Great Beyond

Another Set Of Colorado Counties Vote To Toss Restrictive Law, Permit Municipal Broadband

Part of the reason broadband competition is so dang hard to come by for millions of us? Protectionist, industry-backed laws that make it either obscenely difficult or outright illegal to start a public network. Colorado is one of the states with such a law on the books, but voters in the Centennial State are once again saying they’d rather municipal networks had a chance. [More]

Appeals Court: Municipal Internet Is Great, But States Can Still Restrict Access

Steve

More than a dozen states have laws that either prohibit counties and cities from operating their own broadband internet networks, selling service directly to consumers, or expanding their service behind a prescribed footprint. In 2015, the FCC voted to preempt two of these laws — in Tennessee and North Carolina — but this morning a federal appeals court says the FCC lacks the legal authority to do so. [More]

Mike Matney

Missouri Lawmakers Sneak Municipal Broadband Restrictions Into Traffic Ticket Bill

The legislative process, in theory, brings us laws that have been robustly debated, discussed, compromised on, and perfected. But in reality, legislatures have this thing where lawmakers can often add completely unrelated amendments or riders to bills to accomplish, well, basically any pet goal they want. That’s what’s happened in Missouri this week, and now municipal broadband in the state is under fire from a law about… traffic tickets.

[More]

Great Beyond

More Colorado Communities Vote To Toss Restrictive State Law, Explore Municipal Broadband

Colorado is one of the 20 states with some kind of industry-friendly, public-network-blocking law on the books. But in this state, there’s a catch: instead of being blocked altogether, state law prevents communities from running service unless local voters specifically authorize it first.

[More]

Appeals Court Questions Tennessee & North Carolina Lawsuit To Restrict Community Broadband

Steve

More than a year after the FCC voted to preempt state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that heavily restrict city- and county-owned utilities from providing broadband to consumers, the states and the federal regulator finally had their day in court. [More]

Comcast, AT&T Lobbyists Help Kill Community Broadband Expansion In Tennessee

YayAdrian

When cable and telecom companies go through the effort of writing anti-consumer legislation for states, they can later be counted on to lobby to keep those laws in place when challenged. Case in point: Lobbyists for Comcast and AT&T recently helped kill a small piece of legislation in Tennessee that would have allowed a city-run utility to expand the reach of its broadband service. [More]

Adam Fagen

Google Fiber Finally Coming To At Least Some People In San Francisco

While Google is based in the San Francisco Bay area, the closest the Internet biggie has come to bringing Google Fiber to the region is listing San Jose as a “potential” Fiber market for the future. But today, Google announced that at least some people in San Francisco will be able to get its high-speed data service. [More]

Google Fiber Coming To Huntsville In Public-Private Partnership

Google Fiber Coming To Huntsville In Public-Private Partnership

In most of the cities where Google Fiber exists (or is in the process of being built out), the company is starting from nothing — digging trenches, running new fiberoptic cable — but Google announced today that when it launches Fiber service in Huntsville, AL, it will be doing so over Rocket City’s municipal fiber network. [More]

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
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]