Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "wired road"
Our "Open Access Networks" Resources Page Now Available
When communities decide to proceed with publicly owned infrastructure, they often aim for open access models. Open access allows more than one service provider to offer services via the same infrastructure. The desire is to increase competition, which will lower prices, improve services, and encourage innovation.
It seems straight forward, but open access can be more complex than one might expect. In addition to varying models, there are special challenges and financing considerations that communities need to consider.
In order to centralize our information on open access, we’ve created the new Open Access Networks resource page. We’ve gathered together some of our best reference material, including links to previous MuniNetworks.org stories, articles from other resources, relevant Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] podcast episodes, case studies, helpful illustrations, and more.
- Open Access Arrangements
- Financing Open Access Networks
- Challenges for Open Access Networks
- U.S. Open Access Networks
- Planned Open Access Networks
Check it out and share the link. Bookmark it!
The Wired Road Now A Gigabit Network
The Wired Road, a community-owned open access network, provides affordable fiber connectivity in rural Virginia. The network recently upgraded and now offers Gigabit commercial service in the Blue Ridge Crossroads region. From the press release:
“America only has a few networks offering 1 Gigabit Broadband Services; it’s awesome that we have that technology here in our backyard,” Stated Scarlett McGrady with The Wired Road Authority. "Availability of technologies like this is vital for this area to grow," said McGrady.
The network still offers fiber and wireless services at basic speeds to private and business customers in Carroll and Grayson Counties. The Wired Road encourages competitive rates for the region with its open access model. Lingo Networks, 1Point Communications, and LSNet all offer Internet access to Wired Road customers.
For more on The Wired Road story, listen to Christopher interview McGrady in Episode 31 of the Broadband Bits Podcast.
Congrats to the people and businesses in The Wired Road service area!
Scarlett McGrady Explains Virginia's Wired Road
Examining Virginia's Broadband Problems
Skip Garner directs the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, which unites the powers of biology and information technology to advance medicine. It is at Virginia Tech. Garner said he, too, finds computing power a constraint. In spite of a 1 gigabit connection, "we are limited in what we could do," Garner said. When the lab's DNA sequencers pile up data, "we will often put it on a 1-terabyte drive ... and FedEx it to our customers," Garner said. An upgrade to 10 gigabits is coming. He expects it still won't be enough. It might appear that new facilities would not have such problems, but even the 5-month-old Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute near downtown Roanoke is not satisfied with its Web service. While the speed is good at 10 gigabits, the cost it pays to service providers is staggering. "It's in the tens of thousands of dollars a month," said Executive Director Michael Friedlander.This is one world. Communities with their own fiber networks are another -- where these connections are not prohibitively expensive. And yet another world is the world of several rural Minnesota Counties, who cannot even get T.1 lines from incumbent phone providers. In Cook County, in 2008, a company was quoted $600,000 to install a T.1 line. Yes, $600,000 - I had to hear it twice to make sure I wasn't imagining it. The article explores Design Nine founder Andrew Cohill's thoughts on improving broadband access. Cohill mentions Wired West, a network we have written about previously.
"We think it's got to be treated like essential public infrastructure," he said. That way, access would be open to any service provider on equal footing. Just as anyone could launch a cab company or food delivery service over the road system, anyone will be able to use the information highway's new lanes.
Wired Road Plans Expansion, Adds Service Provider
Bolen also announced The Wired Road plans to add fiber and wireless services to Grant in western Grayson County, with groundbreaking tentatively set for spring. Funding this expansion is an $837,453 Community Connect grant received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. This latest project includes a public computer center that will be housed at the Grant Grange Hall.