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October, 2011

The 2011 OCBO Capitalization Strategies Workshop

by Thomas Reed, OCBO Director
October 24, 2011

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:344:]]On December 8, 2011, the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities hosted its third annual Capitalization Strategies Workshop for small businesses involved in the media and telecommunications industries.  Through seminars like this one, which also feature a financial mentorship program, OCBO is connecting entrepreneurs with financial experts who make daily decisions about capital infusion.  The focus this year was banking institutions and SBA products.

As part of its capitalization strategies program, OCBO focuses on small and diverse businesses looking to launch new enterprises or simply to expand their existing businesses.  Our workshops offer entrepreneurs a nuts-and-bolts approach to obtaining public or private sector financing and the many ways new businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to prospective lenders and investors.   

This year’s workshop showcased experts from private equity, banking, and government lending institutions.  They addressed capital formation strategies applicable to a variety of business sectors including broadband, cable, broadcast TV, radio, wireless services, common carrier facilities and content programming products. 

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FCC and Connect To Compete Tackle Broadband Adoption Challenge

by Josh Gottheimer and Jordan Usdan, Chairman's Office
October 13, 2011

Connect to Compete

Yesterday, joined by executives and nonprofit leaders, Chairman Genachowski announced a first-of-its kind national effort to address broadband adoption, digital literacy, and the employment skills gap.  If you have a moment, there are two articles worth reading from USA Today and the New York Times.

Right now, nearly one-third of the country – 100 million Americans – don’t have high-speed Internet at home. That’s compared to Singapore and Korea where the adoption rates top 90 percent. 

Some facts:

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Connect America Fund: Putting Consumers on the Map

by Sharon Gillett and Michael Byrne, Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau and Geographic Information Officer
October 12, 2011

Last week, Chairman Genachowski unveiled his proposal to accelerate broadband build-out – wired and wireless – to unserved homes, businesses and anchor institutions across the country through the Connect America Fund. If adopted, this proposal would connect millions more Americans to high-speed Internet and bring enormous benefits to individual consumers, our nation’s economic recovery and our global competitiveness. 

View the full map

For example, consumers who make long-distance calls – including nearly all landline and mobile phone subscribers – will benefit from reduced prices or greater value for the money – or both, with an FCC-estimated $1 billion or more per year in benefits for wireless consumers alone.

Reform of the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Intercarrier Compensation  (ICC) system can’t come soon enough. There are currently 18 million Americans who lack access to broadband. The harms from not having broadband are rising every day for consumers, and for our country.

To help illustrate the size and scope of the challenge – and the urgent need for reform – we have developed this interactive map, which shows with striking clarity that large swaths of our nation are being bypassed by the broadband revolution.

On this map, you’ll see a mix of served, partially served, and unserved areas, often right next to each other. 

Without USF and ICC reform, the map is unlikely to change much.

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