Missouri’s Bootheel is the ultimate southeast corner of the state, extending south and surrounded on three sides by lands in Arkansas, Tennessee, and a smattering of Kentucky. The area’s known for having fertile soil and vibrant agriculture, but now that Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative is deploying Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), it's also becoming known for high-quality Internet access.
Pineland Telephone Cooperative is known for providing Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) services in southeast Georgia’s rural areas between Savannah, Augusta, and Macon. Now the co-op’s subsidiary Pineland Communications is expanding south and west into Americus, where they plan to provide fiber connectivity to local businesses.
Partnering for Pineland
In January, Pineland began deploying fiber to the delight of potential commercial subscribers. The project should start offering gigabit Internet access, voice, security, and computer services to local businesses this fall. Pineland is considering expanding to residential connections in Americas and Sumter County the future. Pineland invested $2 million toward the project and local donors also contributed.
At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we believe that competition for goods and services helps communities, consumers, and the economy. This belief carries over into the mobile Internet access market, which is one of the reasons we oppose a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. We’re not alone and we’ve now joined with other organizations as part of the 4Competition Coalition.
As the prospect of 5G wireless connectivity becomes more probable, these two companies claim that they need to merge in order to remain competitive with the other two mobile Internet access providers. In reality, reducing mobile subscriber options from four to three, creates no benefit for anyone except the companies with less competition.
In a press release announcing ILSR’s decision to join the Coalition, Christopher stated:
Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development is currently seeking a Director of their Broadband Office. The closing date to apply for the position is February 22, 2019.
Learn more about the position at the State of Maine’s online posting.
According to the announcement on the search, the position will:
[P]rovide leadership and guidance for Statewide broadband deployment in Maine. This position provides direction to the ConnectME Authority Board, manages staff, provides oversight and coordination of grant funding programs, interacts with public and private sector leaders and management, engineers, attorneys, accountants, construction and financial experts, and the public relating to the mission and implementation of ConnectME initiatives.
Some of the Director’s tasks will be:
Fort Collins municipal broadband will offer first service in August, Reporter-Herald
VMEU holds last meeting before the final vote concerning broadband by Valerie Close, Vinton Today
This session, a new force in the Arkansas State Legislature — the Republican Women’s Legislative Caucus — has decided that they’ll take on the issue of poor connectivity. As part of their “Dream Big” initiative, they’ve introduced SB 150, a bill to restore local telecommunications authority. Read the full story for an update.
In a recent story from PEW on the barriers to broadband expansion in Mississippi, Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR's Community Broadband initiative, provided some context on the potential of electric cooperatives in bridging the digital divide. His contributions are below:
Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR's Community Broadband Networks initiative, was quoted in the Stanly News & Press's coverage of Let's Connect, a series of community meetings organized by ILSR, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and NC Hearts Gigabit. The meetings brought together community leaders, local ISPs, policy experts, and residents to talk about the need for better broadband and potential solutions for the region. His contributions are below:
April will be here before you know it, and with the spring comes the 2019 Broadband Communities Summit. This year’s event will be held in Austin, Texas, April 8th - 11th at the Renaissance Hotel. The theme is “Fiber: Putting Your Gigs To Work.”
Special CLIC Program
As in prior years, the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC) will host a special program during the afternoon of the first day of the summit. “An Action Plan for Local Internet Choice in 2019 and Beyond” will focus on the policies, the politics, and the people that can lead to better connectivity for local communities.
Big cable and telecom lobbyists managed to locate a legislative vehicle for the components of last December's bill to fund rural broadband, locking out some of the state's most promising opportunities to bring better connectivity to those who need it the most. There’s still time for Michiganders to express displeasure and the result and possibly influence change. You can file a public comment online through February 15th.
The Rio Blanco County Economic Development Department recently published their promotional video to share information about their Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. The video highlights some of the benefits the infrastructure is now bringing to the communities of Rangely and Meeker by offering interviews with people from different segments of the population. In addition to county administrators, people in the fields of education, real estate, and business leaders discussed how the open access network is positively impacting their fields.
Check out the video, that runs just under five minutes:
The story of tiny Pinetops, North Carolina, and how large corporations blocked their ability to obtain high-quality Internet access from a nearby municipal network comes to life in Do Not Pass Go, a documentary by Cullen Hoback. On February 20th, you can attend a screening of the film and stay for the discussion after. The event will be in Washington, D.C., at the office of the National League of Cities/National Association of Counties from 5 - 7 p.m.
Annual State of the City address: Fort Collins' success depends on everyone, leaders emphasize by Nick Coltrain, Fort Collins Coloradoan
Tipmont REMC promises economic growth in rural Indiana through broadband Internet by Lindsay Moore, Lafayette Journal & Courier