MuniWireless has published a story noting the outcome of Tempe's lawsuit against Commonwealth Capital Corp in which the city was awarded $1.8 million in pole rental charges from a private company dealing with a failed Wi-Fi network.
Tempe, like many other communities circa 2006, had hoped a private company would be able to build and run a citywide Wi-Fi network that would create another broadband option for residents and businesses frustrated with the DSL/cable duopoly. For a variety of reasons, nearly all of these networks failed to deliver on promises and were either abandoned or turned into occasional hotspots.
Unfortunately, the term "Muni Wireless" was used to describe these networks despite the fact that local governments had little more to do with them than they do with franchising cable companies (and Comcast is not called "Muni cable"). Regardless, the general failure of Wi-Fi to match the hype gave muni broadband and community broadband a bad name due in part to this inappropriate "Muni Wireless" title.
What I found interesting about the MuniWireless.com story about Tempe is the section entitled "What should Tempe do now?" This is an excellent question. The suggestions offered by Esme Vos are interesting and worth mulling over. Over time, I hope the comments add some more suggestions.
We are pleased to announce an exciting lineup of Tribal Broadband Bootcamps (TBB) scheduled for 2024. Bringing together new learners and folks with decades of experience, the bootcamps create a unique opportunity for people across Indian Country to share strategies, challenges, and successes.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently published rules for its broadband nutrition label provides a partial victory for Internet subscribers and a potential marketing advantage for fiber providers – but may pose a challenge for wireless Internet service providers. Though the new rules were finalized in October, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have until 2024 to publish their broadband labels.
The Tribal Business of Broadband webinar series, a virtual extension of the Tribal Broadband Bootcamps, continues later this month with a focus on wireless Tribal networks. Next one is slated for December 19 at 2 pm ET.
ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks (CBN) Initiative continues to host Let’s Get Going Broadband Bootcamps across the country. The next two upcoming bootcamps will be held in New Mexico. The in-person, hands-on bootcamps are aimed at helping participants understand broadband and digital equity basics, identify local needs, evaluate options, and chart a path forward.
Join us live on Friday, September 16, at 1pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by Deborah Simpier (Co-founder at Althea Networks, Sommelier Finance, and Gravity Bridge) and Sascha Meinrath (Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University, Founder of X-Lab). They'll discuss the advantages of different wireless deployments (LTE vs. licensed spectrum vs. unlicensed spectrum) as compared to fiber, the present and future of distributed, member-owned networks, and more.