Optic fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to seize regulatory control over the Internet by declaring private broadband carriers to be public utilities. Less well known is that he also wants to usurp state authority to regulate municipal broadband networks.
Local governments are forever seeking opportunities to diversify their, er, investments in sports stadiums, convention centers and such. Many lately have been getting into broadband. Municipalities have built some 180 fiber-optic networks in addition to about 75 cable services. Most operate as de facto public utilities with an implicit, if not explicit, taxpayer backstop. Continue reading
Another community is taking their destiny into their own hands by building their own minicipal broadband network. Note that they will be building the network out to anchor tenants, like businesses, first followed by homes. CFU plans on using a PON system to start, but it looks like they are burying enough fiber to switch to active Ethernet down the road.
CEDAR FALLS — Cedar Falls is getting an express lane to the information super highway.
Cedar Falls Utilities is installing to-the-premises fiber optic cable throughout the community. Construction on the three-year, $17 million project is set to begin this fall.
The fiber optic cable will replace the existing coaxial cable that carries Internet and cable television service. The upgrade will offer maximum Internet speeds hundreds of times faster and give CFU bandwidth for up to 100 more HD television channels on its cable system. On Thursday, the CFU board approved the contracts for the project.