News

Posted October 26, 2022 by Karl Bode

Lehi City, Utah has broken ground on its new citywide fiber optic broadband network. The network, which city leaders say should take somewhere around three years to complete, will be built on the back of Lehi’s Utilities Department, part of a growing trend of U.S. utilities using an historic infusion of federal funding to expand affordable broadband connectivity. The Lehi Fiber Network will operate as an open access network, meaning that multiple ISPs will be able to utilize the city’s new infrastructure, providing a much-needed dose of broadband competition to local residents and businesses alike. Five ISPs have already committed to providing service over the city-owned fiber.

Posted October 24, 2022 by sean

The sixth annual Indigenous Connectivity Summit kicked off today in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, bringing together Indigenous community members and leaders; network operators; researchers; and policymakers to focus on how Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada can expand access to fast, affordable, and sustainable Internet connectivity.

Organized by The Internet Society in partnership with Connect Humanity, the four-day, in-person summit will feature workshops, presentations, lightning talks and panel discussions on a range of challenges and opportunities Indigenous communities face as they work to establish both digital equity and digital sovereignty for tribal citizens.

Posted October 24, 2022 by Karl Bode

Alabama and New Mexico voters will soon be given the midterm option of changing their state constitutions to help boost broadband funding and deployment, albeit in notably different ways. 

In Alabama, voters will head to the polls on November 8th to vote on a Broadband Internet Infrastructure Funding Amendment that would amend the state's constitution "to allow local governments to use funding provided for broadband internet infrastructure under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and award such funds to public or private entities."

Posted October 21, 2022 by Karl Bode

Avon, Colorado will soon be joining Project THOR, an open access middle mile fiber alliance of 14 communities spearheaded by the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG).

The network, which feeds into NWCCOG’s Point of Presence in Denver, has dramatically benefited state anchor institutions and boosted network reliability across large swaths of Northwest Colorado. 

Posted October 19, 2022 by sean

A new study from the Digital Equity LA initiative lays bare how low-income communities of color are impacted by the quiet business decisions of the county’s monopoly Internet service provider. Slower and More Expensive/Sounding the Alarm: Disparities in Advertised Pricing for Fast, Reliable Broadband details how Charter Spectrum “shows a clear and consistent pattern of the provider reserving its best offers - high speed at low cost - for the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA County.” Not only does it highlight how economically vulnerable households in LA County pay more for slower service than those in wealthy neighborhoods, it also provides evidence for how financially-strapped households are also saddled with onerous contracts and are rarely targeted by advertisements for Charter Spectrum’s low cost plans.

Posted October 19, 2022 by ry

Join us live on Thursday, October 20, at 11am ET 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). They'll dig into the chase for gigabit Tarana by Travis, a new LA County report which finds significant pricing disparities by Charter Spectrum in low-income neighborhoods, and Starry's recent decent to abandon all of its Rrural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) bids. Special guest Dustin Loup (Marconi Society, National Broadband Mapping Coalition) will join later in the show to talk about the recently announced FCC contract with Cost Quest for the new national broadband availability maps.

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback and ideas for the show.

Posted October 18, 2022 by Karl Bode

Lexington, Tennessee is the latest U.S. city that will soon see the expansion of more affordable fiber thanks to the city-owned utility, Lexington Electric System (LES). LES’ recent $27.49 million state grant award will be the backbone of a new initiative that will both improve the utility’s electrical services, and deliver a long overdue dose of broadband competition to the area. The plan is deploy over 2,100 miles of fiber to bring high-speed Internet access to 22,000 residents across Henderson, Decatur, Benton, Carroll and Hardin counties that already receive electricity service from the utility.

Posted October 17, 2022 by Ann Treacy

In late August, Warren County Commissioners in northwest Pennsylvania issued a RFP that sought to establish a public-private partnership to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to rural parts of the county near the Allegheny National Forest and River.

County officials are now reviewing proposals for a plan to “design, engineer, procure, install, operate, manage, and maintain high speed Internet to connect and serve the underserved rural areas of the county.” The initiative is part of the county Broadband Task Force’s effort to close the digital divide in a region that is nearly 900 square miles and home to 40,000 residents.

The RFP calls for three required outcomes

Posted October 11, 2022 by Christine Parker

ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Team, like many others during the pandemic, has operated primarily as a remote work team. 

This in-person retreat offers us the opportunity to get out from behind our Zoom windows and meet in person. We don’t normally have the opportunity to share the same space, work collaboratively with each other, and think about our plans for next year. 

To remain present and focus on our work together, we’re taking our planning activities offline [GASP].

We appreciate your patience as we may be a little slow to respond this week. 

 

Posted October 7, 2022 by sean

The U.S. Treasury Department announced this week the latest cohort of states approved to receive money for broadband infrastructure from the American Rescue Plan’s $10 billion Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund: Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“Together, these states will use their funding to connect more than 91,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed Internet,” according to the Treasury’s press release.

Posted October 5, 2022 by sean

Residents of East Carroll Parish are “cautiously celebrating” the decision by Louisiana’s Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity to uphold a $4 million GUMBO grant to bring fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) Internet service to over 2,500 households in one of the most poorly connected parts of the state.

As we reported last month, the grant had been challenged by the regional monopoly cable provider Sparklight after the state had awarded the grant to Conexon. The challenge, which claimed the cable company already serves 2,856 homes in the region, brought the project to a grinding halt on the same day residents were set to launch a sign-up-for-service event.

Posted October 4, 2022 by ry

Join us live on Thursday, October 6, at 5pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guest Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting) and industry veteran Heather (HBG Strategies). They talk about the economics of broadband deployment, from the effect of taxes, to rural fixed wireless, to whether fiber is ever "too expensive" to build.

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with feedback and ideas for the show.

Subscribe to the show using this feed or find it on the Connect This! page, watch on YouTube Live, on Facebook live, or below.

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