Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
AT&T Group's Lawsuit in Wisconsin Fails
Wisconsin Independent Telecommunications Systems, operating as Access Wisconsin, sued the UW Board of Regents in July in an effort to stop a $32.3 million fiber optic network to Platteville, Wausau, Superior and the Chippewa Valley region. The lawsuit also named WiscNet, CCI Systems Inc. and the state Department of Transportation. ... The grant — made available through federal stimulus funds — will build high-speed Internet fiber to anchor institutions such as libraries, schools and government, health care and public safety buildings.A press release from the UW-Extension office that organized the Building Community Capacity through Broadband program, funded by the broadband stimulus program, notes:
“This work by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and our many community partners is vital to the future of the Wisconsin economy,” said Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and University of Wisconsin Colleges. “I hope that now government, the university, private businesses and communities in every corner of the state will be able to work together to assure Wisconsin is connected to the global economy.”Remember that these lawsuits are rarely intended to be won. They are intended to intimidate communities, to scare them away from making the necessary investments in their community to ensure the incumbents can preserve their customer base without investing in modern connections. But AT&T and friends have continued to whine that it just isn't fair, much like a coalition of landlords (where Donald Trump plays the role of AT&T) suing home owners because people should have to rent their homes forever. Or a coalition of dirt road owners who use every legal trick in the book to make sure some communities are not touched by interstates. Until the Wisconsin state government recognizes the inherent authority of communities to invest in the essential infrastructure they need, we will see more attempts by AT&T to be the sole provider of telecommunications services, which allows them to overcharge at will and increase profits even while refusing to invest in better connections. Fortunately, the Building Community Capacity through Broadband is documenting the taxpayer savings from their projects. Community networks create real gains for local businesses and make local government more efficient - but we have to make sure we can show these real savings to elected officials to counter the unparalleled lobbying effort of massive cable and phone companies.
Making Waves in Baltimore with Community-Driven Connectivity
Study: Low Income LA County Neighborhoods Pay More for Internet Service Than Wealthier Neighborhoods
A new study from the Digital Equity LA initiative lays bare how low-income communities of color are impacted by the quiet business decisions of the county’s monopoly Internet service provider. Slower and More Expensive/Sounding the Alarm: Disparities in Advertised Pricing for Fast, Reliable Broadband details how Charter Spectrum “shows a clear and consistent pattern of the provider reserving its best offers - high speed at low cost - for the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA County.” Not only does it highlight how economically vulnerable households in LA County pay more for slower service than those in wealthy neighborhoods, it also provides evidence for how financially-strapped households are also saddled with onerous contracts and are rarely targeted by advertisements for Charter Spectrum’s low cost plans.
US Treasury Approves CPF Funds for Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin
Christopher Mitchell in Ask Me Anything Seat
Last week, our own Christopher Mitchell, Director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, was the featured guest on the Broadband.Money “Ask Me Anything” series. Christopher shares his nuanced perspective on examples of municipal networks that have struggled and those that have been wildly successful. He also delves into everything from the differences between big national Internet service providers and “small scrappy" companies; how federal investments to expand broadband infrastructure might play out in states and local communities; fiber versus wireless technology; and the emergence of open-access networks.
Recent Broadband News | Episode 51 of the Connect This! Show
Join us live on Thursday, August 25th, at 5pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting.
Grant Challenges in Louisiana, 25 Gbps service in Chattanooga, and the Future of Video | Episode 51 of the Connect This! Show
Join us live on Thursday, August 25th, at 5pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting).