July 30, 2021
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Top Story
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.
Full Story: The Verge (7/29) 
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The Latest from Washington
The federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program has attracted more than 4 million signups since its May 12 launch, acting Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced. The FCC has sought to entice EBB signups through a campaign that involves libraries, schools, YMCAs and nonprofit groups.
Full Story: Next TV/Broadcasting+Cable (7/28) 
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Senate bill earmarks $1B for local cybersecurity
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.
Full Story: StateScoop (7/29) 
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Business, Strategies and Access
Shenandoah Telecommunications announced that it will invest in its Beam and Glo Fiber divisions now that T-Mobile has bought its wireless assets. Glo Fiber uses fiber optic infrastructure for residential broadband service and Beam offers 5G through fixed wireless in rural areas.
Full Story: Virginia Business (7/30) 
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Queen Anne's County in Maryland is working with Atlantic Broadband, ThinkBig Networks and Talkie Communications to expand broadband service in several remote areas. The organizations plan to use state funding for the project.
Full Story: MyEasternShoreMD (Easton, Md.) (7/30) 
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Consolidated added 76,000 fiber locations in Q2
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.
Full Story: FierceTelecom (7/29) 
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Trends & Research
Providing universal high-speed internet service would provide an annual $160 billion lift to the US economy through productivity gains, the Aspen Economic Strategy Group says in a report. The think tank estimates universal broadband would eventually raise economic output by 1.1% partly due to the increase in telecommuting.
Full Story: Axios (7/28) 
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Clinicians at the University of Mississippi Medical Center turned to asynchronous telehealth for clinical genetic consultations for patients in the neonatal intensive care unit. The study was driven by the reduction of genetic services.
Full Story: Nature (free content)/Journal of Perinatology (7/23),  DocWire News (7/24) 
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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