BOC debates future of fiber optics (Henry Herald) June 26, 2013

Henry County Commissioner Brian Preston told county leaders a fiber optics network is critical for the county’s economic growth.

Network utility force completes installation of IPv6 enabled municipal wi-fi network (Wall Street Journal) June 3, 2013

Network Utility Force, an Atlanta-based network engineering and professional services company, announced today it has completed the deployment of an outdoor, IPv6 enabled, municipal WiFi network for the City of Douglasville, Georgia.

Google [and city] lights up downtown Douglasville with free high speed internet (Atlanta Business Chronicle) May 28, 2013

With its concentration of data centers and high tech business parks, Douglasville is attempting to reinvent itself as a tech hub.

Now, Google – a major employer – and the city will light up 60 acres of the downtown area with free WI-Fi access. The area will include the plaza, the football field, City Hall and Jesse Davis Park.

Stockbridge to get high speed internet company HQ jobs (Henry Neighbor) May 23, 2013

In a public-private economic development deal, a high-speed fiber optic network will soon bring “unlimited broadband capacity” to Stockbridge government, schools and businesses.

North Georgia Network completes high speed fiber network to the Rabun Business Park (Digital Journal) May 19, 2013

A project to extend high-speed fiber optic service in Rabun County has just been completed, enhancing business expansion and growth opportunities in Northeast Georgia. Funded in part by a OneGeorgia BRIDGE grant (Broadband Rural Initiative to Develop Georgia’s Economy), this middle mile extension brings the latest in fiber optic technology to the Rabun Business Park.

Atlanta weighs speedy internet along belt line (Atlanta Journal Constitution) May 16, 2013

Atlanta development officials said Thursday they are considering ultra-high-speed Internet service as a way to attract businesses to the loop of trails and planned transit known as the Atlanta Beltline.

First BTOP project connects rural north Georgia communities (Community Broadband Networks) May 16, 2013
Back in December, 2009, Vice President Biden travelled to Dawsonville, Georgia, to officially kick off the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program. The first award, a grant of $33.5 million, went to the North Georgia Network Cooperative. The group combined that grant with local and state funding and in May, 2012, lit the North Georgia Network (NGN).

Stockbridge to offer state-of-the-art internet service (My Fox Atlanta) May 14, 2013

The Stockbridge City Council approved a $15 million deal to develop, build and run a fiber optic network with broadband capacity that’s 100 times faster than most connections.

City may expand fiber network (Covington News) May 9, 2013

The city of Covington has saved around $60,000 per year since it began creating its own fiber optic cable network to connect its buildings across the city, and officials hope to be able to offer those kinds of savings to other local government entities and possibly create another revenue stream in the future.

Douglasville to offer wi-fi in downtown area May 1 (Neighbor Newspapers) April 17, 2013

Staying connected will soon get easier in Douglasville downtown venues and parks. The city’s Wi-Fi network, expected to be completed by May 1, will cover downtown Douglasville, Hunter Memorial Park and Jessie Davis Park, almost 60 acres collectively, making it one of the largest public Wi-Fi networks in Georgia.

WSBTV interviews Network Utility Force about municipal wi-fi in Douglasville (WSB TV) April 4, 2013

Below is the interview from WSB TV, which aired Tuesday, about the Municipal WiFi network we are designing and building for the city of Douglasville.

Aging fiber optic network poses challenge (GeoTel) March, 2013

Alpharetta, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta, holds high potential for becoming the Technology City of the Southeast. Recently, the Alpharetta Technology Commission analyzed the city’s existing infrastructure, learning its strengths and weaknesses, to gauge what needs to be done in order to keep Alpharetta on the path to becoming the Tech City of the Southeast.

Georgia muni broadband bill defeated again; West Virginia holding back broadband report (Civ Source) March 20, 2013

Broadband policies and projects are getting interesting this week. After significant protest from major telecom stakeholders and municipal officials, a bill brought by republicans in the Georgia legislature to curb municipal broadband has been defeated again. In West Virginia, The Charleston Gazzette alleges that state officials are holding back another negative report about the troubled broadband expansion in that state.

Consumer groups laud defeat of Georgia broadband bill – though carriers will likely try again ( March 14, 2013

Last week we noted that Georgia lawmakers shot down a law proposed by Windstream and AT&T that would have made it illegal for a town to wire itself with broadband in a zip code if just one person in that area had 3 Mbps service. Consumer groups like Public Knowledge are of course cheering the defeat.

Georgia municipal broadband bill defeated (BGR) March 12, 2013

The dire threat of public broadband lives on in Georgia. Consumerist reports that Georgia’s state legislature has shot down a bill that would have barred rural municipalities from building their own public broadband networks in areas where at least one residential building had an Internet connection speed of 1.5Mbps or higher. The Macon Telegraph reported last month that legislators from some rural towns in Georgia were “up in arms” over the proposed legislation and claimed that they needed to build their own broadband networks because “companies simply will not bring the highest-speed Internet to their residents because it doesn’t turn a profit.”

Does Georgia decision signal a turn of sentiment for municipal broadband? (IP Carrier) March 2013

It might be way too early to say sentiment about municipal broadband, in U.S. state legislatures, has shifted, but the defeat of a bill in the Georgia legislature that would have banned municipal broadband networks could indicate movement.

ALEC tied to now-dead bill in Georgia to limit internet investment (Community Broadband Networks) March 11, 2013

Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch examines the ties between HB 282, the people behind it, and how it evolved into a threat to connectivity and local control. Brendan gave us permission to repost the story in full here. Since authoring this story, HB 282 was defeated in Georgia in a floor House vote. However, understanding where these bill comes from is critical, so we still wanted to run this piece.

Bill to limit public broadband defeated in Georgia (Wall Street Journal) March 8, 2013

The measure would have made Georgia at least the 20th state to place some curb on publicly funded high-speed Internet access, often created to bring services where telecom companies feel it is not profitable.
Large firms-including Comcast Corp.AT&T and Time Warner Cable Inc.-have pushed for similar legislation in numerous state capitals in recent years, a Wall Street Journal article detailed this week.

Georgia shoots down awful anti-consumer broadband law – though 19 [states] now have laws banning or hindering community broadband (DSL Broadband Reports) March 8, 2013

Georgia’s absurd anti-community broadband bill is of course only the latest in a decade long effort by incumbent ISPs to ban communities from wiring themselves — even if the local operator refuses to. The Wall Street Journalnotes that with the recent passage of similar rules in North and South Carolina, 19 states now have laws in place — all of them written by incumbent ISPs — either banning or greatly hindering community broadband improvement efforts. The justifications for these rules remain the same, AT&T and Time Warner Cable informing the Journal that they “just want a level playing field”:

Georgia house rejects bill to ban municipal fiber networks (Ars Technica) March 8, 2013

Muni-broadband restrictions defeated in Georgia (Media Post) March 8, 2013

Community-owned internet long targeted by ALEC and big telecom, under fire in GA (Institute for Local Self-Reliance) March 7, 2013

Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Georgia Legislature are pushing a bill to thwart locally-owned internet in underserved communities, an industry-sponsored effort that effectively reinforces the digital divide. A vote in the Georgia Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, March 7; if Georgia passes the bill it would be the twentieth state to eliminate community control over internet access.

Tech companies lobby against Georgia broadband bill (Media Post) March 5, 2013

Google and other tech companies are slamming a proposed Georgia law that would restrict municipalities from building their own broadband networks.

George State University expands fiber optic network (Campus Technology) March 4, 2013

Georgia State University (GSU) has completed the installation of its new Northern Fiber Optic Ring, which connects to the university’s existing Southern Fiber Optic Ring. The extension connects 13 additional campus buildings to the university’s fiber optic network.

Georgia’s Ridiculous Anti-Broadband Bill Moves Forward (DSL Broadband Reports) March 4, 2013

A controversial bill concocted by AT&T, Windstream and CenturyLink to prevent communities from wiring themselves with broadband continues to move forward, despite heavy criticism from both locals and industry. The bill initially banned any town or city from deploying its own broadband services if just one user in a zip code had a line capable of 1.5 Mbps. Despite a significant public outcry and opposition from companies like Alcatel Lucent and Google, the bill has passed the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications subcommittee and now heads to the Georgia House floor.

Community Leaders Testify Against HB 282, Bill Passes Anyway (Community Broadband Networks) March 2, 2013

Community leaders from several Georgia cities made the trek to Atlanta to oppose HB 282 on Thursday, February 28th. Opposition to this bill to limit investment in Internet networks includes community leaders, high tech companies, and citizens all over the state. Nevertheless, legislators on the House Energy, Utilities, and Telecom Committee chose to ignore the needs of communities, prefering to tell them from afar how to run their towns. Winners? Incumbents Windstream, AT&T, CenturyLink, and Comcast.

High Tech Companies Oppose Bill to Limit Internet Investment in Georgia (Community Broadband Networks) March 1, 2013

Several high tech companies and trade associations have sent a joint letter to Georgia legislators to oppose HB 282, a bill designed to limit investment in Internet Networks.

The letter has already been signed by Alcatel-Lucent, Google, Atlantic Engineering, Gigabit Squared, OnTrac, FTTH Council, American Public Power Association, NATOA, SEATOA, Utilities Telecom Council, and the Telecommunications Industry Association. The full letter is available here [pdf]:

Google politely asks Georgia to not be a broadband buffoon (DSL Broadband Reports) March 1, 2013

As I noted last month, AT&T and Windstream have lobbied Georgia lawmakers to pass a bill (HB 282) that would prohibit a town or city from deploying their own broadband if anyone in a single census tract has a 1.5 Mbps connection. This lobbying comes as AT&T moves to disconnect DSL lines and Windstream ceases network upgrades due to a lack of competition, meaning that these companies won’t serve you — but don’t want you to serve yourself, either.

Gaps in wireless coverage, aging fiber network challenges for tech city (Alphretta-Milton Patch) February 27, 2013

Tech firm executives are identifying where the city’s strengths and weaknesses are for their kinds of companies as the Alpharetta Technology Commission and its committees get to work.

Alpharetta opposes state legislation limiting local control (Alpharetta-Milton Patch) February 26, 2013

Alpharetta City Council approved two resolutions Monday night that tell the state legislature to keep out of local government’s business.

LaGrange muni network serves business and government in Georgia (Community Broadband Networks) February 26, 2013

As the Georgia legislature considers HB 282, a bill that will restrict local governments from investing in telecommunications networks, we are continuing coverage of the communities that will be harmed by passage of the legislation.

Georgia mayor: “I hate to think what our community would be like without our network” (Community Broadband Networks) February 25, 2013

Recently on Gigabit Nation, host Craig Settles visited with Mayor Max Beverly from Thomasville, Georgia. As our readers know, the Georgia General Assembly is again considering a bill to limit municipal efforts to bring connectivity to local residents and businesses. That bill is currently scheduled to be heard on Tuesday afternoon, 2/26, but many people have already expressed their anger at it in Facebook comments on the bill page.

High speed internet opens doors (Rome News Tribune) February 22, 2013

Attorney Jim Baller, a partner in the Baller Herbst Law Group in Washington, D.C., illustrated the vast difference in speeds between a one-gigabyte-per-second fiber optic connection and an older digital subscriber line for participants at the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Confluence conference Thursday.

Broadband providers try to clock city networks (Government Technology) February 20, 2013

Georgia is the latest battleground in a conflict pitting big-name telecommunications providers against local governments looking to get into the Internet business to provide better connectivity for residents. A proposed bill in the state would keep cities and towns from offering broadband service to residents if just one home in a census tract has Internet speeds of 1.5 Mbps or greater.

Thomasville combines tradition and technology for downtown success (Community Broadband Networks) February 20, 2013

In 2011, MSNBC reported on Thomasville, Georgia. The small community beat the odds to nourish a vibrant downtown. At the time, local independent businesses in the U.S. disappeared as quaint main streets lost mom and pop ventures to the economy.

Roundup of coverage of Georgia bill to slow telecom investment (Community Broadband Networks) February 15, 2013

In just a few days, we have seen many articles discussing how unwise and dangerous HB 282 is for the future of economic development in Georgia. This bill will revoke local authority to decide for themselves if any public investment in telecommunications is a wise choice.

Georgia broadband legislation: restricts rural municipal broadband (BGR) February 14, 2013

Georgia’s state legislature recently became the latest to take up the cause of protecting its constituents from the insidious menace of municipal broadband. Ars Technicareports that “incumbent broadband providers are pushing legislation that would restrict Georgia towns from building municipal broadband networks” by mandating that “if a single home in a census tract has Internet access at speeds of 1.5Mbps or above, the town would be prohibited from offering broadband service to anyone in that tract.”

Bill would ban muni broadband if one home in census tract get 1.5 Mbps (Ars Technica) February 14, 2013

Incumbent broadband providers are pushing legislation that would restrict Georgia towns from building municipal broadband networks. Under the proposal, if a single home in a census tract has Internet access at speeds of 1.5Mbps or above, the town would be prohibited from offering broadband service to anyone in that tract.

Georgia law would ban public broadband service if just one person has so-so internet access (The Consumerist) February 14, 2013

A number of municipalities around the country, especially in rural areas, are considering public broadband networks as a way to spur development and enterprise. Yet legislators keep drafting laws intended to keep some citizens in the stone age – at least until the telecoms get around to building private networks.

Rural towns up in arms over broadband service bill (The Telegraph) February 13, 2013

Rural towns in arms over broadband service bill. A bill that would prohibit counties, cities and government authorities from expanding broadband service in some places is going to face a fight.

House Bill 282 by state Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, says public broadband subsidized by public money should stick to underserved areas, leaving companies to handle the load everywhere else.

Georgia anti-internet bill hearing rescheduled for next week (Community Broadband Networks) February 13, 2013

In the 30 hours since we learned of a bill in Georgia to revoke local authority to decide for themselves if a broadband network is a wise investment, we have seen a big response! Some of that is detailed below, but what matters for now is that HB 282 was bumped from today to next week.

A narrow minded approach to broadband (People Place Purpose) February 12, 2013

It’s becoming a recurring theme when the Georgia General Assembly meets each year: legislation is introduced that would severely limit the ability of cities to deploy or expand broadband services in their communities. Last year it was Senate Bill 313, this year it’s House Bill 282, Municipal Preemption on Broadband Deployment.

Mobile broadband infrastructure leads to development act (Georgia Planning Association) February 1, 2013

This legislation limits a city’s authority in collocations and the siting of new cell towers.

If a city fails to approve or disapprove an application for a collocation within 90 days of receipt, the collocation is automatically approved. If the city fails to approve or disapprove the application for a new cell tower within 150 days, the new tower is automatically approved.

Fannin has ‘plenty’ of high speed internet (The News Observer) February 1, 2013

Fannin County Library trustees chairman Joe Webb claims that the local library is at a disadvantage because it does not have access to high speed Internet service.

Parker Fibernet to unveil new high speed internet service at upcoming Confluence gathering (Rome News Tribune) January 29, 2013

Parker FiberNet’s new high-speed Internet service will be formally launched at a press event scheduled to coincide with the upcoming Rome Confluence 2013 innovation conference taking place Feb. 21-22 in Rome.


North Georgia Network completes high-speed fiber optic network in region (WALB) December 21, 2012

Mission accomplished.

In 2009, the North Georgia Network became the first organization to receive a federal grant to build out a broadband network to an underserved region of the United States, and in 2012 the dream has become a reality with the official completion of the $42 million project. NGN is the first federal project to reach completion under the Federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Broadband system brings high-speed communication to Columbia County(Columbia County News-Times) September 20, 2012

In a secured case, located in an equally secured room off the beaten path near the Evans Library, there are a pair of innocuous looking boxes. Small bundles of fiber optic cable extend from each, the points where they enter and exit seemingly separated by only a few inches. But in truth, between each end lies more than 200 miles of Columbia County – a perhaps the future of communication in the area.

Georgia Coalition for the New Economy (Coalition for the New Economy) March 6, 2011

The Georgia Coalition for the New Economy is a group of businesses, associations, and individuals committed that ensure all Georgians have access to technology and broadband Internet. We believe government should further this goal while making certain that the buildout of network infrastructures is fiscally responsible and fair. The members of the coalition will work closely with state and local government to promote fair policy decisions regarding broadband networks.

Georgia is the latest state to become engaged in a community broadband fight with the introduction of SB 313, the Broadband Investment Equity Act.
Last week, SB 313, the Broadband Investment Equity Act, was introduced in the Georgia Senate. This bill, in essence, would create a number of barriers for communities that want to build and operate their own networks.
You’ll recall that last year, after four years of lobbying by Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink, North Carolina passed a law seriously restricting the right of local communities to wire themselves for broadband — even if local incumbents wouldn’t. Neither Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink are what you’d call aggressive when it comes to upgrading last mile speeds, so the law made sure they wouldn’t have to worry about locals getting fed up and say — building a wholesale fiber ring that then allowed regional ISPs to compete

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