Navigating the Broadband Sea

“We have the ability to bring back some more balance to the laws and regulations to help smaller businesses to encourage them to invest more,” says Matt Polka, president and CEO of the American Cable Association. Speaking at NCTC’s Winter Education Conference, Polka is hopeful that the new administration and associated changes at the FCC will result in positive outcomes for the broadband ISPs the ACA represents. He encourages Congress to reduce regulation and taxes for his members, many of which are also small businesses (see this video of one such business that credited its early expansion to the accelerated depreciation of the 1980s).

He suggests that, beyond big infrastructure projects, seemingly mundane actions, like making it easier to attach to poles or access conduit, will go a long ways to encouraging and speeding the rollout of broadband. Examples of regulation rollback are yesterday’s FCC votes: (1) eliminating reporting obligations (PDF) for carriers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers stemming from the 2015 Title II Order; and (2) the elimination of the requirement for price-cap carriers to keep a second set of accounting books for the FCC (PDF).

Polka indicates that closing the digital divide is a priority and that suggests that Pai wants to work with providers to fulfill that aspiration. As the FCC map for associated with the just approved $2B CAF Reverse Auction (PDF) shows, there are many parts of the country that are on the other side of the digital divide, including parts of Silicon Valley.

As Polka confirms, ACA members generally have broadband availability to all those they pass, but it is other things like desire, affordability and computer literacy are sometimes barrier to adoption (check out this video of how one operator is helping both with the affordability and literacy).

Polka reminds members, that because of the many changes in Washington, it is more important than ever to attend the ACA Summit, which is taking place March 28-30th, 2017. Viodi looks forward to attending and helping the ACA document this always educational event.

One response to “Navigating the Broadband Sea”

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