fixed wireless

Content tagged with "fixed wireless"

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Houston, Missouri’s Municipal Fiber Network Revs Up City’s Economic Development Engine With Big City Connectivity

In the Show Me State – cradled in the center of the Ozarks – Houston, Missouri is the biggest small city in Texas County.

And what local officials have shown its 2,100 or so residents over the last four years is that it can build its own modern telecommunication infrastructure to help spark economic development and offer big city Internet connectivity at affordable rates.

It began with a citizen survey in 2019, asking residents if they would be interested in a municipal broadband service, given the inadequate offerings of the big incumbent providers. Since then – not only has the city built an 18-mile fiber ring for an institutional network (I-net) to connect the city’s facilities – it has built a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network that now covers 95 percent of the 3.6 square-mile county seat.

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Houston MO fiber cabinet

“The project started in 2020 and we went live in the spring of 2021,” Randon Brown, Technology Director for the City of Houston Fiber Department, tells ILSR. “Construction of the project has taken approximately four years. (Today) 95 percent of the town (network) is operational and can be serviced.”

The city has spent $3 million of its own money to fund construction of the aerial fiber network, Brown said.

The network passes 1,200 premises with 272 subscribers now getting service from Houston Fiber, “which encompasses a mixture of residential and business customers” – though that number will soon rise to 364 (30 percent take rate) in the near future as more residents and businesses are in the pipeline waiting to be connected, he added.

Destination Crenshaw Breathes Life Into 'Open Air Museum' and Emerging ‘Digital Equity Zone’

On a map, the Crenshaw District is a 2.9 square-mile neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles, home to nearly 30,000 mostly black residents.

In the popular imagination, Crenshaw is the backdrop for the Oscar-nominated movie "Boyz In the Hood" – the real life neighborhood that cultivated the likes of former Los Angeles Mayor Thomas Bradley; rappers-turned-actors Ice Cube and Ice T; and the late rapper/entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle.

But on the streets of Crenshaw, a transformative vision is unfolding – an initiative local leaders describe as “a reparative development project.”

The idea is to inspire and empower neighborhood residents with strategic investments rather than displace them through gentrification. The effort is being led by Destination Crenshaw, a nonprofit community organization established in 2017 to celebrate the history and culture of Black Los Angeles.

The most visible part of the vision is to create the largest Black public art project in the nation along Crenshaw Boulevard, the 1.3 mile spine of the neighborhood – or what Destination Crenshaw describes as an “open air museum” centered around “pocket parks” and a “comprehensive streetscape design” that will feature commissioned murals and sculptures from local Black artists.

Paul Goodman on Advocacy, Accessibility, and Broadband Equity with C4AT - Building for Digital Equity Podcast Episode 20

Building for Digital Equity logo

In this episode of the Building for Digital Equity Podcast, Chris engages in a compelling discussion with Paul Goodman from the Center for Accessible Technology (C4AT). Paul, a seasoned advocate with over 12 years of experience, shares his journey from law school to championing broadband availability, affordability, and accessibility for people with disabilities. The conversation delves into the crucial work of C4AT, highlighting their policy advocacy, assistive technology solutions, and efforts to ensure web accessibility.

Paul explains the intricacies of working with the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, advocating for broadband access and the challenges of making websites and technologies accessible for all. He shares insights into the LA Digital Equity Coalition and the exciting developments in California's broadband deployment, including funding for state-owned middle-mile networks.

The episode also touches on the complexities of navigating regulatory processes and the importance of community input in driving effective change. Paul and Christopher concludes by discussing the need for strategic investments in fiber infrastructure over fixed wireless solutions to ensure long-term connectivity.

***Disclaimer: This interview was conducted over a year ago***

This show is 16 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 see other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Joseph McDade for the music. The song is On the Verge and is used per his Free-Use terms.

Ottawa County, Michigan Strikes $25 Million Partnership With 123Net

Ottawa County, Michigan officials say they’ve struck a new public private partnership (PPP) with 123Net on a $25 million fiber deployment that aims to bring more uniform – and affordable – broadband access to Michigan’s seventh largest county by population.

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners voted last month to approve a master agreement and letter of intent with 123Net.

The finalized agreement calls for 123Net to spend two years deploying 400 miles of new fiber infrastructure as part of an open access, carrier neutral fiber network to bring new competition – and affordable fiber – to 10,000 county residents and businesses.

The $25 million network will be funded by $14 million from Michigan’s Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program; $7.5 million from Ottawa County’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, and $3.5 million in private funding from 123NET.

“We’re at an interesting time in broadband deployment as there are a number of unique funding programs that counties and municipalities can access,” said Chuck Irvin, Executive Vice President of 123NET, said in a statement. “123NET is proud to be part of this exciting project.”

At the same time, county officials say they’ve struck a separate deal with Tilson Technology to build new wireless towers to deliver fixed wireless service to an undetermined number of rural county residents for whom deploying fiber is cost prohibitive.

People Over Profit: DigitalC's Mission to Connect Communities in Cleveland- Episode 589 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined again by Joshua Edmonds, the Chief Executive Officer of DigitalC, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to bridging the digital divide in Cleveland, Ohio. DigitalC achieves this by offering fast and affordable internet access through a fixed wireless network, priced at $18 per month, to underserved neighborhoods. Additionally, they provide digital equity programs such as digital literacy training and device deployment.

Christopher and Joshua discuss recent updates, including DigitalC's successful bid for a $20 million contract from the city of Cleveland to establish a citywide infrastructure. Joshua details the plan to connect over 23,000 households within 18 months, expanding their network with commercial fiber infrastructure to link homes and businesses.

While DigitalC continues generating revenue to support digital equity programs, the conversation concludes with Chris and Joshua emphasizing the importance of prioritizing people over profit. They emphasize the need to serve the unserved and underserved populations and comprehensively address the digital divide.

This show is 38 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 see other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Municipal Broadband in Colorado Big Winners In Latest Wave Of State Grants

Colorado has long been home to some of the most innovative municipal broadband projects in the country. That trend has only accelerated with last year’s voter-approved elimination of municipal broadband restrictions, and it’s now being buoyed by a massive new wave of state grants that should further expand affordable broadband to long-neglected parts of the state.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis recently announced the first of multiple broadband investments using stimulus funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF) program. The CPF is funded by $10 billion made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and is a key part of the state’s goal to bring affordable broadband to 99 percent of Colorado residents by 2027.

According to the Governor’s office, the state just authorized $113 million in CPF funds on 13 projects that will bring fiber service to nearly 19,000 homes and businesses across Colorado. State officials say the funding will be heavily focused on projects in the South and Southwest portion of the Centennial State, where connectivity needs are greatest.

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Colorado State Seal

The Colorado Broadband Office says it received 112 applications asking for more than $642 million in broadband funding across the state–five times greater than the allotted awards.

Navigating the Broadband Horizon and ACP's Future - Episode 584 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Blair Levin, the former executive director of the National Broadband Plan, to discuss the landscape of broadband and telecommunications and its significance moving into 2024.

Chris and Blair delve into discussions on the FCC and its imperative to address critical issues such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the fate of Title II. 

The conversation continues with topics on the potential for industry mergers, the evolving landscape of fixed wireless and fiber networks, and the persistent challenges associated with achieving universal service and bridging the digital divide. It concludes with touching upon the critical fiber-copper divide and underscores the importance of local government initiatives in expanding fiber networks.

This show is 44 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 or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Idaho Greenlights $120 Million For 18 Broadband Projects

The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board (BAB) has greenlit $120 million in broadband grants from the Idaho Capital Projects Fund (CPF) to fund 18 different broadband projects across Idaho, delivering affordable fiber access to 30,000 homes and businesses, many for the first time.

It’s the latest round of funding made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, passed in 2021 to help soften the impact of COVID. A breakdown of the finalized awards indicate 18 different providers received funding from BAB, including a $9.8 million award to Comcast and more than $11 million to Ziply Fiber.

“These awarded projects are another important step in furthering the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board’s mission of ensuring that all Idahoans have access to affordable and reliable internet,” Idaho Broadband Advisory Board Chair, Representative John Vander Woude said in a prepared statement. “These projects will connect homes and businesses across the entire State.”

Seven of the award recipients were individual counties pursuing varying options to shore up access to largely rural unserved and underserved residents.

Broadband Labels Help Transparent Providers Show Off Their Service

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently published rules for its broadband nutrition label provides a partial victory for Internet subscribers and a potential marketing advantage for fiber providers – but may pose a challenge for wireless Internet service providers.

Though the new rules were finalized in October, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have until April 10, 2024 to publish their broadband labels, though providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines have until October 10, 2024.

Just like the label on the back of packaged food in grocery stores helps shoppers understand the nutritional value of the food they are buying, the broadband label requires ISPs to disclose their broadband pricing and service information (at the point of sale) to help potential subscribers make informed decisions about the service they are signing up to get.

Transparency on Display

Though the label is just another red-tape requirement for some providers, others see it as an opportunity to show off the quality of their services.

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Google broadband nutrition label

Google Fiber, for example, published via social media and its blog a preliminary version of its own broadband consumer label, just days after the final rule was published, and six months before its deadline.

Building and Expanding a Tribal Network for Northern Idaho and Beyond - Episode 578 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Valerie Fast Horse, the IT director and creator of Red Spectrum for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. Red Spectrum, a broadband company, serves the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in North Idaho, covering nearly 380,000 acres of land.

Chris and Valerie discuss the history of the Red Spectrum and the efforts made over time to upgrade its infrastructure and continue to offer residents high-quality connections – transitioning from fixed wireless to fiber-to-the-home projects.

Valerie also discusses how Red Spectrum has expanded its services over the years, including subscribers both inside the reservation and areas outside of it, as well as barriers to expanding and the challenges of competition from other providers such as Starlink.

Despite the challenges they face, Red Spectrum continues to grow its network and uphold its high customer satisfaction rate, even bringing back subscribers who originally left for Starlink. Chris and Valerie conclude the conversation by emphasizing the importance of personal interest, community involvement, and local talent in building small, successful community broadband networks.

This show is 22 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 or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.