Way back in 2005 we profiled the Massachusetts towns of Shutesbury and Leverett, two shining examples of the kinds of U.S. towns that have fallen into broadband connectivity black holes. Large regional providers like Verizon didn’t want to upgrade the markets (Boston still hasn’t been upgraded to FiOS), and could barely be bothered to keep aging copper in the region fully functional.
U.S. broadband providers invested $78 billion in network infrastructure in 2014, according to a new analysis of capital expenditures data for wireline, wireless and cable broadband providers. The 2014 investment expenditure was $3 billion, or 4 percent, greater than the $75 billion invested in 2013 and $14 billion, or 22 percent, greater than the $64 billion invested just five years ago in 2009 amidst the financial crisis.Of the 2014 total, the wireline industry invested $28 billion, or 36 percent of the industry aggregate, compared to 43 percent for wireless and 21 percent for cable.
From 1996 through 2014, broadband providers have made $1.4 trillion in capital investments with wireline providers investing more than $720 billion, or 52 percent of this total, compared to 32 percent for wireless and 16 percent for cable. These surging investment levels have taken place during a period of light regulation, which has come to an abrupt end with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision(link is external) to impose public utility rules on broadband providers. It is difficult to predict the near-term impact of this decision on investment, but numerous economic analyses(link is external) forecast negative long-term consequences on investment, innovation and other long-term economic benefits that come with broadband investment. Continue reading
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance today releases two new rankings of America’s “25 Worst-Connected Cities in 2014” — for all households, and for households with annual incomes below $35,000.
Using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) released last Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, NDIA ranked all 184 U.S. cities with more than 50,000 households by their percentages of households with no Internet at home. The ACS provides this data in Tables B28002 (“Presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household”) and B28004 (Household income in the last 12 months… by presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household”). Continue reading
Drew Clark, Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 16, 2015 – Fiber-optics is now the default mode for deploying high-speed internet throughout the country, even including rural areas, said the head of the Federal Communications Commission‘s office of strategic planning.
Everywhere the country has been able to get an electric line, it ought to be able to get a fiber cable, said Jonathan Chambers, chief of the office, widely regarded as the FCC think tank for technological advancement. Continue reading
By Drew Clark
WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 – A movement to make cities smart by using the power of broadband and information technology processing power is reaching critical mass, with the White House on Monday announcing a comprehensive initiative to support municipal efforts.
Coinciding with the Smart Cities Week conference here this week, the White House released a 4,000-word summary of more than $160 million in federal research investments, leveraging more than 25 technology collaborations with local communities.
A new study suggests that EPB‘s fiber optics has helped generate at least 2,800 new jobs and added $865.3 million to the local economy by cutting power outages, improving Internet links and attracting businesses to the “Gig City.”
The study by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Economist Bento Lobo found that since its introduction six years ago today, EPB’s smart grid and first-in-the-nation citywide gigabit Internet service has helped local education, health care, business, arts and culture and municipal services. The smart grid is estimated to have avoided 124.7 million customer minutes of interruptions by better detection of power faults and better methods of rerouting power to restore service more quickly than in the past. Continue reading
By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities
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.” Continue reading