Washington Law Would Let Counties Sell Broadband Service When Comcast Won’t

Washington Law Would Let Counties Sell Broadband Service When Comcast Won’t

Last year, we told you about Seth, who had recently relocated to Washington only to find out he might have to sell his new house because Comcast had lied to him about being able to provide the Internet connection he needs for his home office. And even though the county runs a high-speed fiber network not far from his property, current state law restricts consumers from buying access to that service. Recently proposed state legislation hopes to right that wrong and give counties the ability to serve residents when Comcast and others refuse to. [More]

(PepOmint)

FCC Chair: 39% Of Rural America Lacks Broadband Access

If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service. [More]

(image via Google Maps)

Small Massachusetts Town Offers Gigabit Internet For $75/Month

As Comcast rolls out its superfast 2 gigabit fiber service for $300/month — not to mention upwards of $1,000 in startup costs — yet another municipally owned broadband service is offering similar service for less money. [More]

Internet Giants Come Out In Support Of Municipal Broadband

Internet Giants Come Out In Support Of Municipal Broadband

Nearly half the states in the U.S. have laws that ban or severely limit cities and counties from operating broadband networks or from selling that service directly to consumers. This week, a trade group representing the biggest names on the Internet — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, reddit, Yelp, among others — came out in support of breaking down these anti-consumer barriers. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Colorado Voters Toss Restrictive Laws, Vote In Favor Of Allowing Municipal Broadband

Publicly-owned broadband networks can be a great alternative to incumbent ISPs like Comcast and AT&T in towns where there’s no competition, or in areas that existing providers don’t want to serve at all. Incumbent ISPs tend to like their pervasive monopoly status, though, and so they support and bankroll protectionist laws that prohibit municipalities from launching their own networks. [More]

Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

A committee in Congress yesterday held a hearing on promoting broadband infrastructure investment. That is, getting more wires put in the ground so more people can get online faster and more reliably. That’s a laudable goal that we here at Consumerist tend to cheer on. But one theme became clear from the testimonies of the assembled analysts, industry members, and local public companies who spoke: real improvement is going to be a long, ugly series of fights… and consumers are going to keep paying a lot more while it happens. [More]

UPDATE: A Happy Ending For Man Who Almost Had To Sell His House Due To Comcast’s Incompetence

Seth

Remember Seth, the Washington state homeowner who was putting his recently purchased house up for sale because no one — not Comcast, not CenturyLink, not his county — was willing or able to provide the broadband connection he needed for his home office? We’re happy to tell you that Seth is still in the house and he can now go online. [More]

(Ken Fager)

North Carolina Sues FCC To Keep Limits On Municipal Broadband

It’s been a big year for North Carolina in terms of improving the Internet connections for many of its residents. Google Fiber will bring new options to multiple markets in the state, and the FCC acted against a state law that limits municipal broadband providers from expanding their services. But rather than acknowledge that maybe it shouldn’t let Time Warner Cable dictate state laws, North Carolina has sued the FCC. [More]

New Homeowner Has To Sell House Because Of Comcast’s Incompetence, Lack Of Competition

Seth

Only months after moving into his new home in Washington state, Consumerist reader Seth is already looking to sell his house. He didn’t lose his job or discover that the property is haunted. No, Seth can’t stay much longer because no one can provide broadband service to his address; even though Comcast and CenturyLink both misled him into thinking he’d be connected to their networks and in spite of the fact that his county runs a high-speed fiberoptic network that goes very near to his property. [More]

Congresswoman Backed By AT&T, Comcast Introduces Bill To Kill Net Neutrality

Congresswoman Backed By AT&T, Comcast Introduces Bill To Kill Net Neutrality

While some members of Congress have argued that the best way to deal with net neutrality is to create a law that guides what broadband providers can and can’t do with regard to data, one legislator from Tennessee — who has received significant money from neutrality’s biggest opponents — has introduced a bill that would kill neutrality and strip the FCC of its authority to regulate broadband as a necessary piece of telecommunications infrastructure. [More]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaking at the FCC's Open Meeting on February 26, 2015.

FCC Votes To Allow Cities To Expand Broadband Networks

As expected, the FCC today has confirmed an order permitting two cities to expand their existing municipal fiber broadband networks despite state-level laws that block them from doing so. [More]

What You Need To Know About Tomorrow’s Votes On Net Neutrality And Municipal Broadband

What You Need To Know About Tomorrow’s Votes On Net Neutrality And Municipal Broadband

On Thursday morning, the Federal Communications Commission will sit down to discuss and vote on two big issues — net neutrality and municipal broadband — that the cable and telecom industries have campaigned heavily to defeat and obscure. Because of these industry-backed efforts and the legalese involved, many consumers are having difficulty separating myth from reality. In an effort to cut through that haze, we’ve attempted to answer the most pressing questions about these two topics before tomorrow’s vote. [More]

FCC Chairman: Commission Should Approve Cities’ Requests To Preempt State Laws That Block Local Broadband

FCC Chairman: Commission Should Approve Cities’ Requests To Preempt State Laws That Block Local Broadband

Chattanooga’s biggest claim to fame, in 2015, might be its super-fast, publicly-owned, gigabit fiber network. The model has been hailed as a triumph of modern technology and infrastructure by the White House and the FCC, but the network has been unable to expand because of a law on the books in Tennessee designed to tamp down public competition to private ISPs. Last year, the city asked the FCC to intervene so they could build out their network — and now, it looks like they’re going to get their wish. [More]

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Senators Introduce Bill To Block States From Blocking Public Broadband

Congress is just all up in the FCC’s business lately, it seems. Earlier this week, lawmakers in both houses proposed their own version of net neutrality, one that would also strip the FCC of its own authority to regulate broadband in the future. Today, there’s a bill looking to jump into one of the FCC’s other big issues right now: state laws that prohibit communities from developing municipal broadband. [More]

(Ken Fager)

North Carolina May Be Next To Get Google Fiber

It’s been nearly a year since Google announced plans to expand its Google Fiber broadband and pay-TV service to new markets around the U.S., but the company has yet to say which of the 34 eligible cities would be the next to benefit from much-needed competition, but there are some indicators that folks in North Carolina may be getting on the Google fiberwagon. [More]

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

White House Calls For More Municipal Broadband Networks, Urges FCC To Override State Laws Blocking Them

The White House is on a tear with major internet issues this winter. After two other speeches this week in which the President called for stronger consumer data protections and stronger cybersecurity laws, today President Obama will deliver remarks in Iowa singing the praises of municipal broadband and asking the FCC to do away with the laws that block them. [More]

(Coyoty)

46 Connecticut Towns Sign On To Plan For Massive Municipal Broadband Project

Connecticut might be a small state, but they’re poised to make a large leap into the 21st century internet. Local officials have announced they’re joining together on a plan to create at least 46 local municipal gigabit fiber networks in the state — an enormous jump from their current number of zero. [More]

AT&T “Intervenes” In City’s Public Broadband Project, But Says They Won’t Interfere

AT&T “Intervenes” In City’s Public Broadband Project, But Says They Won’t Interfere

A small city in Kansas has a fiber network that currently serves local government and civic buildings. They also have a plan in mind to expand that network and offer inexpensive gigabit fiber connections to every resident and business. That’s great news for the locals, but not such great news for the incumbent ISP, AT&T, which has won the right to “intervene” in the process. [More]