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Community Fiber in Virginia Offers Wi-Fi to Festival Folks
At the 2011 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival, BVU set up the “BVU Pavilion,” a temporary technology hotspot. The pavilion offered free WiFi Internet, public laptops, as well as high-definition televisions and seating to festival guests throughout the entire weekend. In addition to the BVU Pavilion, housed in downtown Bristol VA, BVU also installed equipment to provide WiFi Internet access throughout the twin city’s downtown areas. The access was a huge plus for users of mobile devices such as smart phones. Users could download festival applications like artist schedules, stage maps and more. “As our second year providing this service, we knew people would be looking for us again. This is simply a gift to our city,” explains Gail Childress of BVU. “We are avid supporters of making our community a great place to live and visit. This complimentary service is just one way that we can say ‘Welcome’ to our visitors and ‘Thank you’ to our full-time residents.” “BVU has been great to work with,” says Leah Ross, Executive Director for Rhythm & Roots. “This allows our fans to check their email, log onto Facebook or Twitter, blog about the festival or just surf the Internet. It’s really a win-win for everyone.” Rhythm & Roots guests who prefer to use their own laptops or devices found available space within the pavilion to sit and log on.
Kutztown Encourages Citizens to Keep Money in Community
When I visited Hometown Utilicom in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, I snapped this photo of a sign they have posted in their office to remind people how supporting the local network helps the local economy. Not a very good photo, I'm afraid, but it conveys the message.
More Testimonials for Chattanooga Community Fiber
Chattanooga Creates Subscriber Testimonials for City Owned Broadband
Pasha Coffee & Tea On Why They Switched To EPB from EPB Fiber Optics on Vimeo.
Is Lafayettte Community Broadband Doing OK or Great?
LUS estimates that the citizens of the community have saved 5.7 million dollars—in part direct saving from LUS' cheaper phone, video, and internet services and in part as a consequence of Cox lowering its prices and giving out special rates. Those special rates were discussed in the meeting with Huval pointing out that Cox had petitioned for and received permission to treat Lafayette as a "competitive" area. That meant that Cox could offer special deals to Lafayette users and, as we all know, has offered cuts to anyone who tries to leave. Those "deals." as Huval pointed out to Patin don't include the rural areas of the parish where Cox has no competition.But it doesn't end there. LUS Fiber, due to anti-competitive laws pushed through the state's legislature to handicap public providers, is actually subsidizing the City -- providing more benefits to everyone, even those who do not subscribe to the network.
Again it all goes back to the (un)Fair Competion Act. One of the things in that act a concession that LUS Fiber would be able to borrow from LUS' other utilities just like any other corporation could set up internal borrowing arrangements. This is not a subsidy, it's a loan—with real interest. One of the efforts to raise an issue by Messrs Patin and Theriot centered around "imputed" taxes. Those are extra costs that Cox and ATT got the state to require that LUS include in order to force LUS to raise their price to customers (you!) above the actual cost. (Yes, really. See this.
Lafayette's LUS Fiber Creates Videos, YouTube Channel
Lafayette's publicly owned FTTH network has created a YouTube channel featuring a commercial aimed at residential subscribers (in 15, 30, and 60 second spots) as well as a longer video aimed at increasing economic development. Both are embedded below.
These are "no-brainer" marketing techniques that every community should have at a minimum to promote their services.
Wilson's Greenlight Releases Video Interviews with Satisfied Subscribers
Kudos to Wilson's Greenlight fiber network in North Carolina. They are featuring some interviews with people who like their services, two of which are embedded below.
Lafayette: 100Mbps and Now What?
You have to know if you've been down to "the egg" at the LITE building that they're not going to put 100 cubicle workers in that facility. No way they'd fit. However they do have to do the tedious work in Louisiana to get those credits. So some large percentage of those 100 workers will have to be off-site. But they'll have to be able to do their work as if they were in the same building with, at a minimum, the 100 megs of connectivity that standard ethernet LANs provide. That, of course, is exactly what LUS provides on its justly acclaimed 100 meg intranet. A person setting behind a nice workstation setup on Moss Avenue with a nice VLAN setup could work within the Pixel Magic network as if they were just down the hall from the boss's glossy corner office (something both would probably prefer). The ultimate in working from home. I'll not be surprised if Pixel Magic opts for an offsite work center like NuConn did—but there too LUS' fiber-to-every-nook-and-cranny make it possible to shop for the cheapest appropriate location rather than the cheapest location that has something close to real connectivity. In that sort of situation it would be easy and damned inexpensive to leverage LUS Fiber to provide a gig or several of commercial grade connection between the two points.This is only one of several employers who have added many jobs in Lafayette because of the publicly owned fiber network. Another avenue Lafayette is exploring is high-bandwidth classrooms.
New from the Carolinas
Salisbury, a community in North Carolina building a city-owned full fiber-to-the-home network, has run into an unexpected difficulty: naming the new network.
To put it simply, all the good names are taken. Mike Crowell, director of broadband services — he jokes that he is the director of BS — says the city can't find a name that it can both trademark and get a domain name for.
The story has some entertaining suggestions - but the reason I wanted to note the article is because it ends with this:
In coming weeks, the city will be purchasing and outfitting a marketing trailer, which it can send into neighborhoods and to community events to explain the new cable utility and get people excited about what's around the bend. The trailer will be plastered, of course, with the system's chosen name.
This is a great marketing method - particularly if the trailer has computers showing what is possible with the new network in direct comparison to existing offers. Wilson's Greenlight Network also used this approach and reported that it was very successful.
South Carolina was unique in being the only state where the public controlled the spectrum available for WiMax and could have built a state-wide broadband network. Instead, they chose to sell it off to the private sector for a pittance.
Despite state-created barriers to publicly owned broadband networks in South Carolina, the town of Hartsville is studying the feasibility of a city-owned network. The new Mayor is supporting this initiative:
Pennington spoke about a proposed broadband initiative he is pushing that would enable the city to create a fiber optic network and offer broadband services such as high speed internet, cable television and digital telephone service to city residents and businesses.