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Blog // Connect Michigan

FCC Using Form 477 Data to Close the Mobile Broadband Gap in Rural America

By Matt Diaz

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced improved analysis of coverage data that will help the FCC realize its ambitious goal of universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage across the United States. In order to achieve this goal, the FCC created the Mobility Fund as a part of the Connect America Fund. The Mobility Fund is a universal service support mechanism dedicated exclusively to mobile service. However, in order for the Mobility Fund to improve coverage in underserved wireless mobile service areas, the FCC needs detailed coverage data. Largely due to access to more reliable data from provider-filed Forms...

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Cutting the Cable

By Eric Frederick

Video on demand (VOD) and streaming services are changing the way that viewers watch TV. Users no longer have to wait until nine o’clock to watch their favorite shows, and many are skipping commercials. New movies don’t have to be rented from a store, ordered via cable TV or even seen in a theater. Affordable online subscription services are expanding TV options and, in some cases, replacing cable.  With the average cost of a cable TV bill in the U.S. at $99—results of a steady 8% rise since 2010—many viewers are cutting the cord simply due to costs. As costs rise, so have VOD subscribers and the number of services available. In 2010...

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Closing Dead Zones Without Radio Towers

By Eric Frederick

With vast spreads of trees, the natural landscape of Ogemaw County, Michigan, is a large part of its appeal; however, that is also what makes it difficult to build radio towers, which transmit cellular signals and broadband over radio frequencies. Surrounding counties in northeast Michigan suffer the same dilemma, with a beautiful landscape that many seek to enjoy, but not while being cut off from the outside world. Ogemaw County and surrounding counties, with assistance from the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG), are working to make radio transmission installation cheaper, easier, and less damaging to the environment by...

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