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Network World: Watch out ISPs, municipal broadband approaching

Posted by Soledad Vega on Fri, 07/10/2015 - 15:17

The Internet market is evolving to the point where cities are now considering bringing their residents gigabit-speed internet connections. This approach is also a great opportunity to help drag the traditional ISPs out of the status quo.

Article by Colin Neagle for Network World

The broadband market has been rocked by a handful of major unexpected developments over the past few years, from Google suddenly stepping into the market with significantly faster broadband at much lower prices to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) removing nearly all legal barriers to municipal broadband projects.

The fallout from the FCC's ruling is beginning to gain some steam, with a 101-city coalition called Next Century Cities aiming to smooth the path for municipalities to bring affordable, gigabit-speed broadband to their cities.

While the success stories are much more well-known, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee's long-running municipal gigabit fiber network, others have failed in spectacular fashion, like the city of Provo, Utah, whose municipal broadband project struggled before the city ultimately sold its existing fiber to Google for $1. This nationwide group could help provide access to information and expertise on broadband deployment to ensure the taxpayer money devoted to such a project doesn't go to waste.

Next Century Cities formed in October shortly after the FCC announced a ruling intended to make it easier to build municipal broadband networks, an important ruling particularly in the 20 states that had laws on the books prohibiting the practice. The FCC made it official with a February ruling that it was overruling these state laws, many of which were written or pushed by telecom lobbyists looking to prevent competition.

- Read more at Network World