Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

September 2015

Broadband's Impact/Infrastructure

Digital New England Conference and Webcast Begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. ET with Obama Administration Telecom Officials

PORTLAND, Maine, September 28, 2015 – In the first significant conference following the release of the Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendations, top telecommunications officials from the Obama administration — including the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture — will be speaking on Monday in Portland at “Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders.”… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Worst-Connected U.S. Cities in 2014

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance today releases two new rankings of America’s “25 Worst-Connected Cities in 2014” — for all households, and for households with annual incomes below $35,000. Using data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) released last Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, NDIA ranked all 184 U.S. cities with more than… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Kentucky Deploys State-Wide Fiber Network Through Public Private Partnership with Macquarie Capital

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 21, 2015 - The lieutenant governor of Kentucky, a bevy of state officials and their private sector counterparts here celebrated the finalization of the deal to build a $324 million broadband infrastructure project. The project, KentuckyWired, is a public-private partnership (also dubbed a PPP) of the state and of the Australian financier Macquarie Capital. It is a 3,400-mile open access "middle mile" network that will span all 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In planning, financing and negotiating stages for nearly a year, the Macquarie project closed on September 3, 2015. Bonds are set to be issued and construction of the network - albeit in very early phases - has begun. When completed in 2018, the network will include six fiber rings around regions of the state, and fiber connections to at least one point in every county. The Kentucky Wired network was the highlight and toast of each of four days at the Broadband Communities economic development conference here. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen speaking at Broadband Communities conference in Lexington. [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Fiber Optics Now Seen as Default Technology Even for Deployment of Rural Broadband, Says FCC Official

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 16, 2015 - Fiber-optics is now the default mode for deploying high-speed internet throughout the country, even including rural areas, said the head of the Federal Communications Commission's office of strategic planning. "Everywhere the country [that] has been able to get an electric line, it ought to be able to get a fiber cable," said Jonathan Chambers, chief of the office, widely regarded as the FCC "think tank" for technological advancement. Chambers, in the kick-off presentation at the Broadband Communities economic development conference here, highlighted the widespread acceptance that everyone deserved broadband deployment at speeds significantly higher than even those put forward in the National Broadband Plan five years ago. This expectation for broadband at speeds upward of 25 megabits per second (Mbps), 100 Mbps, or 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), Chambers said, extended even to rural areas. Hilda Legg interviews Jonathan Chambers at Kentucky conference. [More...] Keep Reading

White House Launches ‘Smart City’ Initiative That Links Broadband Connectivity to Urban Solutions

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - A movement to make cities "smart" by using the power of broadband and information technology processing power is reaching critical mass, with the White House on Monday announcing a comprehensive initiative to support municipal efforts. Coinciding with the Smart Cities Week conference here this week, the White House released a 4,000-word summary of more than $160 million in federal research investments, leveraging more than 25 technology collaborations with local communities. The goal of these efforts? Tackling such key challenges, in the words of the White House, as "reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services." "Advances in science and technology have the potential to accelerate these efforts," read the White House statement. "An emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists, and companies are joining forces to build 'Smart Cities' – communities that are building an infrastructure to continuously improve the collection, aggregation, and use of data to improve the life of their residents – by harnessing the growing data revolution, low-cost sensors, and research collaborations, and doing so securely to protect safety and privacy." The launch of White House Smart Cities Initiative [More...] Keep Reading

Pell Center Report Emphasizes Continuing Role in Broadband for State Entities

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - State broadband entities and commissions continue to plan an important role in fostering economic development and digital learning, according to a recent report from the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. The report, "State-Level Broadband Policy: A Compendium of Resources and Approaches," catalogs some of the important capabilities and tools of the federal technology program dubbed the State Broadband Initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But the report, by Pell Center Adjunct Fellow Angela Siefer, also advances the discussion about state-level broadband resources by highlighting more recently discussed tools, including eRate funding, telecommunications modernization legislation, and ways to promote local infrastructure partnerships. Angela Siefer [More...] Keep Reading

Press Releases

Broadband Communities Highlights Impact of Internet on Economic Development with Kentucky Conference

Editor's Note: This week marks the fourth annual Economic Development Conference hosted by Broadband Communities Magazine. The roving conferences have moved from Southern Virginia to Chicagoland; from Western Massachusetts to -- this week -- Lexington, Kentucky. BroadbandBreakfast.com will be there, reporting on and analyzing the most significant developments to emerge from the event. The event will also be Broadband Communities' first event since the passing of CEO Scott DeGarmo last month. Below is the Chairman's Statement about the event. The agenda is available here; registration is available here Across America, hundreds of communities are seeking to acquire or develop advanced communications networks. Such networks, they believe, can drive and support simultaneous progress in multiple fields that are of critical importance to them, including economic development and global competitiveness, education, health care, public safety, transportation, energy, environmental protection, democratic engagement, and much more. In virtually every case, fostering robust economic development has ranked at or near the top of the list of considerations motivating these communities. [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

How to Find New Light Bulbs for the Internet Age: Parallels Between Electricity and Fiber-optics

Editor’s Note: Several months ago, Drew Clark's column from the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah, touched upon some of the important parallels between the most prominent infrastructure investment of the 20th Century - electricity – and the emerging essential fiber-optic infrastructure of the 21st Century. With increased discussion about the significant of the applications that run Gigabit Networks, including the upcoming Broadband Communities Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, it is reprinted here. SALT LAKE CITY — It's easy to plug a refrigerator, television, alarm clock or toothbrush into a wall socket. We forget the lesson that electricity became widely available only after a single application — the light bulb — caught the imagination and desire of the public. Electricity is history. Today we face the next-generation infrastructure: gigabit networks. Global visionaries here in Utah see the need for these communication networks, even as they struggle to explain the "light bulb" that will make it plain why a super-fast Internet network is as necessary as running water and a universal electric grid. 1538518 One of these visionaries is Glenn Ricart, an unassuming man who moved his family here from the East Coast 20 years ago. The late Ray Noorda recruited him as chief technology officer at Novell. A renowned technologist, Ricart set up the first Internet exchange point at the University of Maryland in 1986. Two years ago, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. Ricart's recent energies have been devoted to co-founding an ambitious venture known as US Ignite. Its goal is next-generation applications with "transformative public benefit." What are those? Of the 476 technologies submitted to US Ignite, none have yet emerged as the light bulb thatwill answer skeptics who believe a few megabits of connectivity should be enough to satisfy anyone’s need for Internet movies, music and email. They include real-time emergency response systems, air pollution monitoring, collaborative virtual reality surgery and analyses of traffic congestion. US Ignite is particularly keen on applications that advanceeducation and workforce, energy, health care, public safety, transportation and advanced manufacturing. In other words, said Ricart, “we exist to help cities become smarter, and help their citizens take advantage of gigabit networks.” [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

‘Lobbying for the Future’ Aims to Protect Innovation for Companies Yet to Exist

WASHINGTON, September 14, 2015 – The pro-innovation advocacy organization Lincoln Labs on Monday introduced a report, “Lobbying for the Future,” which is aiming to promote policies that will benefit the companies not yet in existence.  The report, co-authored by Derek Khanna, Aaron Ginn, Garrett Johnson, and Chris Adams, identifies these problems with with our existing… Keep Reading

Former Architect of National Broadband Plan Says That Every City Needs a Broadband Plan

September 14, 2015 - Every city should create a city-wide broadband plan of its own, said the former director of the National Broadband Plan, in wide-ranging speech touting four strategies useful for different types of city broadband plans. Speaking on Friday at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Officers annual conference in San Diego, Blair Levin of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the group Gig-U, said that every city should tackle four key strategies: (1) Getting fiber deeper into neighborhoods; (2) Using community WiFi; (3) Getting everyone online; and (4) Promoting innovative civic applications for broadband. Levin, the former architect of the Federal Communications Commission's broadband plan, crafted from 2009 to 2010, said that the United States was about the 20th country to adopt such a plan for the deployment of high-speed internet. Nearly 150 countries have one now. "With cities, we're where we were with countries in 2010. Several dozen have them," Levin said. "But now, such a plan is becoming table stakes for any city that wants its residents to be part of the 21st Century Information Economy." In his remarks, Levin addressed the pivotal role that Google Fiber has played in spurring the development of Gigabit Networks. Indeed, on Thursday, Google announced upcoming fiber-optic deployments in three new cities: Irvine, Calif., Louisville, Kentucky; and San Diego. He categories the types of cities, and they relative trajectories towards Gigabit Networks, as follows: "The first set of communities is those that either have or are likely to see Google Fiber enter. For these, the starting strategy is pretty simple. Accelerate to the extent possible, Google's entry." Whether or not Google comes, such cities will be well-situated for others, as well. Blair Levin [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

In Gigabit City Provo, Utah, a Startup Ecosystem Thrives in Good Soil and Deepening Roots

PROVO, Utah, September 11, 2015 – Utah is uniquely hospitable to entrepreneurship, and its deepening roots in software and search analytics have enabled it to become a significant technology hub, said Gov. Gary Herbert and a host of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and national journalists participating in the first annual Startfest here. The startup festival last week featured more than 200 speakers and panels, including CEOs or top executives from Domo, Qualtrics, Pluralsight, Maritz CX, MX, Oracle, Vivint and a score of VCs. “Utah, in a lot of ways, is a stronger and vibrant community than Austin, Texas; or Boulder, Colorado; and yet they get an insane amount of press,” said Clint Betts, the founder of the publication BeehiveStartups.com, which hosted the event. Timed to coincide with Provo's annual "Rooftop Concert Series," showcasing local bands, and the smartphone-focused Pocket Film Fest, the event also concluded with a Google Fiber-sponsored "hackathon" devoted to helping develop applications for Gigabit fiber connectivity. Cheerleader-in-Chief Gov. Gary Herbert "I see Utah rising like cream to the top," said Herbert, governor of the 33rd largest state since 2009, and who is running for re-election in 2016. He kicked off the panel programs on Tuesday, September 1, with a speech followed by a question and answer session with Betts. Embedded image permalink "That doesn't mean we don't have challenges, but we are on the right road and going in the right direction," said Herbert. Herbert said his job is being a cheerleader for the state: "Mainly, it is making people aware that if you invest in Utah, your chances of success are greater than elsewhere." [More...] Keep Reading

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