Panelist, "Developments in Broadband Infrastructure Deployment," Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2021, PLI
DWT partner Maria Browne joined a panel of industry experts to discuss changes to the government policy and the current business climate, and the impact these changes are having on broadband infrastructure deployment.
The panel examined the following topics:
- The previous FCC took a number of actions aimed at streamlining broadband deployment, for example it convened the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and adopted numerous orders addressing wireless and wireline infrastructure.
- How have the FCC's 2018 Wireless and Wireline Infrastructure Orders, and the 2019 621 Third Report and Order impacted facilities deployments by cable and broadband providers?
- What have been some successes?
- What have been some failures?
- What was the impact of BDAC? Successes? Identification of areas of future opportunity?
- The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the importance of broadband networks. What are the biggest obstacles to getting broadband facilities build and deployed? Aside from funding, what more can and should be done from a regulatory perspective to achieve the kind of broadband infrastructure deployment needed to meet the need for ubiquitous connectivity?
- Cable companies have been active in recent spectrum auctions (e.g. CBRS) and have long been invested in the development and deployment of Wi-Fi. What role does wireless play in the next step for broadband deployment, specifically by traditional cable and wireline broadband providers? What are some use-cases? What are the regulatory hurdles to incorporating wireless solutions as part of traditional wireline networks?
- Traditionally cable operators and telecom providers have relied on franchise and statutory authority to build out their broadband networks. Recently, however, there has been a rise in "broadband only" networks. What legal and regulatory issues do "broadband only" network builds face? And what if anything should lawmakers and policy makers do to address such deployment of such networks?