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FCC Using Form 477 Data to Close the Mobile Broadband Gap in Rural America
By Matt Diaz
Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced improved analysis of coverage data that will help the FCC realize its ambitious goal of universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage across the United States. In order to achieve this goal, the FCC created the Mobility Fund as a part of the Connect America Fund. The Mobility Fund is a universal service support mechanism dedicated exclusively to mobile service. However, in order for the Mobility Fund to improve coverage in underserved wireless mobile service areas, the FCC needs detailed coverage data. Largely due to access to more reliable data from provider-filed Forms 477, the FCC now has an improved methodology for analysis of coverage data.  This improvement gives the FCC the ability to take the next steps toward closing the mobile broadband gap in rural America through Mobility Fund Phase II. These filings show mobile broadband and voice provider coverage areas. Using Form 477 data gives the FCC a...
The Value of Data and Research: Our Thoughts on the National Broadband Research Agenda
By Tom Koutsky
In working with dozens of communities over the years, Connected Nation has learned that successful state and local broadband initiatives depend on comprehensive and accurate data that results in research-driven policy choices. The success of those programs depends on the quality of the data and research. Without comprehensive and accurate data and research into broadband program effectiveness, communities searching for solutions to their broadband challenges will be like the proverbial blind men studying an elephant by sense of touch–each individual, subjective observation may be true, but agreeing on a complete, accurate picture is impossible. While the federal government has at its disposal a substantial amount of data on broadband access, adoption, and use, it has not embarked upon a coordinated strategy for collecting, disseminating, and putting that data to work. Hopefully that may be about to change. Earlier this year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National...
Connected Nation Recognizes Board Member Wendy Lazarus and The Children’s Partnership for 22 Years of Service to Aid At-Risk Children
By Tom Ferree
Last week I had the privilege of celebrating two of this country’s most impactful ambassadors for children’s interests by attending The Children’s Partnership’s legacy event to honor its founders Wendy Lazarus and Laurie Lipper and the tremendous impact of this organization. On this special occasion, and on behalf of Connected Nation, I would like to congratulate and thank Wendy for a remarkable 22 years of service advocating for our nation’s children, especially those living in underserved areas. Wendy is a Co-Founder and the Senior Advisor of The Children's Partnership, a national nonprofit organization that works to advance the interests of America’s children and families—especially those at risk of being left behind.  Like many of the testimonies shared at the event, I too have come to know Wendy as someone who thinks big when identifying issues and the methods by which to address them. The scale in which she thinks and the...