2012-July-December

Click users may find KOMO missing Tuesday (The News Tribune) December 31, 2012

Some 22,000 Click Network subscribers might well need to go elsewhere than KOMO to view Tuesday’s Tournament of Roses Parade, Capital One Bowl and other programming.

Mobilisa wins contract from NoaNet (Telecompaper) December 31, 2012

Mobilisa announced it has been awarded a contract from the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) to provide high-speed wireless broadband capabilities to several schools and libraries in the Spokane area and Whiteman Counties of Eastern Washington.

Government competition with private providers should always concern taxpayers and utility ratepayers (Fair Competition Alliance) December 29, 2012

…Municipal code for cities differs in some important ways from PUD statute in Washington, but the impulse that causes government to divert public funds to capitalize ill-conceived  pet projects that compete with private (taxpaying) providers is remarkably similar….it should be cause for concern by taxpayers and utility ratepayers alike.

Service restored to 565 fiber customers; south shore still needs electrical and fiber work (Chelan PUD) December 28, 2012

With electric service largely restored in the Plain-Lake Wenatchee areas, Chelan County PUD fiber crews were able to complete repairs on major damage to the fiber line in the Beaver Hill area near Plain on Friday and restore connectivity to parts of the fiber-optic network. An estimated 565 customers were back on line by Friday afternoon.

PUD fiber project slowed by winter (Miner Online) December 27, 2012

NOTE: link requires paid subscription.

Mobilisa wins bid to build broadband backbone (Peninsula Daily News) December 22, 2012

Intellicheck Mobilisa Inc., a national technology company located south of Port Townsend, has won the bid to build the wireless broadband backbone that supporters say will improve connectivity and expand technological options for the North Olympic Peninsula.

Jefferson PUD and NoaNet award contract to Mobilisa (NoaNet) December 20, 2012

Jefferson County PUD and NoaNet (Northwest Open Access Network) have awarded a new contract to Mobilisa, Inc for a project specifically focused on improving wireless broadband access for governmental, medical, educational, public safety as well as other important social services. The work is to begin immediately and expected to be completed by August 2013.

Intellicheck Mobilisa subsidiary awarded wireless contract (Sys-Con) December 19, 2012

Mobilisa, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IDN), was awarded a wireless contract worth $671,962 from Jefferson County Public Utility District and the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet).

Chelan PUD fiber system work will keep network viable (NCWTV) December 18, 2012

System upgrades and equipment replacements are planned for 2013 to keep the Chelan County PUD’s wholesale fiber-optics network viable and to protect the investment made in the system.

Mike Coleman, Fiber and Telecom managing director, Monday outlined for PUD commissioners the work that will be done next year. The result will be improved data speeds, a move to newer technology and increased reliability for some users.

2013 fiber system work will keep network viable; access to about 600 more end-users anticipated (Chelan PUD) December 17, 2012

System upgrades and equipment replacements are planned for 2013 to keep the Chelan County PUD’s wholesale fiber-optics network viable and to protect the investment made in the system.

Chelan PUD to maintain rates for 2012 (Lake Chelan Mirror) December 14, 2012

Commissioners approved the Chelan PUD’s 2013 budget on Dec. 3, promising not to raise electric rates for its customers…

…Fiber update – “Capital has been budgeted for limited expansion of about 600 line extensions in 2013,” Coleman said. “We are still encouraging retail service providers to re-establish connections where fiber equipment is already installed on the side of the home or business. After the line extension budget is exhausted, people who want to may pay the entire cost of a connection, and we are happy to provide a cost estimate.”

Chelan PUD considers hiring NoaNet for NOC Center services (Chelan PUD meeting documents) December 14, 2012

A resolution authorizing the General Manager to enter into a services agreement with Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) for network operations center services. [Regular agenda item #11.]

And also authorizing moving money between accounts to accommodate internal loans up to $9 million for capital projects. Regular agenda item #13.]

Seattle tries again for fiber network – this time with help from Gigabit Squared (DSL Broadband Reports) December 14, 2012

For much of the last decade Seattle has explored the idea of building their own ultra-fast broadband network. Much of that motivation was fueled by the sub-standard service provided in the region by regional telco Qwest (now CenturyLink), which in turn resulted in regional cable operator Comcast not working very hard. After scrapping several fiber plans and shutting down their Wi-Fi network, Seattle is back at work on a new fiber to the home effort in conjunction with Gigabit Squared.

Seattle to launch ultra high-speed network for homes, businesses (MyNorthwest) December 13, 2012

The internet is about to get a lot faster and beefier in Seattle after Mayor Mike McGinn announced Thursday an agreement for a new ultra high-speed fiber network across the city. [Note: articles includes a map.]

New Seattle broadband service will open up fat pipe to much of Hill, CD (Capitol Hill Seattle) December 13, 2012

There’s a fat pipe laying beneath Seattle. Now we have a plan to put it to use in a trial that is planned to bring a municipal high-speed fiber network to twelve neighborhoods by fall 2013 — including most of Capitol Hill and the Central District.

Seattle mayoral hunger games: How it got this way (Crosscut) December 12, 2012

McGinn is poised to make progress getting the city closer to broadband by activating the “dark” fiber optic lines underground.

Mayor McGinn announces plan to develop “ultra-fast broadband network” (Geekwire) December 13, 2012

The lowdown: Seattle mayor Mike McGinn today announced an agreement with broadband developerGigabit Squared to operate a high-speed fiber network in Seattle in 12 neighborhoods using the city’s unused “dark fiber” network. We’ve updated the story below, including more detailed information about the test project.

Seattle, Gigabit Squared, UW to announce broadband plan (Seattle Times) December 12, 2012

Seattle has apparently found partners to lease excess capacity on its fiber-optic network.

Mayor Mike McGinn has scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning at which he is expected to announce a plan to develop an “ultra-fast broadband network.”

Connect Washington: The latest news from NoaNet on its broadband expansion (Washington Broadband) December 12, 2012

We set aggressive goals for ourselves in 2012, and we exceeded our expectations. NoaNet has constructed over 800 miles of new broadband fiber to reach underserved communities, we have created or retained over 200 jobs, and we completed 17 broadband expansion projects providing high-speed Internet access to dozens of communities, including Deming, Othello, Ritzville, Davenport, Colfax, Pomeroy and Blyn. NoaNet construction crews also broke ground on six additional routes in 2012, and we are working hard to deliver broadband to the communities eagerly awaiting its arrival between now and fall of 2013.

We have accomplished a lot, but there is still more to do. This next year we will finish construction on all of the federally funded broadband expansion projects by July 2013. All told more than 400 miles of additional broadband infrastructure will be built over the next six months. We look forward to what the new year brings, and we look forward to our continued partnership.

Chelan PUD General Counsel Carol Wardell honored for community service (Chelan PUD) December 7, 2012

Carol Wardell, an advocate for children and a role model for working women, was presented the William T. Elmgren Public Service Award by the Washington Public Utility Districts Association on Dec. 6 at the organization’s annual meeting in Vancouver.

Mason PUD adopts $59 million budget for 2013 (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal) December 5, 2012

Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 commissioners have adopted a $59 million budget for 2013 that reflects the financial impact of Washington state’s renewable energy law and higher price for wholesale electricity supplies purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)…

…There is no impact on rates from reconstruction of the Mason substation in Shelton; telecommunications projects for the PUD 3 fiber optic network; and possible expenses for moving power lines along Highway 3 in Belfair. These projects are funded by proceeds of a bond sale and the use of reserves intended for this purpose.

Chelan PUD budget approved (Wenatchee World) December 4, 2012

Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday approved the utility’s $212.9 million budget for 2013.

2013 budget forecasts stronger bottom line for Chelan PUD and no electric rate increase (Chelan PUD) December 4, 2012

As electric rates remain the same, Chelan County PUD expects to end 2013 with a $9 million increase in its net gain bottom line compared with this year’s budget. The increase in the combined bottom line to $82 million for 2013 keeps the District on track to meet its financial policies.

Chelan PUD Regular Commission Agenda (Chelan PUD) December 3, 2012

Item 8. A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE 2013 DISTRICT BUDGETS FOR THE FIBER NETWORK,WATER,WASTEWATERANDINTEGRATEDELECTRIC (DISTRIBUTION, TRANSMISSION, …

Chelan PUD Preliminary 2013 Budget-Presentation (Chelan PUD) November 5, 2012

Agenda

  • Strategic focus and priorities
  • Financial policies and budget targets
  • Preliminary results and highlights
  • Human resource overview
  • Budget summary and next steps
  • Appendix – additional detailed information

Chelan PUD Proposed 2013 Budget – Presentation (Chelan PUD) November 19, 2012

Agenda

Budget targets and key assumptions

  • Changes since last presentation
  • Overview of proposed budget
  • Next steps

Grant PUD 2013 Budget Presentation (Grant PUD) October 12, 2012

  • 23 service providers offer fiber to end users
  • Approx. 7,000 end users access network
  • 2013 budget includes $5 million for fiber system build out
  • Commission internal goal: Revenues meet or exceed O&M & depreciation (on new capital)
  • – Currently meeting goal
Benton PUD Proposed 2013 Budget (Benton PUD) September 25, 2012
  • Comparative Operating Statement
  • Comparative Capital Budget
  • Comparative Budget by Resource
  • Revenue Summary
  • Budget Activity by Department
  • Department Detail Budget

Franklin PUD 2013 Budget Discussions (Franklin PUD) September 25, 2012

Agenda: 6:00 p.m. Discussing the “State of the PUD,” including an overview of the District, 2013 Budgets, Power Rates, and Power Supply.

Continued Franklin PUD 2013 Budget Discussions(Franklin PUD) October 23, 2012

Re-opening the 2013 Budgets Public Hearing, Presenting Updated Preliminary 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets and Recessing the Public Hearing.

Continued Franklin PUD 2013 Budget Discussions (Franklin PUD) November 13, 2012

Re-opening the 2013 Budgets Public Hearing, Presenting Updated Preliminary 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets and Recessing the Public Hearing until December 11 regular meeting.

Douglas PUD Commission Report on 2013 Budget (Douglas PUD) October 2, 2012

Adopted the Distribution System budget which estimates revenues for 2013 at $45.5 million, an increase of 0.9%. Operating expenses are estimated at $40.8 million, an increase of 1.5%. A net loss from operations is projected to be $420,863.

Okanogan PUD 2013 Proposed Budget (Okanogan PUD) October 9, 2013

$22.3 million transfer from reserves, which is a $2.4 million increase over the 2012 adopted budget.

A string of PUD tragedies (Wenatchee World – Letter, Werner Janssen) November 21, 2012 [scroll down]

Multiple tragedies were involved with the firing of Joe Jarvis and John Smith.

1. As early as 2005, the Chelan PUD Commissioners and management began receiving information indicating the fiber optics program was a financial disaster and would significantly increase the capital and operational debt if continued. The warnings were ignored.

Faster mobile speeds heading to Tri-Cities (NBC/KNDO/KNDU) November 14, 2012

For some in the region, your mobile experience will get a lot faster come Thursday. Verizon Wireless announced they are launching 4G coverage in Ellensburg, Moses Lake and Wenatchee. U.S. Cellular will also launch their 4G LTE service for Yakima and the Tri-Cities Thursday.

Kirkland broadband company WaveDivision raises $1B, focuses on B2B (Puget Sound Business Journal) November 15, 2012

The biggest broadband and fiber optics networking company you’ve never heard of, WaveDivision Holdings, just brought in more than $1 billion in new funding.

Kirkland’s Wave raises $1B for broadband growth (Brier Didley’s Blog-Seattle Times) November 15, 2012

Wave Broadband may have to change its name to Tsunami.

The Kirkland-based company is announcing today that it has raised $1.052 billion to accelerate the expansion of its broadband network on the West Coast.

Higher Click rates on the table (Tacoma News Tribune) November 13, 2012

Click Cable TV customers would see their monthly bills climb by about 9 percent next year under a proposal headed for the City Council today.

If approved, the rate hikes would range from an extra $1.25 per month for the lowest-level Click subscriber, to as much $10 more for patrons with premium cable packages. Late payment charges would also increase – from $3 to $5.99 – but equipment costs would not be affected.

PUD commissioner selected for district 3 board position (Grant PUD) November 13, 2012

Commissioners unanimously appointed Larry Schaapman to fill the District 3 position during their regularly scheduled business meeting on Nov. 13. Schaapman will serve the remainder of Commissioner Randy Allred’s term, which expires in December 2014. Allred resigned from his position due to on-going health issues.

It’s a good time to reflect on the PUD’s progress (Chelan PUD) November 13, 2012

Each year at this time I reflect on what we have. At the Chelan County PUD, we are blessed to have abundant and affordable hydropower and to serve terrific customer-owners in Chelan County. We are right in the middle of preparing an Annual Report that describes highlights of the previous 12 months, but that report is not usually completed until April. So I would like to provide our customer-owners a few highlights in several key areas before then.

Chelan PUD water, sewer customers will pay more in 2013 (Wenatchee World) November 8, 2012

…The 2013 increases are part of a series of gradual hikes intended to boost rate revenues enough to cover or slightly exceed the costs to provide and maintain those services, O’Bryan said. The fiber-optic rates the PUD collects from private “middleman” companies like LocalTel Communications are under analysis, O’Bryan said.

Rate hikes brewing for Grant PUD customers (Wenatchee World) November 8, 2012

Grant County PUD customers will likely pay more for their electricity in 2013, as the utility seeks to increase annual rate revenue by $10.9 million – about 8 percent.

Grays Harbor PUD considers two versions of their capital budget (KXRO Radio) November  6, 2012

The Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners are considering two preliminary capital budget options for 2013. The first is a $10 million spending plan and the second a $7.5 million version. The capital budget pays for long term assets such as substations, trucks, poles, wires, and facilities.

PUD finances sound; no electric rate increase in proposed 2013 budget (Chelan PUD) November 5, 2012

A 2013 preliminary budget presented to Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday afternoon for its first public hearing continues to plan for providing reliable, high-quality utility services at a reasonable cost and contains no planned electric rate increase.

The high cost of termination (Wenatchee World) November 3, 2012

No matter who was right, or wrong, or wronged, the people who foot the bill for judgment have a right to be amazed at what it takes for a PUD to fire an upper-level manager. It was with some astonishment we read the news last week that Chelan County PUD and its general manager, John Janney, had settled lawsuits with two terminated former executives, Joe Jarvis and John Smith, who claimed they were wrongly and unfairly shown the door. It was a hefty bill to end a relationship.

Poulsbo, WA begins free wireless Internet pilot project(Community Broadband Networks) November 1, 2012

Poulsbo, Washington, home to around 9,200 residents of Kitsap County, recently became the location of an “exercise in democracy” pilot project. Amy Phan of the Kitsap Sun, reportsthat the town is now home to a superfast wireless hotspot made possible by a new antenna installation courtesy of the the Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD).

PUD settles with fired managers for $985,000(Wenatchee World) October 30, 2012

Chelan County PUD and its General Manager John Janney have agreed to settle a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by former high-level managers Joe Jarvis and John Smith for a total of $985,000 to avoid the risk and further expense of an appeal and jury trial.

Chelan PUD settles litigation to minimize risk to ratepayers (Chelan PUD) October 30, 2012

The Chelan County Public Utility District has settled litigation stemming from the dismissal of two former employees over their management of the District’s fiber program. Joe Jarvis and John Smith were terminated in February 2011 and subsequently sued the District, asking for $1.7 million.

Progress Report: Washington State broadband internet expansion (NoaNet) Fall 2012

…The highlight was starting work on our longest route to date, which will build 175 miles of new fiber and bring high-speed Internet service to unserved communities in the Okanogan region. Moreover, this $16 million project will employ more than

50 workers in Stevens, Ferry, Pend Oreille and Okanogan counties over the coming year…

PUD changes fiber line policy despite lobbyist protest (Wenatchee World) October 16, 2012 [NOTE: FCA mentioned]

With little chance for public discussion, Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday unanimously agreed to allow the utility to accept direct payments from customers who wish to pay the full cost of hooking into the PUD fiber-optic network.

NoaNet Progress Report: Washington State Broadband Internet Expansion(Northwest Open Access Network) October, 2012

The latest news on Northwest Open Access Network’s (NoaNet) implementation of two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants to bring high-speed Internet access to hundreds of schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, libraries, colleges and universities across Washington state.

U.S. representative’s cyber-attack warning doesn’t daunt Port Angeles on wi-fi (Peninsula Daily News) October 11, 2012

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks’ warning that the U.S. is vulnerable to a cyber attack left those involved in building Port Angeles’ first-of-its-kind citywide Wi-Fi system no more worried Thursday than before Dicks made his comments Wednesday at a Bremerton technology conference.

The Metro-Net wireless project, launched Monday, is free during October, then will be free one hour a day and 12 days a year beginning in November, when it will begin costing up to $34.95 a month for mobile Internet users and $37.95 a month for fixed-point users through Sequim-based OlyPen.

Port Angeles officials clip cable to begin city wide Internet service (Peninsula Daily News) October 8, 2012

Residents can step outside their homes with smartphones, tablets or laptops and go online through a new city Internet network nicknamed “The Mesh.”

Waterfront project, city Wi-Fi to start today in Port Angeles (Peninsula Daily News) October 8, 2012

The city of Port Angeles will move firmly into the 21st century, as public art displays are coming down this week in preparation for today’s start of construction of the $3.9 million waterfront esplanade on Railroad Avenue.

Broadband study update (OPALCO) October 5, 2012

As reported a month ago, OPALCO is on the home stretch in its year-long effort to explore the feasibility of expanding our existing fiber-optic network to create a telecommunications infrastructure that would serve San Juan County. The goals of the Initiative are to:

Noanet brings broadband from Colville to Metaline Falls and Cusick (NoaNet Facebook) October 3, 2012

NoaNet projects bringing broadband internet fiber from Colville to Metaline Falls and Cusick will “provide several large benefits” to Pend Oreille County and offer a backup connection to the regional fiber network, says an article published today in The Pend Oreille Miner.

Application for use of state-owned aquatic lands (Washington Department of Natural Resources) September 27, 2012

This agreement would allow the use of state-owned aquatic lands for the sole purpose of fiber optic cable crossings. It is located on the Pend Oreille River and Calipell Creek, in Pend Oreille County, Washington.

Higher pay, some higher rates in PUD plan (Wenatchee World) October 2, 2012

Pay increases for employees and possible rate increases for water and sewer customers are on tap in the Chelan County PUD’s 2013 budget, but the utility will continue to pay down debt, commissioners learned Monday.

City of Seattle looks to expand fiber leasing plan (GeekWire) October 1, 2012

Seattle’s excess fiber optic cabling is officially for sale. Mayor Mike McGinnreleased a request for information today to private companies who want to use the city’s 500 miles of unused cabling throughout the city.

Timeline and targets set for Chelan PUD’s 2013 budget (Chelan PUD) October 1, 2012

As next year’s budget goes through its annual development, Chelan County PUD financial staff told PUD commissioners Monday they expect the District will be able to avoid an increase in retail electric rates in 2013. [NOTE: Key targets include fiber expansion.]

Poulsbo gets pilot fiber-optic broadband program (Kitsap Sun) September 30, 2012

Lightning-fast broadband has been added to some parts of Poulsbo’s downtown. And for now, it’s free.

Free city Wi-Fi arrives — in Port Angeles (Seattle Times) September 27, 2012

WA: On Oct. 8, Port Angeles will launch a citywide wireless network providing broadband to anyone with a Wi-Fi device.

Lagging Internet access in rural Washington State (Seattle Times Letter-to-the-Editor) September 26, 2012

The article “Living on the dark side of the digital divide” [page one, Sept. 16] correctly recognizes the importance of broadband, but it fails to mention some proactive steps the state can take right now to bring more broadband and opportunity to rural Washington.

Living on the dark side of the digital divide (Seattle Times) September 16, 2012

While the rest of the state zips around the Web, a few remote areas of Washington lag years behind, crawling slowly but inevitably into the Internet Age.

Need for speed: Broadband comes to rural areas (Spokesman Review) September 16, 2012

Think of the fastest Internet speed you experience. Now multiply that by 10, 50 or even 100. It’s coming … to Pend Oreille County…

…Ten public utility districts in Washington are leading this digital charge together as NoaNet, the Northwest Open Access Network. The nonprofit, wholesale provider of broadband has more than 1,800 fiber miles serving nearly 260,000 people in rural and underserved areas…

Fiber optics fix complete (Lake Chelan Mirror) September 11, 2012

At least part of Chelan and Manson have working cable television as of about noon today. PUD repair crews began working on its burned fiber optics line north of Entiat at 5 a.m. today, with the hopes of restoring cable television outages in the Chelan and Manson area, said PUD Public Relations Director Steve Lachowicz.

Cable service was interrupted late yesterday afternoon to customers of LocalTel and Frontier.

For underserved students, districts bring broadband home (The Journal) September 10, 2012

To provide internet access to its student community, Kent (WA) School District installed kiosks with wireless access in public places around town.

Broadband study update (Islands’ Sounder) September 7, 2012

OPALCO is on the home stretch in its year-long effort to explore the feasibility of expanding the existing fiber-optic network to create a telecommunications infrastructure that would serve San Juan County.

Okanogan PUD opts to continue its membership in NoaNet (Methow Valley News) September 5, 2012

The PUD is continuing its membership in a coalition that builds and maintains a wholesale broadband network in rural Washington, guaranteeing a $5 million line of credit, if needed, to finance improvements.

Okanogan County Public Utility District commissioners unanimously approved the continued involvement in August.

Whatever happened to Obama’s goal of universal broadband access? (Washington Post) August 29, 2012

Does anyone remember when the Obama administration promised to bring “true broadband [to] every community in America”? The Republican Party definitely does, and its 2012 platform criticizes the president for not making any progress on this pledge:

…To take one example, the Northwest Open Access Network in Washington, partly funded by the stimulus, is supposed to lower the cost of broadband to some 380,000 homes once completed….

Tacoma Click! Network thrives despite incumbent dirty tricks (Gigabit Nation) August 30, 2012

Word of the Tacoma public-owned network’s demise is not only exaggerated, it is a blatant lie told by CenturyLink minions to try to steal Click! customers. Click! is 15 years old and increasing both its power and reach.

PUD hires new fiber boss (Wenatchee World) August 29, 2012

Chelan County PUD has hired James M. “Mike” Coleman to oversee its fiber-optic network.

Coleman has had more that 23 years of telecommunications industry experience, most recently as a business executive for SBC Corporation, a global telecommunications company and one of the nation’s largest Internet providers.

Chelan PUD hires new leader for its fiber-optic system (Chelan PUD) August 28, 2012

James M. “Mike” Coleman, a business executive with extensive experience at SBC Corporation, has been hired by Chelan County PUD to oversee its fiber-optic network and move it to financial self-sufficiency while maintaining high reliability and quality service.

PUD finances on track through June (Wenatchee World) August 21, 2012

Chelan County PUD finances are on track through June, even though market prices for the utility’s all-important surplus power are too low to cash in, commissioners learned Monday.

Tacoma’s Click! introduces 100 Mbps, CenturyLink lies to steal Click! business  (Community Broadband Networks) August 23, 2012

…Unfortunately, it was no surprise to come across a recent news story that describes CenturyLink’s misleading sales tactics. CenturyLink salespeople have gone door-to-door and told people Click! is closing. C.R. Roberts from the News Tribune covered the story in mid-July. According to the report, even after Click! contacted CenturyLink to complain, the lies continued in parts of the city. This is no single anomaly, we have heard of similar tactics being used in the past.

NoaNet service may be available in Touchet Valley (Waitsburg Times) August 24, 2012

Faster Internet speeds could be coming to the Touchet Valley in 2013 because one local business owner says he wants to hook up to a new, cutting edge fiber optic network.

NoaNet conducting major upgrade & maintenance work on its data transmission system August 16, 2012

The retail service providers using Mason County PUD No. 3 internet services across the PUD’s fiber optic network may experience some service disruptions late in the evening on Tuesday, August 21.

Naches is beefing up Internet connection to benefit town, school district (Yakima Herald-Republic) August 11, 2012

Yakima County plans to extend its fiber network in Naches, a move that would provide an improved broadband connection for the Naches Valley School District.

The extension would be about a mile long, which will enable bandwidth to the school district on behalf of Northwest Open Access Network, better known as NoaNet, the district’s Internet service provider. NoaNet would also cover the $30,000 price tag for the installation.

Tri-Cities debates public broadband (Fair Competition Alliance blog) August 8, 2012

The Tri-City Herald weighed in August 3 with its take on government-owned broadband saying high-speed internet access is essential for rural residents and constructing a straw-man of urban-dwellers who take their broadband speeds for granted.

And, public utility district (PUD) commissioners from both Benton and Franklin PUDs reiterated that high-speed access is essential in their joint letter to the Tri-City Herald editor on August 7.

Missing from either of these statements was any acknowledgement of existing private fiber facilities in the area.

High-speed access essential (Letters to the Editor: Tri-City Herald) August 7, 2012

Years ago, our grandparents created public utility districts when private corporations would not provide electricity to the rural communities in the Mid-Columbia. The economic prosperity that ensued has transformed our region into a thriving commercial and agricultural center for Washington state.

High-speed internet access essential for rural resident (Editorial: Tri-City Herald) August 3, 2012

Many of us take internet access for granted. We’ve got it at home, in the office and on the go. We expect a speedy connection and complain about the occasional momentary slow down. But for those of us who don’t live in cities or near them, high-speed access has been much harder to come by.

Taxpayers foot the bill for PUDs’ broadband (Fair Competition Alliance Op-Ed, Tri-City Herald) July 29, 2012

There won’t be much to celebrate in the Tri-Cities when electric ratepayers of the area’s two PUDs discover how much they’re paying for PUD and NoaNet broadband.

PUD fiber plan’s costs squeeze small service providers (Wenatchee World) July 28, 2012

Fee and other wholesale cost-of-business increases to the private companies that sell Internet, telephone and/or cable TV services over Chelan County PUD’s fiber-optics network last week sparked a sell-out to local industry leader LocalTel Communications.

Governor cheers broadband expansion (Wenatchee World) July 27, 2012

The rural Mid-Columbia is undergoing a change as significant as the extension of electrical service in the past century, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday during a visit to Eastern Washington.

Much of an expanded fiber optic network bringing broadband’s high-speed data transmission for internet use has been completed in Eastern Washington.

Gregoire hails expansion of broadband internet access in rural mid- Columbia (Tri-City Herald) July 27, 2012

The rural Mid-Columbia is undergoing a change as significant as the extension of electrical service in the past century, said Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday in Kennewick.

Gov. Gregoire’s statement on completion of broadband expansion projects (Governor’s Office Press Release) July 26, 2012

“Today is certainly a milestone in Washington state – one that was no small feat to achieve. I commend our private and public partners who worked together to ensure that 99 percent of Washingtonians now have access to high speed internet.

To stay on solid financial path, Chelan PUD limits fiber connections until next year (Chelan PUD) July 26, 2012

Chelan County PUD has notified retail service providers who offer Internet, TV and telephone service over the PUD’s fiber-optic network that the PUD has reached the number of basic residential or business connections that can be paid for in this year’s fiber-optic budget.

Seattle to lease access to fiber-optic network (PC Mag) July 24, 2012

Seattle officials recently approved a plan that will let the city lease unused fiber-optic cabling to private companies, which is intended to boost Internet speeds and competition in the region.

Seattle divvies up network, ending big broadband plan (Brier Dudley’s Blog, Seattle Times) July 23, 2012

Following the wishes of Mayor McGinn, the Seattle City Council today voted to begin parting out the city’s fiber network.

Grant PUD board names Webb interim GM (Wenatchee World) July 23, 2012

Grant County PUD commissioners Monday named Tony Webb as interim general manager. Webb, 50, is one of two assistant general managers at the PUD. He’ll fill in until commissioners find a replacement for Tim Culbertson, whom they fired July 9 for having a romantic relationship with a female PUD employee.

LocalTel buys part of its biggest competitor (Wenatchee World) July 20, 2012

LocalTel Communications, the region’s largest local provider of Internet, telephone and cable TV services, has purchased part of its biggest competitor, Genext LLC, and several smaller companies to give it a virtual monopoly on services delivered over PUD fiber optics.

Gregoire to celebrate broadband network expansion July 26 in Kennewick (Tri-City Herald) July 10, 2012

Online testing for students and online training for teachers. Imaging capabilities for hospitals. Surveillance of inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center through linked cameras.

Broadband effort on Whidbey and Camano Islands hits the wall (Whidbey News Times) July 6, 2012

An effort to improve broadband availability on Whidbey and Camano islands will not move forward.

Ron Nelson, director of the Island County Economic Development Council, recently learned that the Washington State Department of Commerce did not approved its application for a $50,000 grant.

Studying the community to learn about the needs (John Janney, Wenatchee World) July 9, 2012

…The PUD, having come through its own budget fallbacks and work force cuts, is prepared to do its part to keep this region moving forward as well. Like many local organizations…

Farewell, NoaNet (Wenatchee World) July 7, 2012

Just as the state Legislature allowed them to invest in communications networks, when they needed to connect to the outside world, the state’s PUDs formed a somewhat obscure spinoff agency called the Northwest Open Access Network, or NoaNet. It would lease “dark fiber” from the Bonneville Power Administration and let PUDs link their networks to the world at large. And it worked.

Click Network claims competitor is going door-to-door saying bad things — bad things that aren’t true, Click says (The News Tribune) July 6, 2012

Tacoma’s Click Network on Friday afternoon warned customers that door-to-door salespersons for a competing service were proclaiming Click’s imminent demise.

OPALCO: Waiting game (Journal of the San Juan Islands)

“Yes” is the answer. But the question is “when?”

After more than five years of meetings and hearings and work, San Juan County now has a “new and improved” regulatory framework for locating digital communications sites in the San Juan islands.

OPALCO staff say broadband initiative is progressing (Islands’ Sounder)  July 5, 2012

As Orcas Power and Light Cooperative‘s Board of Directors continue to study the feasibility of the Broadband Initiative, improving high-speed Internet and other communication services, staff say progress is being made. There have been developments on three major contingencies, which the board has to address before voting on the project: revision of the county’s Wireless Ordinance, completion of feasibility studies and acquisition of a Federal Communications Commission licensed frequency.

Progress Report on OPALCO broadband initiative ( San Juan Islander) (no date July 2012)

As Orcas Power and Light Coop’s (OPALCO) Board continues to study the feasibility of the Broadband Initiative, progress is being made. At our last report, there were three major contingencies to address before the Board could consider a vote on the project: revision of the County’s Wireless Ordinance, completion of feasibility studies and acquisition of a FCC licensed frequency. There have been positive developments on each front and the Board is moving closer to a decision point.

Chelan PUD opts out of NoaNet (Wenatchee World) July 4, 2012

Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday unanimously agreed to withdraw the utility’s membership in regional telecom nonprofit NoaNet.

Their vote comes about a month after Douglas County PUD commissioners made the same decision. A stalemated vote last week on the Grant County PUD board – two for, two against and one absent – will preserve the membership of the Ephrata-based utility for now.

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