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

Google Fiber TV Subs ‘Astonishingly Low’: Analyst | Multichannel

 

By: Jeff Baumgartner

 

Google Fiber’s ambitions have drawn both bearish and bullish views from analysts, but new data from the U.S. Copyright Office shows that the initiative is not yet setting the world on fire, at least with respect to the number of video customers who have signed on so far. 

Google Fiber ended 2015 with just north of 53,000 video subs, according to a blog post from MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett that pointed to fresh data from the U.S. Copyright Office.

The number’s a bit of a mixed bag. In Moffett’s view, Google Fiber’s rate of video growth is strong, but should be stronger.  Continue reading

AT&T sues City of Louisville over Google Fiber pole attachment rules

Stephen Hardy
English: Telephone pole, Westwood

English: Telephone pole, Westwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As one of the communities Google Fiber has selected for potential provision of its gigabit fiber to the home (FTTH) services (see “Google Fiber sets FTTH sights on three new cities”), Louisville officials had passed unanimously a “One Touch Make Ready” ordinance that would enable Google Fiber and other broadband services providers in the future to access city utility poles and attach the necessary hardware to provide services themselves. AT&T owns between 25% and 40% of those poles, the Courier-Journal reports, and the ordinance potentially would allow its competitors to move AT&T’s equipment on the pole to make room for the new infrastructure. Continue reading

FCC Chair: 39% Of Rural America Lacks Broadband Access

By

If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service.

This is according to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, who will issue his latest annual Broadband Progress Report later this month. Continue reading

CenturyLink expands gigabit Internet service to small businesses in Boulder, Fort Collins

Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins

Downtown “Old Town” Fort Collins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An official for CenturyLink on Monday said that the company’s decision to begin offering 1-gigabit fiber-optic Internet speeds to a large chunk of businesses in Boulder and Fort Collins was not influenced by those cities’ ongoing exploration into creating their own municipal broadband utilities.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) began offering such service to small and medium-sized businesses in Denver and Colorado Springs last summer. Previously, only enterprise-sized businesses that could afford the added expense of having such service brought to their buildings, or large office buildings that provided CenturyLink with sufficient density for a positive return on investment, had access to such service from the company. Continue reading

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