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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2017

Ohio State Lawmakers Look to Minnesota for Broadband Development Ideas

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ohio-state-lawmakers-look-to-minnesota-for-broadband-development-ideas/

Two Ohio State Senators are taking a page from Minnesota’s playbook to expand rural broadband connectivity. Democratic Sen. Joe Schiavoni and Republican Sen. Cliff Hite recently announced that they would be introducing legislation to create a grant program modeled after the Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program.

 

Putting Money Into It

The program is expected to expand broadband Internet access to approximately 14,000 rural Ohio households per year. State officials estimate that 300,000 homes and 88,500 businesses in rural areas of the state do not have access to broadband connectivity.

In Minnesota, the Department of Employment and Economic Development hosts the Office of Broadband Development, which administrates grant awards and management. The Ohio bill will place the responsibility for the program in the hands of their Development Services Agency (DSA).

Grants will be awarded of up to $5 million for infrastructure projects in unserved and underserved areas; the grants cannot fund more than half the total cost of each project. Recipients can be businesses, non-profits, co-ops or political subdivisions. The bill allocates $50 million per year for broadband development from the state’s Ohio Third Frontier bond revenues.

The Ohio Third Frontier is a state economic development initiative aimed at boosting tech companies that are in early stages and helping diverse startups. The Ohio General Assembly appropriates funds to the program, much like the Office of Broadband Development in Minnesota.

 

Minnesota Setting The Trend

seal-minnesota.jpgThis isn’t the first time politicians have looked longingly at Minnesota’s plan to build more network infrastructure in rural areas. Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, released an economic plan for his state this summer and addressed the need to improve connectivity in rural areas. In his plan, he suggested that the state adopt clear goals “[s]imilar to the legislation Minnesota has passed.”

His report inspired the Roanoke Times to look deeper at Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Program and the editors decided that “there are some useful lessons Virginia can learn from Minnesota.”

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Sep 8, 2017

Madison, Wis. Asks for Proposals for Building Citywide Fiber Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/madison-wis-asks-for-proposals-for-building-citywide-fiber-network/

Last year, Madison’s CIO Paul Kronberger spoke with Christopher about the city’s pilot project to bring better connectivity to several lower-income areas. They also discussed the community’s separate plan to deploy dark fiber infrastructure across the city. The city recently released its Request for Proposals as they seek a partner for deployment for a Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) network. Final… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Aug 28, 2017

Court Sides With Louisville: One Touch Make Ready Is A-Ok

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/court-sides-with-louisville-one-touch-make-ready-is-a-ok/

Louisville has overcome a tall hurdle in its efforts to bring better connectivity and more competition to the community through local control. On August 16th the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky supported the city’s one touch make ready (OTMR) ordinance. AT&T challenged the ordinance in court, but their arguments fell flat… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Sep 1, 2017

Cleveland Residents File Discrimination Complaint Against AT&T

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/cleveland-residents-file-discrimination-complaint-against-att/

Large, corporate providers like AT&T have to make shareholders happy, which is why they shy way from investing in regions where they don’t expect much profit. Routinely, those areas include sparsely populated rural communities and urban neighborhoods traditionally considered low-income. Often low-income neighborhoods also include a high percentage of people of color. Attorney Daryl Parks of… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Hannah Trostle | No Comments | Updated on Aug 22, 2017

FCC Considers Smart Phones Broadband Deployment. That’s Laughable.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/fcc-considers-smart-phones-broadband-deployment-thats-laughable/

Cell phones as a substitute for home Internet service? That’s what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggested in an August 2017 document. Buried within the Notice of Inquiry for the Section 706 Report, the FCC quietly proposed that mobile service could be considered broadband deployment. In a recent article, Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica dove into why that… Continue reading