Community Broadband Media Roundup - February 12


Mediacom takes shot from Alabama mayor by Daniel Frankel, FierceCable



San Francisco seeks universal fiber broadband with net neutrality and privacy by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica



Loveland City Council: Decisions ahead on broadband recommendations by Julia Rentsch, Loveland Reporter-Herald

Boulder broadband: Imperative for prosperous future by John Tayer, BizWest

Loveland City Council votes to move ahead on development of municipal broadband network by Julia Rentsch, Loveland Reporter-Herald



A clarion call by Lynn Item News team



Dig Once policy would encourage affordable broadband by Mike Schlasner, Rochester Post Bulletin



Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course by Kieren McCarthy, The Register


New Jersey

Murphy makes net neutrality the order of the day by Carly Sitrin, New Jersey Spotlight

ISPs must follow net neutrality in New Jersey, governor declares by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

New Jersey is enforcing net neutrality with a new executive order that requires ISPs to follow neutrality rules if they sell Internet service to state agencies.

The executive order announced today by Governor Phil Murphy is similar to ones previously signed by the governors of New York and Montana. States are taking action because the Federal Communications Commission repealed federal net neutrality rules.


New York

Editorial: Broadband options needed by Albany Times Union Editorial Board



Candidates discuss vision for the future at final forum by Mack Burke, Norman Transcript

Scott said she believes municipal broadband is a good avenue to explore, as are stormwater utility fees and sidewalk fees. She said the city should also invest in public storm shelters.



Holston Electric Cooperative forms new broadband subsidiary by Rogersville Review



#NetNeutrality: Virginia lawmakers vote against creating open Internet protections for their state by Monique Judge, The Root



Let's take a look at municipal broadband | Letter to the editor by Cooper Campbell, Bainbridge Review

There’s been much discussion and debate in the news around municipal broadband.

These internet access services, funded by local government, could be key in preventing large ISPs from using and abusing their customers in an era without Net Neutrality protections.

On Bainbridge Island, there’s really only one option for island residents; and that’s Comcast. CenturyLink simply does not offer speeds appropriate for this decade (in most areas of the island, not even enough to stream HD video). Other options, like wireless home internet from cell phone carriers leave customers with high bills and restrictive data caps.


West Virginia

WV broadband council chairman blasts FCC report, says data isn't correct by Max Garland, Charleston Gazette Mail

Numbers in a federal report about West Virginians who have access to broadband internet services are “not even close to being correct,” the chairman of the state’s broadband council said Thursday.

The Federal Communications Commission released the report last week. It claims, among other things, that seven West Virginia counties have 100-percent access to a fixed broadband connection.

The report could hurt West Virginia’s chances to get money to help improve internet speeds, said Rob Hinton, chairman of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council, which oversees broadband expansion and access in the state.

The FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report says 82.2 percent of West Virginians have access to fixed, or non-mobile, broadband internet speeds.



To expand rural broadband, President Trump and Congress should listen to local leaders by Deb Socia, The Hill

There's a much smarter way for cites to plan their future by Valerie Vande Panne, Alternet

At the same time, many cities, in favor of business models that can move those traditional indicators, have “discounted their local business community and local economic development,” says Olivia LaVecchia, research associate at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). “Some cities haven’t realized how important [local small businesses] are for an economically resilient city” and continue to put their eggs into the baskets of massive corporations, like GE or Amazon.

ILSR approaches cities more as nation-state communities, says Christopher Mitchell, director of community broadband networks at ILSR. They help cities “do their best with what [they] have.” A fundamental question they ask is, “Are resources staying in the community or are they leaving the community?”

States, cities turn to tech in bid to preserve net neutrality principles by Juliet Van Wagenen, StateTech Magazine

One way that cities are seeking to stay in control of networks is through city-owned broadband options. Several cities, such as San Francisco, are already in pursuit of citywide municipal networks. Now, as part of the procurement process for the affordable fiber network that will blanket the city, the city has asked that its vendor partners enable a neutral network in its Request for Qualifications.

"We will provide an alternative [internet option for residents] that favors the general public and San Francisco values, not corporate interests," Interim Mayor Mark Farrell said in a press release.

Fort Collins, Colo., is also pursuing city-owned internet with the help of a municipal broadband utility called NextLight, which assures customers that the offering will remain equitable despite the FCC's recent repeal.

"Municipal networks will be an excellent way to reclaim your privacy as well as net neutrality," Glen Akins, who helped lead the Fort Collins Citizen Broadband Committee, told Government Technology. "The large internet companies are willing to sell your data and throttle, block and sell fast lanes. With a municipal network, there's no financial reason for the city to sell your info or to block other people."

Here's Ajit Pai's "proof" that killing net neutrality created more broadband by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

Today's rural news in 3 words: Broadband, Broadband, and Broadband by Tim Marema, Daily Yonder

Senators introduce 'Dig Once' legislation by Andy Szal, Wireless Week

American needs more fiber by Susan Crawford, Wired

Second, in the past we have always relied on and incentivized private companies to build basic shared networked communications infrastructure in this country, subject to public obligations that the corporations serve everyone at reasonable prices. The bugaboo of "nationalization" is beside the point: right now, we don't have a shred of the framework required to lead the world in competitively-priced information transport. As a result, the private companies can do whatever they want; left to their own devices, they will upgrade their networks (and charge us a lot) only where it makes economic sense to do so. This rational behavior on their part has left us with the worst of both worlds: little competition and few upgrades to fiber.

Cities to federal government: Don't tell us how to build our Internet by Lydia DePillis, CNN Money

The debate centers on how much authority cities should have to regulate the broadband providers that want to string up lines and install wireless communications equipment on telephone poles and underground. Companies say that municipalities are slowing them down through permits and fees, which mayors argue are necessary to help fund access for their poorest citizens.

For years, cities have struggled to maintain control over the internet's infrastructure in their jurisdictions. At least 19 states have passed laws limiting cities' ability to launch publicly-owned broadband networks, which companies like AT&T and Comcast say represent undue government interference in the marketplace. Mayors have turned to the courts to win back their rights, with some success.

The least connected people in America by Margaret Harding McGill, Politico

Sorry, FCC: Charter will lower investment after net neutrality repeal by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

This doesn't mean that Charter boosted investment because of the presence of net neutrality rules or that it is now lowering investment because of the repeal. That would be an overly simplistic conclusion, when the reality is that ISPs make investment decisions based on a variety of factors such as changes in customer demand and the peaks and valleys of technology upgrade cycles.

But the opposite, equally simplistic conclusion—that broadband investment falls because of net neutrality rules and rises when net neutrality rules are repealed—is exactly what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his staff have repeatedly claimed despite what the evidence shows. This argument is what drove the FCC's public defense of its decision to eliminate popular rules that prevent ISPs from blocking, throttling, or speeding up Internet traffic in exchange for payment.