Cable One has acquired stakes in two providers of fixed wireless internet, buying 40% of Illinois' Wisper ISP and no more than 10% of Texas' Nextlink Internet. Nathan Stooke still holds the most Wisper stock, while Bill Baker remains majority owner and CEO of Nextlink.
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The Federal Communications Commission has approved the procedure for the auction of C-band capacity that starts Dec. 8. Partial economic areas will form the organizational basis for the 5,684 licenses that the FCC is selling.
A pair of Senate Republicans proposed legislation that would earmark $100 million to speed the building of broadband services to underserved minority communities. The bill would codify existing federal efforts within an Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives as well as start a pilot program to support minority colleges access to community broadband programs.
AeroNet Wireless Broadband of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is giving Old San Juan Wi-Fi access through a partnership with Facebook Connectivity. Gino Villarini, AeroNet's founder and president, says providing "access to the internet with a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network in areas that have not been possible due to the lack of infrastructure or the high cost of development" is the project's goal.
Internet providers in South Carolina can now apply for grants worth a total of $30 million to improve broadband access in 555 areas. Providers are required to put up 50% matching funds and show that the service expansion is related to helping families weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Resound Networks of Pampa, Texas, is working with schools to increase students' internet access with point-to-multipoint solutions. Schools that possess 2.5 GHz band spectrum once reserved for the Educational Broadband Service are reassessing their options and could be in the market to make deals with WISPs.
The National Science Foundation is creating four new Engineering Research Centers that will each receive $26 million over the next five years, including the NSF Engineering Research Center for the Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture, which will focus on promoting energy, food and water security to help with crop production. "We need new technology to meet the challenges of a world with a growing population and changing climate," IoT4Ag director Cherie Kagan said.
The jury remains out on the overall effects of COVID-19 on legal practices, but if remote working becomes permanent, technology likely will benefit. Mark Yacano of Major, Lindsey & Africa says the "flywheel of adaptation and innovation" is turning faster and "the cost of investing in technology is far less than carrying the current real estate footprint," particularly in high-cost cities.