The Debate Over Muni Broadband Expansion

By Stephanie Kanowitz

As communities across the country continue to clamor for high-speed broadband, the number of critics speaking out against municipal broadband is growing.

At the heart of the debate is whether governments or private industry should have jurisdiction over broadband. Those who favor private industry point to the historical success of capitalism, while “broadband populists,” as a new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) calls them, favor government regulation and operation much like other city services. Continue reading

AT&T Trialing Fixed-Wireless Internet

AT&T (NYSE:T) is trialing a point-to-point millimeter wave wireless technology designed to use in-building wiring to deliver 100 Mbps Internet service to each apartment unit. The trial covers several apartment complexes in Minneapolis, outside of the telco’s traditional 21-state wireline service area.

The trial uses millimeter wave wireless technology to send a multi-gigabit signal from a central building connected to fiber to neighboring apartment buildings, and then connects each apartment unit via in-building wiring. The apartment buildings have small radio/antenna systems placed on the properties’ rooftops, as well as a satellite dish for DirecTV service. Services are then distributed to each unit in the building via existing or new wiring in the property. After customers in the trial properties sign up for service, they can plug a WiFi router into an existing wall outlet to get Internet service. Continue reading

Google Fiber Halts Rollout; Top Exec Leaves

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Fiber is halting its rollout in 10 cities and laying off staff as its chief executive, Craig Barratt, steps down, dealing a major setback to the Internet giant’s ambitions of blanketing the nation in super-speedy Internet.

Barratt, CEO of Alphabet’s Access division who had been in charge of Google Fiber, said in a blog post that he would stay on as an adviser. Continue reading

Town Loses Gigabit Connections After FCC Municipal Broadband Court Loss

English: Availability of 4 Mbps-Capable Broadb...

English: Availability of 4 Mbps-Capable Broadband Networks in the United States by County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl’s opinion piece is clearly in support of an industry that is very happy to sell equipment to these new customers because the incumbent telco business is not growing very fast, if at all. Allowing government to offer communications services in a particular market is not competing; it is taking it over because they can use bonds (low interest) and taxpayer money to fund these networks. State legislators have created these laws to prevent just these things from happening along with providing protection when half of these ventures go bankrupt.

Telcos are not clean on this because they are using crony capitalism to protect their monopoly or duopoly. If legislators enact such laws they should hold incumbents to the universal service agreement that AT&T adhered for decades.

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Muni ISP forced to shut off fiber-to-the-home Internet after court ruling

The city council in Wilson, North Carolina, has reluctantly voted to turn off the fiber Internet service it provides to a nearby town because of a court ruling that prevents expansion of municipal broadband services.

The Federal Communications Commission in February 2015 voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories. After that vote, Wilson’s Greenlight fiber Internet service expanded to the nearby town of Pinetops. Continue reading

Gigabites: A Love Letter to Nashville

MARI SILBEY

It’s Gigabites, the Labor Day Weekend edition. In this week’s report, Google Fiber and AT&T battle it out in Nashville; the FCC backs down from the municipal broadband fight; Comcast challenges Verizon in a ranking of broadband speeds; and more.

Who loves Nashville the most? Google Fiber Inc. says it has the city’s best interests at heart in requesting a new One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) ruling from the city government. The OTMR ordinance would make it easier for Google Fiber, and anyone else, to attach new broadband lines to local utility poles. In ablog post dedicated “To Nashville, with love,” the company appeals directly to the city’s residents asking them to support the ruling at a vote on September 6. Google Fiber says a positive vote would speed up the process of bringing Google Fiber to the Music City. So far, the company points out that only 33 utility poles have been made ready for Google Fiber attachments out of the more than 44,000 in the city that need work done in preparation for new fiber lines.

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PC magazine ranks Longmont third nationally for internet speeds

by Joshua Lindenstein on September 1, 2016

LONGMONT – The rollout of Longmont’s NextLight municipal broadband service continues to put the city on the map as it relates to the fastest available Internet speeds nationwide.

PC magazine this week ranked Longmont third in the country among cities with the fastest average Internet upload and download speeds based on tests conducted by the publication. Only Kansas City, Mo. — one of the seven cities where Google Fiber offers its gigabit service — and Deltona, Fla., topped Longmont on the list. Continue reading