News

Posted June 23, 2022 by sean

While known for its annual "Tulip Time" celebration, Pella is now celebrating the flowering of a municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in this small central Iowa city. Network planners say construction, deploying 100 percent of the fiber underground, is on track to be finished this week. And, although the city has not launched a formal marketing campaign, they have already reached a take-rate of over 40 percent with one subscriber now getting 10 gig service.

 

Posted June 22, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the podcast Christopher is joined by Scott Rasmussen, Acting Director of the New York State ConnectALL Office. During the show, the two dive into how New York will spend its broadband funds to support municipal networks and partnerships, the challenges of public-public partnerships between local governments working together on deployments, and what we can expect success to look like in the near future.

Posted June 22, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

Join us live on Thursday, June 23rd, at 4pm ET in the chat for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting).

The panel will discuss Verizon and T-Mobile Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) adds, LTE versus Starlink, and Dish and the future and impact of the 12GHz spectrum bands. They'll also touch on a few other topics, including the headaches and heartaches of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), rhetoric versus reality when it comes to municipal broadband, and the real cost in transitioning from DSL to fiber.

Posted June 21, 2022 by sean

Gainesville City Commissioners dealt a severe – if not fatal – blow to the expansion of municipal broadband in the Florida city where Gatorade was invented. Last week, five of the city’s seven commissioners voted to reject a proposal to spend $10 million of its American Rescue Plan funds to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) pilot project. And now that city commissioners opted not to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime infusion of federal funds for broadband, Connected Gainesville founder Bryan Eastman sees last week’s vote as a death-knell for expanding municipal broadband in the city.

Posted June 17, 2022 by Karl Bode

NEK Broadband has been awarded a $16 million grant by the Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) to expand fiber access to 10 new Vermont communities. It’s among the earliest of what is likely to be a flurry of activity by the mostly-newly created Communications Union Districts - partnerships between rural cities and towns - which have formed over the last few years to solve the connectivity crisis for the tens of thousands of Vermonters who have been left behind by the current broadband marketplace.

Posted June 15, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to reverse today’s extreme levels of corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic capacity of local communities. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration and shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable and democratic future. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We work closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies. 

ILSR is hiring a Digital Communications Manager, who will work closely with the Communications Director to develop and implement communication strategies that support the mission of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Posted June 14, 2022 by christopher

Sometimes we come across a fun bit of Internet history that we think is worth highlighting. In this case, Travis Carter, co-host of our Connect This! show, sent this fun and informative history of dial-up broadband over our way and we thought some of you would want to watch it in its entirety.

Granted, this is focused on England, but the principles are the same. And frankly, who doesn't enjoy that British accent when watching a 30+ minute documentary on dial-up modems?

 

 

Header image by Praveen kumar Mathivanan on Unsplash

Posted June 14, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by senior staff on the broadband initiative to dig into recent topics, including Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead Sean Gonsalves, Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead DeAnne Cuellar, and Senior Researcher and Research Team Lead Ry Marcattilio-McCracken.

Posted June 13, 2022 by Karl Bode

For more than a year and a half, the nation’s top telecommunications regulator has been stuck in limbo, thanks to a combination of federal dysfunction and industry lobbying. Now the nomination of popular reformer Gigi Sohn to the FCC is facing a full frontal assault by telecom monopolies dedicated to preventing the agency from standing up to monopoly power.

Posted June 9, 2022 by sean

Breaking new ground in New York, state leaders are launching the first municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) projects in the Empire State with funds from its new ConnectALL Initiative. Four small rural communities in four different counties will be the beneficiaries of New York’s initial foray into municipal broadband. At the end of May, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced the $10 million grant award, which will fund fiber deployments to the Village of Sherburne in Chenango County, the Town of Nichols in Tioga County, the Town of Diana in Lewis County, and the Town of Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County.

Posted June 9, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

In March, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance held a livestream event on the range of challenges and tools available to communities to accomplish infrastructure, equity, and inclusion goals. We called it Building for Digital Equity: Demystifying Broadband Policy and Funding. There, we discussed the new policies and funding options available that can be applied at the state and local levels to help communities improve their Internet services.

This time we will be focusing on organizing around broadband, community impact of the federal funding, and new initiatives in progress thanks to the grants communities are taking advantage of. 

Posted June 8, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

With so much attention on how the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Act is continuing to unfold (including from us), it’s important to remember that the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is still in the process of authorizing bids from its $9.2 billion auction conducted in December of 2020. Today we’re releasing a new resource we hope will be helpful in keeping tabs on which providers have gotten money, how much has been authorized, and in which states.

Posted June 8, 2022 by sean

This week on the podcast Christopher is joined by Ken Demlow, Planning Services Group Manager with HR Green, a leading employee-owned civil engineering and technical management firm with offices in nine states.

The pair dive into the world of consulting firms and how they help cities and towns across the United States figure out how to build and design local infrastructure, which includes the building of local broadband networks.

Posted June 7, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

It’s been nine months since we launched our Big List of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Community Broadband Projects, tracking what communities are doing with the various pots of federal money intended to go towards solving local broadband challenges. Since then, we’ve recorded 250 community projects and 27 states which have announced significant broadband grant programs or disbursement for new infrastructure projects. Here we highlight some of the community projects we’re really excited about, including those that have decided to build their own networks and those building on existing projects, as well as those using ARPA dollars for open access networks, affordable connectivity, or Internet access for students. We also discuss some examples of solutions we believe are less permanent, forward-thinking, or likely to result in long-term success, including the distribution of hotspots and the allocation of funds to monopoly providers. 

Posted June 7, 2022 by Ry Marcattilio

This morning, the Department of Treasury announced the first round of Capital Projects Fund (CPF) awards to states putting together portfolios to deploy new infrastructure to unserved households. Across Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and West Virginia, 200,000 locations will see new deployments capable of 100/100 Mbps at a total cost of almost $583 million. 

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