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The Success of Urbana-Champaign's Broadband Revolution - Episode 601 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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Countdown To Last Building for Digital Equity Event Of The Year

Digital Equity Unwrapped: End of Year Reflections/The New Year Ahead is just a week away, as seats are filling up fast for next Tuesday’s Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) event. The popular (and free) virtual gathering – slated for December 12, 2023 from 3 to 4:15 pm ET – will highlight important milestones in broadband over the past year and take a look ahead for what promises to be another busy year for digital inclusion practitioners across the country.

Blue River Latest Colorado Town To Eye Community Broadband

Blue River, Colorado is the latest Colorado municipality to explore building its own broadband network with an eye on affordable access. The town is part of a trend that’s only accelerated since the state eliminated industry-backed state level protections restricting community-owned broadband networks. Town leaders recently hired the consulting firm, NEO Connect, to explore the possibility of building a town-wide fiber network.

In Our View: Addressing Digital Discrimination Will Take More Than Policing ISPs

This is a walk and chew gum moment for broadband-for-all advocates. The FCC's new digital discrimination rules have the potential to rein in egregious examples of digital discrimination, and the new rules still fall short of putting forward the kinds of structural solutions necessary to address underinvestment in communities where federal infrastructure dollars may never reach.

Old Data Woes Could Hinder Round Two of Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) is in the midst of accepting applications for a second round of funding, with nearly $1 billion in grants available. A significant program with important limitations, TBCP has made some changes in round two – including one that could mean the resurgence of old barriers for Tribes. Among other changes, round two introduces new requirements for determining whether a location is eligible for funding, a shift that will likely have significant implications for Tribes.

After Years of Declining Service, Pikeville, Kentucky Strikes a Deal for a New Partnership

Pikeville, Kentucky officials, after almost a decade of fighting with Internet Service Provider (ISP) Optimum about service so consistently poor that the city finally sued the provider, are working on an alternative: a partnership that will see the local government build new citywide fiber infrastructure and lease it to an operating partner. The city formalized a public-private partnership with Inter Mountain Cable, a private local company, which will build the network and get exclusive rights to operate it for 15 years, with the city retaining ownership.

Loveland, Colorado’s Municipal Fiber Network Crosses Finish Line

Last week, Pulse Fiber officials announced that construction of its community-owned broadband network is now complete with every household and business in this city of 77,000 now having access to affordable gig-speed service. The $110 million construction project, which began in earnest only four years ago, is the largest capital project in the city’s history, reaching the finish line on time and on budget, city officials said.

California’s Broadband Plan Has Huge Potential, But Red Flags Abound

California has an ambitious $6 billion proposal to shore up affordable broadband access throughout the state, which includes a $3.25 billion plan to build an open-access statewide broadband middle-mile network backers say could transform competition in the Golden State. But while the proposal has incredible potential, digital equity advocates remain concerned that the historic opportunity could be squandered.

Vermont CUD CVFiber Connects First Fiber Customers

CVFiber continues to make progress in deploying affordable fiber to long-neglected rural areas in Vermont. In late 2022 CVFiber broke ground on an ambitious plan to build a 1,200-mile fiber-optic network to bring affordable gigabit broadband access to 6,000 rural Vermont addresses with its first customers having been connected in the central Vermont town of Calais.

Save the Date: Building for Digital Equity #B4DE Holiday Edition

With the holiday season upon us, the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks Initiative and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) are gearing up for the final Building for Digital Equity (#B4DE) event of the year and encouraging digital equity practitioners to save the date.

Verizon Pole Attachment Issues Delay West Springfield, MA Fiber Plan

In 2021 West Springfield, Massachusetts announced it would be partnering with Westfield Gas and Electric, a publicly owned utility, to deliver its residents symmetrical gigabit fiber service. But efforts to launch the project have been on hold thanks to ongoing delays by Verizon and Eversource to prepare local utility poles for fiber attachment.