Riverside County Introduces Broadband Initiative for Area the Size of New Jersey

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RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, April 19, 2017 – At 7,200 square miles, this Southern California county is nearly the size of New Jersey. On April 3, the county put out a “Request for Participants” in an effort to jump-start a $2 billion to $4 billion initiative building a gigabit fiber network.

The project is dubbed RIVCOConnect, and represents one of the most ambitious county-led efforts to entice the private sector to do what it hasn’t yet done: Upgrade speeds and connectivity throughout less-populated regions of this sprawling county. Continue reading

From unserved to connected: Leverett’s fiber-optic system a model for rural towns

By Larry Parnass, lparnass@berkshireeagle.com

LEVERETT — Inside a green metal building in Leverett, lightning-fast internet connections pulse through yellow-coated fibers, one per customer.

One strand belongs to Susan Valentine, an artist who lives down the hill on Long Plain Road in this Franklin County town.

“Man, it was a long time coming,” she said recently. Continue reading

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