Internet Access Here Sign (Photo credit: Steve Rhode)
I am personally delighted to see my home state of Iowa increasing broadband penetration. Like any big data gathering project, the results are only as good as the data put into the database. I believe that some providers are a little over optimistic on their service availability especially just outside of metropolitan areas. I honestly think that there are more than 2.3% of the households that are not served by wired Internet. Just look at the number of households in Warren county outside of Des Moines with no service. The next step should be to improve the quality of data. In any case the numbers are very high which for a state that has very long loop lengths area-wise.
New research unveiled today by Connect Iowa shows that the broadband availability gap in the state is shrinking, with 93.5% of Iowa residents now having access to fixed broadband of 3 Mbps download or higher, compared to 92.5% last year.
Nonprofit Connect Iowa has been working since 2009 to ensure that Iowans have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use.
Lake Maria State Park, Monticello, MN (Photo credit: PugnoM)
By Tom Steward | Watchdog Minnesota
Bill McKenzie’s email was short and to the point.
“I am (an) individual bondholder. Why doesn’t the city go to the reserve funds and pay the bond interest due on these bonds? You are hurting bondholders who loaned the city this money,” McKenzie wrote in frustration.
The plea went out last week from the 70-year-Tucson retiree who with his wife lives more than 1,700 miles from the Monticello, Minn., City Council members he attempted to contact.
City officials’ response? No reply— same as before, he said.
How does a town of 5000 people in a sparsely populated region get its own fiber-to-household broadband system — WITHOUT relying on federal funding? Powell, Wyoming, is one of the great broadband success stories of the decade.
By Craig Settles
Powell, Wyoming, at first glance may appear to be the typical rural community that large and even some small broadband service providers avoid. The town has just over 5,000 residents in a county with a population density of four people per square mile. The last place for a fiber network, right? Wrong! Powell’s community-owned network, Powellink, is one of the great success stories in broadband.
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EPB, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based service provider known for its 1 Gbps service, and its supporters have decided to put on mothballs a new bill that would enable municipal broadband operators to expand outside of their service areas.
If the “Broadband Infrastructure for Regional Economic Development Act of 2011″ bill had gone through, municipal-run broadband providers like EPB would have been able to extend service up to 30 miles outside their service areas. One of EPB’s motivating factors to have the bill was to bring service to Bradley County, where Amazon.com is building a second distribution center.
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr
Jonathan Charnitski, Managing Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 – The House of Representatives is anticipated to hold a floor debate and vote this week on a measure that would put the kibosh on net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission late last year, but the White House has said that it would likely veto such a measure should it come across the President’s desk.
House Joint Resolution 37, which is a Resolution of Disapproval, states simply that Congress disapproves of the Open Internet Order issued by the Commission late last year and that the rules shall have no effect.
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At a recent Ignite Boulder, one of the speakers launched a rallying cry for Boulder, Colorado to build their own municipal fiber network and not wait for Google. Now that Google has chosen Kansas City, Kansas, it is time for municipalities, like Boulder, that have recognized the benefits of a broadband network to do it themselves. Some cities have the resources and expertise to do it themselves, and others need assistance. We are here to help these communities develop plans and a business case to make the project a success. The offer is out to Boulder and any other community that wants to start a successful initiative to introduce choice and competition into the communications market.
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A bill that would place restrictions on the establishment of municipal broadband networks is gaining traction in North Carolina. The proposed legislation, House Bill 129, was passed by the state’s House of Representatives in an 81 to 37 vote on Monday, March 28, and is making its way through the state Senate.
The bill, which has sparked controversy across the state, is called the “Level Playing Field/Local Gov’t Competition” act. The legislation would require communities to alter the way networks are financed and deployed. One section of the bill mandates that a municipal network not price services below their actual costs. The intent of the language appears to be an attempt to protect companies from unfair competition, even though private companies regularly offer incentive deals to attract customers.