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The Power of Empowering Marginalized Communities - Episode 600 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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Lehi City, Utah Breaks Ground On Open Access Fiber Network

Lehi City, Utah has broken ground on its new citywide fiber optic broadband network. The network, which city leaders say should take somewhere around three years to complete, will be built on the back of Lehi’s Utilities Department, part of a growing trend of U.S. utilities using an historic infusion of federal funding to expand affordable broadband connectivity. The Lehi Fiber Network will operate as an open access network, meaning that multiple ISPs will be able to utilize the city’s new infrastructure, providing a much-needed dose of broadband competition to local residents and businesses alike. Five ISPs have already committed to providing service over the city-owned fiber.

Study: Low Income LA County Neighborhoods Pay More for Internet Service Than Wealthier Neighborhoods

A new study from the Digital Equity LA initiative lays bare how low-income communities of color are impacted by the quiet business decisions of the county’s monopoly Internet service provider. Slower and More Expensive/Sounding the Alarm: Disparities in Advertised Pricing for Fast, Reliable Broadband details how Charter Spectrum “shows a clear and consistent pattern of the provider reserving its best offers - high speed at low cost - for the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA County.” Not only does it highlight how economically vulnerable households in LA County pay more for slower service than those in wealthy neighborhoods, it also provides evidence for how financially-strapped households are also saddled with onerous contracts and are rarely targeted by advertisements for Charter Spectrum’s low cost plans.

Lexington, Tennessee Will Soon See Fiber Competition Thanks To Local Utility

Lexington, Tennessee is the latest U.S. city that will soon see the expansion of more affordable fiber thanks to the city-owned utility, Lexington Electric System (LES). LES’ recent $27.49 million state grant award will be the backbone of a new initiative that will both improve the utility’s electrical services, and deliver a long overdue dose of broadband competition to the area. The plan is deploy over 2,100 miles of fiber to bring high-speed Internet access to 22,000 residents across Henderson, Decatur, Benton, Carroll and Hardin counties that already receive electricity service from the utility.

Community Broadband Networks Zooms in to Minneapolis for Team Retreat

ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Team, like many others during the pandemic, has operated primarily as a remote work team. This in-person retreat offers us the opportunity to get out from behind our Zoom windows and meet in person. We don’t normally have the opportunity to share the same space, work collaboratively with each other, and think about our plans for next year.