By MARC BROWN
Westerly’s Town Council is currently considering whether to enter into a contract with SIFI Networks of London to build a $30 million fiber optic network. SIFI is proposing to build the network and the town would lease-purchase it from the company at an annual cost of $1 million to $2.5 million over 30 years. SIFI has promised that a third-party internet service provider will sell broadband packages on the new network, sharing revenue with Westerly to cover the town’s lease cost. SIFI has “guaranteed” it. That guarantee is only backed by the word of the company — a company that hasn’t actually built a single mile of fiber anywhere in the United States. The town can supposedly back out of the contract at any time — but SIFI would then retain ownership of the network, and would be free to use it as they see fit without town involvement.
Steve Blum, a broadband consultant hired to study SIFI’s contract in another community, recently told The Westerly Sun that the town “should assume it will have to be subsidized by some other source, whether it’s a tax or a utility fee…They will not make enough money from operation of the system.” Even a cursory look at the numbers should raise a red flag. Using SIFI’s assumption of 36 percent penetration, the average monthly household bill would have to exceed $200 per month for the town’s revenue to cover the $1.5 million annual lease commitment. Continue reading
From watching Netflix to building a business to conducting cutting-edge research, we don’t just need technology to be successful — we need it to be fast. That’s why the city of Santa Cruz, Calif., has recently formed a partnership that will use fiber-like wireless technology to deliver gigabit-class-level Internet speeds throughout the city.
This innovative fiber-like wireless technology makes the project, made possible through a partnership among the city, Siklu Communication Ltd. and local Internet service provider Cruzio,the first of its kind in the United States. The tech is composed of a Siklu millimeter wave radio attached to Cruzio’s existing fiber. Continue reading
Lake Oswego is taking the right tact here by considering a public-private partnership, but the should structure it in such a way where other service providers, even Google, can access the network to sell competitive services. By doing this they reduce the risk by spreading the infrastructure costs over more service providers. After a while even the incumbent providers will take advantage of the infrastructure. The private partner would build, operate, and maintain the fiber network so they would be adequately compensated for their efforts.
Drew Clark, Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon, October 14, 2015 – This suburb of Portland, a potential candidate for Google Fiber’s Gigabit-speed internet service, has said it isn’t willing to wait around for the search engine giant. Continue reading
I personally support all initiatives that will allow the city to investigate options for increasing broadband penetration and competition in their communities. I do not support cities entering the broadband services business. Government should facilitate and promote private business activities in their cities; not compete against them. I hope that Fort Collins takes this point-of-view when deciding what to do.
I am writing to urge a yes-vote on the November ballot issue dealing with broadband options for the City of Fort Collins. This vote would exempt Fort Collins from a 2005 state law that prohibits governments from competing with the public sector and would allow our City Council to begin exploring options about providing fiber optic broadband to the community.
Voters in almost a dozen Colorado towns and cities have acted on this issue. Local voter approval would clear the way for study and investigation toward providing increased service to local population, whether independently or as part of a public-private partnership. The city could begin collecting benchmark data to examine its options in future provision of services. Continue reading
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