“With an 85-year history of serving western Oklahoma, and now a regional provider in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, Dobson Fiber has long been a pioneer in bringing cutting-edge fiber networks and broadband services to residents and businesses in traditionally underserved markets,” said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. “We are honored to have Dobson as our newest member, and look forward to the contributions that Francisco will make to our board of directors.”
Based in Oklahoma City, Dobson Fiber owns and operates a 4,500+ mile regional fiber-optic network and provides connectivity services, including high-speed internet, data and cloud connectivity, and voice over internet telephone solutions. Dobson has now surpassed 38,000 addressable business buildings eligible for fiber-based voice and data services.
Maella joined Dobson Fiber in 2018 as its chief technical officer, rising to CEO in 2019. He brings more than two decades of telecom industry experience, having previously served as chief operating officer of Texas-based Alpheus Communications.
Six National Organizations Press Congress for Faster Broadband
As Congressional negotiations over critical details related to the $65 billion broadband infrastructure investment move toward conclusion, six organizations that advocate for consumers, rural communities and competition released a statement urging Congress to take bold action.
In a joint statement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fiber Broadband Association, INCOMPAS, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association and Public Knowledge said:
“Better, faster broadband for all is a national priority for students, families, and small businesses across America’s rural communities and urban neighborhoods. As Congress continues its negotiations for an infrastructure plan, we stand together to call for funding that will enable every American to access 21st century broadband infrastructure. Those communities without wired 25/3 Mbps should be prioritized, with additional areas that are unserved at successively higher speeds included as funding permits.
“As entities receive funds to deploy broadband, Congress should require they build networks that will be scalable over time to meet the online needs of their communities. These future-proofed networks will support public safety, small business growth, education and telemedicine needs while enabling precision agriculture, powering 5G technology, and allowing for real-time, two-way communications by many users at the same location. The minimum speed for eligible projects to receive funds should be 100/100 Mbps.
“Other nations, including China, the EU and the U.K., have all set goals of deploying gigabit broadband by 2025, and the U.S. cannot afford to fall behind on deploying networks that are fast enough to support the education needs of today and the jobs of the future. Adopting these goals will ensure that Congress is funding broadband infrastructure that will meet the future needs of our nation.”
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FCC Announces August Open Meeting Tentative Agenda
The FCC issued a tentative agenda for its Aug. 5, 2021 Open Meeting, during which it will consider:
Numbering Policies for Modern Communications – An FNPRM to update the FCC's rules regarding direct access to numbers by interconnected VoIP providers to safeguard the nation’s finite numbering resources, curb illegal robocalls, protect national security, and further promote public safety.
Grassley, Klobuchar Introduce Bill to Expand Rural Broadband
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced the Assisting Broadband Connectivity Act, which seeks to make changes to USDA rural broadband programs so certain areas aren’t automatically disqualified from USDA funding because the projects previously received state funding. This bipartisan bill will streamline the funding process and remove barriers for broadband connectivity in hard-to-serve rural areas.