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Los Angeles broadband

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

Drew Clark: The Year of Community and Municipal Gigabit Broadband

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

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