Logo of the United States Telecom Association. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service will now subject the Internet to international telecom rules, as governed by the United Nations and the ITU, and could prompt other countries to implement similar regulations, claims the head of the major lobbying organization for telecom companies. (See FCC Adopts Title II Internet Regs for Net Neutrality.)
Walter McCormick, president and CEO of United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) , says his organization will be filing a court appeal as soon as details of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ‘s new rules are made public, claiming the federal government is overstepping its authority in a way that is “unnecessary and unwise.” Continue reading
Google Inc.’s high-speed Internet service is slowly rolling out around the U.S., but so far has avoided major metropolitan markets – like New York and Los Angeles – as well as most smaller cities. One Google Fiber executive says bureaucracy is what’s holding back the rollout.
“If you make it easy, we will come,” said Milo Medin, Google Fiber vice president, according to Wired. “If you make it hard, enjoy your Time Warner Cable.” Continue reading
Optic fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to seize regulatory control over the Internet by declaring private broadband carriers to be public utilities. Less well known is that he also wants to usurp state authority to regulate municipal broadband networks.
Local governments are forever seeking opportunities to diversify their, er, investments in sports stadiums, convention centers and such. Many lately have been getting into broadband. Municipalities have built some 180 fiber-optic networks in addition to about 75 cable services. Most operate as de facto public utilities with an implicit, if not explicit, taxpayer backstop. Continue reading
The Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association (TMEPA) is seeking to end Tennessee’s constraint on municipal electric broadband “so that communities can choose their internet providers and to give more Tennesseans access to the fastest broadband speeds in the country.”
TMEPA consists of the state’s 60 municipal systems which serve 2.1 million homes and businesses, or 70 percent of Tennessee’s electric customers. TMEPA is supporting legislation (SB1134 / HB1303) that removes the current limitation on municipal electric broadband providers that restricts broadband service to just its electric service territory. This change in the law would allow municipal electric broadband to expand to more areas where it is needed if those communities want it, the group said. Continue reading
Flag of Puerto Rico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, has announced the official launch of the ‘Gigabit Island’ plan, with the goal that in five years 99% of households will have access to download speeds of at least 10Mbps, while 1Gbps services should be accessible in 70% of homes within the same timeframe. As reported by Telesemana, the Gigabit programme is guided by the public-private Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce (PRBT) under a remit to continue the work accomplished by Puerto Rico’s Strategic Plan for Broadband (2012), and the current strategy recommends a number of actions to promote the development of broadband, including: continuing geographical broadband expansion; beginning work on monitoring, measurement and evaluation of the impact of broadband on the economy; lowering costs of building broadband systems; ensuring access to poles, ducts and other public and private sites for the deployment of infrastructure; and promoting public-private partnerships to stimulate local demand. According to the executive summary of the Gigabit Island plan, by June 2014 around 77.8% of households were covered by broadband access networks with speeds of at least 10Mbps (download)/1.5Mbps (upstream), while an estimated 52.9% of households had the possibility of connecting at 100Mbps (download). Additionally, the report notes that 99.9% of households in the country had mobile broadband coverage with speeds of ‘up to 3Mbps downstream and 768kbps upload’. Continue reading
Crystal City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Arlington will make its high-speed fiber network accessible to businesses, federal agencies and other organizations later this year as part of an economic development initiative unanimously approved by the Arlington County Board on Saturday.
Arlington will license access to a 10-mile dark fiber line traversing economic centers — including the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Glebe Road, Columbia Pike and Crystal City — that it will own and maintain. It will be an extension of an existing fiber network the county uses to connect municipal buildings and operate things like traffic signals. Continue reading
Some of the municipal broadband nets the Obama administration is keen on giving a boost have asked the Federal Communications Commission not to apply Title II regulations for a start.
In a Feb. 10 letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, more than three dozen of those said the balance of power is in favor of the edge providers, like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, which are not subject to the new rules beyond being able to complain about the conduct of Internet service providers, not smaller operators. Continue reading