Municipal Broadband From a Different Perspective

I’m going to step into it big time here and make a bold comment. We have too many politicians and lawyers trying involved in driving broadband services and not enough business people and engineers. Politicians and lawyers should be trying to facilitate the penetration of broadband services, not drive the business. We have technical solutions to these issues, but they have yet to really gain traction in the U.S. for the reasons I mentioned above.

Like too many issues in our society, this one seems to boils down to whether you believe in big or limited government. The big government types are perfectly willing to compete or eliminate commercial enterprises in the name of fairness or some other lofty goal. The truth is that they always have an ulterior motive. Municipal broadband enterprises are at best a 50/50 proposition, but those odds are not sufficient in my view when it comes to sticking taxpayers with the bill. Our Constitution says nothing about guaranteeing citizens the right to the Internet nor is it a public safety issue. Universal Service was a deal concocted by AT&T with the Federal Government to allow their monopoly to continue. When divestiture occurred, it was a holdover for the RBOC. 
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Bucolic Barrington Hills hotbed of technology

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Mark Welsh, Staff Photographer

Nestled among rolling hills, massive horse farms, 5-acre minimum lot homes and thousands of acres of forest preserve, Barrington Hills remains unadulterated by suburban sprawl.

Straddling roughly 29 square miles over four counties — Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry — the village has little more than 3,900 residents, lots of trees and open space.

But along with the benefits of living in a quintessential rural setting comes spotty cellular phone service and dropped Internet connections.

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Quincy, UK firm continue to work toward fiber optics network

sewer party
Image by gnackgnackgnack via Flickr

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Quincy [IL] and a United Kingdom-based company remain in contact in hopes of reaching an agreement to install a fiber-optic network throughout the city.

The City Council approved a pilot project in September that allowed the company to install 1,300 feet of fiber-optic cable in municipal sewer lines along South 46th Street.

The cable is laid on the bottom of sewers and anchored down with mats, a process that has been used in the UK.

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5 Ways to Avoid Muni Market Mayhem

A little more than a year after the first signs of mayhem in the municipal bond markets, issuers are still defaulting, and investors are still worried. And while investing professionals would say that in this climate, it’s best to leave your bond research to the experts, that’s not the only way: A little diligence, a free afternoon and an Internet connection is enough to start separating the risky munis from the stable ones.

The goal – to build a portfolio of municipal bonds that reduces risk and supplies steady tax-exempt income – is still possible, says financial advisor Dennis Gibb, president of Sweetwater Investments, an investment advisory firm in Redmond, Wash. By picking issuers whose finances and politics you can track thoroughly, like your local or state government, and investing in bonds backed by recession-proof, essential services, it’s possible to avoid potential blow-ups and ride out the current muni mess. It’s far from easy, says Matt Fabian, research director of Municipal Market Advisors, “but in some cases you can figure things out.”

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What lies beneath

palm lined Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, near ...
Image via Wikipedia

Santa Monica is making their excess fiber work for them to drive economic development and put money back into their general fund.  They receive over $1 million in revenue per year just leasing dark fiber to a few institutions.  Imaging how much they could be earning with a community-wide infrastructure.

City’s dark fiber network attracts businesses

DOWNTOWN — Something runs underneath Santa Monica. Something dark. Something that reaches into City Hall, into schools, into hospitals, into office buildings.

But this dark something isn’t exactly menacing. In fact, it’s meant to help the city be technologically advanced and attract businesses to locate here.

City Hall has been leasing its dark fiber to local businesses for four years with the intention of attracting businesses to locate here in order to spur economic development. The revenue from the leasing has then gone toward providing free public wireless internet.

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