The City Council of Dayton, Texas, has approved a $13.7 million bond to operate its own fiber optic system. The city aims to make residents and businesses more self-reliant and less dependent on big cable companies. Located 15 miles east of Houston, Dayton has a population of nearly 8,000 people, half of whom are students at the Dayton Independent School District in Liberty County. Once the 70 mile fiber network is complete, it will meet the connectivity needs of Dayton's residents and businesses now and well into the foreseeable future.
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, recently appeared on Broadband Breakfast Live Online on March 31 to discuss the impacts of the pandemic in the broadband sector. Along with Christopher, the panel discussion was joined by host Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher at Broadband Breakfast, Gigi Sohn from Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, and Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks. The panelists explained policies to support universal broadband access, shared issues with telehealth, and suggested short-term solutions to bridge the homework gap.
Virus exposes Iowa’s broadband weaknesses by Rod Boshart, Globe Gazette
North Carolinians are fed up with slow, expensive, and unreliable Internet access. Communities across the state are seeking solutions, but are running into barriers, especially in rural areas. The town of Mount Olive, home to about forty-six hundred people, is one such example. Only recently, after working with local Internet service provider Open Broadband, are they getting decent Internet access for residents and local businesses.
Katie Kienbaum, Research Associate at ILSR, wrote an op-ed that the Orlando Sentinel published on March 5, 2020. Katie wrote about how lobbying from the big wireless companies at the state legislature restricts local communities from making their own decisions. She also touched on the importance of protecting local authority to allow communities to have their own right to make decisions.
Here is the full piece:
Imagine moving into a new home. One of the reasons you chose this house was the view from your daughter’s bedroom of the park across the street, a nice change from the alleyway her room overlooked in your old apartment.
Visitors to libraries across the country are being greeted with signs declaring, “Library Closed,” in an attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. But increasingly, those words are followed by the ones seen outside Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, Pennsylvania: “Park for Free Wi-Fi.” As the Covid-19 outbreak pushes almost all daily functions online, libraries, schools, and Internet service providers (ISPs) are finding themselves on the front lines of responding to their communities’ connectivity needs — especially those of students. Nationwide, these broadband first responders are working rapidly to open and deploy public Wi-Fi hotspots that families can access from the safety of their parked cars.
In a recent article, “Tell The Story We Know: Broadband Competition is Too Limited,” Jonathan Sallet laid out the case for robust broadband competition as a necessary step in expanding high-quality connectivity nationwide. The article, co-published by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society and the Coalition for Local Internet Choice,identified greater broadband competition as one of the four “building blocks” needed to reach the goal of connecting all Americans to modern Internet access by 2030.
John Lester, General Manager of Clarksville Connected Utilities (CCU) in Clarksville, Arkansas, knows a thing or two about the value of a municipal broadband network.“ Just keeping the dollars in Clarksville is gonna have a big impact," he said when I called him earlier this month to learn more about the city’s planned foray into residential broadband services. Residential broadband is only the most recent evolution for Clarksville’s municipal fiber network, which already connects utility infrastructure as well as area businesses and community anchor institutions in the city. Home installations are due to start soon.
Not even a pandemic can stop this week's guest, US Internet CEO Travis Carter, from finding ways to bring better connectivity to his company's subscribers and the community.
Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood interviewed Christopher Mitchell, the director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative, this morning on national radio. The pair discussed how broadband providers are responding to increased demand during the Covid-19 outbreak and what barriers there are to expanding Internet access to families sheltering-in-place.
Latest telco and electric cooperative fiber broadband partnership offers a unique model by Carl Weinschenk, telecompetitor
It’s still quite common for telcos and electric cooperatives to go it alone on fiber deployments, however. Last June, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) released research that said 140 U.S. telecom and electric cooperatives have deployed gigabit broadband services, primarily in rural areas. The majority of these were independent projects, rather than partnerships between the two types of companies. The 2019 research showed a big increase from 2017, when ILSR identified 87 gigabit broadband deployments by telco or electric cooperatives.
“While most of us take a high-speed Internet connection for granted, many living in rural areas feel disconnected,” states North Carolina television station WRAL’s new documentary, “Disconnected.” The documentary features local officials, healthcare professionals, small business owners, and families from across the state discussing the importance of high-quality broadband access and the struggle to connect rural areas.