[Davisgig] Recently in Community Networks... Week of 2/2

Christopher Mitchell christopher at newrules.org
Tue Feb 2 09:36:06 PST 2016

 *Recent Stories from MuniNetworks.org - a project of the **Institute for
Local Self-Reliance. Instructions for unsubscribing appear at bottom.  Send
feedback.  Forward Widely.*

Missouri Legislature Off to Another Anti-Muni Session: Pick Up Your Phone
and Call!
Wed, January 27, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

If you pay attention to state laws affecting municipal networks in
Missouri, you are experiencing an unsettling feeling of deja vu right now.
On January 7,Representative Lyndall Fraker
<http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx?district=137&year=2016> introduced HB
a bill much like last year's Senate anti-muni bill
Fraker is Chair of the House Utility Infrastructure Committee, where  the
bill is now awaiting a hearing, so it has a good chance of being heard
sooner rather than later.

*Preventing Partnerships to Maintain The Status Quo*

This bill would not only make it extremely difficult for local communities
to invest in publicly owned Internet networks, but would complicate and
delay public-private partnerships. A number of communities across the
country already own infrastructure and are exploring ways to partner with
private providers who want to use it to serve schools, businesses, and
residents. If a community wants to lower telecommunications costs or obtain
better services, this legislation would have them first jump through a
series of obscure, expensive, and cryptic hoops. This legislation creates
barriers that serve no purpose except to erect hurdles that discourage
local communities from finding better providers.

... Read our Alert on this Bill Here ...
  Shoot-Out Over the WiredWest: MBI Pulls Funding in Massachusetts Saga
Wed, January 27, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

Officials from WiredWest Communications Cooperative in western
Massachusetts spent years working with small towns creating a collaborative
plan to develop a regional fiber network. The deadline for participation
was, January 9th, a little more than a month away, and even though the
trail had been thorny, the path now seemed clear. Suddenly, the state
revoked critical funding, sending the carefully planned and negotiated
project into shambles.

*WiredWest Coop Born, Reborn, Ready to Ride*

More than five years ago, a group of small towns in Western Massachusetts
formed a communications cooperative that evolved into the WiredWest
Communications Cooperative Corporation <http://wiredwest.net/>. Their goal
was similar to that of any cooperative organization: use the collective
resources of the member towns to construct a much needed utility - a
fiber-to-the-home network (FTTH <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term13>)
- that could address a persistent problem for a group rural communities -
the lack of quality Internet access.

... Read on for Background on How WiredWest and MBI Came to this Point ...

Why Schools Need Big Bandwidth - Community Broadband Bits Episode 186
Tue, January 26, 2016 | Posted by christopher

The St Vrain Valley School District, north of Denver and including the
Longmont area, is transitioning from a shared gigabit network to dedicated
10 Gbps <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term14> links for schools. Just
what does it do with all that bandwidth
<http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term2>? School District Chief
Technology Officer Joe McBreen tells us this week in Community Broadband
Bits podcast episode 186.

We talk about why the need for so much bandwidth and the incredible savings
the school district has received from the municipal fiber network.
Additionally, we discuss how self-provisioning would have been the second
more cost-effective solution, far better than leasing lines from an
existing provider.

Toward the end of our conversation, we touch on how students get access in
their homes and what any business or manager needs to do to be successful,
regardless of what industry he or she is in.
See our other stories about Longmont here.

... Listen to the Show Here
... The transcript from this episode is available here

Hanover, New Hampshire, Taps New State Law for Network
Mon, January 25, 2016 | Posted by Scott

The town of Hanover, New Hampshire <http://www.hanovernh.org/Pages/index> (pop.
11,500), is considering building its own municipal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH
<http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term13>) network following the
enactment of a new state law that makes it easier for communities to take
on such projects.

Under the new state law
<http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2015/HB0486.html> (Chapter
240, HB486-Final Version), New Hampshire towns and cities can now establish
special assessment districts to finance telecommunications infrastructure,
expanding a long-standing statute. Specifically, the law now includes
“communication infrastructure” as among the types of “public facilities”
for which a special assessment district can be formed.

Under the expanded law, communities can finance fiber optic networks by
billing individuals who reside within the district for a prorated share of
the cost of installing that communication infrastructure.

... Read our Full Coverage of this Important Development ...

Solon Set to Save in Ohio: Big Plans for I-Net
Thu, January 28, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

Solon <http://www.solonohio.org/>, located in Ohio's northeast corner, is
looking to save approximately $65,280 per year with a publicly owned
fiber institutional
network <http://www.muninetworks.org/content/institutional-networks> (I-Net).
At the January 19 city council, an ordinance authorizing the Director of
Finance to request bids for the project passed unanimously

Cleveland.com recently reported
the city council is considering ditching its contract with Time Warner
Cable as the city moves forward with a traffic signal project. The project
would require streets to be excavated all over the community, a perfect time
<http://www.muninetworks.org/taxonomy/term/462> to install fiber connecting
8 municipal facilities. The publicly-owned network will connect buildings
such as the Solon Senior Center, the Solon Community Center, and three city
fire stations. The traffic signal project will cost $5 million and is
funded in a large part by a combination of state and federal grants
the city contributing approximately twenty percent of the total cost.

... Read our Full Story Here ...

Steamboat Springs Gets a Grant for Fiber for the Future
Fri, January 29, 2016 | Posted by hannah

Last we checked in
Steamboat Springs they had just finished a connectivity project. Now the
community is taking another step to improve local connectivity in this
northwest Colorado ski resort town.

The goal is to connect large community anchor institutions throughout town
with a fiber backbone which could become the basis for a larger network.
Several community anchor institutions have pooled their resources and
pledged $748,000 while also securing a matching grant to install 9 miles of
fiber across the small town of 12,000. Funding is in place, but the
agreement between the institutions must be finalized before sending out an
official request for proposals to find a company to install the fiber.

*Matching Grants & Community Connectivity*

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) intends to match the
community’s contributions towards the project. DOLA will provide $748,000
in grant money for the fiber backbone. According to Routt County Manager
Tom Sullivan in Steamboat Today
the fiber design will have splice points to allow a private providers to
provide last-mile connectivity to residents’ homes and businesses from the
fiber backbone.

... More Interesting Developments from Colorado Ski Country here ...

Are You From Tennessee? Your Opinion Matters!
Tue, January 26, 2016 | Posted by hannah

For the past several months, we have covered the plight of North Carolina
and Tennessee. These states have passed laws that prohibit local
governments from expanding beyond their municipal electric utility service
area to bring better connectivity to neighboring communities. Even though
nearby towns ask places like Chattanooga or Tullahoma to provide services,
they are prevented from doing so.

Today we bring to you this news story from Anderson County, Tennessee.
Local officials are encouraging residents to tell the state about their
horrible connectivity. With a bill in the state legislature
remove the restriction and the state embroiled in a court case
challenge the FCC's decision to roll back the state barrier, local
governments are using the survey to connect people with lawmakers.

... See the Rest of the Story and Video ...

#RightToConnect Twitter Town Hall Archive Now Available
Sun, January 31, 2016 | Posted by lgonzalez

If you were not able to attend the #RightToConnect Twitter Town Hall
January 21st, you are in luck. The good folks at the Center for Media
Justice campaign have collected some of the most memorable moments at
Storify <https://storify.com/mediaaction/righttoconnect-twitter-townhall>.

In addition to tweets from moderator W. Kamau Bell, memorable tweets from
elected officials such as FCC's Jessica Rosenworcel, Mignon Clyburn, and
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are on file to view. You can also link to
stories of participants captured on video and audio and check out research
material from organizers and participants.

... Listen to the Story Here ...

Community Broadband Media Roundup - February 1
Mon, February 01, 2016 | Posted by Nick <http://muninetworks.org/users/nick>


Mediacom sues to stop Iowa City municipal fiber build
Karl Bode, DSL Reports


Some telecoms, anti-government groups oppose new state broadband network
Tom Eblen, The Lexington Herald Leader

 ... Read the Full Community Broadband Network Media Roundup here ...

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