Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "cable"Displaying 81 - 90 of 170
New Comic: Longmont Fiber Crushes Comcast's Cable Outhouse
Jurey said the city's network is three times faster than the speeds the clinic got before at a cost savings of $1,600 a month.On November 5, citizens will decide a referendum on whether to expedite the building by issuing revenue bonds without increasing local taxes. A brochure explaining pro and con is available here [pdf]. Approving the bonds means building the network to everyone in a few years while not approving it will mean building the network over several decades. We recently did a podcast with Longmont Power and Communications Broadband Services Manager Vince Jordan and a local citizen campaigning for the referendum. Listen to that show here. Read the rest of our coverage about Longmont here.
Billy Ray on the Origins of the First Muni Broadband Network
During the summer, I spent two days in Glasgow, Kentucky, to learn about the first municipal broadband network in the country. I believe it also became the first community in the US to have broadband access available universally within the town.
Working with the Media Working Group, we recorded several interviews with people there, including a lot of time with Electric Power Board Superintendent Billy Ray. Billy Ray has been a key proponent of local self-reliance and a pioneeer of community owned networks.
Below, we pulled out a few snippets of our interview talking about the origins of the Glasgow network. All of our stories about Glasgow are available here.
Television Consumer Freedom Act Promises More Choices
On August 14th, Christopher Mitchell and I visited Senator Amy Kobuchar's office in Minneapolis. We arranged the meeting in coordination with Free Press and the Media Action Grassroots Network to talk with our Senator about the Television Consumer Freedom Act, also known as S.912.
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are sponsoring this effort to scale back cable program bundling. ILSR and the Free Press recognize this as a good start to reforming our deeply flawed video market. We also see it as a foothold to inching closer to the wide ranging and affordable broadband we desperately need.
We met with Senate staff to present 594 Minnesota petition signatures in support of the legislation. Free Press has collected over 27,000 signatures from across the country asking Congress to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act.
The bill provides options for consumers beyond today's restrictive bundled services. By offering channels a la carte, consumers can pay for what they want rather than being forced to pay for many channels they do not. Bundling also limits independent channels by crowding out capacity and creating onerous financial barriers for entrepreneurial media ventures. This bill will not eliminate bundling, but will require cable providers to also offer a la carte pricing. It is important to note that the cable companies themselves are often forced to bundle by channel owners like Viacom or Disney. This bill restricts that practice as well.
We also give two thumbs up for the sports fans' provision in the bill. From an LA Times opinion piece written by Senator McCain:
Another provision in the bill seeks to end the practice of sports team owners punishing fans by blacking out home games that don't sell out. It provides that games taking place in publicly financed stadiums can't be blacked out.
We Need Video Reform, Let D.C. Know What You Think
Time Warner Cable subscribers across the country who enjoy CBS programming are out of luck. The two media giants have reached an impasse in their fight over retransmission consent so several major markets are now missing out. CBS has also taken the fight one step farther, blocking TWC broadband subscribers from accessing CBS.com video content.
Public Knowledge as launched a campaign to end this viewer lock-out. From their recent call to action:
It doesn't matter whether CBS or Time Warner Cable is the bad guy here. The only one losing here is you, the viewer.
Some members of Congress are standing up to the media giants. The bipartisan "Television Consumer Freedom Act," [PDF] co-sponsored by Senators John McCain and Richard Blumenthal, takes the first steps at fixing this mess.
But an army of special interest lobbyists likes things the way they are, and they don't care that you are caught in the middle. For this bill to move forward, your members of Congress need to hear from you.
For more detail on how we got here, read Harold Feld's recent Policy Blog on the PK website. PK makes it easy for you to inform your D.C. represenation that you want video reform.
You can also look up your U.S. Representatives and your U.S. Senators to contact them directly via phone or email.
Jim Baller Discusses Municipal Broadband History - Community Broadband Bits Episode #57
TV Everywhere in Tullahoma, Tennessee
Tullahoma's network, LighTUBe, continues to bring new services to residents and business customers, including smart metering and gig service. LighTUBe has increased Internet speeds without raising rates five times since 2008. Now, LighTUBe offers 'TV Everywhere' to subscribers.
TV Everywhere allows customers to watch content on mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones, according to communications specialist Chelsea Adams.
“What’s even better is that there is no additional cost to LightTUBe customers for using this service,” she said.
To sign up for the TV Everywhere option, LightTUBe customers should log into the TV Everywhere website at www.watchtveverywhere.com, register as a user with information provided on their monthly LightTUBe statement, and an activation link will be emailed to them.
Additionally, LightTUBe customers can register up to four user accounts to use with their TV Everywhere accounts, according to Adams.
You can listen to the story behind LighTUBe in Episode #54 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Chris interviewed Brian Skelton, General Manager of the Tullahoma Utilities Board, about the network and the benefits it brings to the community.
Consultant Argues Never Used Financing Mechanism Also Won't Work in Palo Alto
Overall, 79 percent of households would have to pay $3,000 apiece to fully fund FTTP construction costs.YIKES! Cue the foreboding music! Palo Alto has something like 25,000 households.
Knoxville Downtown Wondering 'Where Is All the Broadband?'
Knoxville Metro Pulse reporter Paige Hunton published a story last month about a common complaint from downtown residents and businesses - "Downtown Knoxville's Internet Access Kinda Sucks. Can It Be Fixed?" The problem worked its way from local talk to twitter and city leaders have met with residents and business owners to publicly discuss options.
This is a perfect example of what happens to a community that refuses to take responsibility for ensuring local businesses and residents have access to the essential infrastructure they need. Knoxville's approach to improving its Internet access is akin to crossing one's fingers and hoping really hard for the best.
Hunton' describes modern day disaster in the downtown area comprised of an inconsistent patchwork of AT&T DSL, Comcast, and a very limited amount of private provider fiber optics. Some areas have no access, others have no choices. While the city tries to encourage downtown commerce with tax credits for developers and a new entrepreneur center critical high-speed connections are missing.
City officials say the downtown area has a limited amount of aging conduit, discouraging private providers and cost prohibitive to expand. Likewise, old buildings with substandard internal wiring discourage investment from private companies.
Hunton tells the story of Ian Blackburn, a former colleague that now works for a downtown employer impacted by the lack of high-speed broadband downtown. After outgrowing its T1, the company went with 6 Mbps through AT&T DSL. AC Entertainment soon outgrew DSL:
"On one occasion in our DSL days, we had to download a video spot from an artist management site, make a few edits, burn it to disc, and get it to FedEx that day. The browser was estimating over an hour remaining for the download, which would miss the FedEx cutoff point. I remotely logged into a server in my living room, started the download, jumped on my bike, pedaled home, burned the file to a DVD, and was back in the office inside of 20 minutes,” he says. “The problem got solved, but that’s a ridiculous way for a company to have to operate. You can’t do business if you can outrun your Internet on a bicycle.”
Wireless Internet Access Fact Sheet
Wireless networks have been incredibly successful, from home Wi-Fi networks to the billions of mobile devices in use across the planet. So successful, in fact, that some have come to believe we no longer need wires.
We developed this fact sheet to clarify some misconceptions about what wireless Internet networks are capable of and the importance of fiber optic cables in building better wireless networks as our bandwidth needs continue to increase.
This fact sheet defines important terms, offers some key points clarifying common misconceptions, compares 4G and 3G wireless to wired cable, and more. We also include references to additional resources for those who want to dig deeper.
Download our Wireless Internet 101 Fact Sheet Here [pdf].
If you want updates about stories relating to community Internet networks, we send out one email each week with recent stories we covered here at MuniNetworks.org. Sign up here.
Cox Discourages Internet Use That Competes with Core Cable Product
Another story of frustration as cable companies try to discourage Internet use on their last generation networks.
An article earlier this month in StopTheCap! tells the story of the John Heeley family, long time Cox customers and avid Netflix fans. The Heeley's received a letter from Cox warning them about their "excessive Internet usage." They were more than a little annoyed, considering they fork over $2,400 a year to the cable giant provider so called to express their displeasure:
Heeley’s fiancé Shelley was angry after realizing just how much the couple already spends with Cox.
“I called them on the phone and the first thing they want to do is get you to upgrade and spend even more money with them,” she tells Stop the Cap! “They tried to vaguely threaten our service if we continued to ‘overuse the Internet’ and suggested we cut back or cancel Netflix which they think is the reason we went over the limit.”
Shelley says she was born at night, but not last night.
“How convenient they want you to stop using Netflix, Amazon, or other online video services that their cable TV competes with,” Shelley says. “It is unfair competition.”
Shelley requested a Cox supervisor and threatened the company right back, telling Cox if they sent one more letter like that, the Heeley family would take their business elsewhere.
“He told us quietly we could ignore the letter and any future letters and they will add a note on our account,” Shelley tells us. “He confided they have customers going over the limit all the time and the letter is really about educating customers about usage.”