The multi-year battle for the accuracy of broadband maps is drawing to a close. This means that the government and telecommunications companies will be able to better understand how to develop network infrastructure in the most remote corners of the country. We will tell you what made the modernization difficult earlier, and due to which it will be able to proceed at a completely different pace in the very near future.
This approach is not good
Telecom companies and US authorities are trying to keep up with colleagues from other countries and are preparing to start upgrading the network infrastructure as soon as possible. However, they are constrained not only by bureaucratic procedures, but also by the methodological framework – the terms, definitions and standards used for maintaining broadband maps and statistics on the number of “connected” areas are outdated and do not give an idea of the real situation.
It is one thing to attribute a small block of 2 to 3 thousand square meters. m among those with broadband access to the network [при наличии хотя бы одного домохозяйства с соответствующим подключением], quite another – to perceive in a similar way the district of 2-3 thousand square meters. km, covering a significant part of the state.
Nevertheless, providers continue to report on census blocks [census blocks], differing in its area dozens of times, and the state, and in particular the Federal Communications Commission [Federal Communications Commission, FCC]do not know how to plan budgets and subsidies for the development of communication lines. We can say that a number of states are dropping out of the new national program for the global modernization of the network infrastructure – according to statistics, everything is normal for them, but in practice, some of the citizens do not have a connection.
how found out at Microsoft, problems with the quality of broadband access to the network affect more than 157 million US citizens, and about 42 million – can not even connect to a “cut-down version” of what is listed in the statistics in the form of high-speed communication lines. In the current situation, when many are forced to work and study remotely, this problem is acquiring a national scale. However, its solution rests on the accuracy of statistics.
How the situation is changing
Last year, Congress passed Broadband DATA Act… It will allow the FCC to change the methodology for collecting statistics to be more accurate. To generate broadband access cards, the Communications Commission was required to maintain a Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric – a registry with geodata for access points to communication lines [all broadband service locations]… Plus – to conduct regular audits.
The new system may start working this year, which will give an additional impetus to the initiatives of telecoms and corporations that have joined the process to resolve the situation.
So, back in 2017, Microsoft launched the Airband Initiative program, the goal of which is to set the bar at “3 million citizens provided with broadband access to the network by 2022”. But while the company admits, which is only half way and counts on support.
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What else is happening in this area
In the next few years, the US telecommunications market will face a colossal volume of tasks that will need to be solved quickly enough. Companies involved in the deployment of 5G networks will certainly join the delivery of “Internet to the countryside”. However, in their case, and most likely on a market-wide scale, the US government can implement a vendor verification procedure. Carry her proposed Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, citing similar experiences from Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia.
Its program of admission of telecom providers to modernization of network infrastructure is called The clean network… One of the central ideas is the exclusion of companies associated with the PRC from the country’s information and communication ecosystem: from hardware and cloud providers to application developers and even underwater network infrastructure.
Whether it will be possible to implement such undertakings in the light of political changes in the United States and at the same time solve the problem of broadband access in small regions of the country, the very near future will show. It cannot be ruled out that we will see other initiatives in this area.
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