Sean Gonsalves

Six Community Broadband Networks

One might think this is the moment for community broadband networks. The truth is, locally-directed networks have been serving their communities for a long, long time. In discussing his administration’s plans for broadband, President Joe Biden noted that municipal and cooperative networks should be favored because these providers face less pressure to turn profits and are more committed to serving entire communities.

Initial BEAD Proposals and Five Year Action Plans Come Into Focus

The key for states to unlock their portion of the $42.5 billion in federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds is the submission and approval of their Five Year Action Plans and Final Proposal.

Massachusetts Broadband Coalition Is Formed With Focus on Public Private Partnerships

Representing 26 towns across Massachusetts from Cape Cod to Chelsea, an informal group of mostly town officials has formed the Massachusetts Broadband Coalition in search of a way out of a broken broadband market and to ensure everyone in their individual communities has access to high-speed Internet. The newly-formed coalition has recently started to meet monthly to share information about what kind of alternatives there might be or could be, to the big cable monopoly provider in their towns.

Digital Equity LA Summit Pushes CPUC to Ditch Priority Areas Map

As Los Angeles County officials work with community coalitions to improve high-speed Internet access in underserved communities across the region, the Digital Equity LA Summit focused on the challenges ahead: urging state officials to fix the broadband priority maps the state will use to target where to invest $2 billion in state broadband grant funds with the state months away from receiving over a billion additional dollars from the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Representing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) were Michael Mullaney, Preside

New York State Budget Bill Sets Table for Municipal Broadband

There were some concerns that certain language in New York’s proposed state budget would lock out municipal broadband projects from being able to capitalize on the federal funding bonanza contained in the American Rescue Plan Act and forthcoming money in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. However, the bill that was ultimately signed into law by Gov Kathy Hochul (D-NY) was amended and includes some golden nuggets for municipal broadband.

Michigan Moves to Limit Federal Funds for Municipal Broadband

With an unprecedented amount of federal funds to build broadband networks flowing into individual states, lawmakers in some states are doing the bidding of the big monopoly Internet Service Providers and potentially blowing a once-in-a-generation chance to invest in the locally-accountable infrastructure that offers the best chance to bridge the broadband gap for millions of families once and for all.

Illinois, New York Poised to Fumble Federal Broadband Funds

The big monopoly incumbent providers are aiming their lobbying efforts to influence state lawmakers as states funnel federal funds into state broadband grant programs. In January 2022, Illinois State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-IL) introduced legislation in the Illinois General Assembly known as the Illinois Broadband Deployment, Equity, Access, and Affordability Act of 2022 (SB 3683).

How American Rescue Plan Broadband Funds Stack Up in the States

With American Rescue Plan funds flowing into state government coffers, about a third of the nation’s 50 states have announced what portion of their Rescue Plan dollars are being devoted to expanding access to high-speed Internet connectivity. As expected, each state is taking its own approach. California is making a gigantic investment in middle-mile infrastructure and support for local Internet solutions while Maryland is making one of the biggest investments in municipal broadband of any other state in the nation.

Springfield Explores Municipal Broadband

Springfield (MA) took its first step to explore whether it will become the first of New England’s five biggest cities to build a municipal fiber-to-the-home network. City officials are in the process of issuing a Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study to explore if Springfield will control its digital future by meeting “the growing demand for reliable and affor

Two South Carolina Cooperatives Bring Broadband to Blue Ridge

Two utility cooperatives in South Carolina – one electric, the other a telephone co-op – have teamed up and are now cooperating to bring fiber-to-the-home Internet service to members living in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties. The Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative (BREC) partnered with WCFIBER, a subsidiary of the West Carolina Telephone Cooperative.