Thanks to the Fibre Evolution Blog for alerting us to a slick, short video that explains why FTTH is superior to alternatives when it comes to accessing the Internet. The video was produced the FTTH Council of Europe and is meant for a very general audience. Enjoy.
Listen to a great conversation about rural broadband needs from a hearing on October 12 in Kentucky. From the show description:
Riverside, California, an innovative city of 300,000 in the eastern part of Los Angeles has been a broadband pioneer even though it sits in the shadow of tech centers like nearby Santa Barbara. Riverside’s accomplishment as a city catching up with the information age was evident when it was selected as one of the top 7 Intelligent Communities Award in 2011 by New York-based Intelligent Community Forum.
“It’s an honor to be selected as one of the top 7 cities in the world. It comes down to a couple factors, what communities are doing with broadband, but... includes digital inclusion, innovation, knowledge workforce (of folks within your community) and marketing advocacy... We rank very high in all those categories.” - City CIO Steve Reneker [Gigabit Nation Radio]
We have been closely following the referendum in Longmont, Colorado, that will allow the local government to use an existing fiber loop to sell telecommunications services to the private sector and residents.
Comcast and CenturyLink are opposed because local businesses would have more choices for broadband services -- which would require Comcast and CenturyLink to actually invest in their offerings rather than simply collecting the benefits of a de facto monopoly. It is more profitable for them to invest in astroturf opposition to the referendum than in their physical infrastructure.
Harold Feld details "double speak" from Deutsche Telekom in the matter of the AT&T takeover of T-Mobile. They have admitted it will kill jobs and is in no an essential outcome for either company.
Another video from the Building Community Capacity through Broadband project (hosted by the University of Wisconsin Extension service) takes a look at how local governments use broadband and the importance of high capacity, reliable connections that they can actually afford.
This video is no longer available.
Rachel Maddow reminds us that many areas of America still do not have broadband in her coverage of the broadband stimulus funds prior to an interview with USDA Secretary Vilsack on October 5 (transcript).
While introducing Secretary Vilsack, Rachel had a terrific explanation of why public investments into broadband are essential:
Just one day after getting busted for lying about its supporters, a group funded by self-interested groups outside the community is accusing the City of distributing propaganda regarding an upcoming referendum over whether the City should have the authority to use an existing fiber-loop to spur economic development.
We developed a comic that explored the ways cable and phone companies use dirty tricks to fool people into voting against more competition in broadband (such as this "Look Before We Leap" Vote no group).
Vince Jordan, an advocate for broadband competition in Longmont, Colorado, wrote the following op-ed for the local paper about the upcoming referendum 2A. He has given us permission to reprint it here.
“There you go again” (to quote President Ronald Regan).
In a recent post about AT&T's funding of astroturf groups to promote its agenda, I took aim at the Internet Innovation Alliance, which has long promoted AT&T goals around the country.
Despite this criticism of them, they have produced a very good infographic (included below) that discusses the relationship between broadband and jobs. I would like to draw your attention to number 5 below in particular.
No matter how much community broadband advocates prepare the community and elected officials for the expected difficulty of building a successful local project, in the midst of the deployment, times are tough.
A local paper in Lafayette claims "LUS Fiber [is] at a crossroads" but starts with an admission that these problems were forecast and expected:
Residents in Longmont, Colorado are preparing for a municipal referendum to utilize an existing fiber optic network.
The referendum is set for Tuesday, November 1, 2011.
At issue is how the city can use a ring of fiber-optic cables it built around the city in the late 90's as part of its electrical infrastructure. Much of the capacity on the ring remains unused but the city requires approval of the voters in a referendum before it can offer services to local businesses -- which will encourage economic development by creating more telecommunications choices in the community for businesses and residents (some background here).
This is referendum question 2A:
As AT&T tries to buy out its competition via the T-Mobile merger, it has sent out its allies and minions to push the company line in communities around the country. Here are two events in Minnesota and Wisconsin you should be aware of.
On Monday, October 3rd, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota is going to host a debate between Amalia Deloney (MAG-Net Coordinator and friend of MuniNetworks.org) and Former Congressman Rick Boucher on the subject of AT&T's attempt to buy T-Mobile (which just happens to be the low cost provider in the wireless space).
A few short years ago, one would have expected Rick Boucher to champion opposition to this anti-competitive merger, but alas, the good citizens of his district rewarded his many years of hard work in Congress by voting for his opponent in the last election. As one often expects to see in DC, Rick took a new job and now works for a law firm with AT&T as a client.
As we previously noted, the city of Longmont, Colorado, is preparing for a referendum to allow the City to offer telecommunications services to local businesses and residents using a fiber ring it built long ago. This is due to a 2005 law (the "Qwest" law) that was pushed through the Colorado Legislature by incumbents seeking to prevent competition.
That law has succeeded -- most Colorado communities can only choose between slow DSL from the incumbent telephone company and comparatively faster services from the incumbent cable company. And when Longmont last attempted to pass a referendum to share its fiber infrastructure with local businesses, Comcast and Qwest swamped the town with unprecedented sums to confuse residents -- leading to the referendum failure with 44% voting yes.
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls worked together to build a high-capacity broadband network connecting community anchor institutions, including schools, clinics, traffic lights, and more. Called the CINC for Chippewa Valley Inter-Networking Consortium, they now have higher capacity connections, more control over their future telecom needs and budgets, and can run applications that make their operations more efficient (lessening the pressure on the tax base).
The Building Community Capacity through Broadband, a stimulus funded project, has put together a video describing what they did and how they did it. Learn more about these BCCB projects here.