California broadband advocates push back against telco lobby (Civ Source) August 2, 2013

The Eastern Sierra Regional Connect Broadband Consortium and the California Emerging Technology Fund are pushing back against the teleco lobby after it was successful at stalling a bill in the California assembly that would have improved broadband access. The California Emerging Technology Fund published a white paper today dispelling myths that California residents are well served with broadband access.

San Leandro’s successful downtown fiber optic network gaining imitators in Oakland, Hayward (Oakland Local) July 31, 2013

It has been some time since San Leandro was the leader and not the follower among East Bay cities.

Report highlights problems with broadband mapping in rural areas (Lake County News) July 31, 2013

Two regional groups say action needs to be taken to address problems with broadband mapping that’s being used to develop plans for increasing broadband deployment in rural areas.

Blumenfield calls for free wi-fi access across Los Angeles (Van Nuys News Press) July 30, 2013

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today took the first step towards implementing free and universal WiFi access across Los Angeles. Blumenfield’s measure would begin the City’s process of developing a plan to close gaps in WiFi availably and will advance Los Angeles’s competitiveness in business and education.

Hayward could get high speed fiber optic network (San Jose Mercury News) July 29, 2013

Lightning-fast Internet connections could be coming to local businesses, using a private-public model that created Lit San Leandro, a fiber-optic network that encircles that city

Whatever happened to municipal wi-fi (The Economist) July 26, 2013

IT BEGAN in 2004 with an idealistic promise by the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom: “We will not stop until every San Franciscan has access to free wireless-internet service.” But stop they did, when a privately funded municipal-scale network backed by Google, with EarthLink Networks as a partner, proved impractical. Nine years later a tiny fraction of the originally planned free network has come to life with Google’s announcement of a donation to blanket 31 of the city’s parks with Wi-Fi.

Google ponies up $600K for free wi-fi in San Francisco (Fierce Broadband Wireless) July 24, 2013

Google offered to donate $600,000 to install free Wi-Fi hotspots in 31 public spaces around San Francisco, but the city, concerned about ongoing costs it might have to shoulder, is approaching the offer cautiously.

Google offers to fund wireless hotspots in San Francisco (Reuters) July 24, 2013

Google has previously funded public wireless projects in its home city of Mountain View, California, in New York Chelsea’s neighborhood and around Boston’s South Station. The search giant is based 30 miles away from San Francisco but employs hundreds of workers who commute from the city.

America’s broadband blues (Los Angeles Times-Op-Ed) July 23, 2013

Over the last year, America’s broadband report card, in my estimation, has gone from a D to a C-. Although the U.S. has definitely shown signs of improvement in high-speed Internet access, the achievements have been mostly in mobile broadband, not the wired broadband we need for children everywhere to reliably access their homework, for towns to keep and attract jobs, and to generally support a 21st century digital economy and a modern education system.

Shafter Fiber Network, then, now, and next (Community Broadband Network) July 23, 2013

Last week, we discussed how Shafter’s plans in California for a community fiber network changed with the Great Recession. Today we have an interview with Shafter Assistant City Manager Scott Hurlbert with an expanded discussion of how the community adjusted and what its next steps will be.

Municipal broadband is an economic choice, not a holy crusade (Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium) July 15, 2013

I’ve been taken to task for an article I wrote on the prospects for fiber-to-the-premise service in Palo Alto. It was jut published in Broadband Communities, and was based on a study I did last year for the City of Palo Alto evaluating a particular business model.

High speed internet is coming to Quincy (Plumas County News) July 5, 2013

Marshall, general manager of Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, and Joe Okoneski, the sales manager responsible for its telecommunications division, spoke to locals about the progress of its new high-speed Internet.

LIT San Leandro recognized by U.S. Conference of Mayors ( Broadband Communities) July1, 2013

The city of San Leandro was among cities recognized in a resolution passed by the the U.S. Conference of Mayors for meeting the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) “Gigabit City Challenge,” an initiative calling for at least one gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015 in order to accelerate the creation of a critical mass of markets and innovation hubs with ultra-fast Internet speeds.

Town-wide high speed internet seen as economic boost for mono (Orangeville Citizen) June 27, 2013

After months of debate, Mono Council has decided to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) regarding Ultra High Speed Internet (UHSI) for the town to any interested parties who will conduct a survey of Mono residents to find out what kind of services they want, and what they are willing to pay for them.

Digital divide rips through California like a fault line (Central Valley Business Times) June 26, 2013

Hispanics, as well as Californians who are older or less affluent, are less likely to engage in many online activities, according to a statewide survey by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Central Valley lags in broadband, mobile internet (The Business Journal) June 26, 2013

The Central Valley lags behind most regions in the use of broadband Internet access and other information technology, according to a new report by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Tehama County supervisors drop support for broadband bill (Corning Observer) June 25, 2013

Tehama County supervisors have changed their support of a proposed Senate bill that would eliminate the digital divide in the state.

LA-RICS approves spectrum lease agreement with FirstNet (Urgent Communications) June 20, 2013

Board members for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) yesterday voted to approve a spectrum-lease agreement with FirstNet, marking the first time that an individual jurisdiction has completed this important first step in proceeding with the implementation of a public-safety LTE network on 700 MHz airwaves.

Co-Mo Connect coming to city of California (California Democrat) June 12, 2013

The Co-Mo Connect fiber-to-the-home communications network is coming to the city of California. The network, which provides blazing-fast Internet, crystal-clear telephone and reliable television service, is a product of Co-Mo Comm, the communications subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative.

Unraveling the public-private partnership in San Leandro (Community Broadband Network) May 21, 2013

The city of San Leandro has formed a partnership with a local company now named Lit San Leandro to expand business access to the Internet. We talk with San Leandro’s Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta and Judi Clark, a consultant with Lit San Leandro, to learn more about their approach.

Google’s free wi-fi network bogging down due to traffic (Fierce Broadband Wireless) May 19, 2013

The free Wi-Fi network Google deployed in its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., more than six years ago is choking on increased traffic and, according to reports, not only slows down but shuts down on occasion in certain locations.

Palo Alto seeks flickers of hope for fiber network (Palo Alto Online) May 14, 2013

As local technologists can readily vouch, Palo Alto’s journey toward a citywide high-speed Internet network has been anything but high speed.

Will San Francisco’s new broadband infrastructure be controlled by the city or Google? (San Francisco Bay Guardian) May 8, 2013

Board President David Chiu is calling for San Francisco to add to its broadband fiber network every time a contractor or utility tears up a street, joining other cities in expanding high-speed Internet capacity. But will this new network be a municipal utility or corporate-controlled? An upcoming hearing he has called for could begin to answer that question.

Senate bill advances to expand state broadband infrastructure fund to wireless ISPs, government agencies and tribal entities (Techwire) May 6, 2013

Last week, SB 740 (Padilla) addressing broadband infrastructure expansion in California was heard at a hearing and was voted out, 10-0-1, of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee of the State Senate, to advance to the Committee on Appropriations.

City council to hear plans for public power agency in Sonoma County (Petaluma 360) April 30, 2013

Sonoma County officials have announced a schedule of presentations to local city councils over the next two months on the county’s plans for a public power agency.

The presentations are geared toward convincing cities to join the program in its initial rollout, set to begin in January.

Palo Alto dark fiber brings $2.1 million per year, expansion plans developing (Community Broadband Networks) April 29, 2013

The city owned dark fiber network in Palo Alto is bringing in a steady stream of revenue that may lead to better connectivity for the entire community. According to a Gennady Sheyner Palo Alto Online article, the Utilities Department recently reported to the City Finance Committee that the city Fiber Fund yields $2.1 million per year. The revenue comes from dark fiber leases to approximately 80 commercial customers. From the article:

This is more like it – Palo Alto dark fiber brings in city revenue from private providers (Fair Competition Alliance) April 29, 2013

The model described in this post from Community Broadband Networks is a more appropriate and sustainable government approach. Dark fiber leasing of government-owned fiber to taxpaying, private internet retailers can bring important high-speed connectivity to rural residents and businesses at the same time that it yields sustainable business revenues to the city coffers.

Broadband internet connection for all residents is essential (Sacramento Bee-Guest Opinion) April 24, 2013

California and regional leaders in Sacramento have set a goal to close the digital divide in our state by 2017. A key component of this ambitious decade long initiative is to extend broadband Internet access to 98 percent of California households. Every day we see examples of how broadband technology is empowering Californians and transforming their lives. Still, the divide persists, leaving many people and communities behind.

Wildwood moves forward on final agreement for high-speed internet (Eureka-Wildwood Patch) April 23, 2013

For Wildwood residents eager to be connected to high-speed Internet access, the wait might seem as interminable as the buffering screens they see when trying to stream online video.

Swelling cash reserves fuel Palo Alto’s fiber effort (Palo Alto Online) April 22, 2013

Palo Alto officials won’t be popping champagne bottles this week, when their long-deferred dream of a citywide high-speed Internet finally comes true.

That’s because the dream will be coming true in Provo, Utah, a city that doesn’t claim to be the technological capital of the universe and that hadn’t spent the better part of the past two decades watching one effort after another end in heartbreak. On Tuesday night, the Provo City Council is set to approve a plan by Google to make Provo the third community to benefit from the company’s fiber services. It follows in the footsteps of Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo., the city that the Mountain View-based tech giant chose in 2011 as the testing ground for its Google Fiber system.

Silicon Valley Power launches free citywide wi-fi access, moves forward with advanced metering system (American Public Power Assn) April 16, 2013

Silicon Valley Power customers in Santa Clara, Calif., are beginning to reap the benefits of their energy provider’s decision to switch over to advanced-metering systems with the launch of free citywide wi-fi access as part of SVP’s MeterConnect program.

City-owned wi-fi expands in Bay Area (Wall Street Journal) March 27, 2013

The Bay Area is experiencing a rebirth of municipal Wi-Fi networks, after a decade of fits and starts in such efforts.

Last week, Santa Clara launched a free public wireless network that blankets nearly the entire city of 120,000 residents, or about 19 square miles. The new network replaces a weaker, nine-year-old system that covered only half the city.

Santa Clara is first to offer free wi-fi via smart utility meters (Fierce Broadband Wireless) March 27, 2013

Not everyone is excited about getting a smart meter to monitor their electricity and water use, but Silicon Valley Power has found a way to sweeten the deal by offering free Wi-Fi as part of its smart meter rollout in Santa Clara, Calif.

Santa Clara becomes a free wi-fi city through power utility (San Jose Mercury News) March 27, 2013

Silicon Valley Power didn’t have to put the word out that there’s a side benefit to switching to advanced power meters; anyone turning on a smart phone, laptop computer or tablet within city limits likely got the notice.

It’s free and it’s everywhere, although the best reception is outdoors and near one of the almost 600 transmitters installed throughout the city. Its calling card: “Wi-Fi network detected: SVPMeterConnectWifi.”

Despite critics, Palo Alto mayor presses on with high-speed internet expansion (Business & Money) March 20, 2013

Last June, an independent consulting agency’s study effectively quashed hopes for any prospect of a user-financed Fiber To The Premises project in Palo Alto, which would bring residents super high-speed internet through a fiber cable. The Tellus Venture Associates study, which was presented to Palo Alto’s Utilities Advisory Commission, concluded that a fully user-financed citywide fiber-to-the-premises system was “not possible” to achieve in Palo Alto due to cost-related concerns. So why, in his speech on Feb. 27, did Mayor Greg Scharff decide to recommit to expanding the city’s fiber network?

San Jose launches fast public wi-fi (Government Technology) March 20, 2013

One of the nation’s fastest free public Wi-Fi networks was unveiled in downtown San Jose, Calif., on March 14. Partnering with hardware provider Ruckus Wireless and an engineering team at SmartWAVE Technologies, the city upgraded both its infrastructure and its equipment to revitalize its existing Wi-Fi network and create new opportunities for the city and its residents.

Can Ruckus, San Jose revive municipal wi-fi? (Next Generation Data) March 19, 2013

San Jose’s downtown is newly awash in Wi-Fi from Ruckus Wireless. But is a catchy slogan and established technology enough to triumph in the failure-prone municipal wireless space?

San Jose launches new free downtown outdoor wireless (San Jose Mercury News) March 15, 2013

The city that bills itself the Capital of Silicon Valley launched a new free outdoor wireless Internet access program downtown Thursday that city leaders called the fastest of its kind in North America.

Palo Alto: fiber-optic network on agenda (Palo Alto Online) March 15, 2013

The council plans to meet with the Utilities Advisory Commission to discuss the potential expansion of the city’s fiber-optic network and the commission’s priorities.

San Jose launches fastest public wi-fi in nation (KTVU) March 14, 2013

San Jose city officials today launched what they’re calling “wickedly fast” Wif-Fi for downtown users.

Muni broadband-Why not in San Francisco? (Community Broadband Networks) March 10, 2013

Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian asks why publicly owned networks have worked in so many places but is not being seriously considered in San Francisco:

Public broadband works; why not here? (San Francisco Bay Guardian) February 28, 2013

There’s a fascinating new map that the Institute for Local Self Reliance has put together that shows how 342 communities around the United States are now offering publicly owned, cheap, reliable broadband and cable service to local residents and businesses. Check it out here. Then check out why the fastest networks in the nation are built by local governments:

FCC chairman commends San Leandro for fiber optic Internet network (San Jose Mercury News) February 27, 2013

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission was in the city Wednesday to commend it for the Lit San Leandro fiber optic network.

High-speed Internet slow going (Union Democrat) January 17, 2013

Construction for high-speed Internet in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties could be coming to an end this spring, after the area’s rocky terrain put the federal stimulus project several months behind schedule.

Vast Networks fiber optic infrastructure project to begin construction (Nevada County Connected) January 15, 2013

Vast Networks is starting construction on the Nevada County portion of their $66 million 18-county fiber optic infrastructure project that was funded by an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act stimulus grant and California Public Utilities Commission funds. Spiral Internet will be utilizing this network as a backbone to provide ultra-high speed Internet access to customers locally.

High-speed Internet slow going (Union Democrat) January 17, 2013

Construction for high-speed Internet in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties could be coming to an end this spring, after the area’s rocky terrain put the federal stimulus project several months behind schedule.

Vast Networks fiber optic infrastructure project to begin construction (Nevada County Connected) January 15, 2013

Vast Networks is starting construction on the Nevada County portion of their $66 million 18-county fiber optic infrastructure project that was funded by an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act stimulus grant and California Public Utilities Commission funds. Spiral Internet will be utilizing this network as a backbone to provide ultra-high speed Internet access to customers locally.

North Riverside library gets grant to eliminate ‘digital divide’  (Suburban Life Media) January 17, 2013

The North Riverside Public Library is one of 15 Illinois libraries that recently received part of a $400,000 grant designed to enhance residents’ broadband computer access.


Modesto library to zoom on information highway (Modesto Bee) November 10, 2012

Within six to eight months, people surfing for jobs at the Modesto library and others who rely on the library’s public computers will have some of the fastest Internet service available in Stanislaus County.

A little-known federal stimulus project will upgrade the plodding Internet service at the Modesto branch of the county library. And efforts are under way to bring enhanced broadband to the Stanislaus County Office of Education and Modesto Junior College, local officials said.

Fiber us up, baby! (New Times) October 18, 2012

San Luis Obispo County wasn’t selected by Internet Google in late 2011 to be the recipient of a free fiber-optic network. That honor went to Kansas City, Mo. But we’re not giving up. On Oct. 16, the San Luis Obispo County board of supervisors voted unanimously to begin prioritizing ways to overcome issues that stand in the way of such a sweeping infrastructure project.

Federal grant to extend San Leandro fiber loop (San Leandro Patch) September 28, 2012

San Leandro has another fiber optic feather in its cap.

Days after its libraries turned on the fastest Internet service of any public library system in California, the city has won a grant to enhance its attractiveness to high-tech and advanced manufacturing industries.

San Leandro libraries now offer fastest Internet service in CA (San Leandro Patch) September 24, 2012

The city flipped a switch Monday that taps its library network into the futuristic Lit San Leandro fiber optic loop. Businesses also starting to tap in.

Few choices for broadband service, thanks to regulators (San Jose Mercury News) August 31, 2012

It’s amazing to me that even here in the heart of Silicon Valley consumers have so few choices for high-speed home Internet access.

Valley residents can typically choose between AT&T and Comcast, if they have any choice at all. Neither company offers a great deal for consumers.

Broadband harder to find in rural areas, whether in Gay Area or nation (Silicon Beat) August 21, 2012

CA: The FCC released an updated report today on the availability of wired broadband nationwide. Compared with the rest of the nation, the Bay Area does pretty well.

Swall Meadows, Crowley Lake to get high speed broadband — before Digital 395 (Mammoth Times) August 24, 2012

CA: The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to approve a $286,398 grant to Verizon California, Inc. to bring high-speed internet broadband service to Swall Meadows and Crowley Lake even before the Digital 395 project is completed, according to Steven Kalish.

Torching California’s broadband future: why your state is next (Wired Business) August 27, 2012

California Governor Jerry Brown recently declared a state of emergency in three northern California counties ravaged by wildfires. There’s another state of emergency for Californians: It’s called SB 1161, and it leaves Californians without a protector to keep watch on the cost, service quality, safety, and availability of access to information, data, and entertainment – everything on which modern life depends. Because just a few giant companies control the wires, they’ll be picking the economic and social winners and losers in America. Burning trees, burning up the state’s future – it’s all cataclysmic.

Few in the California Legislature likely understood the ramifications of the bill they just agreed to. It seemed to be all about deregulating “VoIP.” But the problem is that the bill covers all “IP-enabled services.”

Fiber optic cable project will bring faster Internet to Tulare County (Central July 28, 2012

Anthony Ogans likes to use the computers at the Tulare County Library to check his email and go on Facebook. There’s only one problem.

Financial grants help San Diego group expand broadband deployment (FierceTelecom)  July 16, 2012

The San Diego Imperial Regional Broadband Consortium (SDIRBC) can continue its efforts to develop a three-year plan to expand its broadband deployment to rural and unserved areas in San Diego and Imperial Counties thanks to $450,000 in grant money from the California Public Utilities Commission.

Broadband deployment getting a boost in San Diego (Government Technology) July 12, 2012

Supported by a $450,000 grant from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the San Diego Imperial Regional Broadband Consortium (SDIRBC) is embarking on a three-year plan toexpand deployment and adoption of broadband specifically for education, health and safety, and economic development within San Diego and Imperial counties.

Fiber optics arrive  (Calaveras Enterprise News) July 10, 2012

Calaveras County residents will be moving a lot faster, at least when it comes to using the Internet, once the installation of a fiber optic cable is completed next year.

Regional public safety broadband network on hold (San Francisco Examiner) June 20, 2012

The proposed $100 million regional public safety broadband network to link Bay Area first responders has been put on hold.

Palo Alto sees its fiber dream fizzle (Palo Alto Online) June 7, 2012

After 15 years of failed schemes and dashed hopes, Palo Alto is preparing to pull the plug on its dream of bringing ultra-high-speed Internet to every household in the city.

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