With a new supportive city manager in office, Cambridge city leaders have agreed to continue to investigate the options laid out in a recently published feasibility study. The study found that for Cambridge to construct a financially sustainable citywide fiber network “a significant public contribution would be required” of between $150 and $200 million.
Quincy, Massachusetts is moving full speed ahead on a long-percolating plan to bring faster and more reliable broadband to a community long neglected by regional telecom monopolies. If successful, the resulting open access fiber network should dramatically boost competitive options in the city, driving down costs for what many view as an essential utility.
The NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) insists that the 17 state laws that hamper nationwide community broadband deployments won’t delay a massive looming infusion of infrastructure broadband subsidies. But one industry group isn’t so sure. BroadbandNow, a website dedicated to tracking the U.S. broadband industry, issued a report claiming that state restrictions on community broadband networks could delay the delivery of more than $42.45 billion in BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment) grants made possible by the recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Colorado state leaders have voted to eliminate long-criticized state barriers to municipal broadband networks. Community broadband advocates hope it will be a beacon for other states eager to bring more reliable and affordable high-speed Internet service to a market long dominated by monopoly providers. The new Colorado law, made after years of citizen backlash to the counterproductive restrictions, is the latest inflection point in a retreat away from monopoly-backed state laws stifling creative efforts to bridge the digital divide.
Two months after President Biden’s belated and long-stalled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nominee withdrew her nomination after a year-long attack campaign against her, Gigi Sohn is announced at the Broadband Communities Summit in Houston, Texas as the first Executive Director of the American Association of Public Broadband. Sohn spoke during a summit luncheon and offered reflections on her grueling FCC nomination process and the state of broadband in the U.S. more
The Cleveland, Tennessee city council has approved the creation of the Cleveland Utilities Authority, the first step in allowing the city-owned utility to get into the broadband business. Of the initial $72 million investment, $64 million will be funded by public-issued debt, and go towards construction of the network, which Cleveland Utilities states should begin in March of 2024 and be completed in “roughly two to three years” barring complications.