The day before the FCC's Chairman decided that AT&T and Comcast should have greater powers as gatekeepers to the Internet, Marketplace Tech Report published an interview with Tim Wu.
Tim Wu discusses the history of net neutrality and its importance. In addition to the usual 5 minute clip, they have released a longer 20 minute clip. Listen to the longer one.
Chattanooga continues to generate a lot of press since their announcement of the nation's fastest broadband speeds.
For those who crave technical details, this article from Cable 360 looks into the tech behind the network:
EPB contracted with Alcatel-Lucent as its GPON network supplier. "We've designed our network a little bit different, with our control center located where our operations center is," says Wade. "We've designed a series of fiber rings that circle our city, allowing us to have multiple 10 Gig MPLS rings, terminating in 17 communications hubs connected back with our control center."
As far as the cost savings of the smart grid are concerned, users often don't realize that it costs several times more at certain times of day to generate electricity than it does at others, says EPB COO David Wade.
But perhaps the most interesting update from EPB is another window into their take rates (from Tecca.com):
We are ahead of our business plan projections for this time frame. Since our launch last September (2009), we have signed up 18,873 homes to our EPB fiber optics services. That is a 15.45% take rate. Our goal is a 35% take rate, and we believe we will reach that in 2 years. Of our EPB fiber optics customers, 81% are receiving our Fi-Speed internet service. We are still building out fiber optics as well, and our entire 600-square-mile customer service area will have access to these advanced services by the end of the this year (2010).
And finally, a short interview (audio quality is not good) with an EPB employee discussing Chattanooga's community fiber network. An interesting piece: noting that EPB views all employees as ambassadors of their product and offered them public speaking training.
On July 27, WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi show discussed broadband. They read a comment from me noting the successes of two community networks. You can listen to the show online from the above link.
The very best value connection in the country is in Lafayette, Louisiana, with 10Mbps symmetrical (up and down) for under $30 /month.
The fastest citywide connection is in Chattanooga, Tennessee - 150Mbps.
Both are provided by city-owned utilities.
A few weeks ago, I joined Curtis Beckmann, host of "Minnesota This Week" on Radio City Networks to discuss broadband networks and what communities are doing to improve access to real broadband. The 30 minute program discusses problems with existing broadband networks, the lack of competition, how and why communities have built their own networks, and a variety of other topical subjects. Listen to or download the program here.
Image used under Creative Commons License, courtesy of Flickr's JSchneid
Jesse Harris interviews Todd Marriott, Executive Director of UTOPIA about the network, its relationships with the member cities, and their round two application for broadband stimulus funds.
Last week, I spoke with Jeff Pesek and Peter Fleck of Tech.mn about telecom and broadband in Minnesota. They have also created a timeline of important broadband events in recent MN history.
Jesse Harris continues his monthly podcast show with an interview of Ken Sutton from Brigham.Net - a service provider from Brigham City that recently started offering services on the UTOPIA network.
Brigham.Net has developed a very loyal customer base -- an impressive feat as it was dependent on leasing loops from Qwest, its biggest competitor. In that part of Utah, Qwest still has to share its lines with third parties but Qwest still goes out of its way to make life difficult for those third parties. Qwest poached customers from Brigham.Net - a common practice if one talks to any ISP that has leased lines from Qwest to resell.
By getting on the open access network, Brigham.Net has expanded its customer base - it is on track to double the customer base in Brigham City when the UTOPIA network is fully available to residents.
The discussion is interesting and shows why unbundling requirements are inferior to a publicly owned network operating on an open access basis.
Carol Wilson speaks with Jackson's Michael Johnston about JEA's triple-play network in Tennessee. As far as I can tell, this interview took place in September, 2009. Johnston reports that the publicly owned network passes 30,000 residences and about 5,000 businesses. Of those taking cable services locally, 60% subscribe to JEA and half of them are taking multiple services. Jackson started as a purely open access network but has transitioned to offering retail services. At that point, they were starting to use the network to create a smart-grid for the electrical side of the utility.
I was the guest on Jesse Harris' February Podcast about the UTOPIA network in Utah. Running time is about 1 hour and we cover a number of interesting issues relating to broadband networks both in and outside of Utah, including the perception of networks, success stories, the tactics of incumbents, the background of my project at the New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.