Municipal Networks

The anti-competitive forces that foil speedy, affordable broadband

From Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Santa Monica, California, hundreds of communities in the U.S. have been able to provide consumers and businesses with affordable broadband over locally owned and controlled fiber and coaxial networks. But San Francisco, the epicenter of the digital revolution, can’t match the success of these smaller municipalities, many with far fewer resources and civic wealth. San Francisco is not alone.

For Tacoma, Broadband Competition is Just a Click! Away

The City of Tacoma (WA) is engaged in an effort to ensure that our public broadband network, Click!, continues to support our community well for decades to come. My colleagues and I recognize that we, like all American cities, stand on the front lines of efforts to achieve equity and opportunity. And, as broadband internet becomes a more critical foundational element of our economy and a vital tool for democratic engagement, our efforts must extend to ensuring it is deployed in a way that supports our efforts.

Baltimore City Council considers blocking any future sale of city's conduit system, possibly to encourage public broadband system

The Baltimore (MD) City Council is considering asking voters to block the sale of Baltimore’s 700-mile, century-old underground conduit system, a move supporters say could encourage a public broadband system in the future. The terra cotta system dates to 1898 and contains telephone, electric and fiber-optic cables. Owning the system leaves open the possibly for the city to create a public broadband network. Council President Bernard C.

A broadband agenda for the (eventual) infrastructure bill

What should be the broadband agenda for infrastructure legislation? Here are some key principles.

Technology Strategies for Municipal Fiber Broadband

Despite the tremendous innovation in fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks over the last decade, growing bandwidth demands from households and enterprise business applications are likely to exceed today’s Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) network capacity levels in the near future.

Municipal broadband internet: The next public utility?

Municial broadband initiatives across the country seem to be gaining steam as cities look to encourage equitable access — but pitfalls around cost and taxpayer risk remain. Despite many cities and counties looking to put together a municipal broadband initiative of their own, there remains strong opposition from telecom companies, as well as concerns over cost.

Mississippi electric co-ops look into funding opportunities to provide internet service

In Jan, Gov Phil Bryant (R-MS) signed off on a bill by the Mississippi Legislature that gave  approval for electric cooperatives in the state to provide broadband internet service. The Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, however, was just the first step. The co-ops must now find ways to fund such projects.  Michael Callahan, CEO of Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi, said getting the co-ops to expand into internet service will be a “tough process.” “We’re doing our due diligence,” he said. “We’re all looking at this, spending money on surveys, doing studies, talking to consultants ...

Georgia Senate passes small-cell wireless broadband bill

The Georgia state senate unanimously passed a bill Feb 25 aimed at making it easier for telecommunications companies to extend small-cell wireless broadband, the latest iteration of the technology, along public rights of way. Meanwhile, separate bills allowing Georgia's electric membership corporations to enter the broadband business, aimed primarily to increase broadband capacity in rural counties, also has cleared the House and won approval in a Senate committee.

How local government gets in the way of better, faster, and cheaper broadband

Many complain about the price of cable, but few realize that key culprits can be state and local franchising authorities (LFAs), whose taxes, fees, and surcharges on top of the basic price can account for 20 percent or more of the total price. Operators need to secure a franchise agreement to build and run cable service, and that can entail acceding to all types of demands from LFAs over and above the franchise fees that operators have to pay under federal law.

China Will Likely Corner the 5G Market -- And the US Has No Plan

China is planning to deploy fiber-optic connections to 80 percent of the homes in the country. What’s new about China's massive deployment of fiber, both in its own territory and in its global market along its planned Belt and Road, is that China is likely to permit only 5G equipment made by Huawei and a handful of other Chinese companies to connect to that fiber. China, not America, will be the place where new online services are born. Although the US came up with the idea of the internet, we don't have a sandbox to play in, a giant market in which to test new high-capacity services.