Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Qwest Isolates Entire Minnesota Counties with Fiber Cuts
Bank ATM's failed. No one could use their credit cards. But as bad as that was for business, the 12-hour-long outage knocked out what the federal government calls a "vital part of our nation's emergency response system." The outage killed 911 emergency service in Cook County, Chief Deputy Leif Lunde said. ... With no 911 service, county officials turned to volunteer firefighters to field emergency calls from normally un-staffed fire halls. Fire truck radios relayed the information back to Grand Marais. Ham radio operators provided a backup way for the Grand Marais hospital to consult with Duluth medical facilities. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers received help from their counterparts in Canada, according to Public Affairs Liaison Chris Misson.Read, or listen to, the entire story - it is well worth it and a good reminder that these networks are essential infrastructure. Update: Resident Jim Boyd has a great piece as well, describing the impact of this Internet dislocation:
County and state police officers lost the ability to check driver's licenses and vehicle plate numbers and to make warrant checks on people pulled over or behaving suspiciously. ... Banks lost access to all of their online records and their ability to connect with other financial institutions. Business ground almost to a halt, save for the few simple transactions that required only a temporary paper record, such as cashing small checks or accepting deposits.I won't quote more because you should read his entire analysis. The conclusion is impossible to dismiss: these networks are essential infrastructure and communities must have the option of building their own network to avoid these problems. Many communities around the country have built their own networks to ensure redundancy to first responders and other vital entities. In New York and DC, the local government runs its own network because their public safety departments cannot be just another customer to the phone company. In North Carolina, the non-profit Mountain Area Information Network provided broadband access to ham radio operators to recover in the event of a natural disaster - the incumbent (a national company) is far less responsive to local needs. Disruptive cuts to these networks are not infrequent around the country -- but they don't always make the news, unfortunately. 2 months ago, I got an email from an exasperated person in Nebraska who noted thousands had lost Internet for 12 hours at that point and they didn't know when it would end. Once again, it was caused by a cut to Qwest fiber. Googling it, I cannot find news of it anywhere except for some social media sites. Nebraska is one of the worst states when it comes to preempting communities from building their own networks -- they need to reconsider that decision to bring some competition to town. *Author of Catch-22 for you non-literary types. Photo by Jackanapes, used under creative commons license.
Arvig Buys Business-Facing Municipal Fiber Network in Alexandria, Minnesota
Nearly $1 Billion in Rescue Plan Funds Heads to Six States
Rescue Plan Dollars Resuscitate an Open Access Fiber Network Buildout in Erie County, New York
Plans for an open access fiber backbone in Erie County, New York (pop. 951,000) are being readjusted after having been stymied by the pandemic. The county will use Rescue Plan funding to cover the cost of building the backbone, which will be owned by the county and operated by ErieNet, a nonprofit local development corporation.
Recent Broadband News | Episode 51 of the Connect This! Show
Join us live on Thursday, August 25th, at 5pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting.
Grant Challenges in Louisiana, 25 Gbps service in Chattanooga, and the Future of Video | Episode 51 of the Connect This! Show
Join us live on Thursday, August 25th, at 5pm ET for the latest episode of the Connect This! Show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell (ILSR) and Travis Carter (USI Fiber) will be joined by regular guests Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber) and Doug Dawson (CCG Consulting).
Rural Southeast Alaskan Tribes Leverage Spectrum for a Pilot Connecting Hard-to-Reach Communities
The Tlingit and Haida Tribes will leverage $15 million in Rescue Plan funding to bring LTE-based 100 Mbps symmetrical wireless connectivity to 10,000 unserved residents in and around the city of Wrangell, located on Wrangell Island