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With 46 of Connecticut’s Cities and Towns Planning a Gigabit Network, Deadline for Responses is January 13

in Broadband's Impact/Gigabit Networks by

January 12, 2015 – A total of 46 Connecticut towns have now joined a flourishing effort to build a state-wide Gigabit Network, and applications responding to the bidding request are due tomorrow, January 13, at 11 a.m. ET.

On December 19, 2014, state officials announced that 46 of Connecticut’s 169 towns – and representing more than half of the state’s residents — have joined the public-private effort to build a open Gigabit Network. Broadband Breakfast reported the news of the announcement, as well as further discussions with officials from the pioneering cities of New Haven, Stamford, and West Hartford.

“The response from our state’s towns has been overwhelming,” said Elin Swanson Katz, the state’s consumer representative. “I’ve heard over and over that municipal officials are frustrated with available internet speeds and the cost to their towns of upgrading internet networks. These 46 municipalities have made the decision to take control of the situation.”

Katz continued: “How do we get faster, cheaper, more reliable internet? Partnering with the private sector to examine the best way to build and finance these Gig networks is the first step in making them a reality in Connecticut.”

In part because of the increasing demand from the Connecticut cities — growing well beyond the three pioneering cities that issued the initial Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on September 15 — the deadline for responses was extended to January 13, at 11 a.m. ET. Information about the application process is available at http://ct.gov/occ and http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/PurchasingBureauOnline/index.asp.

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband usage, the universal service fund and wireless policy @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Kirton McConkie, based in Salt City City, Utah. You can find him on LinkedIN and Twitter. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com  and affiliated social media are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors. Clark brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband: job creation, telemedicine, online learning, public safety, energy, transportation and eGovernment. 

Broadband Roundup: White House and Wheeler Together, Cable Industry Group, and Commentary on NTIA Broadband Report

in Broadband's Impact/FCC/Gigabit Networks/Net Neutrality/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he and President Barack Obama agree in their opposition to paid prioritization, Multichannel News reported. Obama stated his objection to the practice during his remarks at an innovation forum in California on October 9.

Although the two haven’t discussed it directly, Wheeler said at a public meeting on Friday that his position on the issue has not changed. He pointed to the wording of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released back in May where he stated, “Prioritization that deprives the consumer of what the consumer has paid for would be commercially unreasonable and therefore prohibited.”

Division still exists among agency commissioners of the federal agency. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said in May that he does not see a “legal path for the FCC to prohibit paid prioritization or the development of a two-sided market,” either under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, or Title II public utilities regulation of the Communications Act.

Pai said he worries about five unelected officials deciding the fate of internet regulation and prefers Congress take action on this topic. Pai has openly supported efforts by the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s work on updating the Communications Act in light of emerging technologies.

Connecticut Cities Unite in Call for Gigabit Network

Government Technology reports on the development of a Connecticut Gigabit Network. The cities of New Haven, West Hartford and Stamford have come together to jumpstart the development of gigabit networks for business and public consumption. The three mayors have asked for other cities in Connecticut to join them in their effort to address the current problems of affordability and availability of high-speed networks in their respective areas, Government Technology reports.

The responses they get will help them to gather information about how their high-speed network will work and who will build it. The cities intend to develop private-sector partners for building and operating the infrastructure and network.

Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz told Government Technology, “If you have an open access model, hopefully you can reach out to low-income populations and bring the benefit to them, and give consumers choices. That’s what’s ideal about it. We’re also trying to avoid an ‘If you build it they will come’ mindset. The one thing that’s become very clear to us is there’s a lot of consumer education involved.”

NCTA Launches Onward Internet For Millennial Support

Non-profit net neutrality advocates Public Knowledge and Free Press effectively rally support behind their positions in recent months. Groups opposed to internet utility regulation are beginning to drum up support.

In the beginning of October, a group named Onward Internet started asking people what they saw the Internet in ten years, both through their website and at oversized comment boxes located in big cities along both American coasts.

Propublica reported on Oct 9 that the National Cable and Telecommunications Association was behind Onward Internet. Onward Internet’s website was updated to include their partnership with the NCTA, who they described as being “better known as the internet’s builders and including many of its content creators.” The NTCA is the principal trade association for the U.S. cable television industry and represents more than 200 cable program networks, equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

NTIA Report Highlights Gaps in Home Internet Use

A report released by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration found significant gaps in American home Internet use. Entitled “Exploring the Digital Nation: Embracing the Mobile Internet”, the five-year spanning report found that 72 percent of households in 2012 had in-home broadband, leaving 28 percent of American households without internet access at home.

The two top reasons for the lack of home Internet was the lack of interest or need (48 percent) and affordability (29 percent). The report also noted that the rapid adoption of mobile internet devices appears to be narrowing the digital divide among traditionally disadvantaged groups.

The Benton Foundation published a piece on Friday , October 17, dissecting  both the NTIA report, and an FCC report released on October 16 entitled “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2013.”

 

New Haven, West Hartford and Stamford to Announce Gigabit Network Initiative in Connecticut on Monday

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HARTFORD, Conn., September 12, 2014 – A major initiative to bring Gigabit Networks throughout Connecticut is scheduled to be announced here on Monday by mayors or deputy mayors of New Haven, West Hartford, Stamford, along with state legislative and executive branch leaders.

The broadband infrastructure initiative will be announced at 2 p.m. on Monday. Blair Levin, executive director of the non-profit broadband efforts Gig.U, is scheduled to speak at the event along with mayors.

The leaders “will announce a joint initiative seeking to increase access to ultra-high-speed Gigabit networks in their cities and throughout Connecticut, while reducing the cost of such networks for businesses, high-tech industry, universities, and homeowners,” according to a Friday press release.

The complete list of those scheduled to participate include:

  • Senator Beth Bye
  • Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz
  • New Haven Mayor Toni Harp
  • Naiara Azpiri, Vice President, Veoci, New Haven
  • West Hartford Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor
  • Charles Ward, CIO, private investment firm, West Hartford
  • Stamford Mayor David R. Martin
  • Ted Yang, MediaCrossing, Inc., Stamford
  • Dr. Yu-Hui Rogers, Site Director, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington.
  • Comptroller Kevin Lembo
  • Blair Levin, Executive Director, Gig.U
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