Community Broadband Media Roundup - April 3

Even after the FCC’s approval of broadband expansion, state lawmakers refuse to acknowledge that EPB should be able to deliver faster, affordable Internet to nearby communities.

Tennessee legislation to expand broadband coverage on hold for now, WDEF

“In the 21st Century, broadband infrastructure is just as critical as good roadways to the economic development and quality of life of a community. Allowing investor-driven entities headquartered in other states to pick which Tennessee communities win and which lose when it comes to this critical infrastructure undermines the fundamental principle of local control.”

Tennessee puts municipal broadband bill on hold by Bailey McCann, CivSource

Broadband bill pushed back to 2016 session by Jamie McGee,The Tennessean

Tennessee lawmakers delay municipal broadband bill for year by Associated Press

The failure of the state Legislature to address the issue led Chattanooga to ask the Federal Communications Commission to override state laws preventing the city’s super-fast Internet to be offered in outlying areas.

VIDEO: Vote on measure to allow EPB to expand service area delayed until 2016 by Times Free Press

Broadband expansion bill put on hold in Tennessee Legislature by David Morton,

EPB 'not backing off' on expansion around Chattanooga area by Mitra Malek, Times Free Press

From digital desert to gigabit Internet, a legislative hurdle by David Morton,

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, one of the bill's co-sponsors, called AT&T the "gorilla" of Nashville lobbyists. The company has 14 registered lobbyists, state records show, more than any other company or trade association.

"They're extremely powerful," he said. "They're not somebody you want to take on unless you want to get bloodied."

Muni Broadband: State By State


Municipal broadband spreading at speed of light by Dallas Heltzell, Biz West

“It’s so fast, my computer can’t write to the hard drive fast enough,” wrote one, while another gushed that “It’s so fast, it ripped my face off!”

Rural residents say unreliable internet impacting business, academics by Marci Krivonen, Aspen Public Radio

Grand Junction voters to decide on city's role in broadband Internet by Kareem Maddox, Colorado Public Radio


Bill seeks to bring high-speed Internet to rural farmers, small businesses in Maine by Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

“The purpose of this bill is really to say that we need to get everyone connected to broadband Internet service,” said Bright, who also is a member of the Maine Farm Bureau. “We need to look at the places that are unserved and get them connected to the grid.”

Slow Internet inspires islanders to take action by Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff


Wyatt/My Turn: In Warwick, we’ve got answers on broadband project by Tom Wyatt, The Recorder

 The bottom line is that younger families don’t want to move to a rural town without high-speed Internet. Let’s not let Warwick get passed by; we worked too hard on the new school to have it already become obsolete.

We can keep our long-term residents, have true broadband Internet and get any debt repaid.

New York

State plan could help expand broadband service in Sullivan by Leonard Sparks, Times Herald-Record

Cuomo's Wire Frame by Will Brunelle, Capital New York

“When you subsidize the private sector, you don’t really know what kind of services they’re going to provide in the future,” Mitchell said. “There’s a fair number that basically rip off consumers,” and they “basically extract resources from the community they serve.”


TMEPA: Private entities blocking Internet expansion by Kelly Lapczynski, Tullahoma News

“The private telecomm providers are more focused on protecting their bottom line than serving more Tennesseans,” said Mike Vinson, Executive Director of TMEPA.  “Because Tennessee’s municipal electric are governed locally, they are focused on and responsive to their communities’ needs.  Municipal electric broadband offers the fastest speeds available backed up with local customer service.  It should be an option for local communities seeking to offer modern services and utilities.”

AT&T Publicly Promises Tennessee A Broadband Revolution, Privately Fights To Keep It A Broadband Backwater: from the cake-and-eat-it-too dept by Karl Bode, TechDirt


CenturyLink Apologizes for Misleading Customer About Its Gigabit Internet Service by Ansel Herz, The Stranger


Other Broadband News

AT&T Shows Cupertino Precisely What Broadband Competition (Or The Lack Thereof) Looks Like... from the fiber-to-the-press-release dept by Karl Bode, TechDirt

It's pretty clear it doesn't take much for pampered duopolists to respond to real price competition. The problem is despite the fact that Google Fiber is nearly five years old, its actual footprint remains fairly small, with only portions of Austin, Provo and Kansas City online so far. And that's a company with billions to spend and a massive lobbying apparatus that can take aim at the sector's regulatory capture. That's why community broadband and public/private partnerships become such an integral part of trying to light a fire under the U.S. broadband industry, as are the attempts to dismantle ISP protectionist state laws aimed at keeping these speeds and real price competition far, far away from most U.S. broadband markets.

FCC Explains Decisions on Broadband, Net Neutrality by Brian Heaton, TechWire

Here’s Proof That ISP Monopoly Power Threatens Consumers by Sam Becke, Cheat Sheet

Citing Muni Broadband Dispute, Chattanooga Secedes by Mari Silbey, LightReading

In the land of broadband-flavored April Fools' Day stories, the Benton Foundation takes the prize. The organization's daily roundup of "news" includes several chortle-worthy pieces riffing off the broadband issues of the day. The best is a story about the Chattanooga City Council voting to secede from Tennessee because of disputes over municipal broadband. (See FCC Clears Way for Muni Network Expansion.)

The source link connects to a local news article from 2014 advertising 93 new kittens and puppies up for adoption.

These maps show why internet is way more expensive in the US than Europe: Telecom companies appear to split up territory to avoid competition by Allan Holmes and Chris Zubak-Skees

FCC Defends Its Open Internet Decision by Michael Justin Allen Sexton, Tom’s Hardware