News

Posted September 17, 2021 by maren

The San Marcos City Council held a working session in August to review a presentation on the state of broadband in the Texas city and decide whether it should pursue a municipal broadband option. While some members wanted to pursue a fiber-to-the-home municipal network after the presentation, others pushed back despite the fact that the city has its own fiber I-Net (Institutional Network). City council ultimately voted to look for partnerships and alternative options, as opposed to funding and operating its own network. 

Existing I-Net

Posted September 15, 2021 by jericho

In years past, states have implemented preemptive laws that make it more difficult or impossible for communities to build their own Internet networks. 

These state barriers were often enacted at the behest of large telecom monopolies to limit competition, and include everything from outright bans on municipal broadband networks to oppressive restrictions and requirements which create legal uncertainty for communities attempting to offer telecommunications and Internet services, including via partnerships.

Posted September 14, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

Ponca City, Oklahoma continues to make strides on its municipal fiber-to-the-home network build, gaining steam as it eyes a completion date in late 2022. The project, which left its pilot phase two years ago in July, has passed the halfway point of a build which will see more than 400 miles of new fiber pulled to provide future-proof, affordable, locally accountable Internet access to residents, businesses, government facilities, and community anchor institutions for decades to come.

Posted September 14, 2021 by maren

On this week’s episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, host Christopher Mitchell is joined by Mike Gailey (Mayor of Syracuse), Brody Bovero (City Manager for the City of Syracuse), and Scott Darington (City Manager for the City of Pleasant Grove) to talk about why they decided to work with UTOPIA to connect their communities in Utah. 

Posted September 14, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to empower communities by striking at the roots of monopoly power. Our Community Broadband Networks program focuses on local approaches to ensure everyone has high-quality Internet access. This program is a diverse and growing team that makes a difference – our analyses are frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers.

ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks program seeks a GIS and Data Visualization Specialist. We are looking for candidates that have a passion for using their skills as part of a team focused on justice and equity for all. Our mission is focused on a range of digital equity challenges but this position will also offer opportunities to work on larger ILSR projects and goals.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Posted September 13, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

The Connect This! show has officially returned, kicking off an unofficial Season 2 with better production value, worse jokes, and the same lively conversation and hot takes we've all become accustomed to. 

On the latest episode, co-hosts Christopher and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) are joined by Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting) and Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) to catch up after a frenzied summer. With all of the federal, state, and local broadband infrastructure funding programs and projects announced over the last three months, the panel breaks down what they've been seeing across the country. 

During the course of the conversation, they cover what's been going on with the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (including ISPs turning funds back in and LTD failing to get its ETC status), more supply chain constraints, how communities can plan for current and future funding, and incumbents continuing to lock up MDUs.

Posted September 9, 2021 by jericho

During fire season in Northern California, relaying critical emergency information with speed is paramount. It’s equally important for citizens to get timely information on the course of wildfires, receive evacuation orders, and be able to connect with friends and family. Living in that reality is one of the driving reasons the Chico City Council recently voted to earmark $5 million of the city’s $22 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to research and implement a plan to improve citywide Internet access.

Posted September 8, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

On Episode 18 of the Connect This! Show, co-hosts Christopher and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) are joined by Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting) and Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) to catch up after a frenzied summer. With all of the federal, state, and local broadband infrastructure funding programs and projects announced over the last three months, the panel breaks down what they've been seeing across the country. 

Join us for the live show tomorrow, September 9th, at 6pm ET. 

Subscribe to the show using this feed, or visit ConnectThisShow.com

Email us broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback, ideas for the show, or your pictures of weird wireless infrastructure to stump Travis.

Watch here, or below.

Posted September 8, 2021 by maren

In Larimer County, at the northern end of the Front Range in Colorado, county officials are looking to secure between $5 million and $30 million in federal grant money to expand broadband access into underserved areas. Last month, the County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved up to a 10 percent match, or up to $3 million, if the county is awarded the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) grant.

Posted September 7, 2021 by sean

The Addison County Communications Union District (ACCUD) in Vermont was formed a year ago. Now known as Maple Broadband, ACCUD has announced a partnership with Vermont-based Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT), setting the table to provide fiber-fed Internet service for broadband-hungry residents living in some of the hardest parts of the state to reach and serve. 

Posted September 3, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

This piece was authored by Ahmad Hathout, Assistant Editor for Broadband Breakfast. Originally appearing at broadbandbreakfast.com on August 25, 2021, the piece is republished with permission.

The House’s decision to delay passage of the $65 billion spending on broadband included in the infrastructure bill means that final action will wait until Congress returns from its summer break and comes back again for scheduled votes beginning September 20.

Fiber and wireless providers remain optimistic about infrastructure investments in future networks, even as a top lawmaker on Wednesday voiced lingering concerns about spectrum-related provisions in the Senate-passed bill.

Posted September 2, 2021 by maren

As communities across the country are working to bring more affordable, reliable Internet access to their residents, one county in Michigan is gearing up to reach every household within its bounds. On Wednesday night, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners held a Ways and Means meeting and unanimously approved a resolution obligating state funding, including American Rescue Plan funds, to several initiatives, with $14.6 million dollars being allocated to broadband infrastructure. 

Posted September 1, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) represents an unprecedented amount of money flowing to local governments, and an equally historic opportunity to spend the money on bringing fast, affordable broadband access to the millions of unserved and underserved homes and businesses around the country. This new resource collects projects under consideration or already announced to give city and county leaders as well as broadband champions a sense of what others around the country are doing.

Posted September 1, 2021 by jericho

Nestled in Southern California’s Inland Empire is the city of Moreno Valley which goes by the maxim: "People, Pride, Progress!” Now, city officials are looking to live up to the motto by moving forward with a plan to expand Internet access to residents by utilizing 35 miles of fiber assets and 11,000 city utility poles to extend public Wi-Fi access to as many homes as possible.

Home to over 213,000 residents, the city of Moreno Valley is in the beginning stages of developing a Master Plan to extend its existing fiber and wireless networks. The goal of the plan, being completed by Magellan Advisors, is to leverage city-owned assets to expand Internet access and lower the cost of connectivity for public-sector organizations, businesses, and community anchor institutions.

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