[National-fiber-coalition] Notes and links shared during today's meeting for your background

Ernesto Falcon ernesto at eff.org
Fri Jun 25 10:09:24 PDT 2021

I've taken the liberty to take the links folks shared during today's meeting to share with the larger group.

Given the news that the Congress is set on stage to go to $65 billion for the compromise package, it is expected we are heading to Senate Commerce Committee soon on the actual legislative drafting of the package.

This will be our key audience soon enough https://www.commerce.senate.gov/members.

EFF will do a refresh on contacts and can share so that after the 4th folks with local connections with these offices can reach out and push once we get an idea of what needs improvement in the package. Given that I think we're starting to get to a point where between the letter signer list and this core group we have someone in every one of these states, we have a decent shot at getting this right.

Couple other notes

  1.  Satellite is already arguing that with less money ($65 billion) you can't do fiber everywhere, so you have to subsidize them as part of the solution. I would predict wireless heavy players will make these arguments as well, so a handful of links were shared below to refute a wireless substitution play. I will say the Democrats seem eager to backfill more money through reconciliation on their own, though its an open question if that happens if you get $65 billion.

  1.  Senator Bennett is attempting to use the bipartisan Bridge Act as the baseline on policy, which has the 100/100 standard and other positive policy directions that focus on future proofing (a handful of us endorsed BRIDGE Act).

Shared links

Maps of service territories for Frontier, etc here - big 2 cable cos, top 6 phone I think. The idea being you can use the local frustration of being stuck on 25/3 DSL in these Frontier states with Senators on Commerce as a reason to argue for 21st century access as the focus instead of the historical "any service will do" approach of federal subsidies.

Cooperative footprints - demonstrating that fiber in rural is not a pipe dream and Congress can build on it.

White paper evaluating 5G as a substitute when comparing long term costs

I'll add I wrote a piece along this vein about how slow networks have a rate of obsolescence when measured against persistent growth in consumer demand, which is why you should only finance infrastructure well ahead of the demand curve.


An example of just how far in rural you can pull off fiber  - NRECA case study on United Electric Co-op (density 2.6) https://www.cooperative.com/programs-services/bts/Documents/Advisories/Advisory-Broadband-Case-Study-United-Electric-Cooperative-July-2019.pdf

Ernesto Omar Falcon
Senior Legislative Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
Cell: 202 716 0770

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