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Tech, telecom, media, and consumer rights reporter at TechDirt, Motherboard, Verge, and ILSR. Helped build DSL Reports.
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The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) is slated to receive more than half a million dollars in Covid-relief funding from the state of Utah. The funding will help the NTUA expand fiber and wireless access to part of the 27,425 square mile Navajo Nation, improving access at Navajo anchor institutions and some of the nation’s 173,000 residents.
NTIA Rejects Grafton County, New Hampshire Bid, Officials Seek Other Funding for Middle Mile Network
One way or another, Grafton County, New Hampshire is lining up funding to build a massive new middle-mile network county officials hope will drive broadband competition—and more affordable fiber—into long underserved New Hampshire communities.
Lexington, Tennessee is the latest U.S. city that will soon see the expansion of more affordable fiber thanks to the city-owned utility, Lexington Electric System (LES). LES’ recent $27.49 million state grant award will be the backbone of a new initiative that will both improve the utility’s electrical services, and deliver a long overdue dose of broadband competition to the area. The plan is deploy over 2,100 miles of fiber to bring high-speed Internet access to 22,000 residents across Henderson, Decatur, Benton, Carroll and Hardin counties that already receive electricity service from the utility.
Lehi City, Utah has broken ground on its new citywide fiber optic broadband network. The network, which city leaders say should take somewhere around three years to complete, will be built on the back of Lehi’s Utilities Department, part of a growing trend of U.S. utilities using an historic infusion of federal funding to expand affordable broadband connectivity. The Lehi Fiber Network will operate as an open access network, meaning that multiple ISPs will be able to utilize the city’s new infrastructure, providing a much-needed dose of broadband competition to local residents and businesses alike. Five ISPs have already committed to providing service over the city-owned fiber.
In 2020, New York City officials unveiled a massive new broadband proposal they promised would dramatically reshape affordable broadband access in the city.
Instead, the program has been steadily and quietly dismantled, replaced by a variety of costly half-measures that critics say don’t solve the actual, underlying cause of expensive, substandard broadband.
Last November the LA County Board of Supervisors quietly and unanimously approved a project that could dramatically reshape affordable Internet access in the largest county in the United States. The newly approved plan first aims to deliver wireless broadband to the 365,000 low-income households in Los Angeles county that currently don’t subscribe to broadband service, starting with a 12,500 home pilot project. But the vote also approved a new feasibility study into a Los Angeles county-wide municipal fiber network.
Cox Communications recently grabbed headlines for an announcement that the company would be investing more than $120 million in Rhode Island to expand and upgrade its Internet infrastructure. But officials in the state say much of the planned deployments may not actually even be new.