Formed as an independent research organization to quantify and qualify the economic, societal and community effect of fiber broadband in the United States and Latin America, the Research Advisory Program is led by a former Gartner principal analyst, Deborah Kish. The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), a membership organization of providers, suppliers, consultants, consumers, policymakers, device makers and application providers, created the Research Advisory Program, a statement from the association reads.
FBA has released three white papers, “The Market Has Spoken,” “The Future of Work” and “Fiber is the Fundamental Technology for 21st Century Communications,” with plans for additional original survey-based research and qualitative summaries, partner-based research, technical analysis and member-sponsored white papers, the association disclosed.
The research will be centered with FBA’s Technical Community, using some of its member companies’ brightest technical minds to examine the critical issues the fiber industry faces as it looks to provide robust broadband services to all Americans, the statement reads. The Research Advisory Program will seek partnerships with other industry groups, according to FBA.
The FCC took its first steps to move forward with funding new broadband deployments across the country. announced that it is ready to authorize over $311 million in broadband funding across 36 states through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. At the same time, the agency took steps to clean up issues with the program’s design originating from its adoption in 2020. This action represents the first funding to be approved through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
“This is a significant down payment on broadband deployment,” notes FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Today’s announcement means that help is on the way for hundreds of thousands of Americans without access to broadband.”
Simultaneously, the FCC took steps to clean up the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program. In light of complaints that the program was poised to fund broadband to parking lots and well-served urban areas, the FCC sent letters to 197 winning bidders. The letters offer providers an opportunity to withdraw their funding requests from those places already with service or where significant questions of waste have been raised. Next, the FCC made clear that it will not tolerate any provider participating in the program that is not serious about providing broadband service or has not made appropriate efforts to secure state approvals. To this end, the FCC rejected requests from AB Indiana in Florida and LTD Broadband in California, Oklahoma, and Kansas to waive program deadlines, in light of their failure to act in a timely way to seek state certification.
The FCC also released an initial list of areas where winning bidders have chosen not to pursue buildout. These areas will immediately become available for other broadband funding opportunities and the defaulting bidders will be subject to enforcement penalties as warranted. The Commission continues to carefully review long-form applications of other winning bidders that were previously announced to ensure they meet the technical, financial and operational capabilities to comply with program obligations.
A year ago, we commissioned a market research study. This was primary research that reached out to 1,000 people in 16 states and then we conducted 60 to 100 hours of videotaped focus groups. The support for the local rural provider is qualified. The people surveyed said they need coverage and capacity, and if they can’t obtain a tier-one service experience from the local provider, they would switch to a carrier in the duopoly. The relationship NetAmerica Alliance has with Sprint brings to the table a tier-one service experience because it’s being served out of the Sprint mobile core and the NetAmerica fixed core.
Chuck Harris, executive vice president, NetAmerica Alliance
When Marc Ganzi, CEO of Global Tower Partners and chairman of the PCIA Board of Directors, joined industry leaders at the White House in June for the signing of an Executive Order aimed at accelerating broadband build out, it was one of the crowning achievements of PCIA’s recent lobbying efforts.
The order established a federal property working group to develop and implement a strategy to facilitate the efficient deployment of broadband facilities on federal lands, buildings and rights of way, as well as federally assisted highways and tribal lands.
“If the leasing process can be made uniform and commercially sensible for the lessees, that would be an enormous contribution in terms of greater efficiency and shorter time periods to get leases on government properties,” Mike Fitch, PCIA president and CEO, said. “The government has a huge amount of land around the country, which is a terrific opportunity for sites. It would be a big improvement.”
In an interview with AGL magazine, Ganzi and Fitch, said, despite their successes in Congress and at the FCC, PCIA’s work on facilitating tower siting on federal properties is not done.
In terms of leasing federal land for towers, PCIA is pushing for the White House to simplify the process by designating one agency for reviewing and approving the leases and another agency to approve master documents between the tower companies and the General Services Administration.
“The GSA needs practical advice on how to expedite getting those documents routed for signature and to serve up lease documents that are commercial in our market. Those are two the challenges that lay ahead,” Ganzi said.
The tower industry has already been leasing land for towers from the federal government for some time, but the terms of those leases have not been beneficial to the tower companies. Ganzi said getting leases executed with the Bureau of Land Management is particularly difficult, and the lengths of those leases at three to five years are not attractive for financing.
“Something I encouraged the White House to think about is streamlining the process of getting ground leases executed and extended with the BLM,” Ganzi said. “We are in an ongoing dialogue with the White House, the General Services Administration and the BLM concerning longer leases that are less restrictive, which would allow tower owners to include them in financing.”
For more of this interview, see the October issue of AGL magazine.
Ceragon Networks has retained its position as the world’s largest long-haul wireless backhaul supplier for the second consecutive quarter. The company controlled 26 percent of the global long-haul market in the first quarter of 2012, up from 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a microwave point-to-point report from Sky Light Research.
“We reached this position by constantly taking more market share…taking the No. 1 position in long haul in itself is not an object — it’s a means to solidify our overall market position. Furthermore, it’s proof of the successful implementation of our strategy,” Udi Gordon, executive vice president of marketing and business development, Ceragon, told Backhaul Bulletin.
“Ceragon is committed to making broadband more accessible for all, and to helping populations to bridge the digital divide,” said Ira Palti, president and CEO of Ceragon Networks, in a press release. “Africa is a key market for our long-haul solutions, and we want to take this opportunity to thank our customers for continuing to partner with Ceragon as they build out their wireless networks.”
According to Emmy Johnson, principal analyst and founder of Sky Light Research, in a company statement, “The emergence of Ceragon as a leading long-haul wireless backhaul supplier demonstrates how Ceragon’s specialist approach combined with its breadth of products is working and winning deals with customers.”
Gordon told the Bulletin that Ceragon remains close to its customers by listening to what its customers want and need. “We continue to innovate and bring to the market products and solutions that bring more value in terms of higher capacities and reduced total cost of ownership,” explained Gordon.
Ceragon plans to maintain this growth into the third quarter said Gordon. He also told the Bulletin, “In spite of the competitive telecom market, over the years, we have proven time and again that we can outpace the market and continue growing.”
Sky Light Research’s Microwave Radio Point-to-Point Market Share Report measures commercial unit shipments and manufacturer revenue from direct and indirect sales channels.