Report spotlights states' efforts in rural broadband | AT&T: FirstNet build is ahead of schedule | Creative projects are tackling gaps in broadband data
February 27, 2020
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News of the Day
Much has been made of federal efforts to narrow the broadband gap in rural areas, but a study from Pew Research shows that states are also making significant strides. Researchers identified "promising practices" of individual states, including conducting outreach to stakeholders, setting clear policy frameworks and providing funding.
Full Story: Multichannel News (2/27),  The Pew Charitable Trusts (2/27) 
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Contact center CX rankings + omnichannel data
How do contact center experiences impact the broader customer journey? Customer needs vary across banking, cable, health insurance, property/casualty, and telecom—and omnichannel preferences reveal insight on digital usage. See the data in this new report!
Business & Industry Watch
AT&T has completed about 75% of its nationwide FirstNet network, spanning upwards of 2.61 million miles. The company further noted that it has signed up roughly 11,000 public safety groups and that its buildout is outpacing planned timelines.
Full Story: Urgent Communications (2/27),  Light Reading (2/26) 
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Broadband Breakfast examines four entities using creative techniques to improve the Federal Communications Commission's widely criticized Form 477 data for mapping broadband access. The most novel approach is from NEO Partners, which works with individual speed testers in a way government agencies shy away from because of privacy concerns.
Full Story: Broadband Breakfast (2/26) 
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Everstream has agreed to buy the Detroit startup service Rocket Fiber, which launched in 2015 to serve residents and businesses in the downtown areas although the company has expressed plans to expand to the suburbs. Everstream, a Michigan-based provider that serves major-market businesses in the state and other Midwestern locales, has plans to lay 6,000 miles of fiber throughout Michigan.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (2/26),  Telecompetitor (2/26) 
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USTelecom Spotlight
Cisco, which recently became a member of USTelecom, has released the Cisco Annual Internet Report. The new report includes global, regional and country insights, with data featuring US leadership across the broadband ecosystem. The new data show that, in the US, the average fixed broadband speed will grow 2.4-fold from 2018 to 2023 and that 5G will account for 17.6% of mobile connections by 2023. USTelecom members are making significant investment in WIRED wireless to make these next-generation networking innovations possible.
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Video Upload
AT&T's HBO and ViacomCBS' Showtime, both under new ownership, are trying to expand their brand by appealing to a broader audience than in the past, analysts say. They point to the upcoming HBO Max streaming service's embrace of a more inclusive viewer base with content from basic cable networks TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network while Showtime is getting an early window for VH1's "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars."
Full Story: Variety online (2/26) 
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Technology Trends
The CBRS Alliance took a step toward enabling carriers to leverage 3.5 GHz frequencies in their 5G coverage by wrapping up work on specifications covering the mid-band spectrum, which work atop the Release 15 standard from 3GPP and support new radio as well as LTE. The new work expands on Release 15 by providing enhanced authentication support, reduced backhaul and latency requirements and a basis for expanded roaming.
Full Story: Mobile World Live (U.K.) (2/27),  FierceWireless (2/26) 
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IP Download
Local and state governments are generally not increasing their cybersecurity spending in the face of rising ransomware attacks on US governments, an IBM Security survey of nearly 700 government employees finds. Ransomware awareness is growing after a year that saw more than 120 cities, counties, school districts and towns struck with attacks.
Full Story: StateScoop (2/27) 
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Editor's Note
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Everything starts from a dot.
Wassily Kandinsky,
painter, art theorist, pioneer of abstract art
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