Tag: "press center"
The December 2008, issue of Broadband Properties features an article that offers advice to incoming President Obama regarding broadband policy. Some of the comments center around community networks. Tim Nulty makes three preliminary points:
- Wireless is a supplement, not a substitute
- Access to fiber networks is key to full participation in society
- Optical fiber is the most perfect natural monopoly ever invented
Building on these points, he says:
Points 1, 2 and 3 mean we have no choice but to put the government directly and unapologetically into the picture… just as we do with other basic public utilities such as water, police, education and fire protection. This runs directly counter to the recent policy, under which optical fiber systems have been steadily removed from regulation covering the key issues of universal coverage and common carriage (referred to these days as “network neutrality”). These same issues have been fought over in other arenas such as toll roads, the postal service, canals, railroads, airwaves and the telephone since the founding of the Republic. The issues are not new at all! Only the technology of optical networks is new.
I offered a number of priorities:
- No federal policy should preempt the right of communities to build their own networks
- The feds should prevent states from preempting community authority to build their own networks
- Feds should provide low-interest financing for public networks
- Feds should provide grants to networks that are open-access
Finally, Wes Rosenbalm, the President and CEO of Bristol Virginia Utilities offered a short piece explaining why barriers to publicly owned broadband must be lifted. To find these gems and more, read the article linked below.
Following the TDS-initiated lawsuit against the city of Monticello, Minnesota, I wrote the this op-ed to offer some outside perspective. This is a snippet:
At a time when most of the United States has slower, more expensive Internet connections than our overseas competitors, communities across the country have responded with initiatives to build the infrastructure of the 21st century. And then they have been sued. Monticello is hardly the first community where an incumbent provider believes it alone should decide how that community connects to the world. Lafayette, a conservative city in Louisiana, spent several years in the courts before it could break ground on a publicly owned citywide network. Cajun culture did not allow for giving up on the project. Nice Minnesotans should do no less. Monticello, too, must hold true to its citizens, who in last year’s referendum voted by almost 3 to 1 for a modern telecommunications network. That referendum wasn’t a request that the city do something; it was a mandate from the people to their government to build a fiber network to every home and business in the town.