media roundup

Community Broadband Media Roundup - November 21


Fairbanks Representative looks to improve rural Internet by Dan Bross, Alaska Public Radio



As Google Fiber scales down its broadband business, San Francisco moves ahead on its own by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times



Will CenturyLink, Level 3 merger boost Boulder County broadband service? by Jerd Smith, Boulder Daily Camera

He's done battle with monopolies such as CenturyLink, demanding better service for his customers back when it was known locally as U.S. West and then Qwest, which once were the only places to get broadband connectivity. He's also taken advantage of the gaps these mega players leave open for small entrepreneurial companies like his.

"At a high-level I think it's too bad," Ilacqua said. "There is one less choice in the world."

Governments take on pot, broadband by Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

County officials tout options after broadband measure by Katharhynn Heidelberg, Montrose Press (subscription required to view the entire article)

Fort Collins wants to talk high-speed Internet by Kevin Duggan, The Coloradoan




Pole replacements are for broadband, not for PMLD by Phyllis Booth, Landmark News



To supporters of local internet choice by Mark Erickson, Coalition for Local Internet Choice



Comcast takes $70 gigabit offer away from cities near Chicago by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

How watching videos online could get more annoying under Donald Trump by Rob Pegoraro, Yahoo Finance

Meanwhile, a Trump FCC seems far less interested than the current commission in supporting efforts to build out municipal broadband networks that compete with existing internet providers and extend service into rural areas.

“It looks like the new administration may not have any interest in the munis and co-ops for internet access,” e-mailed Christopher Mitchell, director of community broadband networks at the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

DTNS 2900 - Oh, what tangled laws we weave for ISPs by Daily Tech News Show

Photo of the Colt courtesy of logesdo via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - November 14


Dozens more Colorado communities rejected SB 152, clearing the way for municipal broadband by Andrew Kenney, Denverite

Another set of Colorado counties vote to toss restrictive law, permit municipal broadband by Kate Cox, Consumerist

Part of the reason broadband competition is so dang hard to come by for millions of us? Protectionist, industry-backed laws that make it either obscenely difficult or outright illegal to start a public network. Colorado is one of the states with such a law on the books, but voters in the Centennial State are once again saying they’d rather municipal networks had a chance.

MuniNetworks, which supports and advocates for communities to be able to build networks when they choose, reports that every single one of the 26 local municipal broadband networks on ballots in Colorado Tuesday passed with flying colors.

Golden, Lafayette and 24 Colorado communities vote yes on broadband Internet alternatives by Tamara Chuang, The Denver Post & True Viral News

Colorado communities preempt state muni broadband limits by John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable

Colorado voters oppose Comcast-written protectionist state law by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

Colorado voters continue to shoot down awful Comcast-written protectionist state law by Karl Bode, TechDirt



Otter Tail County's broadband speeds rank fourth-worst in MN by Maria Johnson, Wadena Pioneer Journal



North Carolina

Gig East panelists: Broadband key to future growth by Brie Handgraaf, The Wilson Times

What's standing between rural North Carolina and reliable Internet service? by David Hudnall, IndyWeek

Former FCC exec: NC needs to loosen rules on local broadband by Jane Albright, WRAL - TechWire



Lame broadband a direct hit on Vermont's livelihood by Bryan Alexander, Vermont Digger

Grant will help expand broadband access by Rolf Parker, Deerfield Valley News



Trump could spell big trouble for broadband, net neutrality by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

How election day can shape states' community broadband laws by Craig Settles, CJ Speaks

The time for community broadband champions to engage their newly and re-elected state senators and representatives is from November 9 until January 3. Chris Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says, “Concerned citizens need to organize and speak out. This is a great time for meeting your state representatives by phone, email, or in-person because the big industry lobbyists work them constantly. Let legislators know this is an important issue and you are watching them.”

Communities are finally taking back their broadband destiny from big telecom by Jason Koebler, Motherboard Vice

More cities, towns, counties, and municipalities are building, or are considering building, their own high speed broadband networks. And many of these networks have been hugely successful, even though they’ve been faced with legal hurdles and public relations campaigns from incumbent providers.

Photo of the Colt courtesy of logesdo via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - November 7


26 Colorado communities will vote on building their own Internet networks by Jason Koebler, Motherboard Vice

Next Tuesday, November 8, 26 separate Colorado communities will vote on whether their local governments should build high speed fiber internet networks to compete with or replace big telecom internet service providers.

So-called municipal fiber ballot initiatives have become an annual tradition in Colorado, as roughly 100 communities have voted on measures that provide legal cover to governments who want to build new networks.

Broadband: A necessity for building our economy by David White, Montrose Daily Press (subscription required to view the entire article)

Municipal initiatives on marijuana, taxes, broadband also on Colorado ballots by Joey Bunch, Colorado Springs Gazette

Fort Collins considers municipal broadband by Russell Haythorn, Denver Channel 7 ABC



In Illinois, rural co-ops see energy advantage with broadband by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News

The smart grid is only as smart as an Internet connection is strong. As advanced meters, smart thermostats and other web-enabled energy devices spread across Illinois and beyond, so too does the need for reliable, broadband communications.

In cities and suburbs, there is enough infrastructure to make it a non-issue. But in rural communities outside Chicago and other cities, roughly 39 percent of residents lack access to high-speed Internet service, according to a study last year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).



Westminster Smart Home project kicks off by Jon Kelvey, Carroll County Times


New York

Inside the battle to bring broadband to New York's projects by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Wired Magazine



North Carolina

Gauging Greenlight's future: Martin, Farris both support Wilson broadband law change by Brie Handgraaf, Wilson Times

City ISP makes broadand free because state law prohibits selling access by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

A municipal ISP that was on the verge of shutting off Internet service outside its city boundaries to comply with a state law has come up with a temporary fix: it will offer broadband for free.

The free Internet service for existing customers outside Wilson, North Carolina, will be available for six months, giving users more time to switch to an alternative.

After North Carolina Republicans banned cities selling Internet, a town decided to give it away instead by Boing Boing



Small town gigabit networks planned in Oregon and Mississippi by Joan Engebretson, Telecompetitor



Chattanooga's 1 Gbps service drives innovation, economic development - and envy by Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom



Marching slow for fast municipal broadband in Seattle by Josh Cohen, NextCity

The 10 protestors marched slowly through the pouring rain and downtown lunch crowds from Comcast’s downtown store to City Hall holding signs decrying slow internet and poor customer service. The slow marching speed — it took an hour to cover the mile-long route — was meant to illustrate the frustrations of slow internet. The group had to stop a few times en route to “buffer.”



Daily report: A $25 billion fiber merger by Quentin Hardy, New York Times

Another day, another $25 billion technology merger — and further evidence of how fast the industry seems to be preparing for an even bigger networking future.

Open sesame by Jason Axelrod, American City & Country

The AT&T-Time Warner merger must be stopped by Susan Crawford, BackChannel

ILSR finds 63 cooperatives offering gigabit services by Andrew Burger, GigCommunities

Photo of the Colt courtesy of logesdo via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - October 31


City and county launch municipal broadband survey by Jim Morekis, Connect Savannah



County's broadband speeds rank fourth-worst in MN by Marie Johnson, Perham Focus

RS Fiber: A new rural Internet cooperative by Scott Carlson and Christopher Mitchell, Broadband Communities Magazine

Rochester City Council needs to act on municipal broadband by Jim Jensen, Rochester Post Bulletin


New York

WCA enters partnership to bring smart growth and gigabit broadband to Westchester by Broadband Providers Magazine


North Carolina

Community broadband advocates butt heads with North Carolina officials on best path forward by Alex Koma and Colin Wood, StateScoop

North Carolina lawmakers could soon help close the divide in high-quality broadband access between the state’s urban and rural areas. By reversing policies restricting cooperatives, and local governments from offering internet service, citizens could gain new broadband options, according to a new study from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a group that advocates for municipal networks.



The city that was saved by the Internet by Jason Koebler, Motherboard Vice




Here's how many Austinites still don't have Internet access; push is on to get them connected by Colin Pope, Austin Business Journal



Seattleites plan to march on City Hall really, really slowly to protest poor Internet service by Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire

Is Internet access a social justice issue? by Reagan Jackson, Seattle Globalist

Slow speed protest in Seattle highlights complaints of slow but expensive Internet service by Connie Thompson, KOMO News



AT&T and Time Warner reveal merger to create ISP, TV, and media giant by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Digital divide persists, largely due to price, NTIA finds by Gary Arlen, MultiChannel News

The price of Internet access remains the primary reason for not using broadband, cited by 24% of respondents in 2015, somewhat lower than earlier this decade, but at about the same level as in 2001.

Stand-alone broadband: Will rural users still pay twice what urban users pay? by Joan Engebretson, Telecompetitor

ILSR researchers find 63 gigabit deployments by cooperatives by Joan Engebretson, Telecompetitor

Forging the fiber future by Todd O'Boyle, Medium

Photo of the Highlander calf courtesy of robertobarresi via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - October 24


Legislation would give SF residents more choice in Internet service providers by Bay City News, San Francisco Examiner

Supervisor Mark Farrell on Tuesday introduced legislation requiring property owners to allow tenants in multi-unit buildings to choose their own internet service provider.

While federal law prohibits property owners and property managers from entering into exclusive agreements with service providers, ISP’s estimate that roughly 500 multi-unit buildings in The City have limits in place that effectively prevent residents from using alternate providers, according to Farrell.



1A improves technology opportunities for the future by Sallie Clark, Colorado Springs Gazette

Take 10 minutes to participate in broadband survey by Craig Daily Press Editorial Board

Lafayette issue 2E: Authorizing municipal broadband by Boulder Daily Camera

Superior issue 2G: Authoritizing municipal broadband by Boulder Daily Camera



Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz named state broadband champion of the year by Norwalk Plus



Comcast to limit amount of Internet data customers can use monthly by Kara Duffy, CBS-12



It's time to connect rural America by Christopher Chavis, Bangor Daily News



New Mexico

A rural school shrinks - but grows its digital toolkit by Megan Kamerick, High Country News



Albemarle seeks partners for broadband grant application by Aaron Richardson, Charlottesville Tomorrow

Fauquier's broadband solution could cost $20 million by James Ivancic, Fauquier Times

Patchwork of public, private efforts seeks to narrow Lynchburg region's digital divide by Alex Rohr, Lynchburg News & Advance

One asset already planted where tobacco crops used to feed financial health is the fiber backbone owned by nonprofit Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation.

That Mid-Atlantic backbone now provides “middle mile” broadband infrastructure, easing the transition into the last mile where businesses won’t come and students fall behind in a transforming technological age. Localities and businesses can branch off that backbone and connect towers to broadcast speedier service to more people.



Vox seems kind of upset that we're building gigabit networks with bandwidth to spare by Karl Bode, TechDirt

If you want to see why broadband in the United States still stinks, your first stop should be to examine the state level protectionist laws used to stifle competition across countless markets. But despite the lobbyist stranglehold over state legislatures, we're still seeing some impressive progress when it comes to the deployment of gigabit fiber networks. Google Fiber continues to slowly but surely expand its footprint, and we're seeing the rise of numerous other piecemeal gigabit solutions, whether coming from the likes of Tucows or municipal broadband deployments in cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee

Broadband prices drop in areas with gigabit broadband by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

Competition in gigabit Internet market can signficantly reduce prices by Bill Snyder, CIO

Photo of the Highlander calf courtesy of robertobarresi via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - October 17


At least one state has a (fiber) backbone by Susan Crawford, Medium



Susan Crawford makes the case for the Responsive Communities Initiative by Gretchen Weber, Harvard Law Today


New Hampshire

Broadband: A story of capacity and speed by Abby Kesller, Monadnock Ledger Transcript


North Carolina

Report calls for end of N.C. broadband restrictions by Tim Marema, The Daily Yonder

North Carolina’s small-city and rural residents could be a lot further along in adopting higher-capacity broadband at home if the state would ease laws that restrict phone and power cooperatives’ participation in the internet business, according to a new report.


New Mexico

One small college tackles the growing digital divide by Leah Todd, Santa Fe New Mexican


New York


4 Westchester cities join forces to bring ultra-high broadband to county by Michael Poyton, New Rochelle Patch



Eugene spending $4 million to improve downtown fier network, Internet access by Elon Glucklich, Eugene Register-Guard



Augusta Co. to hold public meeting about Internet initiative by Clarissa Cooper, Staunton News Leader



Connected Nation Exchange/Macquarie Capital Partnership targets municipal broadband by Telecompetitor

Big cable isn't happy about the FCC's plan to protect consumer privacy by Sam Gustin, Motherboard Vice

Photo of the Highlander calf courtesy of robertobarresi via Pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - October 10


Breckenridge to vote on broadband ballot measure by Kailyn Lamb, Summit Daily News


Wellesley Municipal Light Plant seeking commercial customers to test broadband Internet service by The Swellesley Report

Broadband coming to Ashfield by Diane Broncaccio, Greenfield Recorder

New York

Gigabit Internet: 5 things to know by Jordan Fenster, Lohud Journal News

Gigabit: Why Westchester and not the Big Apple? by Avram A. Billig & Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, Lohud Journal News

Beneath the dense metropolis of New York City is a "rat's nest" of utility wires, according to Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Digging around these wires to install new cables is both costly and could lead to unintended outages. "If you're Verizon, there's a big incentive to have this kind of rat's nest because you already have your space," said Mitchell. Less densely packed communities are able to cut costs dramatically by using utility poles, which Mitchell cites as being around 10 times cheaper than digging.

North Carolina

Public housing broadband coming to North Carolina community by Olivia Neeley, GovTech

Pinetops loses high-speed Internet by Lindell John Kay, Rocky Mount Telegram

High-speed internet could have jump started Pinetops’ real estate market, Carmon said, adding that with homes valued around $78,000 and the option of faster internet speeds, Pinetops could have become a bedroom community for nearby Greenville. The town could have offered low-cost, affordable housing to city professionals like doctors and lawyers.



City approves $18,000 fiber survey by Melinda Stotts, Miami News-Record

Internet service sometimes shaky in rural communities by Rachael Van Horn, Woodward News


EPB says pubic demand will help change muni broadband laws by Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom

EPB says that while it is still limited by Tennessee law to selling 1 Gbps FTTH service within its defined borders, the municipal fiber provider for Chattanooga is confident that growing demand for higher speed broadband could drive a change to current legislation. 

Despite the legal barrier, the service provider continues to get requests from nearby towns to get their broadband service.

Weak broadband access slows rural Tennessee's economy by Jamie McGee, The Tennessean

What's the best way to demonstrate high-speed Internet? Rock and roll by Dave Flessner and Tim Omarzu, GovTech


FCC proposal: Internet providers must ask to share your data by Tali Arbel, Seattle Times

Making the most of wireless Internet access by Todd O'Boyle, Medium

Yesterday's Internet isn't good enough for tomorrow's cities by Carly Berwick, NextCity

Photo of the horse courtesy of Norja Vanderelst via pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - October 3


Broadband survey looks to boost Internet service in rural Northeast Georgia by Joshua Silavent, Gainesville Times

In Dahlonega, for example, residents have only Windstream to choose from. The only thing preventing new providers from emerging in rural parts of the state is economics.

“I don’t believe a monopoly is the answer,” Gooch said.


Lafayette upgrades public Wi-Fi access by Jeremy Ervin, Lafayette Journal & Courier


Public-private partnership sought for high-speed Internet service in Topeka and Shawnee County by Tim Hrenchir, Topeka Capital-Journal


Cambridge needs strong dig once/touch once policies by Saul Tannenbaum, Medium

Broadband committee urges town to vote for muncipal light plant by John Osborn, Harvard Press


Ely vying for broadband grant, would benefit area by Tom Coombe, Ely Echo

North Carolina


Appeals court decision kills North Carolina town's gigabit Internet, could your town be next? by Brandon Hill, Hot Hardware


AT&T sues Nashville in bid to stall Google Fiber by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica


Bridging the digital (vet) divide by John Eggerton, MultiChannel News

ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

Internet data doesn't disappear when it's used the way an Oreo disappears when you eat it. It's true that there is only so much bandwidth an ISP can provide at any given moment, but a monthly data cap doesn't solve that problem. The per-second bandwidth limitations are addressed by the different speed tiers imposed by ISPs: Customers already pay more to get a higher number of megabits per second.

Calix announces five municipal broadband fiber-optic network deployments by LightWave Online

In tough terrain, state and county officials get creative to extend networks by Heather B. Hayes, StateTech Magazine

“The key is to look for opportunities to piggyback onto what’s already been built,” says Mitchell. He notes that some rural areas actually have faster and more robust infrastructure than many cities, though its availability is usually uneven. “If you can interconnect with a power co-op or another organization, you no longer have to think about building a 100-mile network across your county; you just have to build a three-mile network to that existing infrastructure.”

Photo of the horse courtesy of Norja Vanderelst via pixaby.

Community Broadband Media Roundup - September 26


Centennial's gigabit Internet service now taking pre-orders by Tamara Chuang, Denver Post

Centennial was one of the first communities in the state to opt out of a 2005 state law known as SB152, which restricts municipalities from using taxpayer money to build broadband networks. By the time Centennial voted in 2013, the city of Longmont was alreadygetting its gigabit Internet service up and running. In Colorado, 71 cities and counties passed a measure freeing them to look into municipal broadband. Another 14 will try on the Nov. 8 ballot, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.



Community gets broadband update by Brittany Bierle, New Hampton Tribune



Kentucky's statewide broadband network moves forward with build-out by Government Technology News Staff




Municipal broadband for Harvard? by John Osborn, Harvard Press


North Carolina

Muni ISP forced to shut off fiber-to-the-home Internet after court ruling by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

Severed connection: Pinetops to lose broadband by Halloween by Brie Handgraaf, Wilson Times

Brave telco giants kill threat of decent Internet service in rural North Carolina by Shuan Nichols, The Register

How a telecom-backed law and a recent court decision conspired to give a small North Carolina city infintely worse Internet by Aaron Sankin, Daily Dot

Pinetops has found itself caught in the crossfire in a pitched battle between activists who advocate for the government to fill in gaps in the nation's broadband infrastructure and telecom industry-backed lawmakers intent on preventing municipal broadband efforts from competing with incumbent private providers.

Town loses gigabit connections after FCC municipal broadband court loss by Karl Bode, TechDirt



Google pursues both fiber and wireless broadband ambitions by David Jones, E-Commerce Times

Despite appeals court decision, municipal gigabit momentum continues by Joan Engrebretson, Telecompetitor

Code & Conduit Podcast: What's next for muni broadband? by Lydia Beyoud, Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs

When judges pull the plug on rural America by Susan Crawford, BackChannel

Despite state barriers, cities push to expand high-speed Internet by Jen Fifield, Huffington Post & Stateline

Photo of the horse courtesy of Norja Vanderelst via pixaby

Community Broadband Media Roundup - September 19


Feds offer $1 billion to improve broadband access in rural, remote Alaskan communities by Tim Ellis, KUAC



High-speed Internet in Silverton pulls mining village out of digital desert by Jason Blevins, Denver Post

City evaluating options for broadband service by Mike Beckstead, The Coloradoan

Longmont power to ask for $7M budget boost for NextLight project by Karen Antonacci, Longmont Times Call



City moving forward broadband plan by Andrew Adkins, Ashland Daily Independent


North Carolina

Greenlight likely to disconnect Pinetops by Brie Handgraaf, The Wilson Times

Officials said the city attorney is expected to discuss the city’s options with council members following an August ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that barred the city from expanding high-speed internet service beyond the county borders. The Federal Communications Commission supported the expansion of Greenlight Community Broadband into Pinetops, but the court determined the commission didn’t have the authority to supersede a state law limiting municipal services areas. 



Bledsoe Telephone Co-op adds Gig service in Sequatchie Valley by Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press




Seattle City Council expected to add municipal broadband to long-term master plan by Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire



Legislation would eliminate state laws that restrict city Internet services by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica


AT&T finally offers low-income users affordable Internet access after using loophole to deny them by AJ Dellinger, Daily Dot


America needs a public option for the Internet by Ryan Cooper, The Week

And just like in Johnson's day, rural America is being left out, because private industry prizes profits over breadth and quality of service. That's why the government must step in with anti-trust regulation and a public option for internet.


Netflix asks FCC to declare data caps "unreasonable" by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica


The Congressional bill that would save community broadband networks nationwide by Sam Gustin, Motherboard Vice


House Dem. puts forward bill to protect municipal broadband networks from state laws by Alex Koma, StateScoop


Who is getting left behind in the Internet revolution? by John Bohannon, Science Magazine


This bill could stop protectionist state broadband laws, but ISP control over Congress means it won't pass by Karl Bode, TechDirt

Photo of the cow courtesy of Dominik Schraudolf via pixaby

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