Broadband Is Best Left to Private Sector

ows_142205957499425Earlier this month President Obama visited Cedar Falls, Iowa, to encourage more American communities to build government-owned broadband networks. He issued this challenge for cities and towns to build their own municipal networks because, he said, the United States has fallen behind much of the world in providing super-high-speed broadband. The president then instructed what was previously thought to be an independent commission, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to overturn existing state laws in 19 states that exist to protect citizens against ill-advised municipal broadband projects.

One that they are seeking to overturn is in effect in Minnesota, where state law requires a local ballot initiative before a municipal broadband project can advance, providing transparency and some level of protection to taxpayers. Continue reading

City Leaders Explore Municipal Broadband

English: 4th Street in Loveland CO

English: 4th Street in Loveland CO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City officials discussed the possibility of bringing municipal broadband service, or citywide high speed internet to Loveland, at the City Council and staff retreat Saturday.

The structure of how the service would operate as well as whether it would be a city-owned and operated service or one developed by a public-private partnership, among other factors, will be part of future discussions on the topic. Continue reading

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

capitoldomenight[1]Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband.

Senators Cory Booker (NJ), Ed Markey (MA), and Claire McCaskill (MO) today introduced the Community Broadband Act, which would make it illegal for states to forbid municipalities from building out their own networks if they want to. Continue reading

The road to municipal Internet: Boulder benefits from Longmont’s journey

English: Looking north from the intersection o...

English: Looking north from the intersection of Main St. and 3rd Ave. towards the 300 block of Main St. Longmont, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Governments do not tend to learn from their mistakes, they just cover them up with more money. Even detailed articles like these fail to ask the question whether government should be doing this or are there better ways of delivering broadband services.

By Karen Antonacci

Paul Radliff, of Longmont, had his home connected via fiber-optic cable to the city’s new high-speed Internet service earlier this month.

Under his old DSL service, he could download information at a speed of 20 megabits per second. Continue reading

U.S. Consumers Have Limited Options For High-Speed Web, Commerce Dept. Says

US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal

US-DeptOfCommerce-Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find it sad that so many people in this country are not aware of the 10th Amendment that prohibits the federal government from overriding state laws unless expressly stated in the Constitution. The report does outline the abysmal state of competition in the broadband market even though it blurs the line between wireless and wireline. 

Lest there was any doubt, competition among broadband providers remains lacking — at least at speeds of more than 10 Mbps.

That’s according to the Commerce Department, which this week released a new report regarding the state of broadband availability. Continue reading

Medina County Fiber Network’s growing pains end; revenues rise

Medina County Fiber Network director David Corrado works out of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation's office at the county administration building in downtown Medina. Donna J. Miller, The Plain Dealer

Medina County Fiber Network director David Corrado works out of the Medina County Economic Development Corporation’s office at the county administration building in downtown Medina.
Donna J. Miller, The Plain Dealer

MEDINA, Ohio — The Medina County Fiber Network that carries cost-saving broadband services to businesses, government buildings and school districts is approaching a pivotal year in its development.

“With nationwide carriers bringing their Internet, voice and Internet-transmitted television services to the county, we are concentrating now on doubling the customer base from the current 50,” CEO David Corrado said. Continue reading

Plotting Next Steps Towards High Speed Municipal Broadband for Seattle’s Internet-Hungry Masses

Remember when local comedian Brett Hamil fucking nailed it in a video-blog bemoaning his sluggish internet service? He’s back with a follow-up—still waiting, six months later, for Mayor Ed Murray to make up his mind about whether to pursue building a high-speed municipal broadband network in Seattle:

Continue reading