Community Broadband Media Roundup - June 18


Would higher-speed broadband bring more jobs to Birmingham? by John Huddleston, WBRC



At town meeting, Mount Washington voters approve funding for broadband network by Kristin Palpini, Berkshire Eagle



Kansas City, Mo., Issues RFP for Smart City Partner by Skip Descant, Government Technology


New Hampshire

New law could improve Internet access by Nicholas Handy, Monadnock Ledger Transcript


New York

Digital Equity Lab Launches in NYC by Zack Quaintance, Government Technology

Municipal fiber network in Syracuse could bring lots of possibilities by Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The city of Syracuse could take the first steps toward building a municipal fiber network this summer. The project would provide high speed bandwidth at an affordable price for the city, but could also benefit the community. 


North Carolina

Leaders consider net neutrality protections for North Carolinians by Nicole Neuman, WNCT



County explores municipal high-speed internet access by Nick Budnick, Portland Tribune

Last week the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved what amounted to a fairly routine budget, with one exception — tabbing $150,000 to explore how the region could set up municipal high-speed Internet.

The goal, pushed by activists calling themselves Municipal Broadband PDX, is to bring down rates charged by large Internet service providers like Comcast, which operates under the name Xfinity in Portland. Instead of concentrating market power in regional monopolies or oligopolies, companies would compete for customers over the publicly owned Internet.

Multnomah County funds study for publicly-owned internet by Nate Hanson, KGW8

Multnomah County contemplates nation's largest public internet service by Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

Multnomah County plans to lead a $300,000 study to evaluate the prospect of building a massive fiber network to provide residential internet service.

It would be, by far, the nation's largest municipal broadband system. And it could also be hugely expensive, potentially costing a half-billion dollars or more.

Advocates say the time has come to consider the possibility of public internet service. They point to the essential role online connections play in contemporary life and the repeal of federal net neutrality, which guarded against preferential treatment for certain web services.



San Antonio to create innovation zones for new technology by Jason Plautz, Smart Cities Dive


West Virginia

Microsoft’s ‘White Space’ Broadband Project to Come to West Virginia by Max Garland, The Charleston Gazette [Government Technology]

Study highlights the windfall of rural broadband access by Matt Combs, Register-Herald



While the Net Neutrality Fight Continues, AT&T and Verizon are Opening a New Attack on ISP Competition by Ernesto Falcon, Electronic Frontier Foundation

In 1996, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act in order to inject competition into the telephone market and set the stage for a nascent commercial Internet. Last month, US Telecom, the trade association of AT&T and Verizon, filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repeal one of the central requirements of the ’96 Act that has promoted competition. That requirement being that incumbent telephone companies share their copper line infrastructure at regulated rates with to lower the barrier of entering an incumbent’s market. If granted, incumbent wireline telephone companies will be free to raise prices or simply disconnect competitors’ access to their infrastructure and potentially jeopardize what the small amount of remaining competition that exists in high-speed broadband.

While copper wire infrastructure may strike people as the infrastructure of yesterday, its existence and the legal rights to access it remain essential for competitive entry into the high-speed broadband market. This is because it is one of the only remaining ways a new company can gain customers to then leverage to finance fiber optic deployment. Should the FCC grant the petition, the growing monopolization of high-speed broadband above 25 Mbps where more than half of Americans have only one choice will likely become worse.

Day 1 of a Worse Internet by April Glaser, Slate

Under the new network neutrality rules, internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are allowed to throttle traffic that travels over their network or even block access to entire websites as long as the companies alert subscribers in their terms of service that they reserve the right to do so. But since most people in the United States don’t have more than one or two internet providers to choose from for broadband service, if users don’t wish to accept those terms, many won’t have anywhere else to go for their internet. Without net neutrality rules stopping them, internet providers will also be able to charge websites a fee to reach users faster.

Rural communities see big returns with broadband access, but roadblocks persist by Phil McCausland, NBC News

A Map of the Net Neutrality Resistance: June, 2018 by Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News