Colorado Law for Muni Broadband Networks, VETRO and COS Collaborate, South African Open Access

Because of now-defunct Colorado law, a total of 122 communities had to opt out of state-level broadband restrictions.

Colorado Law for Muni Broadband Networks, VETRO and COS Collaborate, South African Open Access
Photo of Greg Wilson, AEX founder (right) and Shanay Bhemnarayan, business development manager for AEX by Drew Clark

May 3, 2023 – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed a bill giving the state’s local governments greater flexibility in creating municipal broadband networks.

With his signing of bill S.B. 183, Colorado removed a significant speedbump for many municipalities seeking to build local broadband networks.

The measure might also have prevented the state from distributing upcoming federal broadband infrastructure funds under the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.

Colorado officials expect to receive between $400 million and $700 million from the BEAD program, and the fund requires states to describe their efforts to ensure that non-traditional broadband providers can compete for funding alongside more established providers.

To avoid any potential BEAD disbursement disagreements, Colorado revised a 2005 law that prevented local governments from entering the broadband market or spending funds without first securing voters’ approval. This revision “removes the biggest obstacle to achieving the governor’s goal to connect 99% of Colorado households by the end of 2027,” Brandy Reitter, executive director of the Colorado Broadband Office, said in a press release.

Between 2008 and 2022, a total of 122 communities decided to opt out of these state-level restrictions, authorizing themselves to make local broadband decisions, according to data collected by the Colorado Municipal League, a nonprofit organization representing 270 Coloradan cities and towns.

VETRO selected to power the software behind California middle mile network, partners with COS Systems

VETRO, a provider of a cloud-based fiber management system, has been selected as the system of record for California’s 10,000-mile fiber network, the company announced Tuesday in a press briefing at Broadband Communities Summit near Houston, Texas.

Through the construction and connection stages of the network, the company will identify, map, and manage fiber strands.

“We’re excited to partner with California’s middle-mile broadband team to aid their efforts to accelerate the deployment of high-speed fiber to ultimately connect underserved and unserved communities throughout the state,” said Will Mitchell, VETRO CEO.

California has fast-tracked the development of the middle-mile broadband network passed in July 2021. The law included $3.25 billion to develop a statewide, open access network. The 2022 budget package allocated an additional $550 million in future funding resources for the Middle Mile Broadband Initiative.

Additionally, VETRO announced that it and COS Systems, a provider of software to manage broadband networks, has agreed to integrate their software solutions.

“With our integration, we’re marrying two industry-leading platforms to provide network operators with a holistic view of their network,” says Mikael Philipsson, CEO of COS Systems.

COS Systems’ cloud-hosted software helps ISPs plan, build, and manage broadband networks. It supports service providers and open access networks.

South African software providers for open access networks announces U.S. market entry

Automation Exchange, a fiber software company based in South African, announced the expansion of AEX’s operations to the United States in a press briefing Wednesday at Broadband Communities Summit near Houston, Texas.

AEX offers operations support system and business support system, often referred to as OSS/BSS software. Although designed for open access networks – which are well-developed in South Africa – AEX has designed its software for both open access networks and the closed networks that are more common in the United States.

“We are well-positioned to help American network operators meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and deliver an exceptional customer experience,” said Greg Wilson, founder of AEX and the CEO of Myriad Capital.

In addition to its OSS/BSS software, Wilson said that AEX offers consulting services to help providers get services up and running. The company has three deployments in the U.S., two closed networks and one open access network, the Grant Public Utility District in Moses Lake, Washington.

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