2013 – March

Seattle: How fast is your Comcast internet today (The Sun Break) March 29, 2013

In advance of Gigabit Squared’s Seattle broadband lighting up its fiber optic connections this fall, Comcast has hit hyperspeed on its residential broadband in Washington State (and selected locations nationally), announcing that it’s doubling the download speed of two its plans, while supercharging a third. The catch? It’s not what you think. The prices remain the same, except for the Extreme 105 class, which will see a discount. (Savor that moment.)

Seattle: Cheap broadband offered to 100 million under-served (The Journal News) March 29, 2013

Connect2Compete, the non-profit organization behind the national campaign to boost digital literacy among the underprivileged, has launched a new promotion to get 100 million “offline” Americans into the Internet age.

Benton: PUD brings fiber to Richard, WA (Community Broadband Networks) March 29, 2013

Benton PUD, located in south central Washington, recently expanded its fiber foot print through Richland and Rattlesnake Mountain. The move involved a collaborative effort between the City of Richland, the Benton PUD, and the Department of Energy.

Seattle: Beacon Hill Handout (Gigabit Squared) March 2013

Gigabit Seattle: Providing Seattle Residents with Broadband for Today’s Needs and Tomorrow’s Innovations

State: Grants up to $100,000 available for improving broadband access use (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal) March 26, 2013

The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced that applications are available for the 2013 Local Technology Planning Team grant program. The grants awards will range from $50,000 to $100,000 and are part of the work of Commerce’s Washington State Broadband Office. This is the second year of the grant program and last year’s grant recipients gathered information on community needs through meetings and surveys, improved mapping of broadband service areas and began planning programs to help low-income families use the internet.

Kitsap: PUD’s free wi-fi is growing in popularity, and coverage (North Kitsap Herald) March 25, 2013

As the weather warms, visitors to downtown Poulsbo won’t have to forego checking their email when leaving a coffee shop for the sunshine – like that cup of coffee, they take the Internet with them…

…Jones said he has also received an OK from the Port of Poulsbo and is talking with potential partners in Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island.

San Juan: OPALCO publishes preliminary wireless microwave broadband locations (Orcas Island TV) March 10, 2013

OPALCO recently published a map showing where they are placing cellular towers around the islands. These cellular antenna arrays could be the size of a electric ‘telephone pole’ – possibly much taller.

Chelan: PUD mulls big hikes for water, sewer customers (Wenatchee World) March 19, 2013

Chelan County PUD officials Monday proposed raising water rates by more than 20 percent over the next four years and sewer rates by more than 60 percent.

The increases are necessary, they say, to close spending gaps and build a nest egg for future replacement expenses and capital improvements.

Chelan: Rate proposal keeps PUD systems on track to close financial gaps (NCWTV) March 19, 2013

Received an update on demolition and reconstruction of the fiber system on the south shore of Lake Wenatchee that was damaged beyond repair in last December’s storms. Potelco of Sumner, Wash., was the low bidder on the labor and equipment portion of the project at $318,542. Crews are setting up this week, and are expected to start work on March 25 and finish by June 18, said George Velazquez, PUD project manager. The overall project estimate including demolition, rebuilding, engineering, administration and materials is $495,000 to $605,000.

Grant: Grant PUD expands fiber optic service in Moses Lake area (iFiber One) March 19, 2013

Knolls Vista, north Moses Lake and Mae Valley area residents are getting access to fiber optic service in 2013.

Grant County PUD plans to start its $5 million expansion of fiber service when the ground becomes soft enough to move, PUD spokeswoman Sarah Morford stated.

Skagit: Mt. Vernon attracts businesses with open access network (Community Broadband Networks) March 19, 2013

Nearly 20 years ago, a small community between Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, began building a fiber optic network to connect key municipal facilities. In the years since, Mt Vernon has expanded the network to many community anchor institutions and businesses locally, including in two nearby towns.

Mason: Mason PUD connects island service territory with fiber optic network, potential broadband (Public Power Daily, APPA) March 18, 2013

Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 in Shelton, Wash., has extended its fiber optic network to its Harstine Island service territory, allowing for enhanced electric service and a potential for future broadband service for its island residents.

Pierce: Click TV fees to remain confidential (Northwest News) March 16, 2013

The fees local broadcasters charge Click Cable TV’s roughly 22,000 subscribers are a trade secret that should not be made public – at least, not by his court…

…Judith Endejan, Fisher’s attorney, added that if the fees became public, local broadcasters with agreements with Click likely would seek to raise their fees in the future, or avoid new contracts with the publicly owned network, leading Click to lose channels and customers and fall “into a downward death spiral.”

Pierce: Fatbeam to acquire fiber optic network in Tacoma (FierceTelecom) March 14, 2013

Fatbeam, a Competitive Access Provider delivering data transport services to customers in the Western U.S., recently came to an agreement to acquire 25 miles of metro fiber optic network in Tacoma, Washington. As part of this agreement, EMAN Networks has agreed to sell its existing fiber assets in the area to Fatbeam. Fatbeam plans to augment the existing EMAN network, which includes adding additional fiber route miles and upgrading the Metro Ethernet backbone, to serve the Franklin Pierce School District under a long-term contract for 20Gb lit Ethernet service.

Benton: Richland get new fiber optic cable (Tri-City Herald) March 14, 2013

New high-capacity fiber optic cable through Richland and at Rattlesnake Mountain is improving communications in Benton County, including at Hanford…

…The Benton PUD also added fiber optics to its power lines at the Rattlesnake Mountain Combined Communications Facility, the communication tower on the Hanford mountain. Now the lines will support electrical transmission and fiber optic communication.

Chelan: Fiber work to begin at Lake Wenatchee (Wenatchee World) March 11, 2013

Sumner-based company Potelco Inc. has won the bid to rebuild approximately five miles of Chelan County PUD fiber-optic line that was destroyed along Lake Wenatchee’s south shore in a series of December snow and wind storms.

NoaNet: NoaNet wraps up middle-mile expansion in Washington State (Fierce Telecom) March 11, 2013

NoaNet: High-speed broadband expansion connects communities across Washington state (PR Newswire) March 7, 2013

NoaNet received two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants to bring high-speed Internet access to schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, and libraries across Washington, and to lay the ground work for bringing affordable broadband service to thousands of businesses and households. An additional 600 miles of expansion is scheduled for completion this summer through the second grant.

NoaNet: High-speed broadband expansion connects communities across Washington state (Market Watch) March 7, 2013
Construction is now complete on Northwest Open Access Network’s (NoaNet) nearly 1,000 mile expansion of broadband fiber, connecting nearly all unserved areas of Washington state that have struggled with limited access to high-speed Internet.

Chelan: General Counsel Carol Wardell to move into new role on PUD legal team (Chelan PUD) March 6, 2013

After 15 years as Chelan PUD’s chief legal adviser, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer Carol Wardell will move into a new role on May 1 as a part-time staff attorney.

San Juan: Co-op rolls out info about broadband (San Juan Journal) March 7, 2013

A group of co-op members on Lopez Island, organized as the Lopez Chapter of Citizens for Safe Technology, recently submitted a petition asking for a change to the Orcas Power & Light Cooperative bylaws related to the construction of wireless facilities.

King-Seattle: Don’t miss Gig.U status updates on Twitter (Twitter) March 5, 2013

San Juan: Reagles retires from OPALCO (Islands’ Sounder) March 4, 2013

After 18 years of dedicated service to OPALCO members, Ginny Reagles has decided to retire. Since 1995, Ginny has been the recognizable “voice of OPALCO” and a familiar face to many members in her role as a member services representative in the Eastsound office.

Kitsap: Question: Why doesn’t Kitsap Public Utility District provide retail telecommunications to county citizens? (Kitsap Connection) March 4, 2013

Answer: A thirteen-year-old state law restricts PUDs from selling full retail telecommunications services to county citizens, agencies and businesses. Although new laws, intervening court rulings and generations of soft and hardware advancement have eclipsed Washington’s last-century law, Washington PUDs are only allowed to provide non-retail services, including wholesale networks, community networks, and certain other telecommunications services.

Mason: Mason PUD to conduct power outage in Harstine Island area Wednesday (The Olympian) March 4, 2013

Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 will conduct a planned power outage in the Harstine Island area Wednesday to complete installation of a new power line and fiber optic cable from the mainland to the island.

King-Seattle: Moving from an age of internet scarcity to abundance (Seattle Times-Opinion-Editorial) March 3, 2013

Consider your last electrical appliance purchase. Did you pause to think if your home could handle the increased electrical demand? No, because our electrical networks are built around the principle of abundance, not scarcity.

Chelan: LocalTel expands into home, business security (Wenatchee World) March 2, 2013

The region’s largest privately-held communications and media company has continued its expansion into new technologies with the purchase of a local security company that specializes in electronic alarm and monitoring systems.

Kitsap: KPUD wants to expand wi-fi to Port Orchard (Port Orchard Independent) March 1, 2013

Hard to find a Wi-Fi hot spot downtown for your cellphone, labtop computer or iPad. Well, that could change in the near future.

San Juan: OPALCO responds to Lopez group’s request for bylaw change (San Juan Islander) March 1, 2013

A group of co-op members on Lopez Island, organized as the Lopez Chapter of Citizens for Safe Technology, recently submitted a petition asking for a change to the OPALCO bylaws related to the construction of wireless facilities. The number of signatures was adequate to meet the bylaw requirements for member initiated amendments (Article XIV, Section 2), however, the proposed language of the bylaw change was ruled impermissible by OPALCO’s legal counsel on the basis that is was in conflict with OPALCO’s articles of incorporation.

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