Kristian Stout and Professor Gus Hurwitz at University of Nebraska’s Telecom / Digital Divide Conference on 4/13/18

ICLE’s Gus Hurwitz will host a “Roundtable on The Role of State and Local Government in Closing the Digital Divide” at the University of Nebraska Law School on April 13, 2018. Among a diverse group of stakeholders and academic experts in attendance, ICLE’s Kristian Stout will be discussing the ongoing work of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. In particular, he will address the progress being made toward the development of a model municipal code for broadband deployment, as well as the efforts the FCC is taking to deploy broadband infrastructure in novel ways.

One of the goals of this event is to foster organic, candid discussion between stakeholders who may not often have the opportunity to interact. The topics that will be discussed include:

  • Recent and ongoing legislative and regulatory activity at the state and federal level relating to the digital divide, including recent FCC rules and orders, state legislation, recent federal omnibus legislation, and an overview of the FCC BDAC’s work.
  • What capabilities does the network need to provide in order to say that a community is served?
  • What level of service do individuals in different communities request or expect providers to offer?
  • What level of service are providers provisioning their networks to support, both at the last mile and the core?
  • What are providers’ main technical obstacles in closing the digital divide? Their main legal obstacles?
  • What business risks do providers face in efforts to serve un- and under-served communities?
  • What are the differences on the ground between expanding service in un- vs. under-served areas?
  • What are the possibilities for wireless (including current fixed wireless, whitespaces, mmWave, 4G and 5G, satellite) in closing the digital divide, especially in rural areas?
  • What are wireless’s capabilities and limitations (technical, economic, legal)?
  • Experiences with the transition from a world of voice to a world of broadband; experiences with wireline vs. wireless growth
  • Funding: how do we pay for infrastructure, where are the costs in rural build-out; experiences with traditional in-kind USF mechanisms vs. industry-specific subsidies (e.g., Ag subsidies) vs. user-focused models (e.g., Lifeline).