Broadband access in underserved or unserved communities is one of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s major priorities. This week he gave a preview of an FCC action in the works to add $500 million in funding to rural broadband initiatives (not much in the way of additional details yet). He praised the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee that the FCC set up a year ago for its advice on the topic, which was meant to provide insights on how to “promote digital opportunity” including broadband deployment.

However, one member of the BDAC, Mayor sam Liccardo of San Jose, Calif., quit this week in protest, saying that the committee’s industry members far outnumbered municipal stakeholders and were categorically against muni broadband.

Also of note for continued broadband deployment, the FCC has an open meeting next week at which it will finalize the rules for the Connect America Fund Phase II bidding for nearly $2 billion over 10 years to encourage voice and broadband deployment in high-cost, unserved areas.

On the industry side, Comcast this week laid out continuing broadband investment plans, as noted by mobile analyst Bill Ho:

Meanwhile in wireless network infrastructure, there were some interesting observations from Ken Schmidt over at Steel in the Air on a new tower design proposal — notably, labeled as “3G/4G” rather than 5G — coming from Sprint. Check out the entire thread, in which Schmidt — who’s the president of Steel in the Air, which specializes in tower leasing — notes the additional weight of the design as well as the fact that “despite Sprint’s claims to have mobile #5G by late 2019, they aren’t installing it yet although it is possible that the equipment can be software upgraded to 5G.”

If it’s carrier earnings time, you can count on Verizon and/or AT&T snark from T-Mobile US CEO John Legere:

Apple is moving to make medical records available to people on their smartphones:

Speaking of tech and health, I am both fascinated and weirded out by the teensy robot that, someday, could be put inside humans for medical uses, potentially delivering medications. You can watch it bop around below. Its lead researcher told The New York Times that the robot’s movements were inspired by “how you can combine the caterpillars, jellyfish and all these different, small, soft organisms into one relatively minimalist robot that can achieve all different types of motion to navigate in complex environments.”

And I’m just going to leave this here.

The post Telecom Tweets of the Week: Broadband on the brain appeared first on RCR Wireless News.