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People Over Profit: DigitalC's Mission to Connect Communities in Cleveland- Episode 589 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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Boulder, Colorado Issues New RFP For Citywide Fiber Build

Boulder, Colorado officials have issued a new request for proposal (RFP) seeking partners for their ongoing quest to deliver affordable fiber to the city of 104,000. The city is offering potential partners a long-term lease of city-owned dark-fiber backbone infrastructure and a right of way agreement for the construction and operation of a network delivering gig speed or more to all Boulder homes and businesses.

NEK Broadband Expands Access To Affordable Fiber In Rural Vermont

NEK Broadband continues to bring affordable fiber access to the long-neglected corners of the Green Mountain State. According to the latest update by NEK Broadband, a recently completed rollout has delivered affordable fiber access to 700 new addresses across multiple rural Vermont communities. With this latest expansion, NEK Broadband now provides fiber access to 2,100 predominantly rural Vermont residents in total, many of which only received broadband for the first time last year.

Windstream and Colquitt Electric Cooperative Partner On $33 Million Georgia Fiber Deployment

Windstream Communications and local nonprofit electrical cooperative Colquitt Electric Membership Corp are partnering on a $32.5 million fiber deployment that will bring fiber optic broadband to 17,000 homes and businesses in Colquitt County, Georgia. Once completed sometime next year, the partnership should help deliver last-mile fiber access to roughly 70% of Colquitt County residents, many of which either have no current broadband access, or have long been stuck on sluggish, expensive, and dated digital subscriber line (DSL).

Louisiana and Virginia Maps Give Window Into First BEAD State Challenge Processes

In the quest to unlock billions of dollars in broadband infrastructure money, Louisiana and Virginia have outpaced all other states in the speed with which they are dispatching the BEAD program’s requirements. Louisiana was the first to complete the challenge process and is still the only state to have received approval for Volume 2 of its initial proposal. Virginia, meanwhile, has completed their challenge process but now appears locked in a battle with the NTIA over the low-cost plan parameters they intend to set. How their challenge maps are built and displayed offer lessons for BEAD moving forward.

New York Launches Municipal Infrastructure Program

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announces a $228 million infusion of federal funds the Empire State will earmark for its recently established Municipal Infrastructure Program. Created as part of New York’s billion dollar ConnectALL Initiative to expand high-speed Internet access to every unserved and underserved household in the state, the MIP is specifically designed to support municipal broadband projects.

Los Alamos County, New Mexico Issues RFP For Community Fiber Network

Los Alamos County, New Mexico joins the growing list of municipalities looking to explore a community-owned broadband network in a bid to improve resident access to fast, affordable, next-generation fiber. An updated RFP was issued in December giving potential partners until January 12 to respond.

New Municipal Broadband Networks Skyrocket in Post-Pandemic America As Alternative To Private Monopoly Model

As the new year begins, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) announced today its latest tally of municipal broadband networks which shows a dramatic surge in the number of communities building publicly-owned, locally controlled high-speed Internet infrastructure over the last three years. Since January 1, 2021, at least 47 new municipal networks have come online with dozens of other projects still in the planning or pre-construction phase, which includes the possibility of building 40 new municipal networks in California alone.

Waterloo Fiber Launches Trial Ahead Of February Commercial Launch

Waterloo, Iowa’s municipal broadband project has taken a major step forward after nearly two decades of planning. Waterloo Fiber officials just launched their first limited fiber trial, will connect their first commercial customers in February, and are on target to deploy affordable fiber at speeds up to 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) to every last city resident by 2026. Construction of the network began last summer at a groundbreaking ceremony hosted by Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart. Last month the city connected the first of four participants in a limited pilot project.

FCC and Broadband Providers Prepare for ACP Wind Down

Over 22 Americans now enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) are weeks away from being officially notified of its pending termination as ACP funds are on track to be depleted by the end of April. Given the increasingly likely chance Congress will not act before the fund runs out of money, the Federal Communications Commission is freezing enrollment as Internet service providers who have participated in the program since its inception two years ago are turning their focus to how to wind down the benefit.

Harmful New Bill Aims To Undermine Popular Kentucky Utility’s Broadband Success

A looming new bill by Republican Kentucky State Senator Gex Williams could undermine decades of broadband progress made in the state’s capital city by a popular locally-owned utility, Frankfort Plant Board (FPB). Home to 28,000 Kentuckians, locals and utility officials are incensed at the bill, which they believe will unnecessarily result in higher rates, fewer jobs, and less broadband competition overall. Williams is circulating a bill in the Kentucky state legislature that, if passed, would force FPB to sell its broadband division to a private-sector company and subject it to more stringent oversight requirements.

Idaho Greenlights $120 Million For 18 Broadband Projects

The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board (BAB) has greenlit $120 million in broadband grants from the Idaho Capital Projects Fund (CPF) to fund 18 different broadband projects across Idaho, delivering affordable fiber access to 30,000 homes and businesses, many for the first time.

UTOPIA Fiber Completes $23.5 Million Network Build in Syracuse, Utah

UTOPIA Fiber has completed its fourth major broadband deployment of 2023, with the finished construction of a $23.5 million citywide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) build in Syracuse, Utah. The new fiber network passes 12,324 residential addresses, and has already reached a nearly 16% subscriber take rate in the city.