Medina County Fiber Network’s growing pains end; revenues rise

Medina County Fiber Network director David Corrado works out of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation's office at the county administration building in downtown Medina. Donna J. Miller, The Plain Dealer

Medina County Fiber Network director David Corrado works out of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation’s office at the county administration building in downtown Medina.
Donna J. Miller, The Plain Dealer

MEDINA, Ohio — The Medina County Fiber Network that carries cost-saving broadband services to businesses, government buildings and school districts is approaching a pivotal year in its development.

“With nationwide carriers bringing their Internet, voice and Internet-transmitted television services to the county, we are concentrating now on doubling the customer base from the current 50,” CEO David Corrado said. Continue reading

Analysis: Consumer Bills Could Soar Under Title II

By: John Eggerton

Consumers’ broadband bills could go up close to $90 a year if the FCC reclassifies Internet access service under Title II common carrier regs, according to an analysis by the *Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute and **Robert Litan of Brookings.

According to a paper being released today (Dec. 1), the average increase in state and local fees on wireline, and potentially wireless, broadband, would be $67 and $72 annually, plus an added $17 per year in federal fees. Continue reading

Plotting Next Steps Towards High Speed Municipal Broadband for Seattle’s Internet-Hungry Masses

Remember when local comedian Brett Hamil fucking nailed it in a video-blog bemoaning his sluggish internet service? He’s back with a follow-up—still waiting, six months later, for Mayor Ed Murray to make up his mind about whether to pursue building a high-speed municipal broadband network in Seattle:

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AT&T joins case; Chanute needs state nod to offer fiber broadband, says 1947 law

Chanute, Kansas

Chanute, Kansas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After beating back a legislative effort to stop them, city leaders in Chanute now face another state government hurdle in their effort to extend ultra-high-speed fiber broadband to residents’ homes and businesses.

Because of a 1947 state law on utilities, the city has to get permission from the Kansas Corporation Commission to sell bonds to fund its fiber-to-home project, which would extend some of the fastest Internet service in the nation to the rural community of about 9,200 people in southeast Kansas. Continue reading

Cities Tackle Broadband Imperative

2014-10-30-getimageI want to be an optimist about this effort, but I am afraid that it will turn out to be another of many conferences bureaucrats attend using taxpayer money. The contribution that broadband services makes to economies is well documented and understood so listening to highly paid consultants restate what they can read in a magazine or report is not a valuable use of time. Instead they should use this forum to openly share results and experiences in deploying broadband infrastructure. They should learn what business models work and what don’t work. This forum should present ways to stimulate new applications of services and promote competition of service providers. I hope that “Next Century Cities” is used as a constructive tool to share the knowledge of broadband infrastructure deployment and service provider competition and not as a way to grow government over the private sector.

There is a new organization in town and it’s quietly getting the attention it deserves.

Called “Next Century Cities,” it met last month with mayors and executives from 32 cities in Santa Monica, California to talk about the new economy, the critical importance of broadband infrastructure to economic wealth and well being and the vital role cities must play to succeed and survive in what is fast becoming a turbulent, knowledge driven world. Continue reading

Colorado Residents Wake Up, Vote To Bypass Protectionist State Broadband Laws

by Karl Bode

As we’ve noticed in the past, if there’s a place to start fixing U.S. broadband competition, it’s the nearly two-dozen state protectionist broadband laws written and passed by the nation’s incumbent ISPs. Said laws either hinder or outright ban towns and cities from building and/or improving their own broadband networks, even in cases where local private companies refuse to. In several instances, the laws even prohibit government collaboration with private companies in any way.

The laws are usually passed under the pretense of protecting communities from their own financial missteps, with assorted industry mouthpieces like Marsha Blackburn playing up the failures of a few select municipal broadband projects. Of course, like any business plan, these ventures can be built on solid or rotten frames, and several have beenquite successful. In contrast, these protectionist laws take local choice away entirely, replacing it with mechanisms that do little more than insulate the nation’s lumbering broadband mono/duopoly from competition of any kind. Continue reading

US broadband: Overpriced, Underpowered and (for once) Over There

Martyn starts his recollection of the history of ISP a bit late in time. We once had a vibrant ISP market before the telcos and MSO demolished the competition with superior speeds at competitive prices. Now we mostly have duopolies. Although Tim Wu’s report is generally accurate, he did not write anything about our static market that was not known before his report. Martyn’s typically European solution is more regulation, but it is the regulation and laws that have been put in place that prevent carriers and cities from building open-access fiber infrastructure by forming consortia or partnering along with arcane franchise regulation. 

We are challenged by geography in the U.S. that makes deploying fiber much more expensive than in most other countries. Elimination of the barriers that will allow carriers and cities to work together to build and share the last-mile infrastructure would encourage competition that will benefit all stakeholders.

By Martyn Warwick

As an Englishman and therefore, a European (by dint of geographic proximity if nothing more)  who is a very frequent visitor to the United States, I have, over many years now, been able to make my own informal comparative study of the state of the Internet on both sides of the Atlantic. My conclusion is this: in almost all circumstances the US Internet is slow, cumbersome and damnably expensive and in the Global Broadband Stakes, it comes in way down at the end of the field, a knackered, blowhard also-ran. Continue reading