Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter

Bill moves broadband grants control to Commerce Dept.

Several factors played into Congress’ decision to bypass the Federal Communications Commission in doling out $42.5 billion to the states for broadband projects under the Senate’s infrastructure bill, Axios reports. The White House reportedly wanted the Commerce Department to oversee the grants following criticism the FCC received in allocating $9 billion under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund in 2020.

Full Story: Axios (8/25)

House speaker sets Oct. 1 goal for infrastructure billsSurvey spotlights parents’ use of telehealth for kids

Oct. 1 is the target date set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for passage of the Senate-approved $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and a Democratic-backed $3.5 trillion package. Pelosi set out the goals in a letter to House members.
Full Story: The Hill (8/21) 

A survey by Nemours Children’s Health and Amwell showed that parents have increasingly used telehealth for their children during the pandemic. “Telehealth can be part of building health equity among people experiencing social, economic and family challenges,” said Nemours Children’s Health president and CEO Dr. Lawrence Moss.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (8/20)  
The State of Broadband in America
BroadbandNow is out with a new report and more encouraging data on the state of the US broadband marketplace. Key findings: 87% of Americans now have access to affordable wired broadband (the highest ever reported); 40% of Americans have access to an affordable wired plan in the 100/25 Mbps speed tier. The report echoes the good news for consumers in USTelecom’s 2020 Broadband Pricing Index and 2021 Broadband Pricing Index reports, showing broadband price declines — and speed increases — over the last several years.
Quick Points:

The Senate passed the INVEST in America Act, which includes $65 billion for broadband.)

The USDA announced it is investing $167 million to provide broadband in rural areas in 12 states. The investments are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

NTCA discussed its petition for rulemaking to relieve certain rate-of-return carriers of the obligation to submit audited financial statements, and parameters for buildout obligations under future iterations for high-cost support.

Seminar Series for 2021