Story 2016-11-24 22SQ5 Communities taking back their broadband destiny from big telecoms

Communities taking back their broadband destiny from big telecoms

by
in internet on (#22SQ5)
Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and others have created very favorable conditions for themselves, but in the fight for better broadband, more cities, towns, counties, and municipalities are building their own high speed networks. And many have been hugely successful. Sandy, Oregon became one of the first towns to start offering fiber internet without the help of a local power utility, and Madison, Wisconsin may become one of the first cities to build its own network and lease it to other operators.

There are startup internet service providers such as Ting and Brooklyn Fiber competing with incumbents. Rural power co-ops have found themselves well positioned to build fiber networks into sparsely populated areas without losing money, which was deemed impossible by big telecom companies who refused to invest in places without high population density. Even cities in states with legal barriers: Nebraska prevents cities laying their own fiber, so Lincoln built a conduit system—the tubes that actually hold the fiber—and is leasing that space to Allo Communications. Increasingly, these networks are being paid for with loans rather than federal government grants or taxpayer money, meaning the lenders see them as financially viable, long-term investments.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/communities-are-taking-back-their-broadband-destiny-from-big-telecom
Reply 7 comments

Lots of cities (Score: 2, Insightful)

by fishybell@pipedot.org on 2016-11-25 17:59 (#22YQ2)

Lots of cities go down this path to offer their own broadband. My hometown even provided basic cable access. They f'ed that up pretty badly, losing millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

Years later they decided to try again with fiber. Once again, they f'ed that up pretty badly, losing millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

They eventually gave up and handed the whole thing over to Google. That went fairly well. Comcast (cable) and CenturyLink (dsl) both started offering higher speeds for less. Everyone won.

Merely offering an alternative isn't any good. Offering an alternative that is at least as good, and preferably better, is required to actually cause the existing powers that be to compete.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-26 15:31 (#231G7)

Could be worse.
You could be getting NBN.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-27 04:34 (#2337R)

Or New Zealand's gigabit Gigatown, where you order it and get DSL speeds because the sales guy on the phone doesn't know they offer gigabit, and argues with you that they don't sell it.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-27 13:39 (#2347F)

Order via a web page? Select the speed?

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-28 03:55 (#236B7)

I was already hooked up, but the speed was slow than I had ordered. Really, the problem was that they kept arguing without actually trying to find out what was going on.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2016-11-29 11:15 (#23B8B)

Usual Telco crap. This is why people avoid Telstra.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 1)

by fishybell@pipedot.org on 2016-12-01 19:52 (#23NQA)

When I first got the city-provided power, it was fast-ish, but extremely flaky. Turns out the installer didn't understand how to polish the fiber.

After months of complaining — apparently by everyone — the city stopped hiring contractors and had their own people come out to each house and redo the connectors. It was pretty good after that.