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Blog // Connect Michigan

Key FCC action to advance the reform of the E-rate program

By Connected Nation

The Federal Communications Commission released yesterday a Public Notice (PN) requesting further comment regarding the E-rate program modernization reform. The E-rate program provides funding to support the  telecommunications and Internet access needs of schools and libraries across the nation. This new item advances the reform launched by the FCC on July 2013 (see E-rate Modernization NPRM) and sets the stage for the implementation of Chairman Wheeler’s vision for the reform of the program as advanced in his speech of February 5, 2014 (see White House and FCC Advance Plans to Connect America’s Schools and...

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Today Deadline for Expressions of Interest in FCC Rural Broadband Experiments program

By Connected Nation

Today marks the deadline for interested parties to file non-binding expressions of interest in the Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE) program first announced last month by the FCC. The program, which is spurring widespread interest with already dozens if not hundreds of submissions on the record, seeks funding proposals for projects to connect areas across the country that lack broadband access. The program hopes to incentivize deployment of “scalable” broadband networks in communities without ubiquitous broadband at speeds of at least 3 Mbps down/768 kbps up. This new funding program, which could be as large as $230 million, has drawn the...

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Michigan Businesses Taking a Hard Look at Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone Systems

By Wil Payton

Many Michigan businesses are examining the pros and cons of transitioning from landline phones to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system.  Their motivation has little to do with being on the tech forefront and much to do with the fact that state lawmakers are considering a bill to phase out traditional landline phone services and replace them with VoIP. A VoIP system uses the Internet instead of landlines. The IP phones may look like traditional office phones but they actually plug into an Internet connection via an Ethernet cable. The cost savings, mobility, and enhanced functionality, may, for many Michigan businesses, make the...

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