North Carolina anti-muni network bill dies

O joyous day! O rapture! That insidious bill incumbents’ pocket legislator, NC state Senator Hoyle, tried to pass to kill muni broadband networks met its final demise over the weekend. The citizens of North Carolina can breathe a sigh of relief. 34 communities pursuing Google gigabit broadband can dance the Macarena with reckless abandon. Everyone […]

Preliminary Analysis: First Batch of Stimulus Round 2 Awards

RUS, NTIA and the White House held a preliminary conference call last week to talk about the first batch of NOFA Round 2 (broadband stimulus) award winners. No doubt the winners are popping champagne corks and started their 4th of July weekend fireworks early. The rest of the applicants and some of the rest of […]

Handicapping NOFA 2

The good news is that the new NOFA rules are out. The bad news, if you have Attention Deficit Disorder, is that there are two of them and each one seems as long as the first NOFA rules. But at least there are welcome changes. Here’s an overview and a look at who does well […]

Does the Middle Mile hold the key to broadband success?

The first batch of stimulus grant winners was announced right before Christmas, followed by a flurry of news articles, blog posts and Twitter tweets trying to decipher the digital tea leaves to determine a pattern of what types of projects will be funded next. I added my two cents, of course. One “pattern” that bubbled up […]

Philly Wireless – Third Times the Charm

Last week Philadelphia announced it hopes to buy the wireless network from a group of local investors who bought it from EarthLink about a year ago. This on the same day the Feds announced the first batch of stimulus grant winners. As I finish edits to the revision of my 2005 book on broadband strategy […]

The Broadband Stimulus Game – Should I Stay or Should I Go

We’re a month from the filing deadline for the first (could it be the only?) funding round for broadband grant proposals, and the feds are currently on a national tour to answer questions, clarify points, etc. Like the cool rock bands, this tour should have a theme. Borrowing from the Clash would be spot on: […]

Commentary: Will Broadband Projects Dodge the Missteps of Municipal Wireless?

While there are plenty of lively policy debates going on as the public comment period for the broadband stimulus winds down, I hope some folks are dealing with the more mundane elements of this process – the actual dash for dollars. Once the floodgates open, some communities and service providers may be in for a […]

National broadband strategy should focus on users’ needs

“Broadband projects will be part of the $1 trillion stimulus plan. That has set off a debate among lobbyists, tech companies, and congressional leaders.” This excerpt from a BusinessWeek column today sums up perfectly the potential fatal flaw in the race to create a broadband-related economic stimulus plan. A cardinal rule for deploying technology applications […]

Guest commentary: After the Rising, Whither Goes Philly Wireless?

By now, many of you have read about the rescue of Philadelphia’s citywide wireless networks. The gist of events is that Councilman Bill Green felt the network was a vital city asset that should be saved, so he initiated contact with potential investors a couple of days after the last deal imploded in May. The […]

Guest commentary: How a Pennsylvania county paved the way to muni broadband success

In Pennsylvania, Cambria County trumped Verizon with the telco’s own rules to build a muni network that moves beyond public safety to impact education, economic development and digital inclusion. Planners of the 700 square mile Cambria County network, which is up and running, used the following strategy that you will see become the foundation for […]