If you read our previous blogs about AB 1665 and Net Neutrality, you know that the FCC and the State of California are implementing new regulations that will have an impact on carriers like Race Communications when it comes to receiving funding for broadband projects. To date, Race has been awarded approximately $71 million from 10 separate CASF grants covering 60% of project costs.
At the end of 2017, the FCC determined which areas in the country are eligible for funding from the Connect America Fund (CAF) to bring broadband internet to unserved areas. The eligible areas are determined through the data that the FCC receives from broadband providers every 6 months.
Here’s the catch.
The data that determines if your area is eligible for funding isn’t based off of actual service being provided. Consumers are considered “served” if a broadband provider indicates that they can provide service to “any census block where at least one home could potentially get 10/1Mbps broadband service within a reasonable amount of time.”Yes that’s right. That means if you live on a block in which a broadband provider can potentially connect just one home with required speeds, then the entire block is deemed served.
Here’s the kicker.
The newest data from the FCC shows a reduction of unserved areas by 30% when compared to the data just 16 months prior. That means less areas are eligible for funding from the CAF and makes it more difficult for providers like Race to submit for grants. Race will continue to excel in providing service to the underserved and rural communities.
In May 2017, Race Communications ensured our customers that we would support Net Neutrality. Even though the rules and regulations on how the internet runs has changed we continue that promise. Though this topic has become very political in nature, being a smaller internet service provider who will continue to protect our customers’ privacy and not throttle their internet speeds is beneficial for Race Communications, our customers and the internet as whole.
Race Communications has stood by the mission of providing service to underserved communities and to those communities that larger providers have long ignored. It would only make sense for Race to continue support Net Neutrality and not let our services be affected by this change in regulations. Be happy that you are a Race customer! If you don’t have Race and are in our service area, call our team at 877-722-3833 or visit www.race.com to get started today.
There might be some new changes with your Internet soon.
On Thursday a 2-1 vote led by the FCC, the Commission voted to propose a new review of the rules, with the goal of loosening the regulations on the industry.
The proposal also suggests repealing the “general conduct” rule that allows the FCC to investigate business practices of Internet providers that it suspects may be anti-competitive.
The proposal also aims to ban the blocking and slowing of websites, as well as the rule forbidding ISPs from charging websites extra fees.
“Today we propose to repeal utility-style regulation of the Internet,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to the Washington Post. “The evidence strongly suggests this is the right way to go.”
The vote enables the FCC to begin taking public feedback on its proposal, which could be revised and put to a final vote later this year.
The term net neutrality has come to encapsulate the idea that Internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon should treat all web traffic equally and fairly.
This means they can’t block access to any websites or apps, and can’t meddle with loading speeds.
At Race, this vote isn’t something we’re for. We believe the Internet is a freedom that has incredible power to change our daily lives. We feel that consumers should be able to visit any site that they choose and use the Internet freely. Whether you decide to stream Netflix or shop on Amazon, consumers should be able to stream without the fear of having their speeds throttled or blocked from visiting certain websites.
“The internet has transformed how we live our lives and how our voices are heard,” said Carlos Alcantar, Vice President of Technology at Race Communications. “It must be protected.”