There hasn’t been any news in the broadband world the last few weeks. Just kidding. Here are some “morsels” for you to chew on:
- A local telco in Monticello, Minnesota (Bridgewater Telephone, child company of TDS Telecom) lost a suit against a city-built Fiber-to-the-Home network. (A project very similar to UTOPIA). The judge dismissed Bridgewater’s complaint of competition by a governmental organization. Apparently, the incumbent telco, Bridgewater, wouldn’t build a fiber network so the city had decided to bond and build their own. I thought this network was interesting because the goals of the network read a lot like the goals of UTOPIA:
- choice of service provider
- competitive rates
- local service
- local ownership
- economic development
- economic returns to the community
There is a site like FreeUtopia that is covering this network: http://www.monticellofiber.com/
- Some universities seem to be cutting back on POTS (plain old telephone) offerings to dorms because of lack of use.
- Cox and Time Warner were fined for implementing SDV and knocking CableCARD customers offline without proper notification.
- It also looks like BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) is dead. Manassas, Virginia where the flagship BPL network was deployed has been turned over to the city who will keep it around until about 2010. For all you amateur radio (PDF) operators out there this is good news.
- Apple is rumored to be working on a networked TV. That’s going to require a lot of bandwidth. In addition to normal TV functions, you could stream any content from iTunes like downloaded movie rentals, TV episodes on demand, etc.
- Business Week recently did an excellent piece called “The Digital Divide” that talks about just how important broadband is becoming in spurring business in areas that have it, and leaving those that don’t in the dust.
- President Bush signed the Broadband Data Improvement Act into law on Oct. 10. The bill will provide for improved data on the status of broadband deployment in the United States by forcing the FCC to make a couple of major changes to the way it puts together broadband information. This includes yearly metrics for “second-generation” broadband that can support full motion HD video and more granularity to for reporting of broadband broken down by ZIP+4 instead of just ZIP (as it is now). The bill also authorizes a program of grants to support public/private public partnerships to stimulate broadband deployment and adoption at the state level. I’m interested to know what this would mean for projects like UTOPIA. Thoughts?