Tag: "research"

Posted September 20, 2022 by Sean Gonsalves

As part of its ongoing effort to support a new generation of broadband scholars, practitioners, and advocates, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society has put out the call for fellowship applicants looking to further their studies on broadband access, adoption, equity, and use.

In a recent newsletter, the Institute says they “are interested in supporting a range of projects that can better inform our current or emerging broadband policy debates, either through critical research about the future of the Internet in our communities or the development of best practices and tools to advance our field’s work.”

More specifically, they are seeking “proposed projects (that) can yield either practice or research-focused publications or multimedia content.”

Some potential topics include:

  • How are grassroots organizations and coalitions working to advance digital equity?
  • How can we best measure and map the availability and quality of broadband?
  • What state and local policy levers can influence broadband availability and adoption?
  • How does improved access to broadband impact local economies and communities?
  • What resources and information do state legislators or government agencies need to ensure universal broadband access and adoption?

The Institute goes on to explain how those topics are “by no means an exhaustive list” and that applicants “should feel free to propose other ideas of critical importance to our field;" noting also that the Institute is especially interested in applications that focus on historically marginalized communities.

The fellowships, which are being supported through the Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund, will range from $5,000 to $20,000 – with a tenure ranging from 6 months to 2 years.

Applications are due by October 15, 2022. For more information on the fellowship, eligibility, or the application process email fellowships@benton.org.

Previous fellowships include Dr. Christopher Ali, Associate Professor with the...

Read more
Posted July 22, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Billions in federal funding planned for investment over the next half decade means that, more than ever, we need dedicated, smart, capable people to ensure that public funds go to pragmatic, equitable, locally controlled infrastructure and programs. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has been a clear and leading voice on policy issues since its formation, and their team is growing. It's an opportunity to join a talented team doing crucial work.

Currently, the organization is hiring for three positions.

Policy Manager

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is seeking an enthusiastic and qualified Policy Manager (or Associate) to help lead NDIA’s expanding portfolio of state support projects and federal policy initiatives. A strong candidate will possess the right combination of digital inclusion expertise, creativity, a collaborative spirit, and self-motivation; and will have a passion for advancing digital equity policy at the federal, state and local level and supporting state governments as they implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Program Manager

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is seeking an enthusiastic and qualified Program Manager to help lead NDIA’s work supporting local organizations and affiliates, including digital inclusion coalitions, local and regional governments, and community-based organizations. A strong candidate will possess the right combination of practical expertise, creativity, a collaborative spirit, and self-motivation; and will have a passion for the unique role that local organizations and collaborations play in advancing digital inclusion efforts, with a particular focus on promoting racial and social equity.

Research and Data Manager

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is seeking an enthusiastic and qualified Research & Data Manager to help lead NDIA’s expanding portfolio of research and data work. A strong candidate will possess the right combination of technical expertise, creativity, a collaborative spirit, and self-motivation; and will have a passion for using data to understand and support digital inclusion efforts, with a particular focus on promoting racial and social equity.

This is an opportunity to work...

Read more
Posted March 3, 2022 by Staff

Written by Christine Parker and Ry Marcattilo-McCracken

A recent report by BroadbandNow made the rounds in February, with the authors concluding that the average price for broadband access across all major speed tiers for Americans has fallen, by an average of 31 percent or nearly $34/month, since 2016. At a glance, this is great news – perhaps affordable Internet access for all is within reach?

Readers following up to check out the report itself would be well justified in coming to the same conclusion, with BroadbandNow writing in the first paragraph that “we’ve found that prices have decreased across all major download speeds (25Mbps up to 1Gbps+) and technologies (cable, fiber, DSL and fixed wireless).” Immediate news coverage reinforced the report’s points.

But you don’t have to follow broadband policy closely to get the sense that something a little off is going on here. It feels like every day there’s a story like this one about Cable One, with a provider increasing speeds as it improves its network infrastructure and then raising rates while removing the slowest tier options. Charter and Comcast, for their part, do this nearly every year whether pairing it with speed increases or not. Is broadband access getting cheaper, or more expensive? What’s going on here?

The reality is that this report from BroadbandNow, unfortunately, poorly frames the national broadband marketplace. At best, it muddies the waters with a lack of clarity about the relationship between broadband access speed tiers and relative pricing. At worst, it leaves the average reader with the incorrect assumption that broadband prices must be falling, and gives the monopoly cable and telephone companies ammunition to push for millions more in taxpayer dollars while building as little new infrastructure as possible.

Either way, it contradicts the fact that broadband prices, for the vast majority of...

Read more
Posted January 25, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and advocacy organization working to reverse corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic power and capacity of local communities. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration at the expense of local businesses, working people, and communities. It also shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic future. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We partner closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

ILSR is looking for an experienced communications professional to join our team as Communications Director. We’re looking for someone near one of our three home offices in Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; or Portland, Maine but are open to candidates located remotely.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop and drive bold media strategies that garner earned media, advance ILSR’s policy goals, and highlight its expertise and thought-leadership, including pitching ILSR’s research and subject-matter experts to journalists and producers (30% of time)
  • Develop and execute the communications and media components of an organizational strategic plan, including identifying the best frame to communicate our mission, vision, and values (10%)
  • Harmonize ILSR’s written output (including reports, articles, podcasts, and newsletters) across its different initiatives, including by reviewing major written products and leveraging these products to advance ILSR’s broader message and brand (10%)
  • Manage a small communications team (10%)
  • Oversee ILSR’s web presence to maximize engagement with ILSR’s content (10%)
  • Develop and oversee execution of social media campaigns across all platforms, telling the story of ILSR’s work through engaging graphics, video, and other mediums (15%)
  • Collaborate with ILSR’s Development team on the Annual Report and occasional fundraising campaigns (5%)
  • Occasionally represent ILSR at meetings and events. (5%)
  • Administrative tasks (5%)
  • Some travel may be required

A SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE IS:

  • An exceptionally good writer and communicator with the ability to synthesize and convey complex ideas...
Read more
Posted January 6, 2022 by Staff

Today we launch the Digital Health Story Collection, an opportunity for health care providers and health care users to share experiences with or difficulties accessing telehealth care across the country. Share your story and help us tell policymakers why having access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet service is critical for health and well-being.  

As we enter 2022 amid a new wave of Covid-19 infections, we are reminded of the critical necessity for all people to have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet service. Such service makes it possible to work and learn remotely, stay connected with friends and family, access vital public health information, and find employment or housing - all critical for maintaining our physical and mental health. Internet access has also enabled many people to access healthcare remotely through telehealth services, ensuring continuity of care while limiting in-person contact and reducing exposure to the coronavirus. 

​​The pandemic triggered a massive expansion of telehealth, but it’s not available to everyone equally. This is partly because not everyone has broadband Internet access. But it’s also because not everyone has the devices, skills, or level of comfort they need to take advantage of Internet access, even if they have it. 

This digital divide disproportionately impacts rural, low-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities who already face significant health disparities. As such, telehealth is the least available where it is most needed and could have the greatest impact. As health and digital equity advocates have pointed out, if we don’t significantly and meaningfully promote digital inclusion, we risk entrenching, even worsening, existing health disparities.

Frustratingly, whenever the notion of using public dollars to expand affordable broadband infrastructure comes up, there is hand wringing about capping costs. This is despite the fact that however much solving the infrastructure gap costs it still pales in comparison to our ever-ballooning healthcare spending (...

Read more
Posted January 17, 2020 by Sayidali Moalim

According to a research study conducted by Fiber Broadband Association and RVA, LLC, fiber deployments in North America hit record highs in 2019. The broadband deployment initiative experienced a 16 percent growth or roughly 7,500,000 new homes now with fiber connectivity. More than 46.5 million houses have access to fiber Internet access compared to the 50,000 homes in 2002. 


Here are some key findings from the report:

Over the past year, fiber broadband networks became available to 6.5 million additional unique homes — a record level of additions. Smaller providers accounted for 25 percent of these new home connections. 

All-fiber deployments to customer end-points are at record levels, with over 400,000 fiber routes deployed in the last year. This increase was driven by new deployments to homes, upgrades by cable operators, and the beginning of deployments to small cell sites.

To learn more, the full report is available to members of the Fiber Broadband Association. Lisa R. Youngers, president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association:

2019 was a banner year for fiber broadband. Fiber networks now support everything from 5G to Smart Cities to the Internet of Things. I’m thrilled that our Association can demonstrate the progress that we have made. In 2020, we will continue the work to connect the unconnected and accelerate our fiber future. 

A similar report in 2018 found that broadband was currently available to 5.9 million new homes. More than 1,000 small providers provided for 29 percent of the deployment.

Homes passed by Tier 1 providers comprise 72.6 percent of total U.S. fiber broadband homes, followed by incumbent Tier 2 and 3 providers, which comprise 10.3 percent. Other types of companies that have deployed fiber include competitive carriers (6.4 percent of total), cable companies (5.5 percent), municipalities (3.7 percent), real estate development integrators (1....

Read more
Posted January 2, 2020 by Lisa Gonzalez

We're starting off the new year with episode four of the new podcast project we're working on with nonprofit NC Broadband Matters. The organization focuses on finding ways to bringing ubiquitous broadband coverage to local communities to residents and businesses in North Carolina. The podcast series, titled "Why NC Broadband Matters," explores broadband and related issues in North Carolina.

As we look forward to a new year, we're also looking back with this week's guest, Jane Smith Patterson, a Partner with Broadband Catalysts. Jane has a deep love for North Carolina and a deep interest in science and technology. Throughout her life, she has put those two interests together to help North Carolinians advance human and civil rights, education and learning, and to advance the presence of high speed connectivity across the state. 

logo-nc-hearts-gigabit.pngJane's decades of experience at the federal, state, and local levels make her the go-to person to provide content for this episode, "North Carolina's unique broadband history and lessons for moving forward." She and Christopher discuss how the state has become a leader in science and technology, including the state's restrictive law limiting local authority. Lastly, Jane makes recommendations for ways to bring high-quality Internet access to the rural areas where people are still struggling to connect. The conversation offers insight into North Carolina's triumphs and challenges in the effort to lift up its citizens.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please ...

Read more
Posted September 17, 2019 by Lisa Gonzalez

We recently realized that we’ve been sharing information, resources, and stories about publicly owned broadband networks for more than ten — TEN! — years. Our team has been so occupied helping local communities and working on projects, the anniversary went by without flowers, a cake, or a party. We’re still too busy for any of the typical celebratory activity, which is why we’re reaching out to you.

We want to hear what you need from MuniNetworks.org as we forge ahead.

What Would YOU Like to See/Hear/Download/Share?

In the past few years, many communities have expressed an interest in publicly owned networks. Innovative approaches to deployment and implementation have taken off. Legislation at the state and federal level has increased and funding opportunities have blossomed. Cooperatives are increasing investments in Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Internet access for members and others in their service areas. In short — there’s so much happening, we don’t have the manpower to do it all.

It’s a wonderful problem to have and we want your help to solve it.

We’d like to know what information you find most helpful and where you think we should focus our efforts. In addition to the types of material that you find most helpful — reports, videos, maps, fact sheets, etc. — we want to know what sort of content you feel provides the most value. 

  • Are you having trouble locating information on funding or RFPs?
  • Do you want to learn more about the technical innovations of deployment?
  • Perhaps you want to learn about state policies and legislation to offer ideas to your own elected officials.
  • Is digital inclusion an issue that deserves more coverage from the community network approach?
  • Do you want to learn more about electric and telephone cooperatives?
  • Are there issues that matter to you that we have yet to investigate?

Education, telehealth, economic development, public savings, ancillary benefits of publicly owned broadband networks — we’re seeking your ideas because you know what you need and there’s probably others who need similar information.

Email us and let us know how you think we should focus our efforts as we move forward. What will help YOU the most? Send your thoughts to: broadband(at)muni networks.org

...

Read more
Posted September 3, 2019 by Lisa Gonzalez

For community leaders, advocates, and researchers who follow broadband policy, trying to stay up-to-date on the many variations of state policy across the U.S. is a daunting task. As approaches change, the work becomes more complicated. Now, the Pew Charitable Trusts has launched a new tool that helps keep all that information sorted and accessible — the State Broadband Policy Explorer. Manager of the Broadband Research Initiative at Pew Charitable Trusts Kathryn de Wit sits down with Christopher to talk about the tool for this week's podcast.

Kathryn describes some of the challenges and discoveries her team encountered while developing the tool. She talks about the wide variations her team documented, especially in definitions, and their determination that those variations rely on who in each state determines which definitions will be used.

While working on the State Broadband Policy Explorer, Kathryn and her team were surprised to learn that, contrary to popular reporting, not as many states have established official offices of broadband deployment as they had expected.  She shares commonalities between states that they found surprising while she and Christopher ponder some of the many ways the tool may be used moving forward.

We've already bookmarked this valuable tool.

Check out the State Broadband Policy Explorer for yourself here.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

This show is 27 minutes long and can be played...

Read more
Posted May 8, 2018 by Lisa Gonzalez

RVA Market Research & Consulting is a firm known for its ability to provide detailed review, analysis, and forecast for Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment. They also offer information on the needs and desires of current and potential subscribers regarding other telecommunications issues. This week, RVA Founder Michael Render visits with Christopher about the firm’s work and discoveries.

The organization makes contact with Internet access providers, experts, vendors, and people or businesses to get the latest opinions and thoughts on services and satisfaction. They’re experts at interpreting that data to help organizations such as ISPs, investors, nonprofits, local government, and others create successful strategies for future initiatives. While RVA and Michael Render are well-known in the telecom industry, the company works in other areas, tailoring their extensive reports and recommendations to the needs and specific questions of their clients.

In this interview, Michael and Christopher discuss some of the changing trends he’s seen over the years in how subscribers use connectivity, what subscribers are looking for in a provider, and what subscribers consider the most important factors relating to Internet access. They touch on the differences between subscribers living in single-family dwellings and apartments or condos and Michael provides some insight into how the demand for FTTH has changed over the years, including how munis have influenced growth.

Check out RVA’s recent report for Next Century Cities, Status of U.S. Small Cell Wireless / 5G & Smart City Applications From The Community Perspective.

They’ve also provided the research for a 2016 graphic from the Fiber Broadband Association (formerly the FTTH Council) on multifamily home values and FTTH.

Check out more at the RVA, LLC website.

This show is 25 minutes long  and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.

...

Read more

Pages

Subscribe to research