Content tagged with "FTTH"

Fiber to the Home

Displaying 1 - 10 of 1167

The Power of Empowering Marginalized Communities - Episode 600 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

On this 600th episode of the podcast, Chris is joined by Dwayne Douglas from The Quilt Corporation, who shares his journey of bridging the digital divide in marginalized areas of Chicago by using innovative solutions like mesh Wi-Fi and point-to-point fiber connections to empower residents with essential digital skills and access.

Dwayne discusses the importance of digital literacy and engagement, emphasizing how these efforts can unlock numerous opportunities for personal and community growth. From acquiring dark fiber to partnering with local organizations, The Quilt Corporation is pioneering ways to make broadband more accessible and affordable.

This conversation highlights the critical need for sustainable, community-driven approaches to digital equity. Tune in to learn about the challenges and triumphs of implementing technology in neighborhoods that have long been overlooked.

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 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.

UTOPIA Fiber Welcomes Three Additional ISPs, Expands to 18 Partner ISPs

Data has long proven that open access fiber networks result in faster, better, and more affordable broadband service in the markets where they operate. Nothing has proven this more consistently than Utah-based UTOPIA Fiber, an inter-local agency collaborative venture that just added three additional partner ISPs.

With the three more independent ISPs joining the network, 18 different providers now offer affordable fiber service to residents in the 21 cities UTOPIA serves.

“After a careful vetting process through an RFP, WiFi Pros (Bountiful City), ETS (Layton City), and Fusion Networks (Salem City) were invited to join the UTOPIA Fiber network, effective May 1, 2024,” the organization said in a recent announcement.

The ISPs that compete over the UTOPIA open access fiber network offer a variety of different speed and pricing options, and its three new partners are no exception. Most of the pricing is dramatically lower than what’s generally been made available in U.S. broadband markets – including well developed major metropolitan markets like New York City.

Schoharie County, NY Eyes New Fiber Network On Back Of $30 Million Grant

Schoharie County, New York officials have applied for a $30 million New York State ConnectALL grant with the hopes of eventually building a $33 million, county-wide fiber network.

The shape and scope of the network has yet to be determined, but the county hopes to build a network that brings affordable access to the rural, agriculture-heavy county.

“Schoharie County applied for the grant under the NYS MIP program on April 19th, in an attempt to bring high speed broadband access to every premise in the county,” Deputy County Administrator Jim Halios told ILSR.

Notoriously over-optimistic FCC data currently states that Schoharie County enjoys 92 percent broadband coverage county-wide. In reality, broadband access in the county is largely dominated by a monopoly enjoyed by Charter Spectrum, which was nearly kicked out of the state entirely in 2019 for misleading regulators and failing to evenly deploy access.

As ACP Collapses, Newark Takes The Lead On Affordable Access

Newark, New Jersey is taking full advantage of its city-owned fiber network to expand affordable broadband access – with a particular eye on helping the city’s least fortunate.

Driven by past successes with city-owned fiber and Wi-Fi, Newark has announced the city is significantly expanding the availability of $20/month broadband service to numerous Newark Housing Authority (NHA) apartment buildings.

Newark Housing Authority logo

This latest partnership with Adrena leans heavily on Newark Fiber, a 288-strand city-owned fiber network. Launched in 2016, the network has steadily been expanded to connect anchor institutions. But it’s also been a cornerstone of the city’s efforts to revitalize and assist many lower income – and long neglected – Newark neighborhoods.

“Nine percent of Newark families lack computers and about 20 percent of the city doesn't have an in-home broadband connection,” Aaron Meyerson, Chief Innovation Economy Officer & Director of Broadband for the City of Newark told ILSR.

Hoopa Valley PUD General Manager Honored As Connectivity Champion

With Linnea Jackson at the helm of the Hoopa Valley Tribe Public Utilities District (HVPUD), Hoopa has become a bellwether of a new wave of Tribally-owned and managed broadband networks.

Over four short years, the Tribe has stewarded a wireless license from the FCC, launched a sovereign wireless network for its people, and undertaken massive fiber infrastructure builds funded by a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government and a historic partnership with the state of California.

Linnea’s work has transformed a story of a digital divide fueled by the disinvestment of a massive monopoly telephone company into one of connectivity through Tribal sovereignty, community power, and local self-reliance.

In recognition of her contributions in the field of Tribal broadband, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) named Jackson the recipient of the Connectivity Champion award at our 50th Anniversary celebration last week, alongside inspiring leaders in community composting, energy democracy, independent business, and Internet access.

Hoopa Valley PUD General Manager Linnea Jackson

“It’s been an absolute honor,” Jackson said as she accepted the award, “to help lead these infrastructure projects, which will build a legacy and help the next generation, not only with education, but telemedicine, communications… basic ways of life that are reliant on access to high speed Internet that is reliable and robust.”

Cabot, AR Deploys 10 Gbps Capable City-Owned Fiber Network

Construction on a new city-owned fiber network in Cabot, Arkansas will soon bring affordable broadband access to every city resident and business in the state’s “Strawberry Capital.

The network comes courtesy of a partnership with Connect2First, the broadband subsidiary of local power company First Electric Cooperative Corporation, which continues to build on its significant presence across Arkansas.

Bowl of Strawberries

According to a city announcement, the $20 million network will deliver fiber access at symmetrical speeds of up to 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) via an XGS-PON network passing all 26,000 residents and businesses of Cabot using 220 miles of fiber.

The network, which is expected to take several years to complete, will be built on the back of resident-approved bonds, and won’t utilize state or federal funding.

Construction has already begun in this suburb of Little Rock where city officials say hundreds of residents have already been connected.

In announcing the beginning of construction, Cabot Mayor Ken Kincade said:

“This unique project is the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas where a municipality has built its own fiber network and partnered with a local ISP to provide high speed fiber optic internet services to its constituents. The City of Cabot is thrilled to be able to leverage the proven expertise of Connect2First, who already had a presence in the city and was currently serving surrounding areas.”

Joplin, Missouri Strikes Partnership With ALLO Fiber To Beef Up Local Broadband Competition

Joplin, Missouri has announced a new broadband public-private partnership (PPP) with ALLO Fiber that should help boost competition and lower rates across the city of 52,000. The partnership poses a particular challenge to regional cable giant CableOne, which currently enjoys a monopoly over broadband access across a whopping 83 percent of the city.

Outside of a $5 million city contribution to harden key city infrastructure, the network will be entirely built, funded, owned and operated by ALLO.

The origins of the project extend back to 2019, when the city first began exploring efforts to modernize Joplin infrastructure under a “smart city” initiative. By 2021 the city had hired Finley Engineering and CCG Consulting to conduct a feasibility study exploring the technical and financial details of a city-owned fiber network.

Fed up by expensive and substandard broadband access and buoyed by public support, in 2022 the city issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a partner that would help build such a network. The city received nine responses to the RFP. Last month, the Joplin City Council approved an ordinance by a vote of 8-1 selecting ALLO as the city’s primary partner.

Downtown Joplin

“ALLO really stood out because they were coming to our market without asking us for any assistance,” Troy Bolander, Joplin’s head of Planning, Development & Neighborhood Services, recently told Fierce Network.

RantanenTown Ranch Turns Into Broadband Playground For Tribal Broadband Bootcamp 11

TBB11 marked an exciting development for the Tribal Broadband Bootcamps.

For this latest and newest iteration, TBB co-founder Matt Rantanen graciously permitted TBB to make a permanent fiber ring installation on his property, RantanenTown Ranch, last month. While TBB will continue to host bootcamps in partnership with Tribes in different regions of North America, the launch of this permanent broadband practice arena allows TBB to chart a new path towards even more in-depth and hands-on training.

Here is a photo-filled look at the many days of prep and three days of immersive programming that went into making it happen.

“Just the fact that we saw the fiber model in its open aspect with all the drama and issues right in front of us; my friends is the best learning methodology!” – TBB 11 Attendee

TBB 11 Photo Essay Matt Pull

Ready or Not

Of course, building an entire, operating fiber network across RantanenTown Ranch was a massive undertaking that involved a lot of prep work.

TBB 11 Photo Essay Spencer Matt Tractor


Chicopee Massachusetts Takes ‘Fiberhood’ Approach To City Fiber Rollout

The city-owned utility in Chicopee, Massachusetts has adopted the “fiberhood” approach to broadband deployment as it expands affordable access to city residents under the Crossroads Fiber brand.

Frustrated by a lack of affordable broadband access, the city tabbed Magellan Advisors in 2015 to conduct a feasibility study into city-provided broadband access. After a survey showed a majority of city residents would support such an initiative, Chicopee Electric Light launched Crossroads Fiber in the summer of 2019 in a small pilot area.

Since then, the utility has been expanding access steadily to the rest of the city – joining a growing roster of city-owned utilities that are responding to broadband market failure by taking matters into their own hands.

Chicopee MA downtown

Planners have broken down the city into 144 different fiberhoods, where user interest gleaned from the project website dictates which parts of the city see deployment priority. It’s an approach some communities adopt to finance network construction without having to rely on tax revenues or loans. For Chicopee the estimated cost to build a fiber network that reaches all 55,000 residents is between $30 and $35 million.

Municipal Broadband Provider Whip City Fiber Serves Up Win “For Everybody”

With Big Telecom’s assault-on-competition campaign as loud (and misleading) as ever, a small municipal broadband utility in Massachusetts is quietly showcasing one of the many reasons why building publicly-owned, locally controlled broadband infrastructure is gaining in popularity, racking up awards, and earning high subscriber satisfaction rates in communities across the nation.

With an eye on keeping local dollars close to home for community investments, last week the Westfield City Council voted to approve an $11.1 million bond for a new athletic track and field at the local high school, thanks to the success of Westfield Gas & Electric’s broadband subsidiary Whip City Fiber. And though the return on investment may not be as eye-popping as the $2.7 billion Chattanooga's municipal network, EPB Fiber, has reaped in Tennessee, Westfield officials hailed the community investment as a “huge moment” for local residents.