Republicans want small ISPs exempted from Title II; USDA adds $23.4M in funding for telemedicine

Wireline news from across the Web:

> The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development's Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program will add $23.4 million in funding for 75 new projects in 31 states. Healthcare Finance News article

> A group of Republican lawmakers is asking the Federal Communications Commission to permanently exempt small Internet providers from a portion of its net neutrality rules. The Hill article

> As the Internet of Things (IoT) concept has become a hot commodity, a number of mergers and acquisitions between IoT, big data analytics and cloud or software-as-a-service providers took place during the third quarter. Forbes article

> The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) announced that Huawei's 400G router and OTN equipment achieved 100G CE 2.0 certification. Release

> Doctors will be able to perform surgery on a remote basis with surgical robots and high-speed broadband communications if certain technical issues can be worked out. Motherboard article

Cable News
> The American Cable Association has applauded the FCC for adopting an order that brings parity to the amounts that telcos, wireless carriers and cable companies pay to attach equipment to utility poles. Article

> NewStreet Research's Jonathan Chaplin predicted in his most recent study that cable broadband penetration into U.S. homes, and pricing for broadband services, will both rise markedly in the near future. Article

Installer News
> AT&T Mobility is offering a $7,500 reward for information about one of its cell towers that collapsed after it was vandalized in the town of Denison, Texas, according to police in the area. Article

Wireless News
> Apple is reportedly planning to remove the 3.5mm headphone port from its upcoming iPhone and will instead connect headphones through Bluetooth or the company's Lightning charging port. Article

> As the critical holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive, the Consumer Technology Association said that smartphones stand at the top of Americans' list of most-wanted tech products, beating out TVs, tablets and laptops. Article

And finally … Alaska is falling behind other states in #broadband access for K-12 schools. Alaska Dispatch News article