Town Loses Gigabit Connections After FCC Municipal Broadband Court Loss

English: Availability of 4 Mbps-Capable Broadb...

English: Availability of 4 Mbps-Capable Broadband Networks in the United States by County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl’s opinion piece is clearly in support of an industry that is very happy to sell equipment to these new customers because the incumbent telco business is not growing very fast, if at all. Allowing government to offer communications services in a particular market is not competing; it is taking it over because they can use bonds (low interest) and taxpayer money to fund these networks. State legislators have created these laws to prevent just these things from happening along with providing protection when half of these ventures go bankrupt.

Telcos are not clean on this because they are using crony capitalism to protect their monopoly or duopoly. If legislators enact such laws they should hold incumbents to the universal service agreement that AT&T adhered for decades.

Continue reading

Proposed FCC regulation Limits Indian Country’s Access to Internet

Ross Racine (Blackfeet)

When the FCC reclassified broadband services, they stated that they were not going to get into price regulation. As expected, they did not keep their word and are now manipulating the prices in a free market. What Ross mentions below are the unintended consequences of price regulation.

By Ross Racine

When it comes to internet access, Native American and Alaskan tribes are among the least connected in our country. An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers found that along with the rural South, portions of the Southwest, predominately home to Indian communities, are amongst the lowest connected regions. Continue reading

Cable Lobbying Group Claims More Competition Would Hurt Consumers

You just have to laugh at this stupid comment.

by Karl Bode

The FCC recently voted 4-1 to approve Charter‘s $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The agency just released its full order (pdf) pertaining to the deal, outlining the various conditions the FCC hopes to enforce to keep Charter from simply becoming another Comcast. Among them are a seven-year ban on usage caps, a seven-year ban on charging for direct interconnection (the heart of the telecom industry’s battle with Netflix last year), and a ban on any attempt to pressure broadcasters into refusing deals with streaming video providers.

But the FCC says the merger conditions also require Charter to deploy broadband service to an additional 2 million locations, one million of which need to already be served by another competing provider. The faint threat of competition was enough to upset the American Cable Association (ACA), the lobbying organization for smaller cable providers. According to ACA CEO Matthew Polka, the added competition will actually be a horrible thing for consumers, because, uh, well, just because: Continue reading

AT&T Expands Gigabit Service in Four Cities

by Karl Bode

AT&T today announced the company has expanded availability of its U-verse Gigapower-branded gigabit fiber service in four cities: Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Kansas City. While AT&T’s overall fixed-line CAPEX has been dropping, the company continues to push fiber into housing developments, college campuses, and other areas where deployment costs are minimal. Speaking to investors during the first earnings call, AT&T CTO John Stephens said the company was on schedule to meet the commitments attached to the DirecTV acquisition.

“We’ll continue to expand our 100% fiber AT&T GigaPower network to additional locations,” AT&T says of the expansion. “We’re planning to triple availability by the end of 2016.”

As is traditionally AT&T’s practice, most of these deployments will be made available to high-end housing developments, and the company isn’t specifically stating just how many customers are actually able to get the service. Users in our forums are often frustrated to be told they’re in a launched market, only to realize AT&T’s fiber is deployed nowhere near their home. Continue reading

Lakeland fiber optic broadband option still alive

By Christopher Guinn
Polk Theatre (Lakeland, Florida)

Polk Theatre (Lakeland, Florida) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LAKELAND — If the City Commission decides against starting a publicly owned Internet service utility, it won’t be because of a philosophical disagreement with the idea, commissioners agreed Wednesday.

Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs and Commissioner Don Selvage sought consensus from their colleagues following a brief discussion of the “gigabit” issue, in which the city would leverage its existing fiber optics assets to improve broadband connection speeds in the city. Continue reading

Is Low-Cost, High-Speed Internet an Economic Right?

This opinion piece is misguided because he didn’t fully read and appreciate the analysis by the City of San Francisco. Broadband Internet it not a utility; nor should it be considered one. Broadband Internet Service can be sold in a competitive market allowing for choice and price competition to consumers. A utility would create a regulated service with little choice and ever-increasing prices. Also, “Gigabit” bandwidth is not a necessity at the moment. Bandwidth at or above the current FCC definition is adequate for almost all of the population, and bandwidth at 4 times the definition would work for 99% of the population.

I agree with many of the premises the author claims as to the benefits of broadband service, but I draw the line that it needs to be under control and subsidized by the government. The City makes a good case for building and operating an open-access fiber infrastructure through a public-private partnership which I agree. The result will be the same but how we get there will be less risky for taxpayers and benefit residents of the city more. 

BY BRIAN PURCHIA

What if I told you that 100,000 San Franciscans, including thousands of public school students, do not have electricity or water at home? I imagine many of you would be appalled and call for our government to step in and help. Now, substitute the Internet for water and electricity. Would you still be upset? According to the latest analysis from the city of San Francisco, more than a 100,000 residents in the land of Twitter and Salesforce, do not have access to the Internet at home. Fifty thousand more have sluggish dial-up speeds.

How is this possible? And who is responsible for fixing the situation? Continue reading

Fiber networks could revolutionize Alabama’s economy the way electricity once did (Opinion)

The Google Fiber “bunny” logo at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.

By Rep. Mac McCutcheon and Rep. Laura Hall

Every modern politician — from mayors and members of city councils, to those who serve in the legislature — has an obligation to ensure that responsible policies are enacted in order to help their residents and businesses compete in a global economy. Part of this obligation is to provide the infrastructure that allows residents and private industry to succeed. The success of Thomas Edison’s light bulb was only fully realized after government helped create the conditions that made it possible for private industry to make electricity more readily accessible to all. Access to electricity spurred a decades long period of economic growth throughout the country. And now, the situation with broadband internet is no different. Communities across the country are beginning to see that access to abundant bandwidth is having a similarly transformative impact on the economy.

Today, for a community like Huntsville, broadband access is no longer a luxury. It is an imperative. Given the makeup of our economy, in-home broadband is critical to attracting and retaining companies and improving local government services and operations. It is also becoming an increasingly effective way for local utilities to manage the flow of information and resources delivered to their customers. Continue reading