The Network News: Friday, August 7th

Welcome to VETRO’s Network News! We compile cool tidbits of fiber network and broadband news from around the web, to end your week connected.

What’s hot on the streets in fiber? Co-ops! Rural Electric Cooperatives, that is. In fact, they’re so “hot” right now that Grit Daily, a culture and news site geared toward ‘Gen-Z,’ is bringing the issue of rural connectivity to its young readership –  who are probably not the usual audience for deep dives into rural infrastructure. But COVID has changed the world, and young people are embracing policy change in an inspiring way. So check out Grit‘s take on the role of rural co-ops in bridging the #digitaldivide, and their call for leaders to step up and create policy to support it. 

The Klamath River Rural Broadband Initiative is a very cool project that has been in the works for the past 7 years. In 2013, The California PUC granted two indigenous tribes in Northern California – the Karuk Tribe and the Yurok Tribe – $6 million to build connectivity to households and businesses. Last week, it was announced that the CPUC granted an additional $10 million to complete the network, which will enable access to critical resources for the communities, located in a remote area on the Klamath River near the border of Oregon.  

While the FCC and USDA have brought broadband funding initiatives to national attention, states throughout the US are grappling with their own strategies to get fast, affordable broadband to all of their citizens. In Pennsylvania, lawmakers are pivoting to focus on rural connectivity policy. Head Southwest to Oklahoma, where two regional fiber operators have been awarded $30 million from the CARES act to buoy distance learning and economic opportunity in remote counties. Pennsylvania’s northern neighbor New York is seeing coverage in local rural media and elsewhere about poor service to rural communities. We love seeing our fellow citizens advocating for the resources needed to bring local opportunity and look forward to seeing new funding emerge in the coming months! 

Still don’t believe that rural connectivity is the issue of the day? Maybe USA Today, one of our nation’s largest mainstream news outlets, will convince you. Check out their take on how far the “last mile” can seem when the cost to connect to your home or business is just too high. 

That’s all for this week, fiber friends. From all of us here at VETRO HQ, we hope you enjoy your summer weekend, whether you spend it on the internet or outside in the sun!

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