This week's big news came out of Washington, specifically Seattle. The city just published a report examining the feasibility of a Chattanooga-type citywide municipal fiber network. The report and related materials are available here; read the news release here. In short, duplicating a Chattanooga-type approach appears too risky given the likely response from incumbents Comcast and CenturyLink.
Public Internet is supposed to lower prices. In Seattle, it could work too well by Brian Fung Washington Post
Is Muni Broadband Feasible in Seattle? Not Likely, Report Finds by Colin Wood, GovTech
The numbers don't bode well for proponents of municipal broadband in Seattle, but the city has other plans.
“The broadband market has been changing incredibly fast just in the past six months, since the president mentioned the need for strong broadband access in his State of the Union address," he said. "And we’re starting to see some interesting joint ventures that allow cities to meet their policy objectives around equity and around economic development through broadband."
Seattle councilmember calls for ‘mass citywide movement’ against Comcast and CenturyLink in support of municipal broadband by Taylor Soper, Geekwire
GeekWire Radio: Amazon meeting hijacked; Twitter shakeup; and the future of municipal broadband by Todd Bishop, GeekWire
Cost of municipal broadband for Seattle less than estimated by Daniel Beekman, Seattle Times
Building a municipal broadband network in Seattle wouldn’t cost as much as the city once thought, but the city would still need additional funds.
Bad News For Municipal-Run Broadband Internet by Ross Reynolds, KUOW
Report says municipal broadband too expensive for Seattle to build alone, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
Media Roundup By State
Gigabit-speed Internet comes to downtown St. Louis By David Nicklaus, St. Louis Today
A New York State of Megabits by Susan Crawford, Backchannel
Will a half-billion dollar investment in internet infrastructure put NY in the national lead? Only if its leaders put muscle behind the dollars.
For Wilson's Greenlight Community Broadband, fiber waiting game in full swing by Lauren K. Ohnesorge, Triangle Business Journal
The interest is there, specifically from farmers, he says. One current Greenlight customer wants to expand his commercial farming operation into an adjacent county, and needs the high-speed service to run the business, Aycock says.
“It’s not just about the residential folks in the rural areas,” he says. “It’s also about agriculture."
High Tech, High Rec: Pend Oreille County works to connect work with play by Mike McLean Spokane Business Journal
The Community Network System opens the option for people to live in Pend Oreille County and have access to a rural setting or larger tracts of land, he says.
Alex Stanton, a principal at Newport-based information technology company Exbabylon LLC, says, “Having fiber makes it possible for me to do my job.”
It’s also a big selling point when it comes to recruiting employees, Stanton says.
Without the fiber network, it was more difficult to convince qualified IT candidates to come to Newport.
“A lot of talented people are living in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Liberty Lake, and Seattle,” he says. “Most highly technical people want really good Internet service at home. It’s so accessible in metropolitan areas, it’s become a staple commodity.”