A new product offering is usually announced with a big splash. However AT&T told the world about its plans for a new skinny bundle of services from a less likely place...a courtroom.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was testifying in the antitrust trial where the US federal government is trying to block AT&T from buying Time Warner. When government litigators claimed that the merger would stifle competition, Stephensen let slip that AT&T is developing a new OTT skinny bundle called AT&T Watch. The package would include some popular programmers but NO SPORTS as a cost saving move and will be available for around $15.00 sometime in the next several weeks.
Assuming that Mr. Stephenson wouldn't fib about something like that while under oath, the possible launch of AT&T Watch bears watching.
The 2018 IAMU Fall Broadband Meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at the IAMU Office and Training Complex in Ankeny. This is our traditional mid-year "check up" that provides Iowa municipal broadband providers with an opportunity to network and get caught up on new developments in the industry.
Mark your calendars now; registration materials will be coming in late summer.
The Iowa Heartland Chapter of the SCTE is offering a new training for telecom personnel who are involved in troubleshooting home networking issues. "Home Networking Challenges" will address both WiFi networking issues in the home as well as other wired protocols, including MoCA, ethernet, HomePlug, and others.
The training will be held live on May 2nd at IAMU in Ankeny and May 3rd at Kirkwood Community College in Hiawatha. Also, remote participation sites for the May 2nd training have been set up at Cedar Falls Utilities and Muscatine Power and Water.
All the registration information is available on the Iowa Heartland Chapter website at www.iowaheartlandscte.org/events--training.html
The citizens group "Campaign for DBQ Municipal Internet" presented a petition to the Dubuque City Council on April 2nd, requesting that the city fully investigate a municipal fiber network.
The petition contained over 600 signatures of Dubuque residents, frustrated by the level of service provided in the community. Mediacom is the incumbent cable provider and CenturyLink is the incumbent telephone company."
Christine Darr, one of the grassroots group organizers, says the FCC's repeal of net neutrality was a primary driver of the effort that began in late 2017. During remarks to the Dubuque City Council, Darr and others pointed out other concerns that are driving their advocacy. In particular, Campaign for DBQ Municipal Internet is urging the City to conduct a feasibility study to fully explore the benefits and costs of a network in the northeast Iowa city of around 58,000. John Swift, (right in screenshot above)a Dubuque resident and professed "internet power user", works from home. "The internet is important for me, and 2017 was a bad year for the internet," Swift told the Council, referring to the net neutrality ruling. "There simply isn't enough competition in Dubuque for me to just choose another internet provider that will protect my privacy and guarantee my content won't be throttled."
Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligan says city staff will conduct additional research in order to provide information to the City Council before their budget planning session this summer.
The twenty-first century version of the Colorado gold rush continues unabated. This time around, the gold is fiber optics.
On Tuesday, April 3rd, six more communities in the Mile High state voted to overturn a 2005 state law that prohibits municipal broadband, giving those cities the authority to pursue fiber projects. The towns of Severance, Lake City, Lyons, Frisco, Firestone, and Limon approved the referenda by overwhelming margins, joining over 70 other Colorado communities that have rejected the state law.
After losing yet another court battle against the City of Iowa City and ImOn Communications, Mediacom says it will drop its lawsuit that aimed to block ImOn from providing services in Iowa City.
The lawsuit, filed by Mediacom in 2015, was originally dismissed by the US District Court in 2016. Mediacom appealed to the US Court of Appeals Eight Circuit, and this weeks unanimous ruling of that three-judge panel affirmed the lower court decision.
At issue was an agreement between ImOn Communications of Cedar Rapids and the City of Iowa City for access to space in a city parking ramp for a telecommunications hut and use of city-owned fiber to provide internet and telephone services to businesses. Mediacom claimed the arrangement put them at a competitive advantage and that ImOn should have been required to get a franchise from the City. However, the court ruled that since ImOn is not providing video services - the only service covered under Iowa franchising rules - no franchise is required.
Mediacom has indicated that it will not pursue the issue further in court. Their local franchise with the City of Iowa City expires this summer and the company plans to move Iowa City into its statewide video franchise through the Iowa Utilities Board.
CLICK HERE for a story in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
The 2019 IAMU Broadband Conference dates are set - March 13 & 14, 2019. The dates are earlier than in past conferences due to a shuffling of other Midwest telecom shows that we don't want to conflict with. The Minnesota Telecom Alliance moved their conference to the last week in March and the Iowa Communications Alliance moved to the third week, forcing us to move to the second week in March.
The venue is yet to be determined but will likely be in the Des Moines area as usual. For now, put those dates on your calendar and we'll announce details as they become available.
Pella could become the latest Iowa community to authorize a municipal telecommunications utility as voters head to the polls in a special election on May 1st.
Proposition A reads “Shall the City of Pella, in the County of Marion, State of Iowa, be authorized to establish a Municipally-Owned telecommunications utility?”. The issue was approved by the Pella City Council during a special meeting on March 12, 2018.
If authorized by voters, the city is expected to move forward with a feasibility study, having already solicited RFP's for companies to perform a study earlier this year.
There have been three municipal broadband elections in Iowa since 2015. In November 2015, voters in Decorah voted by a margin of 93% to 7% for municipal telecom and Vinton's referendum passed 88 to 12 percent the same day. A year ago, Adair made it unanimous with 100% voter approval of their referendum.
The 8th annual IAMU Broadband Conference is in the books.
Over 140 people (attendees and vendor representatives) enjoyed two days of learning and networking at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Urbandale.
Broadband Vanguard Awards
IAMU honored two individuals and one organization for outstanding support and service to municipal broadband during the inaugural Broadband Vanguard Awards held on Thursday, March 22, 2018. IAMU Executive Director Troy DeJoode presented each of the winners with a certificate during the awards ceremony.
Approximately 40 people from 15 communities in Iowa attended the Community Broadband Summit held Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Urbandale, Iowa. The Summit was presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and sponsored by Farr Technologies and HR Green.
The purpose of the Summit was to educate community leaders and advocates about their options to pursue municipal broadband as a way to improve broadband access, speed, reliability, and quality in their towns. In addition to communities that are exploring community broadband, representatives of several of Iowa's "veteran" broadband utilities - Algona, Osage, and Spencer - participated to provide support for new communities.
The Community Broadband Action Network (CBAN) was established to provide a collaborative network and marketplace for communities, community-based broadband providers, and solutions providers. CBAN’s goal is to provide pathways for successful action by communities that want to guarantee fast, affordable, reliable, and universally-available broadband access to their citizens.
When fully operational, CBAN will increase the number of communities exploring how to impact their broadband options by:
Keep watching for more details about CBAN in future issues of Broadband Bytes!
Broadband Bytes News
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