Urges FCC To Find That ‘Reasonable And Timely’ Deployment Continues
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, November 25, 2019 – ACA Connects members continue to invest in bringing high-quality broadband services to small markets and rural communities across America, ACA Connects reported to the FCC. The trade association noted that FCC policies are helping fuel this growth by eliminating barriers to deployment and targeting subsidies to areas that lack a business case for private investment.
These statements came in comments ACA Connects filed with the FCC on Friday in connection with the agency’s annual inquiry whether broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.”
“For two years running, the FCC has found that the industry is deploying broadband on a ‘reasonable and timely’ basis, and that its policies are contributing to this success,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew Polka. “We agreed with those findings, and there is no doubt the agency is justified in reaching the same result this year.”
“From Great Plains Communications in Nebraska to RCN in Massachusetts, ACA Connects members are expanding and upgrading their networks in smaller markets and rural communities across America, often delivering service that vastly exceeds the ‘25/3’ benchmark,” Polka said. ACA Connects’ comments cited eighteen examples of members’ deployment milestones from the previous year, which include the following:
- Atlantic Broadband is completing buildout of a fiber-to-the-home network in King William County, Va., and surrounding communities, which will deliver 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband speeds. The project also includes construction of fiber backbone connectivity.
- Comporium announced service upgrades in its Kershaw and Heath Springs, S.C., service area, which will make available speeds up to 750 Mbps.
- Mediacom upgraded its network in Southern California to make its DOCSIS 3.1 “Gigasphere” 1 Gigabit service available to 20,000 new customers.
- Shentel launched Glo Fiber, which “will support multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds over a 100% fiber-optic network,” with an initial focus on markets in Virginia.
- TDS Telecom announced it is deploying service to communities in suburban Knoxville, Tenn., that will provide gigabit download speeds and upload speeds up to 400 Mbps.
- Vast Broadband rolled out gigabit broadband service to communities in southwestern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota, the culmination of $60 million in investment over four years to deploy gigabit service across its footprint.
- Vyve Broadband launched 200 Mbps broadband service in the rural Torrington, Wyo., market.
“FCC policies are helping drive these investments,” Polka said. “Building on previous efforts, the FCC took another major step in August with its adoption of rules that protect cable operators from unlawful cable franchising practices, including excessive fees and regulation of non-cable services, that detract from our members’ investment in broadband networks.”
The FCC is also doing a better job targeting universal service fund subsidies to areas that lack a business case for investment, ACA Connects said.
“The CAF Phase II auction was a landmark, ‘proving the concept’ that competitive bidding can deliver higher performance broadband service with high-cost support more efficiently than legacy mechanisms,” Polka said. “We urge the FCC to adopt ACA Connects’ suggestions to ensure that the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction is an even greater success.”
ACA Connects also noted although Form 477 data remain the best available data to measure fixed broadband deployment, the FCC’s new Digital Opportunity Data Collection will give the FCC access to better and more precise data in future annual inquiries.
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org