How to Gather 100% Accurate Speed Data of Anchor Institutions in Your County

Posted by John Sarkis on May 17, 2023 11:15:00 AM

Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) have been inaccurately reflected in many broadband service maps, which can create barriers for counties and ISPs to receive the correct funding for these institutions.

This was a significant problem with the initial FCC Fabric map, with many anchor institutions appearing as grey due to the FCC determining that most schools, libraries, and medical care facilities, are more likely to subscribe to customized, enterprise-grade internet service (as opposed to mass-market internet service), and therefore are not Broadband Serviceable Locations (BSL).

The recently proposed NTIA State Challenge Model aims to address data inaccuracies of CAIs, with the introduction of a challenge allowing any CAI labeled as receiving 1 Gigabit service and as 'served' to contest this designation if their actual speeds are slower, which would classify them as 'unserved' and eligible for funding. 

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Topics: BEAD, Broadband Mapping

NTIA Proposes New Model for BEAD State Map Speed Challenges

Posted by John Sarkis on May 11, 2023 11:30:00 AM

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has recently proposed a guideline for State Map Challenges, providing State Broadband leaders the option to follow the proposed guidelines or develop their own challenge process. It is anticipated that several states will adopt these guidelines, with states such as Louisiana already announcing their decision to adopt the guidelines once officially released.

The purpose of the state challenge process is to allow for challenges from "a unit of local government, nonprofit organization, or broadband service provider" against the state's initial determination of eligibility for BEAD funding, including identifying unserved or underserved locations along with inaccurate Community Anchor Institution (CAI) data.

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Topics: connect america fund, BEAD

The Mapping Dilemma: How Can States Ensure They Get The Best 'Bang For Their Buck'?

Posted by John Sarkis on Apr 5, 2023 11:31:52 AM

States are developing strategies to allocate the funding they receive from the BEAD program, which has a total budget of $42.5 billion to cover some of the costs of deploying broadband in unserved rural areas. However, this is complicated by concerns about the accuracy of the FCC National Broadband Map. Although the federal map will serve as the basis for allocating funds to each state from the BEAD program, states have the liberty to decide whether they wish to use the federal map for dispensing funds to relevant recipients or use other methods that utilize internal data. 

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Topics: Broadband, BEAD, Broadband Mapping

How Cut Their USF Fees in Half With A Traffic Study

Posted by John Sarkis on Mar 9, 2023 10:28:35 AM

In the current market where Universal Service Fund fees have reached historical highs, providers are looking for ways to use their data to have an impact on cutting down their customer’s costs. 

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Topics: USF

Last Year Was a Booming Year for Telecom. What’s Next, and How Have We Adapted to New Trends?

Posted by John Sarkis on Jan 23, 2023 1:00:00 PM

The State of Telecommunications

With the world adjusting back to normalcy post-pandemic, 2022 was another booming - and some would say a hectic year for telecom. The momentum from the increased dependency on broadband has continued to reflect on the growing telecom market. Broadband and Telecommunications are entering a new landscape of competition as the demand for faster speeds and higher data consumption continue to force telcos to adapt to new technologies. With that, both CAF and ACAM testing is in full swing now that pre-testing has finished for CAF recipients.

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Topics: Telecom Data Analytics, connect america fund

Using CAF Performance Data To Uncover Bottlenecks In Your Network

Posted by John Sarkis on Dec 8, 2022 1:00:00 PM

As of writing this, hundreds of broadband providers across the country are testing their high-cost networks as a requirement for Connect America Fund (CAF) Performance Testing.

Although CAF tests originate from the subscriber's home networks, these tests are assessing more than just the last-mile and individual homes since their internet relies on regional and backbone networks too. 

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Topics: connect america fund

How Does a Traffic Study Affect Your USF Fees? Let’s Do the Math.

Posted by John Sarkis on Oct 5, 2022 10:32:27 AM

The fourth quarter's contribution factor has been announced to be 28.9 percent. How exactly does that  affect your USF fees for this quarter? Let’s do the math. 

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What's Next for the Universal Service Fund?

Posted by John Sarkis on Sep 13, 2022 9:54:27 AM

The wheels are turning on USF reform, and recently the FCC took small steps forward by asking Congress for authority to expand the contribution pool. 

USF reform has been a talking point for years without much progress done by the people in power. As it stands, communications providers contribute to the USF based on their interstate and international voice revenues, which is mostly VoIP and Wireless. This is assessed against the Contribution Factor - a percentage calculated by the FCC each quarter to ensure they meet their needed funding goals.

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Topics: USF

Churn Prevention, Marketing, and Fraud Detection Through Analytics

Posted by John Sarkis on Jul 27, 2022 9:37:25 AM

With the recent push for government broadband spending, the number of competing providers in previously uncontested areas is on the rise. Every small to mid-sized provider is aware of this, but many still don’t have a way to proactively prevent churn and retain customers.

Data analytics used to be a buzzword that many thought was only in reach of the big players in telecom. As new approaches to data in broadband become more available, CSPs are taking the necessary steps to turn their data into meaningful analytics, while others are playing catch up to not fall behind. 

In this blog, we’ll go over the ways we’ve been leveraging data with our Event Storage and Analytics Platform (ESAP) modules to help providers with churn and marketing support, and detect fraud using analytics. 

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Topics: ESAP

Staying De Minimis with USF Traffic Studies

Posted by John Sarkis on Jun 7, 2022 10:41:17 AM

In February, WISPA urged the FCC to update its Universal Service Fund (USF) programs to better accommodate small broadband-only providers who deliver needed internet access to millions of Americans in high-cost areas and in the digital divide.

Each quarter hundreds of small communications providers in America overpay their USF Fees. A volatile contribution factor, along with a high Safe Harbor rate are to blame.

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Topics: USF