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Category Archives: In the News

Legislative News

Another week, and more interesting budget news as the legislature attempts to craft a revenue plan for the 2017-18 fiscal year. On Tuesday evening, the House passed (102-88) a plan featuring a $1.5 billion proposal to borrow against the multistate tobacco settlement. With regard to actual tax revenues, the bill extends the state sales tax […]

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“More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services. That’s why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island. Project Loon is one such approach.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai referencing Alphabet’s broadband balloon project which beams LTE signals to earth from a 65,000 foot orbit. The Commission gave an experimental license to the company in an effort to aid the country which still has 79 percent of its cell sites out of service.

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“They have made it clear that they would rather see me fail than Pennsylvania succeed. In the absence of a compromise revenue plan getting to my desk, I am going to take action to manage our state’s finances. I’ve had enough of the games.”

Excerpt from comments made by Governor Wolf alluding to his plan to borrow against future Liquor Control Board revenues in the wake of no budget-related legislation being acted upon by the House this week.  

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Industry News

According to the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, telecommunications conditions continue to improve in the wake of Hurricane Irma, even though more than 7 million subscribers were out of service as of Wednesday in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.  

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Industry News

FCC Chairman Pai is scheduled to visit hurricane-ravaged Texas next week to assess the state of affairs regarding the communications network. 55 counties in Texas and Louisiana are covered under the Commission’s Disaster Information Reporting System and estimates are that almost 270,000 cable and wireline telephone customers still out of service.  

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Industry News

The USDA held a Rural Broadband Forum in State College yesterday and Laurel Highland’s Jim Kail participated on a panel entitled “Broadband Technologies 101” which was designed to showcase the different broadband technologies rural communities can use to gain Internet access. Kail, who was joined on the panel by representatives from AT&T, Comcast, and In […]

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Industry News

In the wake of CEOs abandoning the President’s Manufacturing Council due to his response to the Charlottesville nightmare, the President’s Advisory Council on Infrastructure has also been disbanded. By a recently signed executive order, the council was tasked with making recommendations on federal support for projects in many areas including broadband. The group was set […]

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Industry News

How fast is fast enough when it comes to broadband? Plenty of folks are scratching their heads with media reports that the FCC’s latest broadband deployment report suggests that Americans may not need a traditional fast home Internet connection and that a 10Mbps/1 Mbps mobile broadband offering may be sufficient. Comments from a wide variety […]

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Daily Number – 1,800,000,000

Yesterday, the state Senate narrowly (26-24) passed legislation containing $1.8 billion in new taxes to help fill the gap and balance the FY 2017-18 state budget. Among the increases included in House Bill 542 is a provision which would increase the Gross Receipts Tax on telephone companies/customers from 50 to 60 mills. Senate Majority Leader […]

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