Community Broadband Media Roundup - July 31

Two weeks ago, members of the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee met to discuss how they can have a hand in "Promoting Broadband Infrastructure Investment."

Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia testified before members of the committee, along with several other groups and organizations.

That story leads our roundup:


Community Broadband News By State


Loveland council to vote on broadband ballot language by Craig Young, The Reporter Herald



New Connecticut agency focuses on high-speed Internet by Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register



Network agreement close in Mahomet by Amelia Benner, News Gazette



SOAR Announces High-Capacity Broadband Project Plans by Paul Hitchcock, WMKY



More than 100 Harford sites connected to high speed data network, more to come by David Anderson, Baltimore Sun



WiredWest awaits state approval of business plan by Diane Broncaccio, The Recorder

Colrain is among the 22 towns with no broadband access whose residents have authorized selectmen to borrow money for a fiber-optic build-out. The state has approved a $40 million Internet bond bill to help reduce each town’s build-out cost, and with grants to be applied for through MBI.

Holyoke Case Study from Berkman Center Explores Massachusetts Muni Fiber by Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

Leverett municipal broadband network topic of State Department tour by Mary Serreze, MassLive

Leverett's fiber network currently provides only Internet, but digital phone service is coming soon, he said. The typical household bill will contain a $25 monthly fee for Internet, $29 for phone, and a $44 municipal light plant fee, equaling about $93.

Before the network went live, people had been paying as much as $90 per month for satellite internet and $60 for basic landline telephone service, said d'Errico.


The need for speed: Broadband, no longer a luxury, is still a patchwork as localities press for improvements by Gregg Aamot, MinnPost

Minnesota's Rural Broadband Development a Game Changer by Nancy Madsen, GovTech

Upgrading Internet service is expensive — more so where the customers are sparse. And so Internet service providers have focused on upgrading systems in population centers, where the prospect is a lucrative one and they must constantly improve service in the face of competitors.

But in rural areas, competition is lacking and those who demand speed pay a premium.

About six years ago, after a majority of residents had said they supported finding a way to faster service, local governments in Sibley and Renville counties banded together to overcome that problem.



Without broadband, farmers can't keep up by Kaylen Baker, The Smithville Herald

New Hampshire

Divided opinions on Internet access plans by Benji Rosen, The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript


New Mexico

Kit Carson lights up fiber optic network by Cody Hooks, The Taos News

The fiber optic project began in 2011 with about $64 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Of that money, $44 million was in the form of a grant, with the remaining $20 million in loans. Terry Brunner, USDA Rural Development State Director, told The Taos News the Kit Carson project is impressive because of the “shear vastness of the territory,” noting that few companies would have installed such a network without the substantial government support.



Tired of waiting for high-speed Internet? Ask your local government. by Patricia Sullivan, The Washington Post

Broadband initiative, finance panel on Monday’s agenda by Roger Piantadosi, Rapp News

Albemarle Co. Holds 2nd Community Meeting on Access to Broadband by NBC 29-TV

Forum opens conversation about broadband access by James Ivancic,

Cable broadband came to the county 20 years ago and hasn't expanded, he said.

“It's increasingly a limiting factor where [people] live and work and conduct their affairs,” he said.

Gaston said it is a “recurring theme that's becoming louder and louder” elsewhere as well. She said she hoped gathering such information can be taken to the next level to determine what does government and business need to do to provide an answer.



Infographic: Comparing Comcast 2 Gig Pricing to Muni-Broadband by Karl Bode, DSL Reports

Google, NCC Saluting Muni Broadband Efforts by John Eggerton, Multichannel

National League of Cities and Next Century Cities Partner with Google Fiber to Recognize Cities Helping to Close the Digital Divide by PR Newswire

FCC spreads word on community broadband benefits by Jason Ruiter, The News & Advance

Promoting Broadband Infrastructure Investment by The Communications and Technology House Subcommittee

Where big ISPs won’t invest, customer-owned ISPs are deploying fiber by Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

The USDA is also giving loans or grants to four other cooperatives that are owned and operated by their customers. The Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association in Montana will get a $29.95 million loan to upgrade its network with fiber. Minnesota's Northeast Service Cooperative will get $6 million in grants to expand broadband service. The Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative in Alaska will get a $1.4 million grant "to provide Point Hope subscribers with high-speed Internet service and prepare the network for an undersea fiber connection currently planned for construction within the next two years." And Virginia's Scott County Telephone Cooperative will get a $2.1 million grant to build a broadband network that will reach 540 locations.

Briefing Orders Issued in Battle Over State Laws Restricting Municipal Broadband by Leslie Gallagher Moylan, Open Internet Law Advisor