[Davisgig] Recently in Community Networks ... Week of 4/12

Christopher Mitchell christopher at newrules.org
Tue Apr 12 08:57:08 PDT 2016

*Recent Stories from MuniNetworks.org - a project of the **Institute for
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More Colorado Communities Shut Out State Barriers At The Voting Booth
Wed, April 06, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

Once again, local communities in Colorado chose to shout out to leaders at
the Capitol and tell them, *"We reclaim local telecommunications

*Nine more towns* in the Centennial State voted on Tuesday to opt out of
2005's SB 152. Here are the unofficial results from local communities that
can't be any more direct at telling state leaders to let them chart their
own connectivity destiny:

Akron <http://www.townofakron.com/>, population 1,700 and located in the
center of the state, passed its ballot measure with 92 percent of votes
cast supporting the opt-out.

Buena Vista <http://www.buenavistaco.gov/>, also near Colorado's heartland,
chose to approve to reclaim local authority when 77 percent of those
casting votes chose to opt out. There are approximately 2,600 people in the
town located at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks in the Rockies. Here is
Buena Vista's sample ballot

... Colorado Continues to Lead on Restoring Local Authority - More Details

Local Media Covers The MN "Donut Hole" Phenomenon: Video, Editorial
Fri, April 08, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

As Minnesota's Legislature decides on funding for the state's Border-to-Border
Broadband Development Grant Program
<http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/>, local
media is calling on state leaders to prioritize local connectivity in the
Capitol Chambers. This year, Governor Dayton's office is recommending
allocating $100 million to the program.

*Blended Is Better*

In the past, the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program has
granted funding to areas of only the greatest need, which has resulted in
Internet infrastructure deployment in very rural areas. That's great for
municipalities, businesses, and residents in those areas who certainly need
and deserve better connectivity. Towns where there is some coverage, such
as old DSL <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term9> networks, have
typically not qualified. As a result, rural areas of the state are
developing "donut holes" of inadequate connectivity. In the long term, this
could spell disaster for these towns because businesses have no reason to
locate in places where they can't get the Internet access they need for
operations. A blended approach will allow investment in both unserved areas
and areas where some networks already exist so centers of economic activity
can still compete with their neighbors.

... Watch the Video Here! Excellent Story! ...

Sweet Sixteen: Waverly Utilities Hooks Up First Fiber Customers
Thu, April 07, 2016 | Posted by hannah

This week in Waverly, Iowa, the local electric utility, Waverly Utilities,
hooked up the first customers for its new Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network
It’s been a long time coming for the town of 10,000 people.

*16 Years Ago: A Vision*

The community first had the idea back in 2000 when they voted to form a
municipal telecommunications utility after incumbent providers proved a
letdown.  Reacting to the vote, those incumbent providers improved their
networks a bit, so Waverly Utilities decided to hold off on building a
fiber network.

... More Details, Including How Many Pre-subscriptions They Have Here ...

Service Unavailable: The Failure of Competition - Community Broadband Bits
Podcast 196
Wed, April 06, 2016 | Posted by christopher

If you are paying close attention to discussions about broadband policy,
you may have come across Fred Pilot's reminders that competition is not a
cure-all for our Internet access woes across the United States. The blogger
and author joins us for episode 196 of Community Broadband Bits.

Fred Pilot's new book, Service Unavailable: America's Telecommunications
Infrastructure Crisis <https://store.bookbaby.com/book/service-unavailable>,
discusses some of the history behind our current challenges and proposes a
solution centered around federal funding and cooperatives.

We discuss the switch from telecommunications as a regulated utility, to
which everyone was guaranteed access, to a system relying on competition,
in which some people have many choices but others have no options. We also
discuss the merits of a national solution vs encouraging more local
approaches with federal financial assistance.

... Listen to the Show Here
... Read the Transcript Here

There's "MAGIC" In Westminster
Mon, April 04, 2016 | Posted by ternste

It was just last year when the City Council in Westminster, Maryland voted
to begin a partnership
private ISP company Ting Internet. Ting now delivers high quality Internet
access via the citywide, publicly owned fiber network.

A new collaborative initiative, facilitated in part by the still expanding
Westminster Fiber Network
is bringing new cultural opportunities and economic benefits to city
residents. “Tech Incubation” aims to give local students hands-on
experience exploring their interests in technology.

*Incubating Talent, Innovation*

For the first project within the Tech Incubation initiative, 15 students
from local high schools spent several weeks learning to create and operate
an actual temporary wireless network. The city then used the network for
its annual Celtic Canter and Downtown Irish Celebration
<http://www.westminstermd.gov/celtic> in March, providing attendees of the
celebration with unprecedented levels of bandwidth
<http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term2> and broadband speeds.

... Click Here to Magically Get the Rest of the Post ...

Sun Prairie Utilities' Pilot Project Shows Way to Better Connectivity
Sat, April 09, 2016 | Posted by hannah

Welcome back to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. This town has brought to light
stories of slack service from incumbent providers
the complicated decisions of community representatives
and the hopeful beginning of a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network

The City Council has just approved $16,000 to hire an engineering consultant
the estimated $27-35 million citywide plan.

*In the Pilot Project, So Much Demand!*

In July 2015, City Council approved the $624,000 plan for the pilot project
but several factors brought the actual cost up to about $653,000. The pilot
project area included the neighborhood Smith's Crossing, the Main Street
Corridor, and the TIF District 9 area.

... Many More Details Here ...

Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina: Local Leadership a Must!
Tue, April 05, 2016 | Posted by hannah

High-speed Internet access can bring new industries, reinvigorate rural
communities, and provide educational opportunities. We know the importance
of high-speed Internet, and no one should be left behind because of the
cost of service. In December, 44 city leaders joined together
 through Next Century Cities <http://nextcenturycities.org/> to push for
reform of a national connectivity program called “Lifeline”- among them was
Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

In February on NextCity.org, Mayor Roberts of Charlotte, North Carolina,
that it’s
the duty of local leaders to advocate for an end to the digital divide.

... Read the Full Story Here ...

Community Broadband Media Roundup - April 11
Mon, April 11, 2016 | Posted by Nick <http://muninetworks.org/users/nick>


Colorado towns keep voting down state ban on municipal broadband
Karl Bode, DSL Reports

9 Colorado cities vote Tuesday on municipal broadband Internet; pot also on
local ballots
Mark Harden, Denver Business Journal

County to study broadband possibility
Saja Hindi, Loveland Report Herald

Forty-four Colorado cities and counties joined several others last November
to allow their local governments to offer broadband Internet, including
Loveland, and Larimer County officials want to give their voters that same
opportunity. Nine other Colorado cities also asked voters for that option
Tuesday. Senate Bill 152, passed <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term20> in
2005, prevents local governments from engaging directly or indirectly in
broadband service unless voters repeal it locally.

"This ballot initiative is just to restore the county's ability to
facilitate the provision of these services in partnership with a public or
private entity or through the county itself," said Drew Davis, a business
analyst with Larimer County Public Works.

 ... Read our Full Community Network Media Roundup Here ...

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