Google considering bypassing its ‘fiber’ – only to replace it with ultra-fast wireless!

Aspen Communication's wireless access point in...

Aspen Communication’s wireless access point in Tyler, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google is known across the world as the company whose best, perhaps only, interest is to get as many people online as possible. It is perhaps due to this reason that it has launched its highly-revered high-speed ISP service in select US locations where demand seems to be extremely high.

In its latest initiative, Google is about to test new technology that will deliver ultra-fast wireless internet by bypassing the physical fiber cables that are needed for their high-end internet service. Google has filed an application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission wherein it has asked the agency for permission to perform tests over various wireless spectrums across California. The filing has also requested the utilization of rarely-used millimeter-wave frequency that has the potential to transmit substantial amounts of data. Continue reading

Wyoming Town Creates Broadband Bonanza

How does a town of 5000 people in a sparsely populated region get its own fiber-to-household broadband system — WITHOUT relying on federal funding? Powell, Wyoming, is one of the great broadband success stories of the decade.

By Craig Settles

Powell, Wyoming, at first glance may appear to be the typical rural community that large and even some small broadband service providers avoid. The town has just over 5,000 residents in a county with a population density of four people per square mile. The last place for a fiber network, right? Wrong! Powell’s community-owned network, Powellink, is one of the great success stories in broadband.

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Who should build the next generation of high-speed networks?

by Jennifer Vogel, Minnesota Public Radio

Rural Minnesota

Image by Zach K via Flickr

Windom, Minn. — Dan Olsen, who runs the municipal broadband service in Windom, was just about to leave work for the night when he got a call. The muckety-mucks at Fortune Transportation, a trucking company on the outskirts of town, were considering shuttering their office and leaving the area.

“They said, Dan, you need to get your butt out here now,” Olsen recalls. “I got there and they said, ‘You need to build fiber out here. What would it take for you to do it?'”

Fortune, which employs 47 people in the town of 4,600, two and a half hours southwest of the Twin Cities, relies on plenty of high-tech gadgetry. Broadband Internet access figures into how the company bids for jobs, communicates with road-bound truckers, controls the temperatures in its refrigerated trucks and remotely views its office in Roswell, New Mexico. Fortune even uses the Internet to monitor where and to what extent drivers fill their gas tanks in order to save money.

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American Tower Joins Rural Cellular Association

Rahul Gaitonde, Deputy Editor, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON March 10, 2011 – American Tower, the Boston-based wireless and broadcast infrastructure company, announced Thursday it had joined the Rural Cellular Association.

“American Tower is glad to join RCA, and we support their mission — advocacy for rural and regional wireless carriers,” said American Tower’s Steven Marshall, Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division through a statement.

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N.C. Girds For Fifth Round Of Muni Broadband Battle

A battle over the right of municipalities to offer broadband services has erupted for the fifth time in four years in the North Carolina State Legislature.

This time, there’s both a bill that could curb the ability of cities to offer broadband to their residents and an opposing pro-muni bill that would expand the right to offer broadband to county governments. For the first time in the now long-running battle, however, it appears that the anti-muni broadband bill stands a reasonable chance of passing, says N.C. State Rep. Kelly Alexander.

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New N.C. Bill Would Restrict Muni Broadband

pic for NC population

Image via Wikipedia

by Wendy Davis

A lawmaker in North Carolina proposed a bill that would curtail communities from building their own broadband networks. The move marks the fourth time since 2007 that a state legislator has attempted to limit cities’ ability to create municipal broadband networks.

The most recent proposed measure — “An act to protect jobs and investment by regulating local government competition with private business,” would impose a host of restrictions on cities that want to create their own networks. Among others, the law would curb cities’ ability to fund broadband networks, advertise them, or price the service below-cost.

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Dem amendment cuts broadband funding in spending bill

By Sara Jerome

The spending bill approved by the House on Saturday includes an amendment that would defund a broadband grant program at the Agriculture Department.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) introduced an amendment to defund the Community Connect broadband grant program, which pays for broadband infrastructure projects and community computer centers in rural areas. The program had a budget of around $13 million last year.

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