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 – – 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

BLOG-From the Fiber Forum – The Yellow Springs News

Yellow Springs residents consider investing in a municipal fiber network for high speed telecommunications.

Saturday morning, residents of Yellow Springs gather in the Morgan Building next to the high school to talk about a municipal fiber optic network. The Miami Valley Educational Computer Association (MVECA) is hosting a Fiber Forum from 9am to 1pm followed by lunch and small group roundtable discussions. Continue reading

Financing Public-Private Fiber Networks Becoming a Reality, Say Experts at Broadband Communities Summit

AUSTIN, April 27, 2015 – Raising funds to build high-speed internet infrastructure through municipal debt financing is finally becoming a reality, according to a panel of financiers and broadband builders speaking earlier this month here at the Broadband Communities Summit.

Members of the panel, “Municipal Debt Financing and Public-Private Partnerships,” surveyed the landscape of typical municipal bond financing — traditionally used to build transportation infrastructure — and discussed how it applies in the broadband space. Continue reading

Rural Tennesseans Limited in Internet Choices

Jamie McGee,
Tullahoma, Tennessee

Tullahoma, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s usually between the 10th and the 15th day of the month when Clifton and Joanna Miller’s satellite Internet account hits its data cap. Clifton, a lawyer, and Joanna, a sixth-grade math teacher, are unable to work from home. Their 16-year-old daughter, who depends on access for homework, takes a laptop to her grandmother’s house nearby to complete her assignments until a new month begins.

The Millers’ house is less than a mile from Tullahoma‘s city limit, but under state law, the Tullahoma Utilities Board cannot extend its high-speed fiber Internet network outside its electric service footprint. They would settle for basic broadband from other providers, but those companies — AT&T and Charter Communications — don’t reach his neighborhood. Continue reading

GOP lawmakers: Challenge FCC ruling on broadband in Tenn.

Chattanooga, Tennessee from Lookout Mountain.

Chattanooga, Tennessee from Lookout Mountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Federal Communication Commission ruled last week that cities like Chattanooga may expand their municipal broadband service, but Tennessee officials who oppose the decision are lining up to block the move.

On Tuesday Republican state lawmakers led by Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin urged state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to file a lawsuit challenging the decision as “a violation of state sovereignty.” Continue reading