All Residents Need A Broadband Choice

English: The Penmynydd high-speed broadband tr...

English: The Penmynydd high-speed broadband transmission mast viewed from the churchyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite the fact that Internet access speeds are increasing on average, there are still almost 40% of Americans without broadband service. I know this because my parents live just a few minutes out of a state capital and do not have any access to any wired broadband service. There is no easy answer to this solution because serving these rural areas is expensive.

Building the last-mile infrastructure is the most costly part of the build. Carriers are challenged to be profitable building out rural areas even if they had a 100% market share. This is why the Universal Service Fund was created. Instead of all customers subsidizing rural communities, local governments and carriers should be allowed to form a public/private partnership to build an open-access last-mile fiber infrastructure. All carriers could then utilize this infrastructure to provide competitive communications services to potential customers no different than in densely packed urban areas. This method is fairer to all parties and does not put taxpayers at as much risk. Continue reading

FCC Chair: 39% Of Rural America Lacks Broadband Access

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If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service.

This is according to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, who will issue his latest annual Broadband Progress Report later this month. Continue reading

High-speed Internet access impacts home sales

By CHLOÉ MORRISON

Locally and nationally, consumers are opting not to buy homes if they don’t have access to high-speed Internet. 

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the topic, and Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors President Travis Close said that residents in rural areas value high-speed Internet access just as much as people who live in city centers.

But access isn’t always available. There are still unincorporated areas of Hamilton County with limited Internet access.  Continue reading

Google Fiber Eyes Its Two Largest-Ever Targets: Los Angeles and Chicago

Alphabet Inc. is making its biggest bet yet on spreading connectivity across the U.S., through its newly independent fiber business.

By ALISTAIR BARR

Alphabet Inc.GOOGL -0.93% is making its biggest bet yet on spreading connectivity across the U.S., through its newly independent fiber business.

Google Fiber, Alphabet’s fast Internet service, said Tuesdayit is planning to come to Los Angeles and Chicago, the second and third-largest U.S. cities by population, if they pass a long review.

“While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., this is a big step for these cities and their leaders,” Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber’s expansion efforts, wrote in a blog. “Expansion planning for a project of this size is a huge undertaking.” Continue reading

Study finds EPB fiber optics generates over $865 million in benefits for Chattanooga

by Dave Flessner
EPB

EPB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Fiber Penetration Hits 42.5 Percent in U.S.

Spinning Optical Fiber

Spinning Optical Fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOSTON, MABusiness fiber penetration of commercial buildings in the U.S. increased to 42.5 percent in 2014, according to latest research from Vertical Systems Group. This compares to a penetration rate of only 10.9 percent in 2004. These statistics measure fiber availability at company-owned and multi-tenant buildings with twenty or more employees, which covers more than two million individual business establishments.

“Accessibility to fiber-based business services in the U.S. nearly quadrupled between 2004 and 2014, with hundreds of thousands of sites newly fiber-connected during this time period. As a result of this growth, our fiber penetration benchmark now exceeds 40 percent for the first time,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “Looking forward, the high stakes endgame for network operators is to deepen and broaden their service infrastructures around fiber – the future of wireline.” Continue reading

Want Google Fiber In Your City? Make It Easy For Us, Google Exec Says

 

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