The Debate Over Muni Broadband Expansion

By Stephanie Kanowitz

As communities across the country continue to clamor for high-speed broadband, the number of critics speaking out against municipal broadband is growing.

At the heart of the debate is whether governments or private industry should have jurisdiction over broadband. Those who favor private industry point to the historical success of capitalism, while “broadband populists,” as a new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) calls them, favor government regulation and operation much like other city services. Continue reading

Chattanooga Is Offering Internet Faster Than Google Fiber | WIRED

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

Business strategist: Fibrant needs promoting

Craig Settles at Salisbury City Hall. Photo by Jon C. Lakey, Salisbury Post.

By Emily Ford

Creating a municipal fiber optic network was smart, but now the city must market Fibrant and educate users to realize the system’s full potential, a community broadband expert says.

“You have truly 21st century technology,” said Craig Settles, a broadband business strategist from San Francisco who spoke Friday at City Council’s planning retreat. “Do not hide this digital light under a basket. Talk about it and promote it. It will make a difference.”

Fibrant is the city’s fledgling $30 million fiber-to-the-home utility, which was in development for five years. Fibrant has been operating since November and expects to sign up its 500th subscriber this month. The city aims to have 4,400 subscribers in four years.

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U.K. Farmers Laying Their Own Fiber

The following video was shown at a rural broadband conference in the United Kingdom.  A group of farmers took their broadband destiny into their own hands by laying their own fiber and installing their equipment.  It demonstrates the relative ease at which a fiber-based broadband network can be installed in rural areas.  Coming from a farming state, farmers are quite capable diggers and builders.  They may even do a better job and be more conscientious since they are doing the work on their own and neighbors’ properties.

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