Bringing broadband to all Americans
Nokia recently held its Digital Divide Summit (Dec 9) - Bringing broadband to all Americans, which proved to be the perfect backdrop following the completion of the RDOF auction in late November. Nearly all areas eligible for the RDOF auction received a winning bid, according to the FCC. The total amount of funding awarded was $9.2 billion and with the auction having budgeted to award up to $16 billion, the non-awarded balance of $6.8 billion will be allocated in Phase two of the auction. What this undoubtedly means is that rural Americans can finally expect to have broadband access by the end of the decade. This sentiment was also reflected in a poll at the Nokia Digital Divide Summit, where more than 60 percent of the participants believe that all Americans will have broadband access (25/3 Mbps) within the next ten years.
An initial proposal for RDOF earlier this year called for speed tiers of 25/3 Mbps, 100/20 Mbps and 1 Gbps/500 Mbps. Amazingly, nearly all RDOF auction winners committed to deploying service at speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with 85 percent committing to gigabit broadband. The outcome points to the ingenuity of the scheme used in the auction, which was designed to favor bids providing higher-speed service. This definitely is good news for rural Americans and nearly 72 percent of participants at the Nokia Digital Divide Summit concurred in another poll that baseline speeds for broadband access should be 50/5 Mbps or higher.
Nokia's first US Digital Divide Summit (Dec 9) was comprised of two separate sessions, one on Policies the other on Technologies for bringing broadband to all Americans. You can watch either session or both here. Keynote speakers were Representative Mike Doyle, U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Ken Paker, SVP of Information & Network Technologies and CTO, TDS Telecommunication. If you would like to learn more about how Nokia can help you bring broadband to your communities, please visit us here.