Community group lobbying for fiber Internet investment in Baltimore

This is an all too familiar tale of a city embarking on a broadband venture where only the consultants make money (Sorry friends). Residents of the city want to see competition but turn to the government. When that fails they start a grassroots effort. Unfortunately any grassroots campaign will not be enough to even fund a neighborhood. I wish this coalition the best of luck but they need to use their funds to get someone that can try a novel approach to engage a public/private partnership to drive broadband competition.

Baltimore was among dozens of disappointed cities when Google announced it had picked Kansas City, Mo., for a high-speed fiber-optic data network in 2011, but officials vowed to continue fighting for fiber nonetheless.

Nearly four years later, some are disappointed by the lack of progress— and want to show that some of the fervor that wooed Google remains, waiting for new, affordable options for fast Internet service. Continue reading

Editorial: Hungry for fiber

By Daily Record Staff

Hunger seems to be driving the new chapter in the grassroots push to build a high-speed fiber-optic network in Baltimore. And that’s a good thing.

The hunger, says Litecast LLC’s Mark Wagner, is for “something more,” in this case a potentially valuable economic development tool that might also spark social change.

This all started, of course, with Google, the California search engine giant that said in February it would pick a test market to build an ultra-fast broadband network connecting anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 people to the Web.

Continue reading

Baltimore for high-speed fiber — even if it’s not Google’s

The folks who organized Baltimore’s application for the Google Fiber for Communities project (where the city is vying with more than 1,000 other communities for a high-speed broadband project from the search giant) are moving the ball further by organizing a symposium next month on the topic of high speed broadband fiber in the city.

The thinking is that Baltimore should want to try to build out its fiber-optic broadband network for its citizens, even if Google doesn’t choose us. So how do we as a city get there? That’s what this symposium will be all about, I gather.

Here’s the link for full details — cost is $25 to attend.

Maybe I’ll see you there?