Something for other communities to learn from!
Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm has explained the entire reason Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink are trying to prohibit communities from building their own networks: North Carolina has some of the worst broadband in America! TWC and CenturyLink know how uncompetitive their services are! The story covers a new broadband map launched by bandwidth.com.
Look at these numbers!!
In a bimonthly local show, Burlington City Councilmember Karen Paul discusses City issues. In the recent show, she discussed Burlington Telecom with Gary Evans, the head of Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC). Evans has been helping BT get back on its feet after struggling for years. HBC is a private company most notable for strong success in overbuilding cable companies in SE Minnesota as well as running the Monticello FiberNet for the City.
For those who need an update on what is happening to BT since its problems were widely publicized, this is a great place to start.
A CBC show, Spark, offers a content-rich 40 minute interview with Barbara van Schewick discussing how the Internet developed and the role of network neutrality. Her explanation is very accessible, a great opportunity for people who are trying to learn more about the issue but frustrated at technical discussions.
Highly recommended. She explains how the innovate applications and products we use today developed precisely because no one controls the Internet. The danger now is that powerful ISPs may exert more control and retard the innovative nature of the net.
After a few days of false hope, the Time Warner Cable Monopoly Protection Act, H129, passed the House Finance Committee after being stripped of the amendments that would have allowed communities without access to real broadband to build their own networks.
A resolution opposing H129/S87 from the city of Raleigh:
RESOLUTION NO. 2011 – 322
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF RALEIGH URGING THE STATE TO RECOGNIZE THE ROLE OF MUNICIPALITIES IN THE DEPLOYMENT OF TECHNOLOGY SERVICES FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA AND TO EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT POTENTIAL LEGISLATION TO LIMIT LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROVISION OF BROADBAND SERVICE
Whereas, access to high capacity, high-speed, state-of-the-art broadband networks is essential for our state to compete in the global economy and to provide citizens access to advanced applications in medicine, public safety, energy management and education;
Whereas, the United States is rapidly losing ground to other countries in broadband subscriptions per capita and North Carolina is similarly losing ground to other states;
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Community Broadband Map! A long time in coming, we have plotted the publicly owned citywide wired networks -- both cable (HFC) and FTTH using Google Maps.
The map is accompanied by a new report, Publicly Owned Broadband Networks: Averting the Looming Monopoly.
On Wednesday morning, March 22, the House Finance Committee will again consider H 129, a bill from Time Warner Cable to make it all but impossible for communities to build their own broadband networks. But now, as noted by Craig Settles, the momentum is shifting.
Kane Loader, the City Manager for Midvale and Chair of the UTOPIA board, penned a recent op-ed explaining why UTOPIA is important to readers. UTOPIA is a trailblazer in the US open access fiber-optic network space. After initial problems, the network is showing a lot of promise and has long offered some of the fastest speeds available in the US at the lowest prices.
Utah can lead the way in this digital future, and the cities of UTOPIA are proud to be part of the cutting-edge solution.
We are building this network not as a money-making operation, although our financial situation improves as our subscriber base grows. We are building this network for the same reason local governments built highways in the 19th century and airports in the 20th century: This infrastructure will be what connects our 21st century world.
Clearwire, which brags that it built the first 4G network in the country, is under assault from its customers.
Customers began complaining in mid-2010 that Clearwire had begun to throttle their home Internet connections, sometimes as slow as 256Kbps. It wasn't clear (ba-dum ching) at the time as to what standard Clearwire was using in order to trigger the throttling—some users were told about monthly usage caps while others were simply told that there were certain times of day in which the network would be congested. Customers were frustrated at this lack of transparency, and complaints began piling up all over the Web.
The Roanoke Times recently published an extensive story about broadband, covering everything from what it is to why it is needed and who doesn't have it.
Aside from providing an excellent primer on these issues to those who are new to broadband discussions, Jeff Sturgeon writes about problems often ignored by the media, like the difficulties for companies and other entities can encounter when they need extremely high capacity connections:
Skip Garner directs the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, which unites the powers of biology and information technology to advance medicine. It is at Virginia Tech. Garner said he, too, finds computing power a constraint. In spite of a 1 gigabit connection, "we are limited in what we could do," Garner said.
I just joined the community at RuMBA - the Rural Mobile & Broadband Alliance - and will be appearing on Rural America Radio to discuss rural broadband issues on Friday, March 18. You can call in with questions. Details from Rural America Radio here:
Listen here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/luisahandem
Public Knowledge produced and released this video revealing the increasing divide between reality and what opponents of network neutrality claim.
Lake County's County-wide FTTH network has encountered more than its fair share of troubles but residents are excited at the prospect of having broadband access to the Internet. While some of its troubles came from their own confusion and misunderstanding that led to the falling out with their consultants, National Public Broadband, they are now in the cross hairs of a powerful cable industry group - the Minnesota Cable Communications Association.