Lexington Goes for a Gig

By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities
A view of Keeneland's grandstand at dawn, take...

A view of Keeneland’s grandstand at dawn, taken from the last turn leading into the home stretch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city of Lexington, Ky., is famous for its beautiful horse farms and historic bourbon distilleries but not for its broadband. Internet service there could fairly be described as mediocre – the Internet metrics company Ookla recently measured the average download speed in Lexington at 16.2 Mbps, well below the U.S. average of 37.1 Mbps.

On the other hand, unlike some other cities that have launched FTTH initiatives, Lexington isn’t precisely underserved. There is no groundswell of community outrage about broadband. But Jim Gray, the city’s mayor, believes better broadband will give the city a better future, and he vowed to make Lexington a gigabit city. “Every city is in a competitive chase for talent and investment and jobs,” he explains. “This is essential just to stay competitive.”

LEXINGTON’S ADVANTAGES

Gray thinks Lexington offers advantages for Internet service providers that the existing providers do not take account of. For one thing, the city is very dense – about 300,000 residents in 90 square miles – and it’s growing denser. Land beyond the inner core is protected by zoning and by purchase of development rights to protect the horse farms. Thus, infrastructure within the urban service boundary will become increasingly valuable as the population rises.

Another asset is the presence of a major research university, the University of Kentucky. The university brings with it a knowledge economy built around research and development; a highly educated, affluent population; and a vibrant cultural scene. The businesses and households associated with the university are all desirable customers for providers of advanced Internet services. Already, Lexington has the highest concentration of e-book readers in the country, according to The Atlantic, and is the top city in the United States for using the Roku online streaming receiver, according to Roku. As Gray says, “Lexington is a university city, with a highly educated workforce that can leverage greater bandwidth speeds to create new technologies, new ideas and new markets.”

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The Latest Big Cable Consolidation Will Screw Consumers and Startups

Get a Clue

Get a Clue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article is a bit late, but the subject is still pertinent. These technology bloggers do not have any idea of how the communications industry operates. It really doesn’t matter if companies consolidate across geographical boundaries because the companies are not competing against each other in the first place. The number of choices that a consumer has remains constant in this transaction. The premise of this article is flawed, but coming from Gawker Media it is no surprise.

I find it ironic that the author complains of not enough competition then lauds efforts by the government to get into the business which is the ultimate monopoly. These kiddies think that the government will solve all of their problems while in reality they care even less about service quality and customer service than commercial service providers. I totally agree that more competition will be health for consumers but stopping this transaction will not do anything to improve that situation.

Adam Clark Estes-, Gawker Media 

America woke up to some frustrating news today. Charter, the fourth-largest cable company in America, wants to buy Time Warner Cable, the second-largest, as well as Bright House, the tenth-largest. If the deal goes through it’s going to affect come 23 million internet customers directly. Not in a good way.

Major cable mergers like this one and, like the failed Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, stand to further wreck the already terrible state of America’s broadband.
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Longmont’s NextLight fastest Internet service in U.S. – Times-Call

Although Longmont now claims to have the speediest Internet service in the U.S., mine isn’t that bad considering I am on Comcast just a few miles outside Longmont’s city limits and paying about the same as the NextLight service. This just goes to show that a real competitive market will drive all players to improve for the benefit of the consumer.

By Karen Antonacci
Staff Writer

Longmont Power & Communications’ NextLight Internet service is the fastest in the country, according to speed testing company Ookla.

Ookla, based in Seattle, owns SpeedTest.net, and has previously licensed its Internet testing technology to the Federal Communications Commission when the FCC wanted to build its own application.

In late April, NextLight was listed as the third-fastest in the United States, behind Google Fiberand Washington-based iFiber Communications. While the rankings may change due to companies’ varying speeds, as of press time Monday, NextLight was in the number one slot. Continue reading

CenturyLink expands gigabit Internet service to small businesses in Boulder, Fort Collins

Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins

Downtown “Old Town” Fort Collins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An official for CenturyLink on Monday said that the company’s decision to begin offering 1-gigabit fiber-optic Internet speeds to a large chunk of businesses in Boulder and Fort Collins was not influenced by those cities’ ongoing exploration into creating their own municipal broadband utilities.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) began offering such service to small and medium-sized businesses in Denver and Colorado Springs last summer. Previously, only enterprise-sized businesses that could afford the added expense of having such service brought to their buildings, or large office buildings that provided CenturyLink with sufficient density for a positive return on investment, had access to such service from the company. Continue reading

Need for speed: city utilities fight to offer internet

Picture of Alcatel-Lucent OLT with fiber connected.

Cities frustrated with high prices and slow internet speed fight to build their own blazing fast fiber-optic networks.

This very detailed article is one of many examples that demonstrates competition benefits the consumers in price, choice, and customer service. No one argues that broadband services improve the lives and vitalities of those that it touches or that the incumbents are slow to improve and expand their services without competition. What is at question is whether a government owned service provider has any unfair advantages over private service providers? Does FiberNET benefit from their utility parent owning poles and right-of-ways? Do these advantages prevent other players from possibly competing against FiberNET? Should FiberNET’s facilities be open to all potential carriers?

There is no doubt that Morristown FiberNET is well run and delivering a quality product. They have over a 100 year history to build providing other utilities. I believe that the MUS should open up their fiber network to other potential service providers including the incumbents to spur even more competition that will benefit the city and its residents. Continue reading

How Connecticut Set Itself Up to be the First Gigabit State

Connecticut is moving ahead with a statewide gigabit broadband initiative after resolving a surprisingly simple, but common, issue standing in the way of fiber deployment.

Connecticut needed this. Lately, the only noteworthy contribution my home state has made to the national news is Aaron Hernandez, an apparent psychopath who earned millions of dollars playing football while (allegedly) murdering anyone who looked at him the wrong way. Continue reading

Princeton to seek new broadband partner – News – telegram.com – Worcester, MA

Union Station in Worcester, MA, USA.

Union Station in Worcester, MA, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PRINCETON — The Princeton Broadband Municipal Light Plant has terminated its contract negotiations with Matrix Design Group, ending a joint effort to establish high-speed Internet service for the town.

Selectmen in their roles as commissioners for the broadband light plant signed a memorandum of understanding in October with Matrix to negotiate toward an agreement to design, build, operate and maintain a fiber-optic network for high-speed Internet service. Town meeting approved borrowing $1.2 million for the make-ready work that needs to be done before the network installation. Continue reading