Lexington Goes for a Gig

By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities
A view of Keeneland's grandstand at dawn, take...

A view of Keeneland’s grandstand at dawn, taken from the last turn leading into the home stretch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city of Lexington, Ky., is famous for its beautiful horse farms and historic bourbon distilleries but not for its broadband. Internet service there could fairly be described as mediocre – the Internet metrics company Ookla recently measured the average download speed in Lexington at 16.2 Mbps, well below the U.S. average of 37.1 Mbps.

On the other hand, unlike some other cities that have launched FTTH initiatives, Lexington isn’t precisely underserved. There is no groundswell of community outrage about broadband. But Jim Gray, the city’s mayor, believes better broadband will give the city a better future, and he vowed to make Lexington a gigabit city. “Every city is in a competitive chase for talent and investment and jobs,” he explains. “This is essential just to stay competitive.”

LEXINGTON’S ADVANTAGES

Gray thinks Lexington offers advantages for Internet service providers that the existing providers do not take account of. For one thing, the city is very dense – about 300,000 residents in 90 square miles – and it’s growing denser. Land beyond the inner core is protected by zoning and by purchase of development rights to protect the horse farms. Thus, infrastructure within the urban service boundary will become increasingly valuable as the population rises.

Another asset is the presence of a major research university, the University of Kentucky. The university brings with it a knowledge economy built around research and development; a highly educated, affluent population; and a vibrant cultural scene. The businesses and households associated with the university are all desirable customers for providers of advanced Internet services. Already, Lexington has the highest concentration of e-book readers in the country, according to The Atlantic, and is the top city in the United States for using the Roku online streaming receiver, according to Roku. As Gray says, “Lexington is a university city, with a highly educated workforce that can leverage greater bandwidth speeds to create new technologies, new ideas and new markets.”

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Verizon Gets Slapped by New York City Mayor

English: Verizon Building in New York City

English: Verizon Building in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Daniel Cooper | @danielwcooper | June 19th 2015 At 11:00am

Way back when, Verizon pledged to build fiber optic services to every home in NYC, but for some reason, it never got around to finishing it. Unfortunately, New Yorkers are used to getting what they want, and so Mayor Bill de Blasio has slammed the company saying that it needs to sort out the problem, or else. The city has delivered Big Red a very public ultimatum: Either it brings its FiOS network to “every household” in the five boroughs, or it’ll face some heavy penalties.

The saga began back in 2008, when the city agreed that Verizon could operate a local cable TV franchise in exchange for a fiber optic network. The deal was that every person in NYC that wanted super-fast broadband would be able to get it by June 30th, 2014. Naturally, the overwhelming number of consumer complaints prompted the mayor’s office to conduct a full investigation into what the hell was happening.

City official Maya Wiley sums it up thus, saying that the audit found “an alarming failure on the part of Verizon to deliver on its franchise agreement.” Other charges leveled against the telco include marking blocks as being fiber-ready, when in fact it “had not installed the necessary equipment to deliver service.” Then there’s the accusation that Verizon didn’t track purchase requests from new users before the fall of 2014, again in “direct violation of the franchise agreement.” Apparently upwards of 30,000 requests for new installations were not dealt with within the agreed six- or 12-month period.

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Almost Half of World’s Population Will Be Online By December

International Telecommunications Union, Geneva.

International Telecommunications Union, Geneva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has revealed 3.2 billion people will be online by the end of this year, with two billion of those in the developing world.

However, four billion of the world’s population will still be offline, which represents two thirds of the people living in those areas. Continue reading

The Latest Big Cable Consolidation Will Screw Consumers and Startups

Get a Clue

Get a Clue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article is a bit late, but the subject is still pertinent. These technology bloggers do not have any idea of how the communications industry operates. It really doesn’t matter if companies consolidate across geographical boundaries because the companies are not competing against each other in the first place. The number of choices that a consumer has remains constant in this transaction. The premise of this article is flawed, but coming from Gawker Media it is no surprise.

I find it ironic that the author complains of not enough competition then lauds efforts by the government to get into the business which is the ultimate monopoly. These kiddies think that the government will solve all of their problems while in reality they care even less about service quality and customer service than commercial service providers. I totally agree that more competition will be health for consumers but stopping this transaction will not do anything to improve that situation.

Adam Clark Estes-, Gawker Media 

America woke up to some frustrating news today. Charter, the fourth-largest cable company in America, wants to buy Time Warner Cable, the second-largest, as well as Bright House, the tenth-largest. If the deal goes through it’s going to affect come 23 million internet customers directly. Not in a good way.

Major cable mergers like this one and, like the failed Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, stand to further wreck the already terrible state of America’s broadband.
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Longmont’s NextLight fastest Internet service in U.S. – Times-Call

Although Longmont now claims to have the speediest Internet service in the U.S., mine isn’t that bad considering I am on Comcast just a few miles outside Longmont’s city limits and paying about the same as the NextLight service. This just goes to show that a real competitive market will drive all players to improve for the benefit of the consumer.

By Karen Antonacci
Staff Writer

Longmont Power & Communications’ NextLight Internet service is the fastest in the country, according to speed testing company Ookla.

Ookla, based in Seattle, owns SpeedTest.net, and has previously licensed its Internet testing technology to the Federal Communications Commission when the FCC wanted to build its own application.

In late April, NextLight was listed as the third-fastest in the United States, behind Google Fiberand Washington-based iFiber Communications. While the rankings may change due to companies’ varying speeds, as of press time Monday, NextLight was in the number one slot. Continue reading

Records Shed Some Light On Google Fiber Project In Targeted Areas

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Fiber Project may not be an easy task to carry out. Records reveal why.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said three months ago that it would be making an early deployment of its Google Fiber, an ultra-speed Internet service, in Raleigh and numerous other North Carolina municipalities. Recently, the tech giant put up quite an announcement with the governor and the mayor of Raleigh, regarding the company spreading out its fiber-optic cables throughout the developed city. This may seem easy to begin with, but it is certainly hard to implement both practically and legally.

Google Fiber is stated to provide speeds hundred times faster than any other basic broadband. Craig Settles, a telecommunications advisor, said: “We’re early enough into the game, where people are going to be paying a lot of attention,” adding, “People are still going to figure out, how are we going to do this? What will be the success factors in Raleigh?” Continue reading

CenturyLink expands gigabit Internet service to small businesses in Boulder, Fort Collins

Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins

Downtown “Old Town” Fort Collins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An official for CenturyLink on Monday said that the company’s decision to begin offering 1-gigabit fiber-optic Internet speeds to a large chunk of businesses in Boulder and Fort Collins was not influenced by those cities’ ongoing exploration into creating their own municipal broadband utilities.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) began offering such service to small and medium-sized businesses in Denver and Colorado Springs last summer. Previously, only enterprise-sized businesses that could afford the added expense of having such service brought to their buildings, or large office buildings that provided CenturyLink with sufficient density for a positive return on investment, had access to such service from the company. Continue reading