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FirstNet’s Record-Breaking, $46 Billion Partnership With AT&T
By Jessica Denson
 The First Responder Network Authority announced the selection of AT&T to build the FirstNet network, a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to America’s first responders, at a cost of $46.6 billion. It’s a record-breaking, public-private partnership that FirstNet officials say will allow them to better respond to public safety needs while “capitalizing on commercial best practices.”  “With this award, this is a promise fulfilled by the federal government to law enforcement, fire, EMS professional throughout our country, and the American people who count on them to save lives and protect our community,“ Mike Roth, FirstNet CEO, said about the partnership. The new network will make it possible for first responders to communicate seamlessly across jurisdictions. It’s critical for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) who are working in the field. T.J. Kennedy, FirstNet President, explained how the...
Policy Brief: Key Broadband Topics and the FCC
By Connected Nation
Since Chairman Ajit Pai has taken over leadership of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there has been significant conversation around several broadband topics that affect Connected Nation's communities and stakeholders. This policy brief serves as an update on these topics and any FCC activity of interest. Because of the constantly changing nature of work within and surrounding the FCC, please note that this information is current as of March 31, 2017. Connected Nation will continue to closely monitor policy changes that affect rules, regulations, and your communities, and update you as the conversation changes or as important steps are taken.     
FCC Chairman Pai Addresses the Future of Lifeline
By Connected Nation
In a press release today, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai (pictured left) made comments addressing the future of the Lifeline program. While he reiterated that broadband will remain in the Lifeline program as long as he is chairman, Chairman Pai announced that Lifeline participation should be determined by the states, not by the FCC. Pai stated that “Congress gave state governments, not the FCC, the primary responsibility for approving which companies can participate in the Lifeline program under Section 214 of the Communications Act.” However, under the previous administration, Pai said, the FCC “rejected this bipartisan consensus, snatching this legal responsibility away from states and deciding to create its own federal ‘Lifeline Broadband Provider’ designation process.” As a result, the Chairman stated that he will not defend the FCC against the twelve states currently challenging the legality of the FCC’s Order,...
From Silicon Valley to Appalachia: Why the tech industry is interested in coal country
By Jessica Denson
They may be on opposite sides of the country and seem like they have very different things to offer the country, but Silicon Valley has its sights set on Appalachia. California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna visited Paintsville, KY, last week to talk jobs and tech training in what’s been traditionally coal country. The freshman Representative said he wants to expand the Silicon Valley success story across the U.S and use it to promote economic prospects in places like Paintsville. During his visit, Khanna said it’s time for the tech industry that’s played a role in shedding American jobs—by advancing artificial intelligence, among other things—to invest in helping communities like Paintsville share in the upside. Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers, who attended the event with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, was eager to have Khanna in what he calls the “Silicon Holler.” The Kentucky Republican, whose district is among the poorest in the nation, said it was a...