charter

Content tagged with "charter"

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Dalton's OptiLink Community Network Draws Praise

OptiLink, the community fiber network in Dalton, Georgia, has been chosen by local newspaper readers as the Best Internet Provider in 2010 - the third year in a row. According to Stop the Cap!, the community network has a take-rate of 70% and generates $1.5 million in revenue monthly - real money that stays in the community rather than being distributed to Charter shareholders. Learn more about OptiLink here.

Opelika Votes Yes, Will Build Smart-Grid Fiber Network

Despite a coordinated campaign by cable incumbent Charter that offered little honest debate or accurate claims, the citizens of Opelika voted yes on their referendum to allow the city to build a broadband network. The City's public power utility will use the network for smart-grid services and a private company will likely contract to deliver triple-play services. Opelika's Mayor had this reaction: This video is no longer available. Mayor Fuller also said:
It’s a great day for Opelika. It’s a great day for our future. It’s a terrible day for Charter,”
One gets the sense that the Mayor took some umbrage at Charter's tactics to prevent the community from building its own network. The day before the election, Stop the Cap! ran a fantastic article about Charter's manufactured opposition to the community network. Phillip Dampier investigated the background and claims of prominent opponents, including Jack Mazzola, who might as well have written some of the articles in the local paper about the Smart-Grid project for how often he was quoted by the reporter (who often failed to offer a countering view from anyone in support of the network).
Jack Mazzola claims to be a member of Concerned Citizens of Opelika and has become a de facto spokesman in the local press.  He claims he is “30 years old and have been a resident of Opelika for almost two years.” During that time, he evidently forgot to update his active Facebook page, which lists his current city of residence as Atlanta, Georgia.  Suspicious readers of the local newspaper did some research of their own and claim Mr. Mazzola has no history of real estate or motor vehicle taxes paid to Lee County, which includes Opelika.
Any community considering a referendum on this issue should read this Stop the Cap! post and learn from it because massive cable companies like Charter all use the same tactics in community after community.

Opelika Considers Smart Grid Network, Charter and Others Misinform Public

Opelika, Alabama, is home of some 27,000 people and a public power utility called Opelika Power and Light. On Tuesday, Aug 10, the city will hold a special referendum to decide if the community can build a network that will cover telecommunications and smart-grid services. Alabama is one of the states that preempt local authority to build broadband infrastructure, requiring a referendum and imposing limitations on the business plan for community-owned networks that it does not do for privately owned networks. The local newspaper has a Q&A to answer questions about the project. Expected cost is in the neighborhood of $33 million and will be funded with revenue bonds if citizens approve the project. Opelika Power and Light already has a fiber ring that will be used in the project if they move forward (the project could start offering services as early as Fall 2012). From a distance, it appears that details are not yet worked out (and why would they be -- until they have the authority conferred by a successful referendum, they would not complete any agreements), but the private company Knology will likely provide some of the services on the network built by Opelika. Opelika Power and Light The local editorial board endorsed the plan.
“Shall the City of Opelika, Alabama, be authorized to acquire, establish, purchase, construct, maintain, lease and operate a cable television system for the purpose of furnishing cable service to subscribers?” That’s what the ballot will read in Opelika on Aug. 10. 
And the answer: absolutely yes.
Unless, of course, you are a massive company like Charter that already offers services. If you are Charter, you might make absurd claims that cable is somehow more reliable than fiber. The Charter Government Relations Director apparently suffers from what we might call the make-ity-up disease.

Charter to Cleveland, TN: You Are Not Sufficiently Profitable

Not too far away from Chattanooga, Tennessee, (home to the largest muni fiber network in the U.S.) lies Cleveland (Tennessee). Five prominent residents asked why they cannot get broadband:

The homeowners have discussed the problem with Charter Communications Director of Government Relations Nick Pavlis three times.

Pavlis said in a telephone interview it would cost the cable company $130,000 to run an underground cable 2 1/2 miles and “it’s just not a reasonable payback.”

He said the company spends $500 per house as a general rule, which gives them a 36-48 month return on investment.

Yet Charter has no problem lobbying the states to prohibit publicly owned networks. Tennessee probably has more fiber-to-the-home initiatives than any other state - perhaps it is time Cleveland looked into their own or cajoling a nearby network into expanding.

Virginia County Looks to Wilson for Muni Network Inspiration

Folks in the Isle of Wight County in Virginia are looking to Wilson, NC, (which runs its own FTTH network called Greenlight) for inspiration as Charter will not expand broadband access locally. Interestingly, industry-backed Connected Nation would not consider these people to be unserved because they could buy wireless broadband cards that offer slow speeds at expensive prices and are still often capped at a monthly transfer of 5 Gigabytes ... which is to say not really a broadband option. Charter will not expand their cable networks because
Charter requires that an area have a density of at least 30 rooftops per square mile in order to offer service, which leaves large swaths of the county, especially southern and western areas, without access.
Sounds like a good opportunity to investigate a publicly owned network.