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Light Reading Network X Americas
May 21-23, 2024
Irving Convention Center at Las ColinasDallas, Texas

Are US broadband providers meeting current customer expectations?

Brian Vair, Broadband Development Program Supervisor, Texas Broadband Development Office, shares insights on the current state of the US broadband market, plus predictions on the industry’s future.

Brian Vair

Broadband Development Program Supervisor

Texas Broadband Development Office

Q: What is the role of the Texas Broadband Development Office?

A: The Broadband Development Office (BDO), operated by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, awards grants, low-interest loans, and other financial incentives to internet service providers who expand access to broadband service in underserved areas. The BDO also provides a variety of tools and resources supporting the expansion of broadband access across Texas.

Q: What are the next steps for Texas to progress with the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program?

A: Texas BDO submitted the state’s BEAD Initial Proposal Volume I and Volume II on December 23, 2023. Since then, the BDO has been working with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to complete all curing requests. We have submitted curing requests for Volume I and Volume II and are currently in a waiting period.

The Initial Proposal Volumes are available upon request, and we are updating the public version after each curing submission, to ensure we keep interested stakeholders informed. Once the proposals for Texas are approved by the NTIA, the BDO will begin the Challenge Process to identify all eligible locations and to enable potential applicants to start planning their projects.

Q: What do you think customers currently expect from broadband providers?

A: Texans want fast, reliable, but affordable broadband from their internet service providers. Texas, like several other US states, has a lot of rural areas where people are very secluded with limited to no internet access at all.

These rural users are currently faced with depending on alternatives to having reliable broadband at home, such as satellite internet. Customers are looking for providers to complete that last mile connectivity across Texas, and to bridge the digital divide.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at Network X Americas?

A: I am looking forward to the networking opportunities, as well as all the broadband panel discussions that will be taking place during the event.  

What do you predict will be the key market trends in North American telecoms in 2024?

I believe there will be a trend towards network capacity. The BEAD program will be a primary focus across the US, but I expect that many US states will also be looking into middle mile connectivity to help bridge the gap between the last mile networks and the long-haul networks that connect to the global internet.

Brian Vair will be speaking at Light Reading Network X Americas. Join us in Texas from May 21-23, 2024, to discuss broadband development and BEAD funding across the US.