Town of Vail opts into Project THOR to enhance regional broadband service by Scott Miller, Vail Daily
Public, private or both: Eagle County communities mull broadband options by Pam Boyd, Vail Daily
Boulder, Colo., considers funds for expanded broadband by Cassa Niedringhaus, Daily Camera
In mid-April, city leaders in Bozeman, Montana, passed Resolution No. 5031 to officially declare broadband essential infrastructure for the city. The official declaration comports with the city’s long-term goal to bring high-quality connectivity throughout the community.
By this July, the South Hadley Electric Light Department (SHELD) expects to begin serving the the first subscribers to Fibersonic, the town’s municipal Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. Construction, which began in January, is rolling along and SHELD anticipates the citywide project will be completed within four years.
Last August, Pineland Telephone and Jefferson Energy Cooperatives in Georgia began developing a project together to bring fiber connectivity to businesses in the small towns of Louisville (pop. 2,200) and Wrens (pop. 2,000). This February, the partners finished construction and celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event marked marked another instance in which cooperatives are working together to improve connectivity in rural areas.
The project began in Louisville last summer when the cooperatives realized they could team up to reduce costs and improve Internet access for businesses in Jefferson County. In a July 2018 press release, Pineland Telephone commented:
It was only a year ago that Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia received the Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award. Since then, Deb has continued to raise the bar for nonprofit leaders. She has brought people together, advocated for smart policies, and developed resources to help local communities improve connectivity and shrink the digital divide. Now, Deb has decided it’s time to share her high-energy magic in Tennessee. Deb recently announced that she has accepted a position as CEO of the Enterprise Center in Chattanooga.
In recent years, an increasing number of local communities have started looking into the possibilities of developing broadband infrastructure. One of the reasons they often cite for their investigations is the desire to increase competition for broadband services. In California, public interest groups recently put out the alarm about AB 1366, a bill introduced in February that will strengthen the power of monopolies in the state.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) posted an article about the bill in March, in which they described AB 1366 as a state-level version of “the Federal Communications Commission’s lead to abandon oversight over a highly concentrated, uncompetitive market.”
Why did Arkansas change its mind on municipal broadband? by Nick Keppler, CityLab
“If someone with a degree in coding gets a remote job here, they can’t stay,” she says. Arkansans who want to take online classes face the same roadblock. “I’ve had people tell me they can’t pull up emails at their house,” Davis says. “They have to go to McDonalds and use the Internet.”
(please see our story for a more detailed analysis of the bill, SB 150, which passed this session)
Earlier this month, Redding City Council decided to take the next step toward building a fiber network in a portion of the Northern California city’s downtown. Council members voted unanimously to move forward with exploration of the proposed pilot project after considering the design and cost assessment presented at the April 2nd council meeting.
Great Lakes Energy (GLE) is considering expanding their Truestream fiber Internet access and voice service to more rural areas in the northwestern region of Michigan’s lower peninsula. In a recent news release, the electric cooperative announced that they began sending engineers to their Boyne service area to collect necessary information for analysis as they explore possible deployment in the area.
Growing One of the Largest
Local communities in the state of Mississippi have the legal authority to develop publicly owned Internet networks and offer broadband, or any other utility, to the general public. When it comes to bonding in order to financing deployment for broadband infrastructure, however, the law isn’t as cut and dry. In order to stay on the right side of the law, the community of Columbus, Mississippi, decided to obtain permission from the state legislature to issue bonds for a $2.75 million expansion of their existing fiber optic network. Things didn’t work out as well as they had hoped, thanks to powerful lobbying influence in Jackson.
It’s been a little over ten years since Wilson, North Carolina, began offering Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service to residents and businesses. After a decade of Internet access, video, and voice services, the Greenlight Community Broadband network recently celebrated adding the 10,000th subscriber. Their planned celebration at Wilson’s famous Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park was rained out, but network leaders expect to choose another date in the near future.
Check out this awesome editorial cartoon about Greenlight's milestone by Dave DiFillippo of the Wilson Times.
A Busy Decade
Manhattan Beach takes first step towards installing city-wide fiber optic Internet by Kirsten Farmer, The Beach Reporter
Commissioners push for more high-speed Internet by John Matuszak, The Herald-Palladium