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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

Biden Touts Broadband Among Stimulus Funding, Although Nearly No Funds Released

Vice President Joe Biden gave an update on Thursday of the grants issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including broadband. Although practically no funds have yet been issued for broadband, the subject was included in the update of programs that are a part of the “president’s overall commitment to a lay a new foundation for economic growth in the 21st century” – together with smart grid, high-speed rail and health information technology. Keep Reading

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