 4% of American households. Apple's Siri handles over 2 billion commands a week, and 20% of Google searches on Android-powered handsets in America come via voice commands, according to a recent Economist report. All of those devices depend upon access to a powerful, ubiquitous wired broadband infrastructure which provides a foundation for wireless networks. Learn more.

How wired is my valley?

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 17, 2017

For some rural towns and counties, upgrading the broadband infrastructure is a question of balancing a deeply held commitment to a rural identity with the costs of being left behind by a digitally powered world. Some are confronting the challenges of bringing a 21st century broadband infrastructure to a sparsely populated area that still embraces an historic heritage. USTelecom broadband providers support public-private partnership efforts aimed at ensuring broadband is built in areas which don't currently have it. One way to help speed deployment is eliminating federal regulations that stymie investment as well as encouraging policies like "dig once," which can help lessen the costs for providers. Learn more.

Mobile growth relies on wired network investment

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 14, 2017

Global mobile internet traffic is expected to grow seven times from 2016 to 2021, and US mobile traffic will grow five times, according to a new mobile traffic forecast released by the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI). Mobile traffic is a reflection of exciting innovations such as digital devices, internet of things and virtual reality. However, wired networks play a critical role in making all of these innovations possible, providing the backbone to accommodate surges in mobile traffic. In the US, 64% of traffic from mobile devices was off-loaded onto wired networks in 2016, and that will grow to 70% in 2021. Learn more.

"Dig Once": A solution for rural broadband

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 12, 2017

One of the toughest roadblocks to bringing high speed broadband to rural counties is the cost of installing fiber optic cable. The Department of Transportation has compiled statistics that put the average cost of laying fiber at $27,000 per mile. This steep installation cost can scuttle even the most optimistic business case for expanding broadband in sparsely populated regions. "Dig Once" is a relatively simple and inexpensive policy concept that can lower the cost of broadband deployment. Better, faster, cheaper and more competitive broadband benefits everyone. Learn more.

Time for spring cleaning at the FCC

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 11, 2017

Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to create a new "Office of Economics and Data" and to make economic analysis the foundation for future rulemakings. Chairman Pai pointed out that the agency's rigid silos have led to inefficiencies and hurt worker productivity. With the right structure in place, the FCC can meet the challenge of overseeing modern networks and technologies as they continue to evolve, and can better protect consumers and encourage competition in the increasingly converged communications marketplace. This is a welcomed first step toward realigning the FCC to better keep up with the pace of innovation in the technologies it oversees. Learn more.

The interconnected world of IoT ecosystems

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 10, 2017

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have only begun gaining in popularity over the past few years, but they're already helping consumers, businesses and government entities better communicate, record and analyze data. According to a report by BI Intelligence, there will be 34 billion internet-connected devices by 2020, of which 24 billion are expected to be IoT devices. Some analysts predict there will be as many as 100 billion connected devices online by 2025 with an economic impact of $11 trillion globally. Learn more.

Smart cities need broadband investment

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 07, 2017

Making cities smart for all residents requires high-speed broadband connections for every household. Broadband companies invested $76 billion alone in 2015 in the US infrastructure and have invested over $1.5 trillion since 1996. Smart city numbers are increasing due to these investments, which help to build the fiber used for innovative broadband networks that link together the Internet of Things. There will be nearly 100 smart cities around the world by 2025, according to IHS Technology. Louisville, a pioneer of smart cities, is making great headway to help its citizens by using its connective broadband network. Learn more.

Hi-tech devices rely on home fixed broadband

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 06, 2017

No matter what the connected device -- PCs, mobile devices, gaming consoles or over-the-top boxes -- streaming movies, TV shows and all other forms of audio and video generate the largest share of traffic on a home's fixed broadband network. Referred to as "home roaming," this common practice of connecting to the home's Wi-Fi network helps make iOS and Android devices the most significant generator of traffic for fixed-access broadband services in North American homes. Learn more.

Broadband fuels an explosion in streaming music

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 05, 2017

The always-connected, ubiquitous internet has transformed the music business. For the first time ever, streaming music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music have generated the majority of the music industry's revenue in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Streaming music grew by 68% to deliver $3.9 billion of the industry's retail dollars, just over 50% of the total revenue. According to Parks Associates, 58% of US broadband households stream music or audio outside the home. Learn more.

USTelecom President Spalter discusses internet regulation and telecom issues

USTelecom dailyLead® | Apr 03, 2017

USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter was featured on C-SPAN's "The Communicators" on Saturday, April 1, to talk about internet regulation and telecom issues. C-SPAN's Peter Slen and Reuters' David Shepardson asked an array of questions including recent legislation on consumer privacy, cybersecurity issues, investment in broadband infrastructure, and USTelecom's perspective on net neutrality. Learn more.

5 things to know about Congress' rejection of FCC privacy rules

USTelecom dailyLead® | Mar 31, 2017

In an op-ed published recently in Axios, USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter shares five reasons why consumers should not be alarmed by Congress' recent rejection of Federal Communications Commission privacy rules. Some of the reasons he states are: sensitive data remains fully protected, no one is buying individuals' browser history, and internet sites are already aggregating your browsing history. This action clears the way for one standard for online privacy and is a move toward a unified approach for everyone in the internet ecosystem. Learn more.

Congress acts to simplify consumer privacy expectations

USTelecom dailyLead® | Mar 30, 2017

USTelecom called Congress' action to remove rules that would have created inconsistent privacy protections for consumers "another step to remove unnecessary rules and regulations that handicap economic growth and innovation." Revoking the rules moves the country one step closer to ensuring that consumers' private information is protected uniformly across the entire internet ecosystem. "Consumers can rest easy today knowing their privacy is protected under existing FCC authority, which requires companies to keep consumers' data safe," stated USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter. Learn more.

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