Community Broadband Media Roundup - April 2


LA Councilmember Proposes Municipal Broadband Feasibility Study by Zack Quaintance, GovTech

San Francisco Taps Citywide Internet in Bid to Close the Digital Divide by Mickey McCarter, StateTech Magazine

Only government intervention can truly close the digital divide, San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell declared in a keynote address at Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in Kansas City, Mo., this week.

Over the past four years, San Francisco has been planning a fiber project to do just that, Farrell said.

“We fancy ourselves as the innovation capital of the world, yet we have communities in our city that are getting left further and further behind,” he said.

Roughly 100,000 San Francisco residents have no internet access, and 15 percent of public school students lack internet access. African American and Latino students face even greater disparity as 30 percent of them lack internet access.



Improving the next National Broadband Map by Rep. Jared Polis and Jessica Rosenworcel, Sky Hi News

Every map tells a story. In the 1860s, maps were key to establishing Colorado Territory's place in the gold rush. In the 1970s the state's residents decided to map a course from Durango to Denver, which was eventually christened The Colorado Trail. It's justifiably known as mile-for-mile one of the most beautiful pathways in the country.

Today, the most important maps for our Centennial State are different than those that came before. Instead of marking majestic peaks and valleys, they map out the digital future by showing where high-speed internet or broadband is available—and where it is not. Having maps that detail broadband deployment is vital for economic development in Colorado—and beyond. That's because to have a fair shot at 21st century success, every community needs access to high-speed internet.

Cortez City Council to vote on broadband pilot program by Stephanie Alderton, The Cortez County Journal

Colorado rural broadband gets help on two fronts: General Assembly and Congress by Marianne Goodland, Durango Herald

Colorado State University to host public forum on net neutrality by Kelly Ragan, Coloradoan



Isolated Maine islands get $1.3M grant for broadband project by Associated Press



Better access to Internet available to students in Montgomery County by Justin Ward, WDBJ-7

Baltimore City Council President wants to explore municipal broadband by Stephen Babcock, Baltimore



State Senators Clash With Telecom Providers Over Net Neutrality Rules by Colin A. Young, WBUR



When They Couldn’t Afford Internet Service, They Built Their Own by J. Gabriel Ware, Yes! Magazine



Dayton pushes for more broadband expansion money by Don Davis, Duluth News Tribune


New York

Satellite isn’t the answer for universal broadband by Paul Reese, Sun Community News

NYC official resigns from 'unproductive' FCC broadband committee by Colin Wood, StateScoop


North Carolina

City and county see modest population growth by Drew C. Wilson, Wilson Times

Close the internet access gap in rural NC by News & Observer Editorial Board



Mid-Atlantic Broadband hires new director of economic development and community engagement by Charles Wilborn, Go Dan River



Governor Signs Broadband Bill by Mia Carlson, Daily Fly 


West Virginia

7 WV counties ineligible for broadband program after report claimed 100% access by Max Garland, WV Gazette Mail

Shortcomings in federal data on internet access may slow down West Virginia’s race for better connection speeds.

Funds from a $1.98 billion federal program to expand rural internet access will not be used in the West Virginia counties a report claimed had 100 percent access to a fixed broadband connection.

Much of West Virginia’s southern half is eligible for funding through the Federal Communication Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II, along with its panhandles. Through the fund, internet providers will be able to bid via an auction on establishing a broadband connection in unserved areas throughout the country, sorted by census blocks.

Local partnerships seek to increase access to broadband by JoAnn Snoderly, WV News

Statistics can lie — and the FCC's broadband data does by John Miller, WV News

Our attempts to increase broadband access in this state seem to always be taking one step forward and two steps back. The latest issue centers on a report from the Federal Communications Commission that shows Harrison, Lewis, Barbour, Marion, Randolph, Upshur and Gilmer counties all have 100 percent broadband access.

This is 100 percent wrong.



Preemption Threatens Economic Development and Innovation by National League of Cities Staff

The Broadband Boost Small-Town America Needs by Alex Marshall, Governing

They are mostly towns you’ve probably never heard of, places like Sandy, Ore., Leverett, Mass., Lafayette, La., and Longmont, Colo. Yet these smaller communities, and hundreds more like them, have something even the techiest big cities such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle don’t have: widespread, fast and well-priced broadband service.

Big cities usually have the edge in the traditional drivers of economic development. They have the universities, the sports teams, the big airports, the interstate highway access, the ports. But in arguably the most forward-looking part of the economy, some smaller localities have the edge. They made it for themselves by developing their own broadband networks, typically employing the latest fiber-optic technology. “I believe over the next three to five years people are no longer going to be surprised that some small cities have much better internet access than big cities,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, whose national map shows more than 500 communities with some type of publicly owned network.

AT&T/Verizon lobbyists to “aggressively” sue states that enact net neutrality by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

Why Can’t the U.S. Government Make a Decent Broadband Map? By Eric Null, Slate Magazine

When you’re moving to a new home, one critical question is whether it has access to fast broadband. In those circumstances, it would be nice if you could, say, look to a nationwide map that shows broadband coverage at the address level. But if you visit the website of the National Broadband Map, you will find this notice: “National Broadband Map data is from June 30, 2014 and is not being updated.”

For four years, the map has sat dormant because funding ran out. In February, the Federal Communications Commission released a shiny new map that was supposed to take the place of the old one and offer comprehensive, interactive, consumer-facing information showing broadband availability throughout the United States. But as Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn put it, it’s really just “lipstick on a pig.” Good maps need good data—something that the FCC’s new map lacks. And this isn’t just about convenience for homebuyers: The lack of reliable data leads to faulty understanding of the state of broadband in this country and bad policymaking, which combined have a particularly acute effect on America’s most marginalized communities.

ACLU urges cities to build public broadband to protect net neutrality by Harper Neidig, The Hill

ACLU: Net neutrality can be saved with more local broadband by Roger Cheng, CNET