Governor Jay Inslee started to promote his bill for better broadband earlier this year and, with any luck, Washington will have a solid foundation to expand broadband before the end of this year’s legislative session. SB 5511, a measure backed by the Governor, has sailed through the Senate, and has now appeared in the House. The bill establishes a State Broadband Office and earmarks funding for local broadband initiatives.
The bill is on the agenda for today's House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee meeting at 10 a.m. PDT.
Difficult But Doable
Trustees approve broadband project by Tyler Pialet, Trail-Gazette
"Broadband service is critical for any community moving into the future, and technological challenges are greater for a smaller community like Estes Park," Lancaster said.
Voters to decide on broadband for Chesterfield by Bob Audette, Brattleboro Reformer
Last week, Trustees in Estes Park, Colorado, unanimously voted to change the community’s municipal code in order to bring constituents what they want — a publicly owned broadband network.
The Tallahassee City Commission was divided, but they passed a vote 3 - 2 earlier this month to move forward with a feasibility study focusing on a citywide fiber optic broadband utility. City staff will now begin to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a consulting firm to prepare the study.
People Want to Know
Newly elected Commissioner Jeremy Matlow brought the issue to his colleagues, stating that people brought up the subject to him while he was campaigning:
In an effort to find ways to connect some of the state’s most disconnected communities, RiverStreet Networks and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives recently announced that they will work together for a series of pilot projects across the state. The initiative has the potential to discover new options for high-quality Internet access for residents and businesses in areas that have been left behind by national Internet service providers.
Q&A with Jeremiah Sloan, Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation: Arkansas co-op builds fiber fast by Sam Pratt, Broadband Communities
Broadband 'moonshot' has rural Minnesotans hopeful by John Reinan, Star Tribune
“They did it in the ’30s with electricity. They did it in the ’50s with telephones. This is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Anne Schwagerl, an organic farmer in Browns Valley on the South Dakota border.
The City of Lincoln and ALLO Communications, a Nebraska-based Internet service provider (ISP), are approaching the end of the deployment phase aimed at building fiber out to every home and business in the city of about 285,000. To expand the fiber network, ALLO has leased access to Lincoln’s extensive conduit system, which hastened the buildout and lowered costs. With only minor construction remaining, all of Lincoln will soon have access to fast, affordable, reliable gigabit connectivity.
Are you still considering whether or not to attend this spring’s Broadband Communities 2019 Summit in Austin on April 8th, 9th, and 10th? We thought we’d share more information about Christopher’s panels so you can see what you will be missing if you decide to stay home.
Register online for the Summit.
Lessons Learned and Shared
Senator Janice Bowling has become a broadband hero in rural Tennessee and on the pages of MuniNetworks.org. Year after year, she introduces legislation aimed at expanding local authority to allow communities the ability to improve connectivity. She’s back this year with several bills aimed at expanding fiber in rural areas.
Idaho Falls residents in select areas are now able to tap into fast, affordable, reliable connectivity through their city’s fiber optic network. Idaho Falls Fiber (IFF) and Idaho Falls Power (IFP) recently announced that premises in three residential areas of the city can now sign-up to connect to the open access Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network.
Check out the IFF Fiber Service Areas Map.
With A Little Help From UTOPIA
Idaho Falls has operated Circa, a municipally owned dark fiber network for around eight years. The infrastructure has been managed by IFP to offer connectivity to local businesses and municipal facilities, but a few years ago, community leaders began investigating ways to use the resource for residential purposes.
SanfordNet Fiber, considered the largest fiber optic community network in Maine to date, is under construction and expected to be completed late in 2019. The project recently attracted the attention of WGME, who profiled the community and the investment as part of their “Working Solutions” segment.
San Jose tackles the digital divide by Doug Dawson, POTs and PANs
The city recognizes that there are no instant fixes and already recognizes that it might take a decade to bring fast affordable broadband to everybody in the city. I’m sure that $24 million is also just a downpayment towards a permanent broadband solution. But this plan puts the city ahead of every other major metropolitan area in the willingness to tackle the problem head-on.
Bill aims to maintain net neutrality by Charles Ashby, Daily Sentinel