The Ohio Senate attached an amendment to the state's budget bill last week which would place significant restrictions on the establishment of new community broadband solutions. It would also, if passed in its current form, place substantial barriers on the operation and expansion of existing municipal networks and other publicly owned and operated projects. This new fact sheet outlines the many long-term benefits that community broadband has brought to the state.
The Ohio State Senate is set to vote today on the state budget bill that, if signed into law, would be a major setback for municipal broadband projects in the Buckeye State and protect the big incumbent Internet Service Providers from competition. If passed and signed into law it would make Ohio the first state in a decade to erect barriers to the establishment and expansion of municipal broadband networks.
Patience and persistence can be used to describe what made northern Virginia’s Orange County Broadband Authority successful in turning their middle-mile network into a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. While the journey started more than five years ago, today the authority is connecting 20 customers a day with the goal of connecting 4,000 customers by the end of the calendar year.
On May 10th, the FCC’s Report and Order declared that schools and libraries could not use newly announced Emergency Connectivity Funds (part of the American rescue Plan) to build self-provisioned networks, but instead could only use the funds to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and connected devices, such as laptop computers and tablets. The decision is a recipe for cutting students off from broadband Internet access as soon as Congressional appropriations run out rather than using those funds for solutions that will operate sustainably into the future.