Where has all the broadband money gone?

a herd of sheep standing on top of a lush green field: Places like Cumbria still have homes with very slow broadband speeds

© Getty Images
Places like Cumbria still have homes with very slow broadband speeds

Internet and network providers have asked the government to clarify why its promised £5bn investment in rural broadband has been reduced to £1.2bn.

Industry bodies said they wanted clarity on how and when the remaining £3.8bn would be allocated.

The change was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review.

The government has also watered down its election pledge to reach every home in the country to the lower target of 85%.

Providing all homes and businesses in the UK with gigabit broadband speeds by 2025 was one of Boris Johnson’s most ambitious election pledges.

It came with the promise of £5bn to get the job done – but in the spending review it was announced that only £1.2bn of that would be made available over the next four years.

‘Surprise to all’

The Independent Network Co-operative

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How SpaceX Starlink broadband will envelop Earth and transform the sky

When the call connects and I ask Angel Chavarin if I’m speaking to AWN-hell or AIN-gel, there’s a familiar pause. I can hear the faint echo of my own words finally reach the cellphone’s speaker on the other end of the line a few seconds later, and then a voice responds: 

A scene from the fallout of the Holiday Farm Fire in Oregon.

© Angel Chavarin

A scene from the fallout of the Holiday Farm Fire in Oregon.

“Yep, it sure is. AIN-gel works. No one around here calls me AWN-hell except my dad.”

It’s a delay I recognize from using satellite phone connections while on assignment on the Alaskan tundra and other remote areas. The signal carrying my words must travel over 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers) to a satellite in geostationary orbit and then another 22,000 miles back to Earth to reach the person on the other end of the call. 

a close up of a side view mirror: Robert Rodriguez/CNET

© Provided by CNET
Robert Rodriguez/CNET

But Chavarin isn’t speaking

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C Spire Fiber rated as Mississippi’s fastest broadband internet service

RIDGELAND, Miss., Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — C Spire Fiber, which offers consumers Gigabit symmetrical broadband internet access, live streaming TV and home phone services, has been verified as Mississippi’s fastest internet service provider by Ookla®, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.

The analysis by Ookla1 determined that C Spire Fiber delivered the fastest average internet download speeds in Mississippi over all other providers, including its two main competitors, AT&T and Comcast Xfinity during the third quarter of 2020 – 100 % faster than AT&T and 25 % faster than Xfinity. To determine speed performance. Ookla analyzed consumer-initiated tests taken using Speedtest® on a fixed network.

C Spire Fiber is a division of C Spire, a diversified telecommunications and technology services company, and operates the nation’s 11th largest fiber-optic provider and one of the nation’s largest Gigabit-internet fiber-to-the-home program with its reliance on all-fiber, ultra-fast symmetrical speed broadband

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DZS CTO Andrew Bender Highlights 10 Gigabit Innovation at Broadband Forum’s Ultra-fast Broadband Seminar 2020

PLANO, Texas, Nov. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — DZS Inc. (NASDAQ: DZSI), a broadband access innovator and global market leader spanning fixed and mobile optical transport and connected premises solutions for service providers and enterprises, today announced that Andrew Bender, Chief Technology Officer of DZS, is presenting at Broadband Forum’s Ultra-fast Broadband Seminar (UFBB vBASe) 2020. His session, “10Gig is Here… and It’s Just the Beginning,” will take a look at the drivers of the rapid movement to 10Gig hyper-fast deployments, while spotlighting the intersection of advanced fiber technologies with the rapidly expanding world of 5G mobile transport.

UFBB vBASe kicks off today and will focus on the latest policies, trends, technologies and opportunities affecting broadband in Europe and beyond in 2020. Mr. Bender’s session is part of the conference’s track, “A Deep Dive on Next Generation Access, Open Source and Connected Home Technologies,” which will take place Wednesday, Nov.

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What Biden’s Plan for Universal Broadband Means for Small Business

Joe Biden has broadband on his mind. The digital divide became even more apparent during the pandemic, making it nearly impossible for businesses in areas without adequate broadband access to launch a new e-commerce shop or even have Zoom calls with co-workers.

“As we’ve seen during the Covid-19 crisis, access to broadband and technology platforms has been critical to small-business survival during this period,” says Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. “Without broadband, it was very hard to pivot and move to new operating models.” 

Help may be coming soon from the White House. President-elect Biden’s website listed universal broadband as one of its priorities for economic recovery. The Trump administration pledged to spend roughly $20 billion over 10 years on expanding broadband service to rural areas, and that will likely continue under the incoming administration. Biden’s plan for rural America specifically references spending

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Madagascar – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Gulfsat licensed as Madagascar’s second backbone operator

Sydney, Nov. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Just released, this edition of BuddeComm report outlines the latest developments and key trends in the telecoms markets. – https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Madagascar-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses/?utm_source=GNW

A fourth mobile operator, Gulfsat Madagascar, operating under the Blueline banner, has its own mobile network and in mid-2020 was licensed to build its own fibre network, thus ending the monopoly long held by Telma.

Positive developments in the international connectivity are also materialising following investments in the METISS cable connecting to South Africa and Mauritius. Landing stations for this cable were completed in June 2020. The country’s connection to the Africa-1 cable will provide additional links to the African mainland and to other international cable systems.

A national fibre backbone has been implemented connecting the major cities, with Telma having invested some $250 million to expand the network to 11,000km between 2017 and 2019. Wireless

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High-speed broadband internet emerges as critical quality of life issue in Alabama

After wrestling with a public health emergency over the past months, Alabama consumers and businesses have learned that good, high quality and fast broadband internet is a necessity, not a luxury.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Hu Meena is CEO of C Spire.

© Deryll Stegall
Hu Meena is CEO of C Spire.

The need for a comprehensive statewide plan to provide high-speed, fiber-fed broadband internet connectivity to every Alabamian has never been more evident.


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As hundreds of thousands of the state’s schoolchildren and their parents grapple with adapting to online learning during the current COVID-19 pandemic, many struggle with limited choices or slow and non-existent service. Some rural Alabama school systems have even been forced to deploy school buses to provide mobile wi-fi hotspots for students.

Business owners and employees have encountered similar frustrations as they transition to remote work at home. Slow speeds or non-existent connectivity cause diminished productivity.

Alabama’s economic future depends on solving this digital divide

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