middle mile

Content tagged with "middle mile"

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Virginia's Roanoke Valley Opens Fiber Access - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 221

Having few options for high-quality telecommunications service, Virginia's Roanoke Valley formed a broadband authority and is building an open access fiber-optic network with different options for ISPs to plug-in. In addition to being our guest on Community Broadband Bits episode 221, Frank Smith is the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority CEO and President. We discuss their various options for ISPs to use their infrastructure and the various services their network is providing, including access to conduit and dark fiber leases. We also discuss why they formed a state authority to build their carrier-grade network. Though they have had some pushback from incumbents - something Frank seems unphased by in calling the Authority "the new kid on the block" - they have built local support by building relationships with local organizations like Blue Ridge PBS. Read all of our Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority coverage here.

This show is 29 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to mojo monkeys for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Bodacious."

Medina County Aims to Be Mecca of Fiber - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 220

Medina County has built a fiber network to connect its core facilities and leases its fiber to multiple ISPs to improve connectivity in its communities. David Corrado, CEO of the Medina County Fiber Network, joins us to discuss their approach on Community Broadband Bits episode 220. We discuss how the Port Authority became the lead agency in building the network and the challenges of educating potential subscribers on the benefits of using a full fiber network rather than the slower, less reliable connections they were used to. Medina's approach allows carriers to buy lit services or dark fiber from the county network. And as we have seen elsewhere, the biggest challenge can be getting the first and second carriers on the network. After that, it can really pick up steam as other carriers realize they are missing out if not using it. At the end of our interview, we added a bonus from Lisa - she just produced a short audio segment about Pinetops losing its Internet access from the city of Wilson in North Carolina.

This show is 27 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to mojo monkeys for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Bodacious."

Garrett County, Maryland: Access For Anchors In The Appalachians

Garrett County is the westernmost county in Maryland. High in the Allegheny Mountains of the Appalachian Mountain Range; winters are harsh and forest covers 90 percent of the county. Before the county deployed a fiber-optic network, high-quality connectivity was hard to come by for schools, libraries, and other community anchor institutions. By making the most of every opportunity, Garrett County has improved efficiencies for the many small communities in the region and set the stage to improve connectivity for businesses and residents.

Rural, Remote, Ready For Better Connectivity

The county is more than 650 square miles but there are no large urban centers and over time a number of sparsely populated areas have developed as home to the county's 30,000 people; since 2000, population growth has stagnated. Many of the tiny communities where businesses and residents have clustered are remote and do not have public sewer or water. These places tend to have a high number of low-income people. 

Unemployment rates are volatile in Garrett County, fluctuating with natural resources extraction industries. As the coal and lumber industries have waned, many jobs in Garrett County have disappeared. Garrett County Memorial Hospital and Beitzel industrial construction employ over 300 people and are the county’s largest employers. 

All of these characteristics make Garrett County unattractive to the large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that want to maximize investment and focus only on densely populated urban areas. Verizon offers DSL and Comcast offers cable in limited areas but many people rely on mobile Internet access and expensive satellite Internet access.

It Started With BTOP Fiber


In 2010, the State of Maryland received over $115 million in grant funding through the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP). With a matching $43 million from state and in-kind contributions, Maryland deployed the One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN). In August 2013, the middle mile fiber-optic network was complete, stretching 1,324 miles across the state connecting 1,068 CAIs.

Open Cape Works With Communities for Last Mile - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 215

Cape Cod's OpenCape is the latest of the stimulus-funded middle mile broadband projects to focus on expanding to connect businesses and residents. We talk to OpenCape Executive Director Steve Johnston about the new focus and challenge of expansion in episode 215 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Steve has spent much of his first year as executive director in meetings with people all across the Cape. We talk about how important those meetings are and why Steve made them a priority in the effort to expand OpenCape. We also talk about the how OpenCape is using Crowd Fiber to allow residents to show their interest in an OpenCape connection. They hope that expanding the network will encourage people to spend more time on the Cape, whether living or vacationing. The Cape is not just a vacation spot, it has a large number of full time residents that are looking for more economic opportunities and the higher quality of life that comes with full access to modern technology.

This show is 26 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms."

Middle Mile vs Last Mile - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 214

As the next President considers how to improve rural Internet access, the administration will have to decide where to focus policy. Some at NTIA - the National Telecommunications Information Administration, a part of the federal Department of Commerce - have argued for more middle mile investment. NTIA oversaw major investments in middle mile networks after the stimulus package passed in 2009. To discuss the relevance of middle mile investment against last mile investment, we brought Fletcher Kittredge back, the CEO of GWI in Maine. Fletcher has extensive experience with both middle mile and last mile investments. We talk about whether more middle mile will actual incent last mile investment and, more importantly, how to build middle mile correctly to get the best bang for the buck. Along those lines, we talk about avoiding cherry-picking problems and one of my favorites, how to ensure that rural investment does not inadvertently promote sprawl.

This show is 30 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms."

Broadband Communities Magazine Spotlights Study on Rural Electric Cooperatives

In the 1930s, rural communities joined together through electric cooperatives to bring electricity to their homes and businesses. Today, rural electric co-ops may have the power to bring Internet access to these same communities.

A recent Broadband Communities Magazine article highlights this potential for rural electric co-ops. In the article, Dr. Robert Yadon and D. Bracken Ross of the Digital Policy Institute at Ball State University explain the results of their recent study. 

Electric Co-Ops as Regional Networks

Yadon and Bracken looked into 30 private sector Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) providers in Indiana and 16 rural electric co-ops providing Internet service around the nation. After predicting engineering costs, the researchers highlighted a dozen Indiana rural electric co-ops that could serve as regional hubs of connectivity.

The researchers developed a specific process for rural electric co-ops interested in providing Internet access. In summary, they propose:

“For REMCs [Rural Electric Membership Cooperatives], the process begins with a commitment to a middle-mile, smart grid fiber deployment connecting their substations, followed by a phased-approach business model with strategic growth focusing on last-mile customer density. Exploring local business partnership underwriting opportunities, examining the use of an efficient regional network design and combining multiple federal funding programs are the keys to rural broadband deployment success down the road.”

We don’t necessarily agree with these proposals. Our Christopher Mitchell has written many times about how middle mile cannot solve the last mile problems. The incremental approach based on customer density can repeat some of the same problems we’ve seen with cable and telephone companies - skipping over the most rural and smallest localities. Relying on federal funds is not always necessary. In fact, the researchers point to the success of a co-op that continued on after being denied a federal grant.

Pioneering Electric Co-Ops are Models

Over 100 Years of Muni Telecom in Churchill County - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 204

For more than 100 years, Nevada's Churchill County has been operating its own telecommunications system, Churchill Communications. In recent years, they upgraded the vast majority of the county from copper to fiber offering a gigabit connection to the Internet. Churchill Communications General Manager Mark Feest joins us this week for Community Broadband Bits Episode 204. We discuss the fascinating history behind their network and how they have built it without using any local taxpayer dollars. Mark also explains two recent announcements that involve Churchill Communications offering its services in nearby areas where it already has some fiber. Finally, we discuss how some of the people that were originally skeptical of municipal networks have come around and are even asking Churchill Communications to expand.

This show is 18 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below. 

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Forget the Whale for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "I Know Where You've Been."

Our "Open Access Networks" Resources Page Now Available

When communities decide to proceed with publicly owned infrastructure, they often aim for open access models. Open access allows more than one service provider to offer services via the same infrastructure. The desire is to increase competition, which will lower prices, improve services, and encourage innovation.

It seems straight forward, but open access can be more complex than one might expect. In addition to varying models, there are special challenges and financing considerations that communities need to consider.

In order to centralize our information on open access, we’ve created the new Open Access Networks resource page. We’ve gathered together some of our best reference material, including links to previous MuniNetworks.org stories, articles from other resources, relevant Community Broadband Bits podcast episodes, case studies, helpful illustrations, and more.

We cover: 

  • Open Access Arrangements
  • Financing Open Access Networks
  • Challenges for Open Access Networks
  • U.S. Open Access Networks
  • Planned Open Access Networks

Check it out and share the link. Bookmark it!

Open Access

A key problem in improving Internet access has been ensuring residents and local businesses have high quality services. One means of ensuring high quality is via competition – if people can switch away from their Internet Service Provider, the ISP has an incentive to provide better services. However, the high cost of building networks is a barrier for new ISPs to enter the market - limiting the number of options for communities. Open access provides a solution: multiple providers sharing the same physical network.

Publicly owned, open access networks can create a vibrant and innovative market for telecommunications services. Municipalities build the physical infrastructure (fiber-optic lines, wireless access points, etc.) and independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate in a competitive market using the same physical network. In this competitive marketplace, ISPs compete for customers and have incentives to innovate rather than simply locking out competitors with a de facto monopoly. 

Open Access: An arrangement in which one network is open to independent service providers to offer services. In many cases, the network owner only sells wholesale access to the service providers who offer all retail services (ie: triple-play of Internet, phone, TV, as well as home alarm systems, and other types of services).

Stockholm, Sweden

The open access model is often compared to road systems. Roads are built and maintained through both public funds and taxes on vehicles, but do not themselves fill the coffers of municipalities. They are then used by everyone - trucking companies, UPS, taxi cabs, pizza delivery people, etc. - to deliver services or get around. For the municipality, the net gain of building robust road systems comes in economic development successes, improvements in quality of life, and other indirect benefits rather than direct profits. 

Building open access broadband networks along the same principles has proven immensely successful at fostering competition and producing economic gains in some U.S. communities, but also more extensively in Sweden, France, and Japan. In the United States, this model has been used less frequently, in part because of differences in national regulation and the power of the largest corporations to shape policy.

Stockholm, Sweden, has one of the world’s most advanced open access networks. Its Stokab dark fiber network covers 90 percent of the city’s homes and business. Photo of Stockholm courtesy of Edward Stojakovic through Flickr Creative Commons

"At the end of the day, if a company wants a connection through our network, using a provider, they can get that at a price point that makes sense, and it's competitive."  - Tad Deriso, President and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation

In the United States, local governments that have their own community networks often own, operate, AND provide services on those networks. In a number of cases, local governments prefer to offer services directly because they can ensure a high quality experience. But many communities would rather not directly provide services because they don’t want to have to compete against powerful entrenched firms like the cable and telephone companies. Though the big cable and telephone companies could allow others to use their networks, they prefer to operate as monopolies.

Open access tends to be more common in middle-mile networks, which can connect large enterprises, than in last mile networks, which connect residents. Many ISPs are used to using middle mile networks that they do not control to connect their various last mile networks. Even large companies like AT&T lease connections from other providers in some cases.

Some private companies own and operate open access networks, such as CityLink Fiber in Albuquerque. However, other companies like CenturyLink and AT&T have long undermined any effort to require network owners to share their network infrastructure (even when it was paid for by the public under a regulated monopoly). When it comes to private companies building open access networks, we are supportive but fear the company could change its mind or be bought by a larger company with a different agenda. CityLink has written open access into its franchise agreement to guard against these concerns.

"We don't have to have the personnel to do that. We don't have to manage that infrastructure, and get all those calls for services. And having the private business do what they do best made sense." - Kim Kleppe, Information Systems Director of Mount Vernon

Open access networks spur competition between service providers - lowering both the costs for subscribers and the barriers to new service providers entering the market. They facilitate economic development, as new firms look to relocate to areas with more choices for reliable, high-speed Internet access and existing businesses can be better served.

But perhaps most importantly, the benefits of publicly owned open access networks are that the community enables innovation, ensures real choices, and has a strong voice over its own future. Below, we discuss some of the key benefits and challenges of this model. Additionally, we list networks where the model is in practice today.

Open Access Arrangements

- E.g. nDanville, Virginia

Three-layer: In the three-layer model, the municipality builds and owns the network, an independent party operates the network, and service providers bring fiber directly into homes and businesses.

- E.g. Rio Blanco County, Colorado

Below is an example of an open access arrangement. The network owner funds the construction; the operator oversees construction and maintenance. The retailers provide the Internet service required by us, the end users, who likely just want to get online to get informed, play games, and do work.

Open Access Networks

Infographic from Peggy Dolgenos, Cruzio Internet

Middle mile Open Access Network: The middle mile is the section of a network that connects local, last mile networks to the backbone of the Internet. Middle mile networks can cut across state boundaries and are able to transport large quantities of bandwidth between network endpoints. These networks may also connect towers (often for wireless services), community anchor institutions, and other large customers. Large firms like Verizon and Frontier have been known to sometimes lease middle mile circuits although they steadfastly refuse to use open access last mile networks.

- E.g. The Three Ring Binder in Maine, Mid-Atlantic Broadband in Virginia, NoaNet in Washington

Last mile Open Access Network: The last mile is the connection between the service provider and the home subscriber. On this type of network, home subscribers will have the option among multiple independent service providers delivering Internet access, telephone services, television, and potentially other services (burglar alarms, etc.). Many of these network in the United States start by serving businesses and then expand to residents incrementally.

- E.g. Palm Coast Fiber in Florida, Mount Vernon Fiber Optics and Chelan County Public Utility District in Washington

Dark Fiber Open Access Network: Dark fiber is laid but not lit during fiber buildouts, and left as unused capacity until needed or desired. The act of attaching the fiber to the lasers that send bursts of information across it is called "lighting" it. This type of network is inherently open access, as any provider could lease it (often with an agreement called an IRU, Indefeasible Right to Use). However, only large firms, very technical firms, and ISPs tend to be interested in leasing dark fiber.

- E.g. Axcess Ontario and Southern Tier Network in New York, Palo Alto Utilities in California

Financing Open Access Networks 

Like many community owned networks, building open access networks can be financed through several different mechanisms. 

Some, like Rio Blanco County have taken advantage of state grants to subsidize their network build-out. Rio Blanco received $2 million in matched funds from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. It then committed another $7 million of its own funds to the project, made up of $2 million in federal mineral lease revenues and $5 million from the county's general fund.

With increasing federal emphasis on broadband, government funding for municipal projects might more often subsidize infrastructure investments in both lit and dark fiber networks. That said, communities have a number of tools at their disposal to fund these networks without federal money.

In New York, one community that was wary of relying on federal funding found another way to cover startup costs for its dark fiber open access network, Axcess Ontario. They tapped into a municipal economic development branch - the Ontario County Office of Economic Development/Industrial Development Agency. The network is now run as a non-profit, with a board of 12, but no paid employees. Revenues from businesses that want to use the network services pay the operation, maintenance, and debt costs. 

Many communities, like Palm Coast, Florida, have opted for a phased approach to build their open-access infrastructure. Palm Coast FiberNET relies on a capital projects fund - a way of managing financial resources to complete large-scale infrastructure projects like highways. In building Palm Coast FiberNet, the City drafted a 5-year plan that split the $2.5 million infrastructure cost into five investments of $500,000. It connected community anchor institutions and government offices at the same time as it connected local businesses. The public savings from ending previous contracts with Comcast offset construction costs.

Rio Blanco

Another approach is to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a tool that allows specified districts to borrow funds for redevelopment that are to be paid back in future taxes, to subsidize infrastructural costs. TIF has aided in Bozeman, Montana’s effort to bring next-generation technology to their community.   

Some networks place more of the financial responsibility on the network subscribers. In the utility fee model, subscribers (or all community members, depending on the arrangement) pay a monthly surcharge, which helps to fund the construction and maintenance of the network. A version of this approach is being used in Ammon, Idaho, which has two fees. The first is for the fixed cost of building it, and the second is for operation and maintenance. This last fee varies based on the total number of network subscribers: the more subscribers to the network, the less the individual cost.

Other networks use a wholesale model, selling bandwidth in bulk to ISPs, which can then be bundled, often in a triple-play (phone, TV, Internet) arrangement, and sold to customers. ISPs pay for the ability to provide services over the shared network. For example, Mount Vernon, Washington receives 15 percent of the gross income of each ISP that uses its network. In other cases, ISPs pay a one-time connectivity fee to be able to use wholesale services.

In some cases, communities have built their networks with the assistance of federal loans/grants along with community and private sector contributions. Fast Roads in New Hampshire is one example of this. Fed up with poor service in western New Hampshire, a coalition of municipalities built the Fast Roads network using a combination of stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), community contributions, and private donations.

Even with these many options for financing, building a citywide network immediately is challenging. Many community networks start out incrementally. The revenue or savings from one section pays for the construction of the next section. Most begin by connecting community anchor institutions before moving on to connect businesses and residents. The public savings from ending contracts with incumbent ISPs enables communities to fund the expansion of the network, such as with Santa Monica, California’s City Net. Incremental financing works, especially in cities without a public power utility.

Challenges for Open Access Networks

While many municipal networks face challenges from incumbent providers and state laws, open access networks encounter a unique set of problems. The most obvious being, how to attract service providers to the network? After that, it then becomes a matter of maintaining the reputation of the network. In the long term, however, there may develop concern over price competition and consolidation. This section aims to provide solutions and advice for these open access problems.

Challenge 1: Getting Service Providers

There’s not much use in an open access network without service providers offering a variety of competitive services. In order to ensure the network’s success, there should be at least one core provider at the start. Some community networks begin with an operator who also acts as an ISP. For a set period of time, the operator will be the sole ISP before opening up the network to other ISPs. Westminster, Maryland, pioneered this model when they built a community network with the ISP Ting.

It may take time for ISPs to join the network. While incumbent ISPs do not often want to do business on the public open access infrastructure, other smaller, local ISPs may join. Some communities hire a specific person, such as the network director, to recruit service providers. Others wait for the reputation of the network’s speed and reliability to entice ISPS to the new market.

Challenge 2: Reputation

After securing service providers, the community faces a new challenge, building and maintaining the reputation of the open access network. In extreme cases where an ISP acts in bad faith, a network’s reputation will become so maligned that it struggles to rebuild its brand and attract new, better ISPs.

For example, Provo, Utah is often cited as proof of the failure of municipal networks. The network’s wholesale model (mandated by the state) relied on private ISPs that overpromised, under-delivered, and bowed out of the market too quickly. Provo’s network reputation was severely compromised.

Challenge 3: Price Competition and Consolidation

Some fear that in the long term ISPs will consolidate, leaving us once again with a duopoly or monopoly. These fears have yet to be realized, but it has become more of a topic in Sweden where open access networks have been in existence longer.

Over time, if the only differentiation between service providers is price, then eventually those profits will be competed away. Eventually people will choose the cheapest plan that suits their needs, and the ISPs will have to consolidate. This will diminish the number of options for the consumer – leading to the situation that open access meant to avoid all along. ISPs will have to take care to differentiate their services, preferably by competing for providing the most friendly customer support, in order to stay competitive and in business.

U.S. Open Access Networks 

ILSR is currently tracking more than 30 open access networks across the United States.

Last Mile Networks:

NameCommunity ServedISPsSubscribers
Ammon Fiber Optic UtilityAmmon, ID2No available data
Ashland Fiber Network**Ashland, OR44,200 Internet subscribers; 1,800 cable television (Data from 2010)
Benton PUD*Benton County, WA5No available data
Bozeman FiberBozeman, MT5No available data. Only serves business subscribers.
Chelan PUD*Chelan County, WA11Offers access to 70% of 70,000 person county ~50,000 potential; 5,700 confirmed end users (Data from 2007)
Clallam PUD*Clallam County, WA6No available data
Click! Network**Tacoma, WA3No available data
Cortez Community NetworkCortez, CO7250 businesses (Data from 2014)
Douglas County Community Network*Douglas County, WA6Offers access to 45% of 15,000 person county ~6,900 (Data from 2013)
Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority*Accomack and Northampton Counties, VA620-25% of Eastern Shore residences along existing fiber lines (Data from 2018)
EUGNet*Eugene, OR632 connected buildings, 62 total signed up (Data from 2018)
FiberNETPalm Coast, FL122 businesses (Data from 2011); 90% of 1,600 businesses in fiber range
Franklin PUD*Franklin County, WA9Available to 68,000 customers (2015)
Grant PUD*Grant County, WA1616,000 subscribers (2017)
Grays Harbor PUD*Grays Harbor County, WA10No available data
Holland Utilities*Holland, MI6450 businesses (Data from 2018)
Jefferson PUD*Jefferson County, WA8No available data
Kitsap PUD*Kitsap County, WA-186 Active Ethernet circuits (Data from 2015)
Mason PUD*Mason County, WA5No available data
MetroNet ZingSouth Bend, IN19More than 150 subscribers (Data from 2014)
Mount Vernon Fiber OpticsMount Vernon, WA9160 businesses, 65 government entities (Data from 2017)
nDanvilleDanville, VA3150 businesses; one residential community (Data from 2015)
Okanogan PUD*Okanogan County, WA9No available data
Pacific PUD*Pacific County, WA3No available data
Pend Oreille County Community Network System*Pend Oreille County, WA111,345 business and residential connections (Data from 2015)
Rio Blanco County Broadband ProjectRangely and Meeker, Colorado2No available data
Roanoke Valley Broadband AuthorityRoanoke and Salem, VA-No available data
The Wired RoadGrayson & Carroll counties, city of Galax, VA380 homes; multiple anchor institutions (Data from 2012)
UTOPIA Fiber15 Cities3525,000 FTTH subscribers (2019)

Middle-Mile Networks:

NameCommunity ServedISPsSubscribers
Columbia county Broadband UtilityColumbia County, Ga5150 CAIs (Data from 2017)
Mass Broadband 123120 Mass. Communities12More than 1,100 CAIs, with plans to connect 400,000 homes & businesses (Data from 2014)
Medina County Fiber NetworkMedina County, OH-No available data
Mid Atlantic BroadbandSouthern VA11Reaches 100% of regional businesses, industrial, and technology parks (Data from 2014)
NoaNetWashington State61260,000 last mile customers (Data from 2015)
OpenCapeCape Cod, MA-110 CAIs (Data from 2016)
Southern Tier NetworksChemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties, NY5260 miles dark fiber available open for lease (Data from 2015)
The Three Ring BinderMaine924 middle-mile customer agreements in place (Data from 2014)

* PUD = Public Utility District. Because of Washington state barriers, PUDs are only allowed to sell wholesale broadband services. They are not allowed to retail services directly to customers, so they employ an open access approach. 9 PUDs are part of the statewide open-access network NoaNet.

** Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC) Networks, not FTTH

Planned Open Access Networks 

(Data from 2016)

Dakota County, MinnesotaOpen access part of long term strategy
Ellsworth, Maine$28,000 in tax increment financing; 5 potential ISPs
Hudson, OhioCity conducted residential and business survey; approved contract with consultant for design + implementation
Missoula, MontanaLocal business survey; identification of ISPs
Sanford, MainePartnered with GWI; received a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration
Westminster, MarylandPartnered with Ting (initial period of exclusivity); built network

Additional resources

Ammon's Model: The Virtual End of Cable Monopolies

Remote video URL

The city of Ammon, Idaho is building the Internet network of the future. Households and businesses can instantly change Internet service providers using a specially-designed innovative portal. This short 20 minute video highlights how the network is saving money, creating competition for broadband services, and creating powerful new public safety applications.

Connect This! Episode 4 - Open Access Networks

Remote video URL
Open Access Networks with Travis Carter (CEO, US Internet), Jeff Christensen (President, EntryPoint Networks), and Dane Jasper (CEO and Co-founder, Sonic)

OpenCape Institutional User Sees Internet Speed Double

A major institutional customer on the OpenCape fiber optic network in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts is now enjoying Internet access at double the speed. 

CapeCod.com reports that local CapeNet, the supplier of service over the OpenCape network, has doubled the Internet speed for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 2 Gbps. By switching to CapeNet as its primary provider, WHOI now also has the ability to expand up to 10 Gbps.

Previously, CapeNet provided 100 megabits to WHOI as a secondary provider, but the research and educational organization was interested in dramatically increasing its Internet capacity. In order to increase capacity, WHOI needed to make the switch to CapeNet.

CapeNet, the private provider that operates via the CapeNet fiber infrastructure, offers services across southeastern Massachusetts and to every town on the Cape. In addition to 150 institutional customers, the network connects businesses that handle large data, libraries, colleges, high schools, research facilities, municipal buildings, healthcare clinics, and public safety agencies. It is middle mile infrastructure, which means it links the Internet backbone to organizations and businesses that serve end users.

To become the primary broadband provider for WHOI, CapeNet installed additional equipment in Boston, Providence, and throughout the research campus. “It was actually quite a substantial undertaking in order to expand their capabilities,” said Alan Davis, chief executive officer of CapeNet.  

CapeNet On The Move...To Businesses and Residents?

CapeCod.com also reports that CapeNet is: 

...[C]ontinuing to expand services to educational institutions on the Cape.