Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Community Fiber Group in San Francisco Organizes for Network
AT&T's U-verse upgrade would enable it to offer connection speeds three times faster than current service — but not nearly as fast as what fiber proponents envision. Several members of the tech industry interviewed by the Guardian cautioned that another AT&T upgrade might be necessary after less than a decade to keep pace with technological advancement.Ha! Considering that AT&T U-Verse tops out at 24Mbps downstream (if you are lucky and live close to the key electronics) and a piddling 1.5 Mbps upstream, it is already obsolete. Cable networks offered considerably better performance last year -- suggesting that AT&T should stop wasting everyone's time in SF with this approach. We have previously written about efforts to use the City's fiber to bridge the digital divide and the SFBG article introduces us to new ideas using that asset.
Meanwhile, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu recently asked DTIS to examine the possibility of leasing excess capacity on city-owned dark-fiber infrastructure, which is currently in place but not being used. This could boost bandwidth for entities such as nonprofits, health care facilities, biotech companies, digital media companies, or universities, Chiu said, while bolstering city coffers. "There are many places in town that need a lot more bandwidth, and this is an easy way to provide it," he said. Sniezko noted that other cities have created open-access networks to deploy fiber. "This is really effective because it's a lot like a public utility," she explained. "The city or someone fills a pipe, and then anyone who wants to run information or service on that pipe can do so. They pay a leasing fee. This has worked in many places in Europe, and they actually do it in Utah. In many cases, it's really cool — because it's publicly owned and it's neutral. There's no prioritizing traffic for one thing over another, or limitation on who's allowed to offer service on the network. It ... creates some good public infrastructure, and also allows for competition, and it sort of revives the local ISP. Chiu's proposal is a little bit in that vein, it sounds like. But he hasn't released a lot of details on it yet, so we're still looking."The article links to a newish web site SF Fiber, which has some impressive people involved, including Tim Pozar. They are also on twitter and Facebook. An article on SF Fiber about potentially leasing city fiber mentions that the City has some conditioned fiber (where they are restricted in how they can use it) as well as unconditioned:
There may be some complexities to this process, as the city network sometimes uses underground conduit from utilities, which may be restricted to government or educational use, but it also possesses miles of unrestricted assets — notably fiber under MTA trolley and bus lines, and conduit in the AWSS, San Francisco’s emergency firefighting water network.Once again, we like to point to Santa Monica as a great example communities can look to for expanding unconditioned fiber networks, the smart approach that leaves the most flexibility for the future. After a long time, it seems that there is new energy behind expanding publicly owned fiber in San Francisco, including from a candidate for mayor. We hope that if he wins, he doesn't disappear on the issue like Seattle's Mayor seems to have …
Digital Equity LA Summit Pushes CPUC to Ditch Priority Areas Map
Arvig Buys Business-Facing Municipal Fiber Network in Alexandria, Minnesota
Study: Low Income LA County Neighborhoods Pay More for Internet Service Than Wealthier Neighborhoods
A new study from the Digital Equity LA initiative lays bare how low-income communities of color are impacted by the quiet business decisions of the county’s monopoly Internet service provider. Slower and More Expensive/Sounding the Alarm: Disparities in Advertised Pricing for Fast, Reliable Broadband details how Charter Spectrum “shows a clear and consistent pattern of the provider reserving its best offers - high speed at low cost - for the wealthiest neighborhoods in LA County.” Not only does it highlight how economically vulnerable households in LA County pay more for slower service than those in wealthy neighborhoods, it also provides evidence for how financially-strapped households are also saddled with onerous contracts and are rarely targeted by advertisements for Charter Spectrum’s low cost plans.
Caribou, Maine Moves Forward On Citywide Fiber Plan
Last March, Caribou, Maine city council members expressed unanimous support for a charter amendment allowing the Caribou Utilities District to establish a broadband infrastru
Lakeland Public-Private Broadband Project Faces Delays, Frustration
In the summer of 2021, Lakeland city commissioners voted 5-to-1 to strike a private-public partnership (P3) with Summit Broadband, part of a 10 year plan to expand broadband availability within city limits. But officials in this central Florida city of 112,000 have expressed growing consternation that the planned broadband expansion is behind schedule and more selective than expected.
Rancho Cucamonga Cultivates Greenfield Fiber Vineyard
In the 1980s, Rancho Cucamonga proclaimed itself “The City with a Plan.” Back then, the plan was to remake this once rural enclave known for its vineyards into more than just one of the many sunny suburbs of Los Angeles. That forward-looking spirit was revived again 30 years later as city leaders looked to cultivate a digital vineyard with the creation of a “Fiber Optic Master Plan” – a six-year $13 million investment plan that targets the city’s new development. Today, the city along the famed Route 66 owns and operates Rancho Cucamonga Municipal Broadband in partnership with Onward, a local private Internet service provider.