Clueless Think Tank Doesn't Get It

The Heartland Institute earns major jeers for calling municipal communications networks "a lesson in how governments waste taxpayer money." How little they get it! They don't understand that municipal communications networks lower costs, increase competition, raise speeds, and are an engine of economic development. I suppose we can't expect any better from an organization opposed to Net Neutrality and in support of state-wide cable franchising. Boo! Hiss! Throw the bum off the stage!

(See full article.)

Loma Linda Fiber Offers Great Payback

We already mentioned Loma Linda's venture into fiber optics. Now a blogger has crunched the numbers and shown that the project will be fully repaid within 10 years. This says nothing of the indirect economic benefits of such a system either. As much as the established players want to pull out the "boondogle" boogeyman, Loma Linda sets them straight.

(See full post.) 

Jacksonville Fiber: A Threat to Incumbents?

Jacksonville, Florida has been building a large fiber ring to be used for city and other government services. The article, however, drops hints that the city might choose to do an FTTH project, something that would spook BellSouth and Comcast. Could Jacksonville's future hold high-speed broadband that blows DSL and cable out of the water? Let's hope so.

(See full article.)

Municipal Fiber Advocacy: Not Just for Utah

She's a stay-at-home mom and Illinois' loudest municipal fiber advocate. Meet Annie Collins, chairwoman of Fiber for our Future, the Illinois equivalent of FreeUTOPIA. She's gotten referendums on the ballot twice to get municipal fiber in her town, failing thanks to heavy spending by the incumbent providers SBC and (surprise) Comcast. Now she's making a run for County Clerk to bring more attention to her proposals.

Telcos beware: Utah isn't the only state willing to take on your monopoly.

(See full article.) 

"Municipal" WiFi Spreading Fast

Riverside is the latest city to join almost 300 others in jumping onto the "Municipal" WiFi system. I put that in quotes because it's nothing more than adding another monopoly to the existing landscape, albeit one that will offer a freebie service with ads. It doesn't address concerns about telephone monopolies, and it doesn't address concerns about cable monopolies. It won't even offer top-rate speeds, staying at well under what most cable companies will offer. Though WiFi is ubiquitous in laptops right now, the 802.11 spec is starting to reach the end of its lifespan as the industry tries to push WiMax harder and harder. Boston, Atlanta, and even a small city in Israel are also jumping onto the WiFi bandwagon. Ten years from now, they will have wished that they had invested in fiber projects like UTOPIA.

(See full article.) 

Caught in the Act: Telco's Broken Promises Spelled Out

This roundup at P2PNet gives us the breadcrumb trail leading to the telcos caught with their hands in the cookie jar. In less than a decade, they redefined broadband from 45Mbps to 200K, missed deadlines with no penalties, and grew their profit margins from 12% to over 30%. If this won't make you mad, nothing will.

(See full article.) 

WiMax Far From Ready

Reports from the latest WiMax World convention prove what most of us already knew: WiMax is a half-baked technology and nobody knows how long to leave it in the oven. Plenty of hucksters gave their pie-in-the-sky vision of high-speed wireless Internet wherever you go, but there's no finished products to back up the claims and a lot of doubt remains about interoperability. Will a WiMax device from Sprint play nice with Verizon? Nobody can answer that yet meaning just like with cell phones, you might have to chuck your product when changing providers.

Most reports place this Real Soon Now(TM) technology at a year out. Considering how many times we've heard that, I'm calling vaporware on this lemon.

(See full article.) 

US Broadband Penetration Still Lags

Japan, Korea, and now Denmark have higher rates of broadband penetration than the US with Japan starting to ramp up an ambitious fiber-to-the-premisis network to stay competitive. While the US share of the world broadband market increased to 36%, we'll be hurting for speed unless we all get onto the FTTP Express. Verizon has been rolling out their fiber system swiftly, but they have limited reach and the prices are still much higher than other countries. Even Slovenia has better Internet service.

It's a good thing Utah is ahead of the curve on fiber. UTOPIA currently accounts for a significant chunk of fiber users in the US and is bringing us the kinds of speeds and prices our European and Asian neighbors enjoy.

(See full article.)

Legislative Action: My Proposal to the Utah Technology Commission

I'm just starting on my journey to get the legislature to hear about the restrictions on UTOPIA, but there is already good progress. I've submitted some brief comments as a synopsis of why we need UTOPIA and why it is critical for us to expand it to unincorporated areas. Below are the comments I have submitted for the co-chairs of the Utah Technology Commission to review.

Continue reading