The city council in Wilson, North Carolina, has reluctantly voted to turn off the fiber Internet service it provides to a nearby town because of a court ruling that prevents expansion of municipal broadband services.
The Federal Communications Commission in February 2015 voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories. After that vote, Wilson’s Greenlight fiber Internet service expanded to the nearby town of Pinetops. Continue reading
Phoenix Center chief economist George Ford has taken issue with a story in The Tennessean newspaper in which Chattanooga, Tenn., Mayor Andy Berke touted the economic benefits of its municipal fiber network.
A federal appeals court recently rejected the FCC‘s preemption of a Tennessee state law limiting the expansion of that city network, but the story preceded that decision and made no mention of it. Continue reading
Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just days after the Tennessee legislature voted down a municipal broadband expansion bill, the state was squaring off with the FCC in federal court over the issue of municipal broadband buildouts and the state’s ability to limit them.
After FCC chairman Tom Wheeler signaled the FCC had the power to preempt state laws blocking the expansion of municipal broadband, the cities of Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn. petitioned the FCC to do just that. A divided commission complied in March 2015, and Tennessee and North Carolina then filed suit. Continue reading
English: The Penmynydd high-speed broadband transmission mast viewed from the churchyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Despite the fact that Internet access speeds are increasing on average, there are still almost 40% of Americans without broadband service. I know this because my parents live just a few minutes out of a state capital and do not have any access to any wired broadband service. There is no easy answer to this solution because serving these rural areas is expensive.
Building the last-mile infrastructure is the most costly part of the build. Carriers are challenged to be profitable building out rural areas even if they had a 100% market share. This is why the Universal Service Fund was created. Instead of all customers subsidizing rural communities, local governments and carriers should be allowed to form a public/private partnership to build an open-access last-mile fiber infrastructure. All carriers could then utilize this infrastructure to provide competitive communications services to potential customers no different than in densely packed urban areas. This method is fairer to all parties and does not put taxpayers at as much risk. Continue reading
Move over SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA . Another city is getting a blistering 10 gigabit fiber Internet service. Say hello to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Today the Chattanooga Electric Power Board, the city-owned power utility, says that it is now offering 10 gigabit connections—nearly 1,000 faster than the average broadband connection in the US—to every business and residence in the city for about $300 a month. It will also offer three and five gigabit speed connections in addition its existing one gigabit service. Continue reading
Tullahoma, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORMANDY, Tenn. – It’s usually between the 10th and the 15th day of the month when Clifton and Joanna Miller’s satellite Internet account hits its data cap. Clifton, a lawyer, and Joanna, a sixth-grade math teacher, are unable to work from home. Their 16-year-old daughter, who depends on access for homework, takes a laptop to her grandmother’s house nearby to complete her assignments until a new month begins.
The Millers’ house is less than a mile from Tullahoma‘s city limit, but under state law, the Tullahoma Utilities Board cannot extend its high-speed fiber Internet network outside its electric service footprint. They would settle for basic broadband from other providers, but those companies — AT&T and Charter Communications — don’t reach his neighborhood. Continue reading
Chattanooga, Tennessee from Lookout Mountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Federal Communication Commission ruled last week that cities like Chattanooga may expand their municipal broadband service, but Tennessee officials who oppose the decision are lining up to block the move.
On Tuesday Republican state lawmakers led by Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin urged state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to file a lawsuit challenging the decision as “a violation of state sovereignty.” Continue reading