Industry Paper Headquarters

White Papers, Case Studies, Technical Reports, and Government Publications Relevant to the Rural/Independent Telecommunications Industry

I have always wanted one centralized website where I can access papers and studies about all things rural telecom, so why not make one myself? This is a work in progress...

Please make suggestions!

Updated 6/28/2011

Title: Universal Service Fund Reform: Expanding Broadband Internet Access in the United States
Author: Jeffrey Rosen for The Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings Institute
Date: April, 2011
Categories: USF; Broadband Access ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Wireless vs. Wireline Capabilities: The Future of Broadband
Author: Prepared by Vantage Point Solutions for the Foundation for Rural Service Rural Telecom Educational Series
Date: January 2010
Source: NTCA's Foundation for Rural Services- contact 
Categories: Broadband Access; Broadband Speeds, Technical Capabilities 
Comments: Great read to help understand broadband fundamentals, I recommend for non-engineers looking to understand wireless and wireline broadband networks and capabilities. 
Title: The Broadband Availability Gap: OBI Technical Paper No. 1
Author: Federal Communications Commission Omnibus Broadband Initiative
Date: April 2010
Categories: National Broadband Plan; FCC Documents
Comments: Truly comprehensive analysis on effectively deploying broadband to unserved areas, analysis of availability, funding and shortfall. I have used this paper as a reference in several of my own projects. A must-read for anyone following the National Broadband Plan.
Title: All Aboard? Tackling Broadband Adoption
Author: Rick Schadelbauer (Economist, NTCA)
Date: April 2011
Categories: Broadband Adoption, Barriers to Broadband Adoption
Title: Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of RUS Broadband Subsidies: 3 Case Studies
Author: Jeffery A. Eisenach and Kevin W. Caves, Navigant Economics
Date: April 2011
Categories: Recovery Act, Broadband Initiatives Project (BIP), Rural Utilities Service
Comments: Get ready for the subsidies backlash... I knew there were going to be ongoing issues after Wisconsin gave back its broadband stimulus money. This paper examines the inefficient use of BIP money in cases where it is funding duplicative (and competitive) networks in one area. This is contrary to the National Broadband Plan and not cost effective.
Title: Rural Broadband Principles and Policy Recommendations
Author: Rural Broadband Policy Group
Date: August, 2009
Categories: Rural Broadband, Rural Telecom Policy
Comments: Makes two critical points: rural America is extremely diverse and thus requires diverse and dynamic policies, no one-size-fits-all approach; and local ownership is very important to rural communities and thus policies that support and foster local network ownership are good for rural communities at large.
Title: Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives
Author: University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Date: June, 2009
Categories: Telephone Cooperatives
Comments: I came across this study in my research on business opportunities for electric and telephone cooperatives to collaborate on smart grid projects. It is very interesting and an excellent paper for anyone who is interested in learning about the business structure of cooperatives. Includes a chapter on telephone cooperatives in addition to many other utility and non-utility cooperatives.
Title: Satellite Internet Connection for Rural Broadband
Author: Stephen Cobb, RuMBA
Date: May, 2011
Categories: Rural Satellite Broadband
Comments: Excellent paper! It describes how satellite is not a viable communications technology to deliver broadband, an essential service, to rural areas. The laws of physics literally do not allow satellite "broadband" providers to serve rural communities with a reasonably comparable broadband service in terms of speed, capacity and price. The only real advocates of satellite broadband are large ILECs who want to get out of the obligation to serve low density rural areas with real broadband.
Title: Bringing Broadband to Rural America: Report on Rural Broadband Strategy
Author: Michael Copps, FCC staff, USDA
Date: May 22, 2009
Categories: Rural Broadband, National Broadband Plan
Comments: An excellent snapshot of the rural broadband industry pre-National Broadband Plan and USF Reform, this report delves into rural infrastructure challenges, legislative developments, broadband deployment mapping, broadband demand and adoption, and universal service. This report was a critical component of the National Broadband Plan, and it is definitely worth reading, especially in light of the current USF Reform situation. 
Title: Verification Analysis of the National Broadband Map
Author: Broadband Scout; ID Insight
Date: April 25, 2011
Categories: Rural Broadband, National Broadband Plan, National Broadband Map
Comments: A must-read for fellow critics of the National Broadband Map, this brief study describes an alternative method of broadband mapping (called Scout), which produced some key differences from the NTIA's map. Scout's conclusions seem much more realistic than the NBM, for example, Scout proved that many areas in Arizona which carriers claimed to serve with broadband are actually unserved (and vise verse interestingly). Scout also used actual measured speed rather than carrier submitted speeds to develop a broadband speed map, which definitively shows that many carriers simply overstated their speeds on the NBM (case in point, Verizon claims to have 6 Mbps broadband practically everywhere in Iowa and other states, which is blatantly false). The Scout project illustrates the importance of validating the data that carriers submit for the NBM, and the importance of collecting as much information as possible, in order to get an accurate picture of broadband in America. 
Title: Kansas Rural Local Exchange Carriers: Assessing the Impact of the National Broadband Plan 
Author: Wichita State University W. Frank Barton School of Business, Center for Economic Development and Business Research 
Date: June, 2011
Categories: Rural Broadband, National Broadband Plan, USF Reform
Comments: A must-read to understand the real economic impact of the National Broadband Plan and USF Reform--this study estimates that at least 367 rural Kansas jobs will be lost in the next five years if the FCC's USF proposals are implemented. Kansas RLECs could lose over $143 million in funding, which will ultimately have devastating consequences for rural Kansas communities. 
Title: The National Broadband Plan: Bringing Rural America into the 21st Century or Bringing it to its Knees? 
Author: Dale Lehman, Professor of Economics and Director of MBA programs at Alaska Pacific University
Date: N/A
Categories: Rural Broadband, National Broadband Plan
Comments: Findings in this paper are consistent with one that I wrote last year about the NBP, as this paper discusses how the NBP abandons legal obligations for "reasonably comparable" rates and services for both urban and rural areas. The NBP calls for 100Mbps broadband for 100 million Americans, but only 4Mbps broadband for rural Americans, which is a departure from universal service and frankly, insulting to rural Americans. Lehman finds that the NBP will create significant uncertainty for RLECs, which definitely comes as no surprise, as future investment in broadband networks by RLECs is looking more and more grim each day.