A New Vision For “Open-Access” Networks as Operating Systems for Cities

What if a single fiber network could serve every client segment in a community, bring competition and choice for internet and services all the way to the desktop, and form the foundation for securely modernizing other critical infrastructure. Cities across the U.S. need all of the following: ultra-fast and affordable internet for residents and small businesses; modern connectivity solutions for enterprises, hospitals, and schools; “smart” transit and mobility solutions; responsible energy creation and power grid optimization; and sustainable water systems.

Los Angeles School Board approves cellphone ban as Gov Newsom calls for statewide action

The Los Angeles school board set in motion a plan to ban cellphones all day on campus, saying the devices distract students from learning, lead to anxiety, and allow cyberbullying.

911 Consolidation

Network consolidation and centralization of networks is putting our broadband and voice networks in increased jeopardy. It’s easy to understand why carriers are in favor of the savings that come from consolidation, but it’s vital that we recognize and acknowledge the increased risk that comes as a consequence of choosing efficiency over other factors. One area of particular concern is 911 network consolidation.

All 51 New York City Council members back internet affordability program in new letter

All 51 New York City Council members have signed a letter imploring Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to renew funding for a vital federal program that’s helped nearly 1 million low-income households afford internet service in the city by taking up to $30 off their monthly internet bills. Money for the $14.2 billion program ran out in April, threatening the progress that had been made in closing the digital divide over the past couple years.

Expand affordable municipal broadband in Upstate New York

Access to affordable, reliable broadband may have once been viewed as a luxury, but there is no question that it has now become an integral part of our daily lives. Similar to how we view electricity and other utilities, internet access is essential in the 21st-century—critical for everything from remote work and job searching, to education and socializing.

President Biden Wants to Send Billions to Rural America, but This Must Happen First

President Joe Biden regularly emphasizes how the major pieces of legislation he has signed — the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act — expand opportunities for Americans. This is especially true for rural Americans. Those three laws appropriated billions of dollars — about $464 billion — for many projects that could be particularly relevant to rural communities, allowing them to dream of a different economic future.

New Jersey town plans municipal broadband network

The mayor of the city of Vineland (NJ) says residents of his city are underserved by currently available broadband services. And he’s moving forward with a plan to create a municipal broadband network. This has already sparked lobbying against the prospect by a dark money group called the Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation. According to the city’s initial proposal, Vineland suffers from high economic distress with some areas having unemployment rates as high as 9% and poverty rates as high as 19.2%.

Getting Aggressive with Broadband Regulation

The Federal Communications Commission recently voted to subject the Internet, once again, to legacy public utility telecommunications regulation originally designed for the old Ma Bell monopoly. While the FCC’s new rules do not push so far as to regulate retail rates (though they do regulate wholesale termination rates), the FCC’s rules open the door to potential retail rate regulation of broadband services by the states.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a vital Band-Aid, not a cure

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) broadband benefits are set to halt at the end of May, leaving millions of families with a difficult choice to make. For the sake of 60 million Americans who depend on ACP, the program must be renewed.

Communication union districts continue broadband rollout

Town by town, Vermont is getting connected thanks to communication union districts (CUDs) rolling out fiber cable. The Vermont Community Broadband Board says the work of the CUDs is moving the needle, with the vast majority of Vermonters getting access to fiber connection, something they say is a change from a year-and-a-half ago. Davis Brakeley calls his experience of trying to surf the web just over a year ago “the dark ages.” Brakeley is on the board of trustees of the Shard Villa Residential Care Home in Salisbury.