News

Posted May 11, 2020 by shrestha
Posted May 8, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

Earlier this week, Community Broadband Networks Director Christopher Mitchell joined the radio talk show 1A, distributed by NPR, to talk about poor connectivity in rural America and how the Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating existing digital divides. Christopher and the others guests discuss rural broadband access, federal efforts to close the digital divide, and local success stories.

Posted May 7, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has worked for many years to protect privacy and civil liberties online and to support technological innovation and widespread Internet access.

Posted May 7, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-...

Lighting up the first phase of middle-mile network Project THOR isn’t the only good news coming out of northwest Colorado recently. Glenwood Springs, a city of 10,000 forty-five minutes north of Aspen, is once again looking to secure the future of its information infrastructure. In a recent 6-1 decision, the city council voted to replace and expand the reach of its existing fiber system, which currently serves businesses and a select number of residents.

Posted May 6, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

In response to the increased reliance on connectivity precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Legislature is working on legislation to improve access to broadband, online education, and telehealth services throughout the state.

Posted May 5, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

After a bitter battle with Comcast and a successful referendum to reclaim local authority back in 2017, Fort Collins, Colorado, is moving forward with its municipal fiber network, Connexion. The city is starting to connect residents to the network, so we wanted to check back in with local activists and Connexion staff to find out how it's going. In the episode, Christopher interviews community advocates Glen Akins and Colin Garfield as well as Colman Keane, Connexion executive director, and Erin Shanley, Connexion marketing manager.

Posted May 5, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

A recent case study from the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) finds that rural North Dakotans are more likely to have access to fiber connectivity and gigabit-speed Internet than those living in urban areas. The case study, How Local Providers Built the Nation’s Best Internet Access in Rural North Dakota, highlights the efforts of 15 local companies and telephone cooperatives who came together to invest in rural North Dakota and build gigabit fiber networks across the state. Today, more than three quarters of rural North Dakotans have access to fiber broadband, compared to only 20 percent of rural residents nationally.

Posted May 4, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

The Daily Journal reported last week on one co-op, Pontotoc Electric Power Association (PEPA), that has chosen not to invest in broadband at this time, citing high costs. PEPA's decision faces strong opposition from some of its members as well as a commissioner from the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Critics claim that cooperative leaders did not fully consider all of the possibilities, and they take issue with the board’s choice to hold the vote during a closed meeting without issuing public notice.

Posted May 1, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

Not only has the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exposed our nation’s dire lack of medical equipment and protective gear, but it has also shone a light on the inadequacy of our rural broadband networks.

A recent CNN article, “Why rural Americans are having a hard time working from home,” by Harmeet Kaur, explores the many struggles that rural households face now that jobs, schools, and everything else has moved online and their outdated broadband connections can’t keep up.

“We Should Be Embarrassed”

CNN reports that while only 1.4 percent of urban Americans don’t have access to broadband speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload, more than a quarter of rural households don’t have broadband available to them. And almost three quarters don’t have access to faster upload speeds of 25 Mbps.

Posted April 30, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

We last spoke to Brian Skelton, president of Tullahoma Utilities Authority, in 2013 for episode 54 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Since then, the Tennessee city's municipal fiber network, LightTube, has continued to offer Internet access, voice, and video services, attracting new businesses to the region. For this episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, Christopher and Brian review the network's nearly 12-year-long history.

Posted April 29, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken recently joined the Community Broadband Networks Initiative as Senior Researcher. In his new role, Ry will research and write about community owned broadband networks, universal Internet access, and other related topics. He is also the new editor of MuniNetworks.org and will manage the site’s various resources, including our many articles, reports, and podcasts.

Posted April 28, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

A group of local governments and private partners, led by Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, recently completed the first phase of Project THOR, a middle mile fiber network that will enable better connectivity in the participating towns, cities, and counties. The network provides backhaul to local governments looking to connect public facilities, schools, hospitals, and other community anchor institutions. It’s also available to Internet service providers to serve residents and businesses.

Posted April 27, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the yawning gaps in broadband access throughout the country. Yet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in its 2020 Broadband Deployment Report released on April 24, found that “advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis." The agency came to this conclusion despite years of concern over how the FCC’s flawed data collection method systematically overstates broadband coverage.

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