Community Broadband Media Roundup- January 8


After beating cable lobby, Colorado city moves ahead with muni broadband By Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

The city council in Fort Collins, Colorado, last night voted to move ahead with a municipal fiber broadband network providing gigabit speeds, two months after the cable industry failed to stop the project.

Fort Collins, Colorado moves ahead with civic broadband after net neutrality repeal By Anna Hensel, Venture Beat

Fort Collins, Colo., Will Create Broadband Utility, 'Committed' To Net Neutrality By Bill Chappell, NPR

On its webpage devoted to the broadband project, Fort Collins says that the city "is committed to the principles of Net Neutrality," adding, "The City Broadband Plan does not call for any restrictions on access including uploads, downloads, delivery methods or providers (email, Skype, Netflix, etc.)."

The broadband plan is going ahead despite a Colorado law that prohibits local governments from creating broadband networks; Fort Collins voters overrode that law in 2015. In November, 19 more Colorado cities and counties voted to opt out of the law — joining around 100 others in the state, The Denver Post reported.

Fort Collins Votes to Build Its Own Gigabit Broadband Network by Karl Bode, DLS Report

A Colorado Town’s Municipal Broadband Will Ensure Local Net Neutrality By Brad Jones, Futurism



Glasgow, Ky. Nears End of Negotiations to Install Broadband via Kentucky Wired By Melinda J. Overstreet, Gov Tech



Blandford gets $1 million state grant to build broadband network with Westfield Gas & Electric By Hope E. Tremblay, MassLive

"The ability to have fiber to the home is absolutely critical for the long-term stability of the town and ability to attract new residents to our community," said Adam Dolby, chair of the Blandford Select Board, in a press release. "This project would not be possible without the dedicated commitment of our Municipal Light Board and the incredible support (both logistical and financial) from the Baker-Polito Administration.  We are excited to begin working with Westfield Gas & Electric on our implementation."

$1 Million awarded to support broadband connectivity in Blandford By Samantha Kaufman, WWLP



Dakota Broadband becoming a reality By Kara Hildreth, Farmington Independent

'If it were easy it would have been done by now': Why high-speed internet remains elusive for many in rural Minnesota By Tim Gihring, Minnpost


North Carolina

2017 ‘a year of momentum’ in Wilson By Brie Handgraaf, Wilson Times

The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Obama-era “net neutrality” rules in December had broadband customers again wondering about the future of their connection to Greenlight. Will Aycock, general manager for Greenlight, reassured customers that the public utility wouldn’t compromise access.

“The market continues to evolve and future efforts to ensure equitable access to a free and open internet will require collaboration,” Aycock said. “Communities seeking to address these issues should consider all options, in particular public-private partnerships with existing providers as well as new entrants that want to compete to deliver high-speed broadband service.”



Reichman: City should do more to promote broadband By Jeff Reichman, Houston Chronicle

At the core of the net neutrality repeal is the idea that broadband competition will give consumers more options. In other words, if one internet service provider starts blocking your favorite sites or slowing down your video stream, or if your provider is too slow or too expensive or too unreliable, you should be able to take your business elsewhere. The city can do more to encourage competition between broadband internet providers.



Net Neutrality: Will US users swerve around non-neutral ISPs? By Ian Scales, Telecom TV

Connect Americans Now aims to improve rural broadband By Connect Americans Now, Farm Futures

Protecting Net Neutrality at the State and Local Level, Indivisible

A hyperlocal way to ensure net neutrality is for cities to create their own independent internet provider. Being free from the whims of companies such as Verizon and Comcast, localities can ensure that their public internet is net neutral. Unfortunately, 20 states* have posed some barriers to enacting municipal broadband. In those states, state lawmakers need pressure to overturn the roadblocks. In other states, local mayors and city councils could work to establish municipal broadband.

The FCC is Preparing to Weaken the Definition of Broadband by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

Can municipal broadband save the open internet? By Danny Crichton, TechCrunch

Unfortunately for millions of Americans, they have almost no choice in the matter either way. According to an analysis from the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), roughly 129 million Americans have options for internet access only from previous net neutrality violators. And for tens of millions of Americans who still only have one ISP to “choose,” there is little hope of avoiding the effects of net neutrality.

The FCC Disqualified a Bunch of Rural Communities from Receiving Internet Funding After Big Telecom Said They Already Have Internet By Kaleigh Rogers, Motherboard

“You might have a census block outside of a city that comes close to the city, so a few people can get DSL there, and then the entire block is considered to have access when in fact it does not,” said Christopher Mitchell, director of community broadband networks for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit that advocates for local solutions for sustainable development. “That’s important here because the FCC is removing a lot of census blocks from potential subsidies on the assumption that everyone in that block has service.”

Is the US Municipal Broadband movement about to gather pace? By Ian Scales, Telecom TV