Tag Archives: municipal broadband

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Who Are the FCC Commissioners and Where Do They Side on Net Neutrality?

The war over how to regulate the internet has a key problem: the process for creating regulation is so complex that even vehement supporters and opponents of Net Neutrality and other key issues often have little knowledge of where this regulation actually comes from, or how it’s created. Interestingly, the group that’s responsible for managing these regulations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is quite small. Just five commissioners cast votes on everything from Next Gen TV standards to wireless spectrum allocation. These five commissioners have a huge impact on the lives of every American who uses the Internet — which is to say, virtually all of us, with the exception of a few hermits. In this breakdown, we’re going to… Continue reading →

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Why Is the American Internet Empire Crumbling?

The colossal labyrinth of pulses and wires we refer to as “the Internet” is sort of like the jumble of wires and plugs behind your uncle’s VCR. Sure, it works — but it’s largely improvised, and for the love of God don’t touch anything. Much like that old VCR, America’s network infrastructure is often a bit dated in terms of infrastructure. This has become increasingly clear in the past year as policy changes around Net Neutrality and regulatory standards have been riling up consumers, Internet providers, and Internet access advocacy groups alike. Overall, one thing is clear; the US has some issues when it comes to the modern innovation it helped give birth to. The heart of the trouble goes… Continue reading →

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Municipal Broadband Roadblocks

34 million Americans don’t have access to broadband Internet. In fact, 62 percent of those who can get broadband only have one provider to “choose” from. [1] This means that, for the majority of the US, our only option is to pay up… or go without. Some municipalities have taken it upon themselves to fix this problem by building public-owned “municipal broadband” networks. Cities like Chattanooga, TN and Sandy, OR made headlines by providing gigabit-speed Internet at a low cost to their residents. As of 2016, over 185 communities nationwide have followed suit with some form of public broadband service.[2] Needless to say, incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t like this idea, and have been lobbying at the state level for years… Continue reading →

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Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Broadband, Net Neutrality, and Internet Issues

Politicians have a well-earned reputation for misunderstanding the Internet. …So it’s no surprise that candidate stances on tech issues are all over the map as we approach the 2016 presidential election. From Clinton’s email server scandal[1] to Trump’s proposal of “closing that Internet up” to fight ISIS[2], Internet users have plenty of reason to be concerned about how either candidate might alter the landscape of “InternetLand” if they take office. There’s a lot more than our YouTube addiction at stake for the American public: Net Neutrality, municipal broadband, and data privacy are all on the chopping block. Let’s take a close look at where the candidates stand on Internet and broadband issues. I’ll start with a brief overview of each… Continue reading →

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Municipal Broadband Roadblocks

Disclaimer: this report has been updated. For updated information, please see our 2016 Municipal Broadband Report. According to FCC data released in 2013, over 39 million Americans have less than 2 wired broadband providers they can get broadband service from. Our team at Broadband Now has been obsessed with this fact because without a competitive market, companies have little incentive to treat their customers well or improve their infrastructure leading to poor customer service [1] and questionable business practices.[2] Lucky for some consumers, municipalities across the country have been stepping into help underserved populations get access to better more competitive broadband service. While this introduction of new competition sounds like a win for consumers, incumbent providers have been leveraging their… Continue reading →