A newly introduced bipartisan Senate measure would block entities from using any of the $1.9 trillion in American Rescue Plan funds to buy telecom equipment from China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE. The sponsors, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., say the bill would protect US networks from national security threats.
Consolidated Communications expanded its fiber locations by 76,000 in the second quarter, bringing the regional telecom's total to 122,000 upgrades thus far this year, CEO Bob Udell said. Consolidated has grown its fiber base by 7,000 subscribers this year with 60% of that group representing new customers, he added.
The negotiated $1.2 trillion infrastructure package before the Senate includes $1 billion in cybersecurity grants for local, tribal, state and territorial governments that would be allocated over four years starting in 2022. The Department of Homeland Security would oversee the program.
New data shows more than 4 million households across the country are now enrolled in the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The $3.2 billion program provides a $50 discount ($75 in Tribal lands) on internet service. Households can verify EBB eligibility via a customer portal at www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org. ICYMI: Read USTelecom's blog on how Congress can best approach affordability programs like EBB.
Parks Associates reports that 82% of homes in the US with broadband also had an account on one or more over-the-top services during 2021's first quarter, up six percentage points over the same period in 2020. The survey shows that 13% subscribed to both linear and streaming platforms.
An agreement between HBO's parent WarnerMedia and DISH Network will see DISH immediately resume distribution of HBO, HBO Max and Cinemax. HBO has been absent from DISH services for close to three years after the two companies failed to reach a carriage agreement.
Airbnb has introduced a tool to help hosts display Wi-Fi speeds within rental listings in an effort to encourage remote working and distance learning at properties. A standardized speed test is built into the Airbnb app and while it is only available in the US at present, it is expected to roll out worldwide soon.
Microsoft cybersecurity researchers report that fake call centers are being set up to send out ransomware attacks. The "BazaCall" or "BazarCall" campaigns were first spotted in February by researchers at Palo Alto Networks.