Incentives designed to make rooftop solar feasible for a wider range of consumers are under attack nationwide, threatening new solar development as well as the consumers that already have rooftop panels. The staunchest opponents? Utilities who say, despite a growing body of research to the contrary, that rooftop solar hurts other ratepayers and their bottom… Continue reading
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The city of Ammon, Idaho, is building the Internet network of the future. Households and businesses can instantly change Internet service providers using a specially-designed innovative portal. This short 20 minute video highlights how the network is saving money, creating competition for broadband services, and creating powerful new public safety applications. We talk with… Continue reading
Isleboro, the Maine island community of 566, will decide in May whether or not they want to bond to build a municipal fiber network, reports The Working Waterfront. The network will be owned by the town who plans to partner with GWI to operate and manage it. Currently, about 2/3 of residents on the island… Continue reading
Arizona’s city of Mesa is one of the largest communities in the nation to benefit from the city taking role in ensuring conduit and fiber are available throughout the area. This week we talk wi… Continue reading
Like many states, Minnesota has a major metro area that generally has higher quality Internet access than non-metro communities. The Greater Minnesota Partnership, a coalition of businesses, chambers, nonprofits, and cities from across the state, have made improving Internet access a major priority in their efforts to influence the state legislature. This week, we talk… Continue reading
President Obama’s recent appearance in Cedar Falls infused adrenaline into the debate about local authority for telecommunications decisions. As a result, some of the media outlets from large cities are now coming out in support of local authority. The Editorial Board of the LA Times published an opinion on January 21st supporting the notion of restoring local authority in states where laws prevent community decision making.
The Times recognizes that rural areas will benefit most from reversing these restrictions, that the restrictions need to be removed for us to compete globally, and that there are numerous municipal networks that are up to the challenge of improving connectivity. The LA Times also recognizes the value of public-private partnerships in New York and in other places where local government has forged productive relationships with the private sector.
Editors at the LA Times boil it down to one tenet:
Regardless, the decision about whether a local agency should get into the broadband business should be left to the people who bear the risk — local officials and the people who elect them.
Senator Booker has taken the lead in introducing the Community Broadband Act to the U.S. Senate along with Senators McCaskill and Markey. We are thankful for their leadership on the issue. As part of their announcement, they included the following statements: “As Mayor of Newark, I saw firsthand the value of empowering local communities to… Continue reading
On January 14th, President Obama visited Cedar Falls, Iowa, to share his strategy to expand high-speed connectivity to more Americans, encourage competition, and galvanize economic development. Obama’s plan centers around community networks and he announced that the next step will be eliminating barriers in 19 states that usurp local authority to invest in publicly owned… Continue reading
When we started to hear rumors that the White House was investigating community owned networks, we were excited but not sure what to expect. I have to admit that seeing President Obama – the President of the United States – saying that Cedar Falls was smart to invest in themselves was much more powerful than… Continue reading
While at the Broadband Communities Economic Development conference in Springfield last year, I had the good fortune to catch a panel with Chris Merdon, the CIO of Howard County, Maryland. Howard County has become an Internet Service Provider, not just to itself, but to private firms as well. To improve Internet access for businesses, it… Continue reading