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Broadband Policy in 2017: What to Expect
By Connected Nation
With the election of President Trump and with the Republican control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, a definitive shift in telecom and broadband policy is almost guaranteed. On February 1, Connected Nation released a policy brief aimed at discussing the key issues in broadband policy to watch for in the coming year.  Key issues include: A new direction at the FCC with newly appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai; Net neutrality and possible regulatory action by the FCC or legislative action by Congress seeking to amend, replace, or eliminate entirely the 2015 net neutrality order; Expectations around the AT&T and Time Warner Merger; and Action on Capitol Hill with Commerce committees in both the U.S Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives moving quickly on broadband and tech policy in 2017; movements include Senator John Thune’s announcement of the Senate Commerce Committee’s tech agenda for the 115th Congress and the House...
$30M Grant Funds Available for Broadband Apps and Innovations
By Amanda Murphy
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) recently announced a $30 million grant opportunity toward innovative digital tools for first responders and FirstNet’s national public safety communications network.  "The idea behind this is that we want to help public safety [professionals] envision what the future looks like for them. Not two years or three years from now — but what does 10 years or 15 years look like for you?" said PSCR Director Dereck Orr in an interview with FirstNet. "We want to pull that future vision forward in the timeline by thoughtfully applying these research funds to push innovation in industry, academia, federal labs and labs across the country." Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, state and local governments, Indian tribes, hospitals, foreign public entities,...
Happy Holidays from Connected Nation!
By Amanda Murphy
Connected Nation, our programs, and our staff wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. Thank you for your continued support in helping to improve lives through broadband!
Library Offers Free Take-Home Internet
By Eric Frederick
When applying for jobs, taking an online course, finishing homework, or even setting up an e-mail account, many of the approximately 90 million Americans who do not have adequate Internet access at home turn to their local libraries. New programs offering mobile Internet access are now allowing library patrons to take the Internet with them when the library closes its doors at night.  Chelsea District Library (CDL) in Washtenaw County, Michigan began offering “CDL Hotspots” in June, allowing library card holders to check out a device which provides wireless broadband Internet access up to 40 feet for up to 10 devices. Each person or family may rent a device for up to three weeks, the same rental period allowed for most books, and rental requires only a valid CDL library card. This allows K-12 students to check out a device to finish up homework, helps students attending nearby colleges and universities cut expenses through free Internet access, gives elderly residents...