BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Here's my piece in the Deseret News, responding to information about the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency that simply isn't correct. I discuss why cities need to open up their thinking about using fiber as a utility, and why cities are going to be in the game for a long time yet to come.… Keep Reading
BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The Huntsville combination of open access and leased fiber is a model to watch! || Google Fiber launches in Huntsville, Alabama by leasing new municipal fiber network, from 9to5 Google: First announced over a year ago, Google Fiber is now live in Huntsville, Alabama. Alphabet’s internet connectivity division was able to launch its service… Keep Reading
BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: This development highlights that Google Fiber isn't done with fiber builds -- just exploring new methods and models with which to carry forward. || Google Fiber officially selects Louisville, KY to run its new gigabit play, from Tech Republic: Google Fiber has confirmed that the next city to receive its gigabit internet… Keep Reading
BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A new report from the Haas Institute raises the question that's been lurking behind the important-to-significant fiber rollouts over the past decade by Verizon, Google and AT&T: Are these providers cherry-picking their neighborhoods? This report drills deeply into AT&T's deployment. || Digital Divide in California, by the Haas Institute: Californians need high-speed… Keep Reading
BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: One of the most interesting questions in broadband infrastructure today centers around dry legalities like "dig once" and "one touch." This conflict in Louisville shows that Google still intends to stay in the battle, at least on the policy and legal front, vis-a-vis incumbents like AT&T. || Legal bills mount as Louisville… Keep Reading
Broadband Breakfast Insight: This article in the Charlotte Observer highlights the fact that, even when people want fiber, there are inevitably logistical and infrastructure challenges that need to be managed in a fiber-to-the-home build. Both Google Fiber and AT&T are impacted by the problem. Busted water mains are the biggest problem for Google and AT&T contractors,… Keep Reading
Broadband Breakfast Insight: We have no information on the veracity of this speculation, from last week's Fortune, but it is clear that the broadband ecosystem is in the midst of coping with Google's retrenchment from expansions in the fiber marketplace. -> Why Google Might Be Getting Ready to Dump Its Fiber Internet Service, Fortune.com Recent… Keep Reading
Broadband Breakfast Insight: Fiber is prevalent in the Utah broadband marketplace, both because of Google Fiber, and because of the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency. This helps push the speed upward on the state's connection speeds.-> Utah Internet Speed #2 in the Country and #3 in the World - Utah Broadband Outreach Center Utah is tied… Keep Reading
SALT LAKE CITY, October 19, 2015 - Utah has been leading the nation in many areas of broadband internet access and its proliferation, according to a report released on Wednesday by the non-profit Utah Foundation. "Utah’s history of investing early and its collaboration among many public and private entities has helped develop an infrastructure that can support the local business climate, including Utah’s expanding tech sector which is heavily reliant on high-capacity networks," reads the report, by Shawn Teigen, Christopher Collard and Robert Jordan of the foundation. "It is likely that future internet applications will require exceedingly high-speed internet, far beyond that which is available today. Preparing the infrastructure now may be prudent," write the authors. [More...]
LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon, October 14, 2015 - This suburb of Portland, a potential candidate for Google Fiber's Gigabit-speed internet service, has said it isn't willing to wait around for the search engine giant. At a city council meeting here on Tuesday night, elected officials in this city of 37,000 listened, questioned and debated between two proposed public-private partnerships that would result in the construction of Gigabit-speed fiber-optic infrastructure. Instead of sitting and waiting for Google, the city council members appeared inclined to move forward on a public-private project with city involvement. "There was a great buzz and excitement when Google announced" the possibility that it would come to Portland, said Councilmember Jon Gustafson during the session -- but the city hasn't wasn't seen any action since that time. Last year, Google announced possible expansion to Portland and five suburbs, including Lake Oswego. The company has made commitment, however. "Google is still at the vapor stage," added Chip Larouche, chief technology officer for the city. Speaking at the Tuesday meeting, he said that Google is "talking about how 'we might make you a promise.'" Instead, City Manager Scott Lazenby said that in June Lake Oswego put out a Request for Proposals to build their own Gigabit Network. The city received two responses from private companies, and one from the City's own Public Works Department. [More... Keep Reading
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
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. 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
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. [More...] Keep Reading
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. "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
Editor’s Note: This past week, Drew Clark’s column in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah, was on the "The zeitgeist of modern Provo: Jobs and a good quality of life." Click here for links to all of his Deseret News columns. PROVO — What do you get when you cross a thriving technology and startup community with what Gallup called "the best place to live in America"? That's the zeitgeist here in Utah County. It'll be celebrated with a new technology, business and cultural event here, dubbed Startfest, beginning on Monday, Aug. 31. And because of the still-coalescing cultural power of information and communications technologies, Utah as a whole is sending a message to the world: Citizens of a particular city or region are no longer necessarily forced to choose between quality of life and economic opportunity. [more...] Keep Reading
SALT LAKE CITY, April 24, 2015 - At 2 p.m. ET, please visit to watch the Utah Breakfast Club FREE WEBCAST "GigUtah: How Fiber Networks are Transforming Salt Lake City, Provo and Utah." Ask your questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #utahbreakfast. Keep Reading
Speakers for the Utah Breakfast Club and Broadband Breakfast Club Event 'GigUtah' From left to right, top to bottom: Devin Baer, Brock Johansen, Paul Cutler, Justin Jones, Nole Walkinshaw, David Shaw Keep Reading
The luncheon event will take place at the Utah State Capitol, in the regular location of the monthly Utah Breakfast Club. This event will also be viewable as a FREE LIVE WEBCAST beginning at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/Noon MT/11 a.m. PT. Register for the FREE LIVE WEBCAST or to attend in person.
Those who seek to attend in person may register to attend this interactive discussion. Members of the Utah Breakfast Club pay $15, plus registration fee. Nonmembers pay $25, plus registration fee. (Individuals may obtain a NO CHARGE three month trial membership of the Utah Breakfast Club.) Lunch will be served at the Utah State Capitol beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT, with the program and webcast beginning promptly at 2 p.m. ET/Noon MT.
"Google's decision to bring fiber to Salt Lake City adds the the strong base of fiber-optic deployment with Utah," said Drew Clark, founder of the Utah Breakfast Club and the Broadband Breakfast Club. "With cities and states across the country now seeking to build Gigabit networks, this discussion about GigUtah will be of great interest throughout the nation."
The panel discussion and FREE LIVE WEBCAST will explore these topics:
Google has captivated the enthusiasm of internet users -- and the attention of economic development professionals -- by offering Gigabit Network service in selected cities across the country.
In announcing in late March that Google Fiber will expand to Salt Lake City (its eighth metropolitan area nationwide), the broadband world turned its envying eyes on Utah. With Google Fiber in Provo and now Salt Lake -- and with Gigabit Networks available in the 11 cities served by the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, or UTOPIA -- Utah is poised to be the first state where a substantial portion of its residents have access to the fastest-possible broadband internet services.
What does Google's investments say about the economic health and technology-savvy nature of Utah? What do cities and citizens get from Google Fiber that they haven't gotten from traditional telecom companies? And, for cities and states seeking to get a Gig, what are the best options to build and enhance Gigabit Networks?
Devin Baer, Head of Fiber Business, Salt Lake, Google
Paul Cutler, Mayor, City of Centerville, Utah
Justin Jones, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications, Salt Lake Chamber
David Shaw, Shareholder, Kirton McConkie; Chair, Government and Utilities Practice Group
Moderated by Drew Clark, Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie; Founder, Utah Breakfast Club
For questions about the event, please contact Drew Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 3, 2015 - In announcing last week that it was expanding Google Fiber to four new metropolitan areas in the Southeastern United States, the search engine giant-turned-internet service provider emphasized multiple initiatives toward Gigabit Networks. On January 27, Google announced that nearly five years after it announced its "Think Big With a Gig" campaign,… Keep Reading
WASHINGTON, January 14, 2015 -- The White House’s recent report on “Community-Based Broadband Solutions” relies heavily on an Open Technology Institute report from the fall that compared the quality and cost of U.S. broadband Internet with the rest of the world. The third annual Cost of Connectivity report from OTI, the technology program of the… Keep Reading
December 18, 2014 - While net neutrality captured Washington policy headlines, the most significant communications development in 2014 was the emergence of new and more viable approaches to building community and municipal Gigabit Networks. A confluence of factors in the worlds of broadband, energy, transportation, manufacturing and civic engagement have underscored the need for next-generation internet networks. Evidence of this gathering momentum behind global Gigabit Cities include the high-profile emergence of public-private financing models and a growing network of high-bandwidth computing applications. This year's fight over net neutrality is not unrelated to the push for Gigabit Networks. The Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet proceeding is a battle over scarcity: The prioritization of traffic on lower-capacity networks. From the D.C. Circuit Court's decision striking down FCC rules in January to President Obama's decision to directly intervene in the new FCC proceeding, it's been an all-consuming public battle. But viewed from the vantage point of the future, the far more significant development will be the emergence of opportunities outside of Washington for high-capacity broadband networks. It’s a world in which cities and municipalities are playing the leadership role. [more...] Keep Reading
PROVO, Utah, October 30, 2014 - The conversation was all about Google Fiber, but it was the city mayor, officers and citizens who took center stage at the Provo Recreation Center here on Tuesday night. At the public kick-off of "Provo Accelerated," a civic effort to tap into the power of Gigabit Networks, the talk wasn't about Gigabit speeds. Mayor John Curtis and the citizens didn't dwell on the fact that a Gigabit per second equals or 1,000 Megabits per second, roughly 100 times faster than a conventional "high-speed" broadband hookup. Provo Mayor John Curtis at launch of "Provo Accelerated" on October 28, 2014 Keep Reading
WASHINGTON, October 16, 2014 – Three-dimensional holograms, immersive virtual reality environments, instant face-to-face meetings that match physical meetings and inch closer to a real-life virtual hug. These are among the technologies made available by Gigabit Networks, according to “Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age,” a report released last week by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. “What is striking about the answers in the report is that technologists are way ahead of current reality,” said Lee Rainie, the Director of the Internet Project, in an interview. The report surveyed more than 1,400 experts from academia, tech firms and the industry about their thoughts on the report’s two titular topics: apps and connectivity in 2025. [more...] Keep Reading
Before the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Washington, DC 20554 [Original PDF] In the Matter of: Petition of City of Wilson, North Carolina, Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Seeking Removal of State Barriers to Broadband Investment and Competition Petition of Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Seeking Removal of State Barriers… Keep Reading
WASHINGTON, September 5, 2014 - Google Fiber has been perhaps the primary driver of the current push toward high-speed internet in the United States, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a speech here yesterday on the future of broadband competition. In an otherwise general speech that failed to mention major communications companies like… Keep Reading
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, May 5, 2014 - One of the largest global companies involved in the construction of highways, airports, bridges and other capital-intensive infrastructure projects plans to spend more than $300 million to complete a Gigabit Network in Utah. The Australian-based company, Macquarie Capital, believes that it has found its first North American… Keep Reading
April 29, 2014 - As communities across the country consider ways to build Gigabit Networks, a range of public- and private-financing models are now being considered in geographies as diverse as the Wasatch Front in Utah, rural Mississippi; and College Station, Texas. Three separate financial models were explored earlier this month at the Broadband Communities… Keep Reading
TINLEY PARK, ILLINOIS, November 8, 2013 - There is a new holy grail in economic development, and it isn't land use, tax policy, or cheap energy costs. In a word, it's Giganomics. The term was coined by David Sandel, President of the Gigabit Communities and Smart Cities consultancy, at the Broadband Communities Economic Development Summit here on Thursday. Giganomics refers to the process of using Gigabit Networks, or super-fast fiber-optic broadband connections, as the prime tool for entrepreneur-led economic development. David Sandel, President of Gigabit Communities and Smart Cities, Sandel and Associates, leads a discussion at the Broadband Communities Economic Development Summit. To the right is Steve Fennel, Director of telecom outreach at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Rick Usher, Assistant City Manager for Kansas City, Missouri. [...] Keep Reading
PROVO, Utah, October 28, 2013 - The prospect and reality of Gigabit Networks throughout the country, beginning in Utah, are "creating bigger surface areas for the mind," the chief technology officer of US IGNITE said here on Thursday. Speaking at the Utah Broadband Summit here in Provo -- selected a Gigabit city six months ago… Keep Reading
PROVO, UTAH, October 16, 2013 – This university town in the shadow of the Wasatch Front is poised to take the lead in the number of Google Fiber users that subscribe the search engine giant’s game-changing effort to bring Gigabit Networks to the United States. With the launch of Google Fiber service to customers of… Keep Reading
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2013 - It's springtime across the country, the flowers are blooming, and Gigabit fever must be in the air. Within the past month, several major companies and communities have announced plans for Gigabit-level deployments within their communities. Several major conferences have featured the Gigabit theme, including the Schools, Health and Library Broadband… Keep Reading
WASHINGTON, October 22, 2010 - Now that all of the broadband stimulus funding has been distributed, its effectiveness can now be evaluated. That was the message at the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, October 19. Video of the event was released on Friday. While the long term value of the stimulus is still unknown, panelists were able to gauge the way in which the funds were distributed. Keep Reading
WASHINGTON July 15, 2010- In an update to their fiber project Google has created a new website: www.fibercommunities.com, which includes more detailed information on the status of the project. According to Google, the company has received “1,100 community responses and more than 194,000 responses from individuals.” In addition to providing a physical connection the company also plans to offer service; but it will also allow third parties to offer their own service on the Google network. The service also will not be free, they intend to offer it at a “competitive price.” Keep Reading