Lakeland fiber optic broadband option still alive

By Christopher Guinn
Polk Theatre (Lakeland, Florida)

Polk Theatre (Lakeland, Florida) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LAKELAND — If the City Commission decides against starting a publicly owned Internet service utility, it won’t be because of a philosophical disagreement with the idea, commissioners agreed Wednesday.

Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs and Commissioner Don Selvage sought consensus from their colleagues following a brief discussion of the “gigabit” issue, in which the city would leverage its existing fiber optics assets to improve broadband connection speeds in the city. Continue reading

Dark fiber should fill residential broadband holes

I am delighted to read articles like this even if they do not get every detail right. What the author is advocating is open-access fiber infrastructure not “dark fiber.” In a sense I’m mincing words because the two are essentially the same but the author is implying that the consumer could do something with that fiber when actually a service provider needs to add electronics to it so the customer could interface to the network. Also “dark fiber” alone does not guarantee low latency. It is the network elements that have a greater impact on latency. Still I am glad to see people talking about increasing residential competition instead of adding regulation to keep the status quo.

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With broadband speeds newly defined as starting at 25 Mbps, as opposed to the archaic 4 Mbps definition, what happens if you now no longer have residential broadband? And what do you do if, to add insult to injury, your ISP ups its prices? 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

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