Community Broadband Media Roundup - June 26, 2015

How States Are Fighting to Keep Towns From Offering Their Own Broadband by Leticia Miranda, ProPublica

North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers.


Community Broadband Networks - News By State


Forbes recognizes Auburn-Opelika area region among nation’s best for job creation by 

This type of job creation was greatly encouraged by Opelika's FTTH network. Opelika's experience shows the power of local authority and self-reliance.


Will Maine Create a $500 Municipal Broadband Fund? by Colin Wood, GovTech

Proponents of municipal broadband say Maine's Legislature has its heart in the right place, but $500 won't buy the citizenry much connectivity...

It’s frustrating to see such a promising piece of legislation relegated into uncertainty, Mitchell said.

“It still sets an interesting precedent in terms of targeting municipal open-access approaches, which I think is valuable, although clearly much less so if they’re not going to put any money into it,” he said. “Just about every elected official wants to vote and tell their constituents that they supported better broadband, but they really don’t want to upset the Fairpoint and Time Warner Cable lobbyists, so they’ve kind of done both. The lobbyists are happy because there’s no real funding, but a lot of people will go home and say, ‘Well, I voted for better broadband for the state.’"



City task force calls for better broadband in Baltimore by Stephen Babcock,



Race against clock as broadband project approaches deadline by LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle 



In Our View: Need for speed by The Spectrum & Daily News Editorial Board

Perhaps it is time for communities in Southern Utah to join forces and support a project like UTOPIA, a government-owned open access model operating in 11 cities along the Wasatch Front. UTOPIA manages the infrastructure and leases the lines to private Internet service providers who deliver services to the end customers.

"The cities should take a role in building the infrastructure and wholesale it out to the data providers on a level playing field," said Pete Ashdown, founder and CEO of Wasatch Front-based Internet service provider XMission. "If you don't like one of (the providers), you could switch in a day.

"Competition is a much better option than having a regulated monopoly (like most utilities) because it puts the decision in the hands of the consumer," he said. "The level playing field that government infrastructure brings is what also gives us an incredible ability to have (online) commerce. These are (ideas) that have supported our economy for years and years."


New Hampshire

Battle Cry of New Hampshire: No Fiber, No Votes by Susan Crawford, Medium

Here’s a suggestion: someone at every single New Hampshire political event this perfervid season should look those supplicants for office in their beseeching eyes, and raise the question of cheap, ubiquitous, fiber access across the state. And every single candidate — from both parties — should be forced to continue that meaningful eye contact until they’ve answered the question.



City Looking at Citywide Broadband Network, WOAI News

"We've got this infrastructure, it is already there, it is a sunk cost," Commissioner Kevin Wolff said.  "Let’s figure out how to use it."

  Nirenberg says he will make a proposal to City Council at tomorrow's first budget session to allow the municipal broadband system to get up and running.

  "This is within our grasp," he said.  "Minor capital investments will allow us to upgrade the municipal network so it can provide the support that institutions would expect of commercial grade broadband carriers.  We have made substantial progress in obtaining those investments."



Seattle Study Finds Muni Broadband Too Costly to Do Alone by Karl Bode, DSLReports

Following setbacks, municipal broadband supporters continue urging action by Amelia Havanec, Crosscut

Advocates concluded the event by urging attendees to make public broadband an issue in city council districts. “We can talk about what leaders should do, but we need to make them do things,” Mitchell said. “It’s about electing people who are forced to do things…Invest in your power as a citizen to reflect something of your core values.”


Other News

Verizon ordered to finish fiber build that it promised but didn’t deliver by John Brodkin, Ars Technica

Why the government is about to approve the AT&T and DirecTV mega-deal – and the one thing that remains a big concern by Cecilia Kang, Washington Post