Items tagged with municipal broadband

High-speed internet and robust infrastructure is often the life blood of growing communities looking to attract high tech business and satisfy citizens. In most cases, however, residents and businesses only have access to one, or at the most two, broadband internet providers. You'll usually have access to broadband cable as one option and DSL as the other. So, municipal internet -- where cities and towns build out and run their own broadband service -- is an obvious solution. BroadbandNow, which is a company that keeps tabs on broadband availability across the United States, has published a rather sobering study on the state of municipal broadband. Sadly, the company has discovered... Read more...
Monopolies and wild animals are similar in that when you corner them, they will attack. While a bear will eat you, the big telecom monopolies that exist in many states will attack with money spent trying to block anything that might mean more competition for their services. In many areas of Colorado, Comcast is the only option for broadband internet and the company has famously bad customer service and strict data caps on usage. The problem is that there is little or no choice in many areas of the state, and many other states face the same issues. Fort Collins, Colorado, a city of about 150,000 people north of Denver, has a ballot open that would begin talks about the potential for a municipal... Read more...
In early August, we reported that 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had no authority to prevent states from imposing restrictions on municipal internet. This was a result of the FCC stepping in last year in an effort to use its authority to “remove barriers to broadband investment and competition”. However, the courts sided with the states, which said that the FCC’s order impeded on state rights. In the end, this ruling was not a win for the consumers, but clearly favored firmly entrenched big brand operators like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and AT&T, which lobby hard to keep competition at bay (see Google Fiber’s fight in Nashville, Tennessee).... Read more...
It looks as though North Carolina’s municipal Internet fight is about to get a bit nastier. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has “gone to the mattresses” in order to stop the FCC from exerting its power over state affairs. But before we get into this latest development, we need a bit of a backgrounder.  The towns of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina were at a time home to underdeveloped and poor-performing Internet solutions from companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. When neither ISP expressed any willingness to offer customers faster Internet speeds, both towns took action to build their own respective fiber networks. Citizens benefited from well-priced... Read more...
Still licking its wounds following the spectacular collapse of its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC), Comcast is refocusing its energy on expanding 2Gbps fiber Internet across the country. Comcast kicked off its 2Gbps Gigabit Pro service in Atlanta, and later in parts of Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigabit Pro is now expanding to none other than Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was just seven years ago that Comcast threw down the gauntlet, suing the Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB) to block the creation of the city’s own fiber Internet and cable TV service. The EPB only took this step after it fought for years to persuade Comcast to improve its Internet speeds. After Comcast... Read more...
For many Americans seeking high-speed Internet access for their homes, options are often very limited. In the Raleigh, NC area I have access to exactly two players when it comes to reliable high-speed internet for my home: Time Warner Cable and AT&T. Time Warner Cable’s highest speed tier in my area gives me 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream speeds. On the AT&T front, I can’t even get U-Verse at my address, so I would be limited to 6 Mbps downstream speeds via DSL (reliable information on upstream speeds is quite elusive, although they likely aren’t very good). With limited choice and often dismal upstream speeds, it’s no wonder that many people are excited to hear that newcomers... Read more...
As the FCC continues to debate the issue of net neutrality and fast lanes, while continuing issues with Internet Service Providers continue to plague internet users, 7 towns in Colorado have decided to branch out on their own. All 7 towns have voted to let their local governments offer internet service. About 20 states have laws, mostly due to ISPs such as Comcast helping to get them passed, which make it difficult for a community to develop its own municipal broadband. But the rules in Colorado are unique. Colorado’s laws state that towns are able to pursue broadband if the resident’s approve the idea on an election ballot. In Boulder, which has a population of 100,000 residents,... Read more...