Community Broadband Media Roundup - February 13


Call Kurtis: Why your Internet provider choice is limited by Kurtis Ming, CBS Sacramento



City must play catch-up with Internet service by Ron Cunningham, Gainesville Sun

In the absence of fast, reliable and affordable broadband access, should a city simply wait for the private sector to hook it up? Or should it declare that - like education, infrastructure, public safety and sanitation - ensuring access for all ought to be a basic function of government?

Chattanooga went with broadband access as a basic public service.

Meanwhile, back in Gainesville. Home of the University of Florida. Self-styled Innovation City. Would-be spawner of cutting edge start-ups. We're still pretty much a sleepy way stop on the High Speed Highway.



Eagle Eye Team Report: Broadband expansion languished in Berkshires by Larry Parnass & Patricia LeBoeuf, Berkshire Eagle

“Getting high-quality internet is not the first time we’ve done this. We electrified the entire country and did it in a fiscally responsible manner,” he said.

Rather than start with a middle mile, Mitchell thinks Massachusetts should have fostered last-mile connections with alternative ways of connecting to distant trunk lines on the internet. And when it comes to local town networks, he believes people should think of what’s best locally. “Do you want that money [for service] going to Philadelphia or staying in your community?” he asked.

Inside the broadband meltdown: WiredWest retools after losing faceoff with MBI by Larry Parnass, Berkshire Eagle

Mount Washington, MA, rolls out municipal FTTH broadband network by Lightwave Online



West Plains to move forward with broadband plan by Ozark Radio News

City offers high-speed fiber Internet to businesses by West Plains Daily Quill



AEC watches broadband bill with interest by Steve Marion, Jefferson City Standard Banner

“I think that is nowhere near enough,” [Joe Malgeri] added. “It’s as restrictive as previous attempts. We have seven municipal broadband providers in the state who would love to expand their systems to communities around them, but state regulations say no.”

For instance, Morristown’s fiber net – currently with 6,000 customers – has capacity for 400,000. Meanwhile, economic activity is flowing to areas with fast internet, Malgeri said.



Controversial state broadband bill gets a rewrite by James Ivancic, Fauquier Times


Byron bills hinders broadband by Lynchburg News & Advance Editorial Board

Controversial municipal broadband bill passes Virginia House with changes by Shane Dwyer, WDBJ-7

Virginia house passes pared back broadband bill by Carmen Forman, Roanoke Times

Virginia house passes (another) bill restricting local broadband by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

It's unclear if the bill in its current form will pass the Virginia senate. This is the second bill crafted in Virginia that restricts community municipal broadband options, and there are more than 20 such bills currently in place in states around the country.

"Once again, we see a state legislature prioritizing the anti-competitive instincts of a few telephone companies over the need for more investment and the desire for more choices in rural communities across their state," notes Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a group that advocating for the communities most politicians pretend to serve. "Virginia's communities need more investment and more choices from ISPs, not new barriers crafted by powerful lobbyists in Richmond."

Committee looks to expand broadband in Greene by Pat Fitzgerald, Greene County Record

"Broadband death star bill" blown up by municipal Internet advocates by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

General Assembly bill threatens Internet initiative by Chris Teale, Alexandria Times


West Virginia

West Virginia's new CTO to focus on consolidation, citizen services, broadband by Jake Williams, State Scoop



FCC makes it harder for poor people to get subsidized broadband by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

New FCC boss Ajit Pai insists he's all helping the poor, gets right to work harming them instead by Karl Bode, ArsTechnica

Picture of the cows at sunset courtesy of sneeze via pxaby.