Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network and a fight is brewing

Yet another US state is weighing up the idea of laying thousands of miles of cable to create its own broadband network.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that a group of telcos are pushing back against a proposed $324m network involving 3,400 miles of cabling, which would cover 120 counties in the state.

The construction phase of the project is tentatively set to be completed by the Fall of 2018, with a private company building and maintaining the state-owned network. Continue reading

Google Fiber bringing free gigabit internet to public housing in select cities | Android Central

Google has announced that it will be bringing its gigabit Fiber internet service to residents of public housing in all cities where Google Fiber is offered at no extra cost. Working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with local partners, Google will start the rollout in Kansas City, Missouri, its first Fiber city.

From Google Fiber:

Working side-by-side with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, we’re launching the program today at West Bluff, the first property to receive gigabit Internet as a part of this program. We’ve wired all 100 homes with Fiber, and families can sign up today to access the Internet at up to 1,000 Mbps. And through local ConnectHome partners, such as Connecting for Good and Surplus Exchange, they’ll also be able to purchase discounted devices and learn new computer skills.

While this initiative will come to Google’s other Fiber cities, the company is still working with groups in those other areas to identify which properties will need to take advantage of Fiber.

Source: Google Fiber

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CES 2016: Why the IoT needs fiber-optic broadband to succeed

There is a misconception that the Internet of Things requires a huge amount of bandwidth to the customer, and this panel continued to propagate that myth. 4K TV and telesurgery are not IoT applications. Most “things” connected to the network are sensors that require a small amount of bandwidth. Even aggregated, only a couple of Mbit/s of bandwidth is required even for video sensors. EBP mentions their SCADA network that consist of several sensors providing periodic small quantities of data in realtime. What is more vital to the IoT is latency and security more than broadband. Many IoT applications like SCADAs need extremely low latency in order to be effective. All applications require a focus on security. Many of the devices connected to the network will be inexpensive consumer devices made by several manufacturers. It is doubtful whether these manufacturers will have the expertise to implement adequate protection and encryption. The recent discovery of the vulnerability in the Ring doorbell is an example.

I can get by with a 56 Kbit/s modem for all of my IoT devices in my home if I exclude the video applications. Current network access technologies are sufficient to meet these needs. What is required for IoT are service classes different from best-effort to support the real time and near-real time applications. The fiber-based network is necessary to support the bandwidth and flexibility required over the long-term to support high bandwidth applications like multiple UHD video streams only my old colleague Kevin Morgan from ADTRAN properly addressed this need.

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A panel of fiber broadband experts speaking at CES 2016 in Las Vegas this week said the Internet of Things (IoT) will not only benefit from fiber-optic broadband, it will require it. Continue reading

FCC Narrowly Misses Its Gigabit Deployment Goal

by Karl Bode

Back in 2013, then FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a “1 Gbps challenge”: basically a pledge to ensure there was at least one gigabit network operating in all fifty states by 2015. As we noted at the time it was kind of a show pony goal; notorious fence-sitter Genachowski was simply setting a goal he knew the industry would probably meet with or without’s government help, so that government could come in at a later date and insist it played an integral role.

Well, 2015 has come and gone, and while there is at least one gigabit network planned for every state, we narrowly missed Genochowski’s goal by most estimates:

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We combed through our archives and other online resources and, by our tally, at least one network operator has announced plans to offer gigabit service in every state. Not all of these networks are actually deployed or supporting service yet. But generally network operators don’t announce specific markets more than a year or two in advance of when they expect to deliver service.

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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

NTS Communications Brings 1 Gig Service to Abilene

 

A shot of downtown Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A.

A shot of downtown Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


ABILENE, Texas, Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — NTS Communications, Inc.

NTS Communications, Inc. (“NTS”) today announced the launch of high speed Internet service up to 1 Gigabit in Abilene, TX. The service is delivered over a state-of-the-art pure fiber to the premise (FTTP) network. Effective immediately, local business customers in serviceable areas, including the downtown area, will have access to NTS’ Gigabit Fiber Network, which will provide speeds up to 1 Gbps (1,000Mbps).

Cyrus Driver, President & CEO of NTS stated, “We are very excited to continue the rollout of our Gigabit Internet speeds to Abilene, making it NTS’ next ‘Gigabit City’. Our Gigabit Fiber Network will provide the Abilene business community with a highly reliable technical infrastructure for many years to come. NTS’ Gigabit services are delivered over a pure fiber network and directly connect to our customers at their premise. This pure and powerful solution will not only provide highly desirable services to current businesses, but will position Abilene as an even more competitive location for new business and industries in Texas.” Continue reading