Wide-open spaces appear to be the perfect spot to launch an Internet service business

Mammoth Networks is picking up the slack for Internet services to rural ISP; thereby, bypassing large incumbent service providers and reducing the cost to the consumer. I bet that will spur a competitive response from the incumbents once Mammoth aggregates enough ISP.  This business model is a great example of recognizing a market hole and filling it.

By STEVE MCMANAMEN, News-Record Writer smcmanamen@gillettenewsrecord.net

Gillette, and Wyoming in general, sometimes can be a little behind when it comes to getting new things.

Whether it is seeing a new movie, buying the newest cell phone or getting our first Starbucks, Gillette residents are prepared to wait.

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How Most Broadband Providers Have Focused On Decreasing Competition; Not Innovation

Articles like these are increasingly being written pointing out that lack of true broadband competition is stifling innovation.  Cities that have built open-access municipal networks have enjoyed lower pricing and innovative new services.  The cost of building that last-mile of fiber is unjustifiable for a public company if they are the only user.  Amortize the cost over several service providers and the payback becomes around 5 years which is well within the planning horizon of a city.  The incumbents should embrace the use of “other peoples’ money” to offer new and innovative services to increase ARPU.

from the indeed dept

Ryan Single has an excellent piece at Wired that details how incredibly misleading telcos are being in claiming that the FCC’s attempt to reclassify broadband access will lead to less “innovation.” He highlights how far behind other countries the US has fallen, and how hard the telcos seem to work at not competing and not investing in innovation. Basically, Singel points out what many of us have pointed out all along. All of this posturing by telcos is about lowering their own costs (i.e., not investing) and squeezing more money out of customers, in an attempt to please Wall Street:

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Rural areas need broadband, McCaskill says

More and more politicians realize that unfettered access to broadband services is the key to continued prosperity in this country.  If they truly belief this, then they need to remove the regulatory and legislative restrictions that impede novel business models that can increase the deployment of broadband networks in rural areas.

TROY, Mo. | Access to broadband Internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity, and rural areas need more of it, Sen. Claire McCaskill and others said Friday.

McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski hosted a Rural Broadband Forum in Troy, about 50 miles north of St. Louis.

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Americas Report: What Broadband Means to Rural USA

TelecomTV is traveling around the United States to assess the state of broadband deployment in America.  Guy Daniels reports on the use of the Internet and wireless services in the most rural of rural America: Amidon, North Dakota.  Although their use is limited, the Internet has impacted the lives of its residents.   I would be curious to see how the Internet has changed their lives once they start taking advantage of the bandwidth their recently installed fiber will bring.

In the third of our weekly previews for the forthcoming “Connected States of America” documentary, TelecomTV’s Guy Daniels visits Amidon in rural North Dakota, which, with a population of just 20, is the smallest county seat in the whole of the USA. What impact has broadband, the Internet and cellular had in such an isolated part of America? TelecomTV is in the middle of an extensive filming schedule, driving across the US to collect case studies and interviews. Further previews will appear in NewsDesk each week.

Article continued on TelecomTV…

Australia makes fiber official: no more copper wires, ever!

Telstra realizes that it is better for them to support this effort than try to compete.  If they chose to compete against service providers using the NBN, they would burn capital needlessly and still not achieve the results of their competition.  They would be offering less HD and 3D programming and slower Internet speeds than their competition.  So to participate in NBN, Telstra gives up its ducts and existing mid-mile fiber, and the government will operate its phone services, emergency services, and payphones.  Although I applaud the creation of an open-access fiber infrastructure, I think that the Australian government has encroached too far into private enterprise.  The government is essentially entering the telecommunications business through the creation of USO Co. which takes them back to the days of Telecom Australia when they were the PTT.

Australia’s going all-in with its government-run fiber network. The government has now convinced the country’s dominant telco, Telstra, to sign on with the scheme, get rid of its copper and cable lines, and transition its subscribers to the open-access national fiber program. When the project is complete, Australia will have taken an almost unprecedented step for a country of its size: legacy telecommunications infrastructure will be almost gone.

Although Australia had planned to move forward with its AUS$43 billion fiber network with or without Telstra, Telstra’s decision to join the party is a significant one—the company could have held out and fought to keep its customers from defecting to fiber, setting the stage for a long platform war. In the end, though, there just weren’t many benefits to doing this; a recent report from McKinsey and KPMG reemphasized the fact that the new fiber buildout would “accelerate the evolution of the industry,” and it would be hard to compete with open-access fiber-to-the-home on speed.

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AT&T: drop net neutrality or U-verse gets it

Let the games begin.  Mr. Stephenson makes this idle threat without articulating the reasons why AT&T’s U-verse service would be harmed by Title II regulation.  I will state the reasons why it is bad for the industry for him.  First of all AT&T is worried that changing the regulatory structure will not allow them the pricing flexibility to compete with other providers such as the cablecos.  Secondly, the FCC may mandate that AT&T unbundles its infrastructure to competitors.  If I were AT&T’s CEO, I would be worried about these things.  True, Chairman Genachowski stated that the FCC would not do these things, but politicians and bureaucrats are always making promises they do not keep.  The picture is not any better for competitors entering these markets, the regulatory hurdles may provide barriers to entry for them.  If the FCC is to promote broadband competition (not sure this is their goal), then converting broadband services to a quasi-Title II managed service is going to have the opposite effect.

Back when Google announced it was looking for cities to test its fiber-to-the-home trial network, we profiled a host of municipalities that tried every possible publicity stunt in the book to get the search engine giant’s attention. These included a North Carolina city council member who promised to name his offspring after Google’s co-founders, along with the mayor of Topeka… who tried to rename his town “Google, Kansas.”

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Broadband Issues Echo Electrification Debate of Decades Ago

The analogy to rural electrification that Adelstein makes is apt because just like electricity, broadband services are vital to the growth of all communities.  The other parallel is that deployment of broadband is a local matter.  Once again this administration is saying the right things but not following up with any action.  The National Broadband Plan has some nice goals, but there is little discussion of implementation.  Subsequent discussions at the FCC revolve around continuing to milk the ability of the copper in the ground.  Yes that will increase rural penetration somewhat cost-effectively at the expense of being behind in bandwidth delivered.  We need to build these networks targeting mid-century needs, not 20th century needs.

Mytheos Holt, Reporter-Researcher, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 – Today’s broadband expansion throughout the United States faces similar challenges to wiring the nation with electricity decades ago, and the nation’s businesses, consumers and government must work together to tap into the resources that high-speed internet access offers.

In the keynote address prior to BroadbandBreakfast.com’s panel on challenges to adoption and availability of rural broadband, Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein stressed a number of areas where his agency could improve its broadband outreach, while offering a vision for the future and a historical context for the present debate.

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