News

Posted August 9, 2021 by jericho

Between the U.S. Treasury clarifying that American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are eligible to be spent on middle-mile infrastructure and the U.S. Senate’s proposed infrastructure bill directing NTIA to establish a $1 billion grant program to support the deployment of middle-mile networks, federal assistance aiming to improve middle-mile access is imminent. 

Posted August 6, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

Public Knowledge, a nonprofit organization devoted to ensuring that "copyright, telecommunications, and Internet law" evolve and continue to be regulated in pursuit of what is best for the public at large, will be holding its 18th annual Intellectual Property, Information Policy, and Internet Protocol (IP3) awards virtually this September 23rd, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Register here.

Posted August 6, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

In this episode of the Connect This! Show, co-hosts Christopher and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) are joined by Jessica Engle (IT Director for the Yurok Tribe) and Matthew Rantanen (Director of Technology, Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association) to talk about broadband in Indian Country. 

The panel discusses the realities of deploying wired and wireless broadband infrastructure on tribal lands, and what the Yurok tribe has learned along the way in overcoming challenges and working with partners and vendors to expand access in efficient but sustainable ways.

Posted August 5, 2021 by maren

With the help of CARES Act funding, nonprofit economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK is collaborating with the city of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to undertake a broadband project that it’s hoping will really reestablish the region's former reputation as a first-in-class industry and technology epicenter. The $2.4 million project will drive the installation of a new fiber backbone to attract businesses and, local leaders hope, spur broadband competition.

Posted August 5, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

If you're a community considering building or partnering to build publicly owned broadband infrastructure in the near future, we want to hear from you.

Connect Humanity - an organization focused on making sure everyone has fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access - may be able to help speed the financing of community networks, including with some capacity to offer non-traditional borrowing or below-market rates. What is their approach?

Posted August 4, 2021 by sean

Even before the central Florida city of Ocala in Marion County became officially known as “The Horse Capital of the World,” the city – home to 61,810 Floridians and over 1,200 county-wide horse farms – was already galloping toward high-speed Internet connectivity. In recent years, the Ocala Fiber Network (OFN) has expanded into offering residential service, trotting carefully towards a citywide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) finish.

Posted August 3, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

Join us on YouTube Live this Thursday, August 5th, at 5pm ET for the return of the Connect This Show!

In Episode 17, co-hosts Christopher and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by Jessica Engle (IT Director for the Yurok Tribe) and Matthew Rantanen (Director of Technology, Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association) to talk about broadband in Indian Country. 

Posted August 3, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

In this report published by the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, ILSR's Sean Gonsalves, Christopher Mitchell, and Jericho Casper profile how six community networks in a diverse range of places stepped up to meet the needs of their communities, bringing faster, more reliable, and more affordable service. 

Posted August 2, 2021 by jericho

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s (ILSR’s) Community Broadband Networks initiative is honored to be recognized as one of the top 100 fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) leaders by Broadband Communities magazine.

Broadband Communities publishes its annual Top 100 FTTH list to acknowledge the contributions that companies and organizations have made to the fiber optic industry. “‘Building a Fiber-Connected World’ is the tagline of Broadband Communities magazine, and each year the FTTH Top 100 list recognizes organizations that lead the way in this endeavor,” the publication explained. In addition to ILSR, awardees include fiber vendors, network operators, business consultants, and broadband engineers.

MuniNetworks and Community Networks Make the Mark

Posted July 30, 2021 by maren

The Vermont Department of Public Service released its most recent 10-year telecommunications plan earlier this month, once again prioritizing Communication Union Districts (CUDs) as the key to closing the digital divide and connecting the 51,000 households that remain unserved and underserved throughout the state. 

The nearly 400-page report outlines a community-centered plan to deploy infrastructure providing 100 megabits per second (Mbps) symmetrical broadband across the state, with capabilities to increase speeds when demand warrants it. The plan maintains that the two main ways to get there are via partnerships and fiber.

Posted July 29, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

Our new report, Minnesota Broadband: Land of 10,000 Connectivity Solutions [pdf], showcases the diverse range of approaches communities and local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have taken to expand affordable, high-quality Internet access in Minnesota. It includes a series of case studies that detail how communities are meeting the connectivity challenges of a broken marketplace shaped by large monopoly service providers. 

Posted July 29, 2021 by jericho

Hampton Roads, a metropolitan region bordering the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia, is known for its 17th century historical sites, shipyards crowded with naval aircraft carriers, and mile-long bridge tunnels. Home to 1.7 million Virginians, Hampton Roads is now looking to broaden avenues for economic development by leveraging existing transatlantic subsea broadband cables to transform the region into a technology-forward digital port. That’s why regional officials recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking one or more private partner(s) to construct a regionally-owned 100-mile, open access fiber ring.

Posted July 28, 2021 by maren

On this week’s episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Bruce McDougall, Anacortes City Council Member to speak about the journey to build a 21st century infrastructure in this small community in Washington by advocating for a municipally owned and operated fiber optic network. 

Posted July 27, 2021 by jericho

After working over a year to obtain licenses to deploy fiber across town, by this time next week the central Connecticut town of Plainville, home to approximately 17,500 residents, will begin construction of a municipal fiber network. When finished, the network will connect all town offices, public education facilities, public safety services, and wastewater treatment facilities.

Over a decade after high-speed fiber connections linking the town’s municipal center and a local high school to the statewide Nutmeg Network were first established in Plainville, multiple municipal buildings throughout town still lacked reliable broadband connections, and some had not been connected to the Internet at all. 

Posted July 26, 2021 by jericho

Snapshot

New Jersey establishes state committee to strategize deployment of community broadband networks

Louisiana Senate amends bill, opening state grant program to municipally-owned providers

Washington laws expanding municipal authority to provide retail service take effect

The State Scene

New Jersey 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, on July 7, enacted legislation (A.B. 850) establishing a new state committee tasked with evaluating where community broadband networks should be established across the state, by surveying areas where public networks would be most feasible to deploy.

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