‘Needless experiment’: Cities weigh gov’t-backed broadband, critics see tax $$ at risk

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A push by cities across the country to get into the business of the Internet is raising concerns that local governments, with Washington’s blessing, are meddling where they are not needed — and wasting taxpayer dollars in the process.

The push was fueled earlier this year, when President Obama in January introduced a plan for municipal broadband projects which, according to the administration, would encourage “competition and choice” while offering a “level-playing field” for high-speed Internet access Continue reading

Seattle’s City Council Votes Down Municipal Broadband Plan

Picture taken by me of Qwest Field at night fr...

Picture taken by me of Qwest Field at night from Dr. Jose Rizal Park in Seattle, WA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frankly I’m austounded that the Seattle city council voted against the plan because they have consistiently behaved as if the government could always do things better than private enterprise. They have been stung once so this time they are being a bit smarter at their approach. The city has discovered the risk of competing with public enterprises and that  broadband services are not necessarilly an utility.

by Karl Bode

Last week we noted that Seattle was once again considering building its own gigabit fiber network. More specifically, some city council leaders had proposed spending $5 million on a gigabit fiber network. More specifically, some city council leaders had proposed spending $5 million on a gigabit fiber build the neighborhood of North Beacon Hill, then moving forward with a larger, $480 million to $665 million network if the trial deployment showed promise. But the city council this week voted down the idea, striking a blow for a growing number of Seattle residents who — tired of CenturyLink and Comcast service — want to explore the idea of broadband as a utility. 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

19% of US Homes May No Longer Have Broadband

English: A wireless internet router, part of M...

English: A wireless internet router, part of Minneapolis, Minnesota’s broadband wireless internet network run by U.S. Internet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Broadband” is another term that historically had a specific definition in the telecom industry but now politicians have co-opted it and made the definition squishy. Before the Internet was a commercial service, the industry referred to signals as being narrowband, wideband, and broadband. Broadband was defined as any signal being greater than 1.544 Mbit/s or a DS1/T1 rate. Now broadband has evolved from an adjective to a noun with a different meaning depending on how the FCC defines it. I guess I should think of it as further evolution of the English language.

All across America, people could be waking up to their last day with broadband internet access. Oh, the speed of the bits in their pipes isn’t changing, but what we call it might be. The FCC is set to vote on whether or not internet access should only be called broadband if it’s 25Mbps or higher downstream. The current standard is a measly 4Mbps, which ISPs are just fine with. Continue reading

CenturyLink Unveils Denver’s ‘Gig City’ Neighborhoods

Denver, Colorado, Downtown

Denver, Colorado, Downtown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CenturyLink has for the first time revealed the Denver neighborhoods where it’s offering 1 gigabit Internet service, aiming to show it’s keeping its promise to bring the city ultra-fast residential Internet.

The Monroe, Louisiana-based telecom (Nasdaq: CTL) said 1 gigabit-per-second is being offered in 16 neighborhoods in the city’s core, making it available to a substantial number of homes in each area and expanding the reach of the service every day. Continue reading