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Washington State Removes All Barriers to Municipal Broadband

Date: 14 May 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Yesterday, following weeks of anticipation, State Gov. Jay Islee signed the Public Broadband Act (H.B. 1336), removing all restrictions on public broadband in the state of Washington, according to the bill’s primary sponsor, State Rep. Drew Hansen. This critical leap forward in Washington drops the number of states with laws restricting community broadband to 17. … Read More

Biden Administration Decides Cities Should Not Use Broadband Dollars for Broadband

Date: 13 May 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Biden Administration signed the American Rescue Plan Act, which included, among many other things, multiple sources of funds for broadband infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Treasury was tasked with writing the rules of how local governments can spend the various funds. The Interim Rule has been published and it appears to significantly limit local ability to invest in needed networks. … Read More

How Long Prairie, Minnesota and a Local Cooperative Partnered to Build a Citywide Broadband Network

Date: 6 May 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Tired of waiting for connectivity solutions to come to town, one Minnesota community has instead partnered with a local telephone cooperative to build a fiber network reaching every home and business in the city. In embarking on its journey to improve local Internet access six years ago, Long Prairie (pop. 3,300) ended up partnering with one of the most aggressive fiber network builders in the state – Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) – on a solution that meets local needs. The two finished a ubiquitous Fiber-to-the-Home build in 2018, with the cooperative now owning and operating the network. … Read More

Op-Ed in The American Prospect: Biden Proposes Government Actually Try to Create Broadband Competition

Date: 26 Apr 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a new op-ed, ILSR’s Sean Gonsalves and Christopher Mitchell reflect on the potential of billions of upcoming federal dollars to dramatically reshape our broadband infrastructure and promote competition, after decades of regulations which have favored monopolies and ignored broken marketplaces.… Read More

A Virginia Electric Cooperative is Building Broadband for Its Members

Date: 26 Apr 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Craig County, Virginia and the surrounding region is steeped in early American history. And now, thanks to the Craig-Botetourt Rural Electric Cooperative (CBEC), this corner of southwest rural Virginia has established a forward-looking outpost of Internet connectivity with the launch of a new Fiber-to-the-Home network. The first subscribers in Botetourt County already have the Bee Online Advantage as the co-op hopes to expand its high-speed offering across the seven counties in its 650 square-mile service area.… Read More

Franklin County, Ohio Aims to Address Digital Equity in Urban Areas

Date: 22 Apr 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Franklin County Digital Equity Coalition was borne out of the emergency needs presented by the pandemic, but has shaped up to be a good model for how to address the broadband issues facing urban communities across the country. After 11 months of meeting and planning, the coalition released a framework in March outlining its five pillars of focus: broadband affordability, device access, digital life skills and technical support, community response and collaboration, and advocacy for broadband funding and policy. As part of its efforts, the coalition also developed two pilot programs to increase broadband access in parts of the city that need it most.… Read More

Can We Be Local in a Digital World? — Episode 123 of Building Local Power

Date: 1 Apr 2021 | posted in: Building Local Power, MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Jess Del Fiacco is joined by Christopher Mitchell and Christopher Ali, Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. Their conversation focuses around the idea of what it means to be local during a time when more and more pieces of our lives are shifting online. … Read More

In Our View: Grid Disaster in Texas Leads to Open Access Soul Searching

Date: 26 Mar 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The disaster in Texas resulting from an electric grid that was deliberately left exposed and likely to fail in rare cold weather events has received a lot of dramatic coverage, as well it should given the loss of life and damage to so many homes and businesses. It also raised some questions regarding competition and designing markets. … Read More

New City-Owned Network Connects Oregonians to High Quality Internet Access

Date: 10 Mar 2021 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

HiLight — Hillsboro, Oregon’s (pop. 105,000) citywide Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network — has officially launched and begun connecting its first subscribers. After five years of consideration and planning, it’s an exciting moment, with hundreds of homes and businesses brought online over the last few months. … Read More

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