Lexington Goes for a Gig

By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities
A view of Keeneland's grandstand at dawn, take...

A view of Keeneland’s grandstand at dawn, taken from the last turn leading into the home stretch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.”

LEXINGTON’S ADVANTAGES

Gray thinks Lexington offers advantages for Internet service providers that the existing providers do not take account of. For one thing, the city is very dense – about 300,000 residents in 90 square miles – and it’s growing denser. Land beyond the inner core is protected by zoning and by purchase of development rights to protect the horse farms. Thus, infrastructure within the urban service boundary will become increasingly valuable as the population rises.

Another asset is the presence of a major research university, the University of Kentucky. The university brings with it a knowledge economy built around research and development; a highly educated, affluent population; and a vibrant cultural scene. The businesses and households associated with the university are all desirable customers for providers of advanced Internet services. Already, Lexington has the highest concentration of e-book readers in the country, according to The Atlantic, and is the top city in the United States for using the Roku online streaming receiver, according to Roku. As Gray says, “Lexington is a university city, with a highly educated workforce that can leverage greater bandwidth speeds to create new technologies, new ideas and new markets.”

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Verizon Gets Slapped by New York City Mayor

English: Verizon Building in New York City

English: Verizon Building in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Daniel Cooper | @danielwcooper | June 19th 2015 At 11:00am

Way back when, Verizon pledged to build fiber optic services to every home in NYC, but for some reason, it never got around to finishing it. Unfortunately, New Yorkers are used to getting what they want, and so Mayor Bill de Blasio has slammed the company saying that it needs to sort out the problem, or else. The city has delivered Big Red a very public ultimatum: Either it brings its FiOS network to “every household” in the five boroughs, or it’ll face some heavy penalties.

The saga began back in 2008, when the city agreed that Verizon could operate a local cable TV franchise in exchange for a fiber optic network. The deal was that every person in NYC that wanted super-fast broadband would be able to get it by June 30th, 2014. Naturally, the overwhelming number of consumer complaints prompted the mayor’s office to conduct a full investigation into what the hell was happening.

City official Maya Wiley sums it up thus, saying that the audit found “an alarming failure on the part of Verizon to deliver on its franchise agreement.” Other charges leveled against the telco include marking blocks as being fiber-ready, when in fact it “had not installed the necessary equipment to deliver service.” Then there’s the accusation that Verizon didn’t track purchase requests from new users before the fall of 2014, again in “direct violation of the franchise agreement.” Apparently upwards of 30,000 requests for new installations were not dealt with within the agreed six- or 12-month period.

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Longmont’s NextLight fastest Internet service in U.S. – Times-Call

Although Longmont now claims to have the speediest Internet service in the U.S., mine isn’t that bad considering I am on Comcast just a few miles outside Longmont’s city limits and paying about the same as the NextLight service. This just goes to show that a real competitive market will drive all players to improve for the benefit of the consumer.

By Karen Antonacci
Staff Writer

Longmont Power & Communications’ NextLight Internet service is the fastest in the country, according to speed testing company Ookla.

Ookla, based in Seattle, owns SpeedTest.net, and has previously licensed its Internet testing technology to the Federal Communications Commission when the FCC wanted to build its own application.

In late April, NextLight was listed as the third-fastest in the United States, behind Google Fiberand Washington-based iFiber Communications. While the rankings may change due to companies’ varying speeds, as of press time Monday, NextLight was in the number one slot. 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

Cox’s G1GABLAST reaches Arizona, California, Nebraska, and Nevada

Competition is at work here. With more than 2 players in these markets, Cox is feeling the heat. This move is good for them and the consumer.

Cox Communications

Cox Communications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lightwave Staff

Cox Communications reports that its residential gigabit Internet service G1GABLAST is now available in Phoenix, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Orange County, CA.

Cox will be battling gigabit competition in Phoenix from CenturyLink and potentially Google Fiber, and from CenturyLink in Omaha and Las Vegas. Continue reading

Need for speed: city utilities fight to offer internet

Picture of Alcatel-Lucent OLT with fiber connected.

Cities frustrated with high prices and slow internet speed fight to build their own blazing fast fiber-optic networks.

This very detailed article is one of many examples that demonstrates competition benefits the consumers in price, choice, and customer service. No one argues that broadband services improve the lives and vitalities of those that it touches or that the incumbents are slow to improve and expand their services without competition. What is at question is whether a government owned service provider has any unfair advantages over private service providers? Does FiberNET benefit from their utility parent owning poles and right-of-ways? Do these advantages prevent other players from possibly competing against FiberNET? Should FiberNET’s facilities be open to all potential carriers?

There is no doubt that Morristown FiberNET is well run and delivering a quality product. They have over a 100 year history to build providing other utilities. I believe that the MUS should open up their fiber network to other potential service providers including the incumbents to spur even more competition that will benefit the city and its residents. Continue reading

How Connecticut Set Itself Up to be the First Gigabit State

Connecticut is moving ahead with a statewide gigabit broadband initiative after resolving a surprisingly simple, but common, issue standing in the way of fiber deployment.

Connecticut needed this. Lately, the only noteworthy contribution my home state has made to the national news is Aaron Hernandez, an apparent psychopath who earned millions of dollars playing football while (allegedly) murdering anyone who looked at him the wrong way. Continue reading