From Staff and Wire Reports

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Here is a roundup of broadband and telecommunications stories making headlines.

NYT Editorial Board: More and better telecom options

Even before the FCC adopted strong net neutrality rules last month, some Republican lawmakers were saying that what the country really needed was an update to the nation’s main communications law. It is old, they argued, and does not address the ways in which people use the Internet today. Congress should certainly review the law, but it should be careful not to undermine a statute that has contributed to the success of the Internet and wireless telecommunications. Unless lawmakers are willing to make changes that give consumers more and better choices, according to this New York Times story, there is no reason for Congress to rewrite the Communications Act.

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Why wireless broadband is not a viable substitute for wireline broadband?

A new study conducted by NTCA and Vantage Point Solutions revealed last week that wireless technologies are a complement rather than a replacement to wireline networks. In its report “Wireless Broadband Not a Viable Substitute for Wireline Broadband” filed with the FCC earlier this month, Vantage Point examined various broadband delivery networks and found that there are a number of factors, including a lack of spectrum, weather and terrain, which limit a wireless network’s broadband quality but do not affect wireline-based broadband networks.

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FCC extends E-Rate filing deadline to April 16

School systems across the country are poised to make big requests for new federal dollars to subsidize the cost of high-speed broadband and wireless networks, but many are scrambling to understand and respond to changes to the E-rate program following a major overhaul to the program last year. In response to requests from many of our nation’s largest school districts, the FCC has extended the FY2015 application filing window for three additional weeks to April 16.

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FCC Chairman comments on fifth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan

When the National Broadband Plan was released, there was no task bigger before the FCC than taking programs that were traditionally focused on telephone service (or narrow-band Internet service) and refocusing them on deploying affordable broadband throughout communities. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on the fifth anniversary of the completion of the National Broadband Plan last week.

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