Tired of Waiting For Verizon, MA Town Gives Itself Gigabit Fiber

Way back in 2005 we profiled the Massachusetts towns of Shutesbury and Leverett, two shining examples of the kinds of U.S. towns that have fallen into broadband connectivity black holes. Large regional providers like Verizon didn’t want to upgrade the markets (Boston still hasn’t been upgraded to FiOS), and could barely be bothered to keep aging copper in the region fully functional.

A decade later and Leverett last Friday formally launchedLeverettNet, a new network that will deliver gigabit speeds to the town’s previously-underserved masses. Continue reading

Worst-Connected U.S. Cities in 2014 

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance today releases two new rankings of America’s “25 Worst-Connected Cities in 2014” — for all households, and for households with annual incomes below $35,000.

Using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) released last Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, NDIA ranked all 184 U.S. cities with more than 50,000 households by their percentages of households with no Internet at home. The ACS provides this data in Tables B28002 (“Presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household”) and B28004 (Household income in the last 12 months… by presence and types of Internet subscriptions in household”).  Continue reading

Study finds EPB fiber optics generates over $865 million in benefits for Chattanooga

by Dave Flessner

EPB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new study suggests that EPB‘s fiber optics has helped generate at least 2,800 new jobs and added $865.3 million to the local economy by cutting power outages, improving Internet links and attracting businesses to the “Gig City.”

The study by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Economist Bento Lobo found that since its introduction six years ago today, EPB’s smart grid and first-in-the-nation citywide gigabit Internet service has helped local education, health care, business, arts and culture and municipal services. The smart grid is estimated to have avoided 124.7 million customer minutes of interruptions by better detection of power faults and better methods of rerouting power to restore service more quickly than in the past. Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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