Broadband

The Problem(s) with Poles

By James Erwin If you want to make any telecom expert’s fingers curl, mention pole attachments. It is an incredibly niche policy area, but exorbitant pole attachment fees and burdensome terms from municipally-owned poles could undermine federal broadband deployment efforts, possibly wasting billions of taxpayer dollars. If Congress and the…

FCC Pushing for Fee Increase for 2025 Budget 

By Jason Lee This week, the FCC publishes its 2025 budget estimates for its funding from Congress. In its budget breakdown, the FCC plans to have a base increase of $30,000,000 in 2025. This is a massive increase over the Commission’s $2,450,000 base increase in fiscal year…

The Mullin USF Bill Is Worse Than We Thought

By James Erwin Last week, we wrote about the push by some Republicans require edge providers to contribute to the Universal Service Fund (USF) to help cover its shortfalls. Now that a bill has been introduced by Senators Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), we realize that we…

New Taxes On Tech Companies Won’t Fix USF

By James Erwin The Universal Service Fund (USF) is in trouble and has been for some time. Its current funding mechanism does not raise enough revenue to consistently support the outlays demanded by the programs it funds, and reform is badly needed. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, some in Washington want…

What’s the Problem with Usage-Based Billing?

By James Erwin Usage-based billing, or UBB for short, is common practice across most industries. You get billed for the amount of electricity you use at home, the amount of gas burned to heat your apartment, and even the number of hours a lawyer works for you. The broadband industry…

Two Cheers for the BEAD Allocations

It’s finally here. On Monday, more than eighteen months after President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the administration has at last released each state’s broadband grant allocations. The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grant program will distribute $42.5 billion to states to expand broadband to rural…

Spectrum is More Important than Middle Mile

By James Erwin It has been 30 years since Congress granted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to auction radiofrequency spectrum for commercial use, and Congress has carelessly allowed auction authority to lapse. Making matters worse, Congress’s failure to reach an agreement is due to the Department of Defense’s…

Waste Watch: Nepotism and Mismanagement Create Costly Consequences for KentuckyWired

Waste Watch dives into some of the most egregious, examples of government waste that politicians are leaving for future generations of American taxpayers to clean up.  The topic of the Second Edition of Digital Liberty’s Waste Watch is the haywire management of KentuckyWired. KentuckyWired is a statewide municipal broadband project that was supposed…

Washington State High Court Makes Americans Responsible for State Taxes, Too

By: Joseph Murgida Protecting federal tax dollars from paying another state’s taxes is one of the most fundamental constitutional protections that our federal judiciary has enshrined over the past two hundred years. As early as 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall explained in the unanimous, landmark decision of McCulloch v. Maryland that “the power…

FCC’s New Broadband Coverage Maps Are a Great First Step 

By allowing ISPs to establish a baseline and then crowdsourcing corrections and challenges, the FCC will maximize the accuracy of the data it is collecting. Doing so through an iterative process will enable them to refine the data over time and give consumers and policymakers an ever-improving tool to determine need.