[Davisgig] Recently in Community Networks... Week of 1/26

Christopher Mitchell christopher at newrules.org
Tue Jan 26 09:29:59 PST 2016

*Recent Stories from MuniNetworks.org - a project of the **Institute for
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Grassroots Springing Up In Holyoke, Massachusetts
Thu, January 21, 2016 | Posted by hannah

For years, the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts, has built up a treasure
trove of fiber which the municipal buildings use to connect to the
Internet. Now, some residents want to share in the bounty. The newly-formed
Holyoke Fiber Optic Group plans to drum up grassroot support for a
fiber-to-the-home (FTTH <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term13>)
project to bring high-speed Internet to the 40,000 residents of Holyoke.

The group recently spoke with members of the city utility and are now on
their way to the mayor's office in an effort to bring better connectivity
to the city. The meeting with the mayor's office is scheduled for next
Holyoke Fiber Optic Group aims to form an exploratory committee of
community stakeholders to dive into the possibility of a FTTH project

*Grassroots Effort*

The group formed in November of 2015 and hosted its first meeting in early
December. Members highlighted their frustration with the lack of access to
high-speed Internet and pointed to the April 1999 Master Plan for the city.
It specifically stated the need to capitalize on the fiber available.

... Get the Full Story on Holyoke's Consideration Here ...

Urban Renewal In Bozeman: Fiber Required!
Wed, January 20, 2016 | Posted by hannah

Bozeman, Montana, continues to move forward toward a future of fiber optics
connectivity. Last we checked in, the community had formed a nonprofit
Bozeman Fiber, to own and operate the community network, had started tosecure
private funding
and were well on their way to their end goal.

City leaders have now approved an update to the Downtown Bozeman Urban
Renewal Plan to allow Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a way to fund the
project. This is an important step to ensure that the fiber infrastructure
project maintains a sustainable funding source.

*Amending the Plan*

Ten years ago the city adopted an ordinance creating the Urban Renewal Plan
and the TIF districts. The plan uses 9 principles to guide the development
and growth of the community. City leaders approved amendments to the
ordinance this past December to better prioritize the current needs of
businesses and residents.

... More on the Financing and Context Here ...

Rural Kansas Cooperative Continues Fiber Network Expansion
Fri, January 22, 2016 | Posted by ternste

In July, the Columbus Telephone Company (CTC), a cooperative in rural
Cherokee County, Kansas, announced
<http://columbus-telephone.com/ctc-expands-network-to-pittsburg-ks/> plans
to expand its fiber-to-the-home network to the nearby city of Pittsburg.

When CTC built <http://columbus-telephone.com/about-us/our-history/> the
fiber network in 2004, it was the first 100% fiber-optic
<http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term10>network in the state. This
expansion marks the first time the coop has expanded outside Cherokee
County, located in the southeast corner of the Sunflower State.

*New Branding for New Expansion*

Last year, CTC announced the creation of Optic Communications, a new brand
the company started to expand beyond their original footprint. The news of
the expansion to Pittsburg comes after the network’s first expansion
project last year. They built
<http://columbus-telephone.com/ctc-announces-further-network-expansion/> a
fiber-optic ring that now links together Cherokee County’s three major
cities: Columbus, Galena, and Baxter Springs. The coop has also
acquired Parcom,
LLC <http://parcomllc.com/>, the leading Verizon retailer in the region.

... See the Rates and Additional Information Here ...

Full Speed (and Price List) Ahead for the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority
Sat, January 23, 2016 | Posted by hannah

After a rocky start and a long period of transition
the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority <http://highspeedroanoke.net/> in
Virginia is preparing for the years ahead. Hoping to snag schools,
hospitals, government offices, and Internet carriers with their
prices, theBroadband
Authority just released
proposed rate structure.

They expect to complete construction of five major sections of the fiber
network by early March. Starting in mid-April, customers will have service.
The proposed rates are as follows:

... See the Rates and Watch a Video Here ...

Minnesota's Arrowhead Region Points to High-Speed Internet
Tue, January 19, 2016 | Posted by hannah

Welcome to high-speed Internet on the Iron Range! This past fall, the
Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) completed a multi-year project, a
fiber optic network spanning nearly 1,000 miles
on Minnesota’s north shore.

The project, the Northeast Fiber Network, connects public buildings
such as health care facilities, community libraries, colleges and
universities, tribal facilities, and government offices. The fiber provides
the opportunity for next-generation connectivity in many unserved and
underserved areas of eight counties
St. Louis, Cook, Lake, Pine, Itasca, Koochiching, Carlton, and Aitkin. It’s
exciting to see this rural project finally come to fruition.

... We get to the Point in our Story Here ...

Education Week Shines Light on Rural Schools' Plight
Mon, January 18, 2016 | Posted by hannah

A recent series of in-depth articles from Education Week brings to light a
persistent aspect of the digital divide: the lack of fast, affordable,
reliable connectivity in rural schools. Throughout the country, schools
struggle to pay exorbitant fees for aging copper networks. Teachers and
students are cut off from digital learning opportunities as whole regions
fall farther behind. Education Week brings these issues to the forefront -
and community-owned institutional network
<http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term15>s could be the answer.

The Education Week articles describes the harsh impact of these grim
statistics. The nonprofit EducationSuperHighway found that for rural
schools, the median price for connectivity is more than double
of urban or even suburban schools. Although the number of students without
access to sufficient bandwidth <http://muninetworks.org/glossary/1#term2> has
been cut in half since 2013, at least 21 million students do not have
access to adequate connections.

... Read our Full Story Here ...

Community Broadband Media Roundup - January 25
Mon, January 25, 2016 | Posted by Nick <http://muninetworks.org/users/nick>


Huntington Beach, Calif., considers offering broadband as a utility
Anthony Clark Carpio, GovTech


Colorado should let communities decide on broadband options
Karen Sheek, David Romero and Dennis Coombs, The Denver Post

Most connected community
Steamboat Today Editorial Board

The project ushers in a new era of connectivity for local institutions and
could also open up new opportunities for local Internet service providers
to use the new fiber to improve and expand private broadband service.

In our opinion, there’s not anything that can have a bigger impact on our
community’s future than having better broadband service.

... Read the Full Community Broadband Media Roundup Here ...

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