Here at CBAN, we are always evaluating what we do and how we can better serve or members and the broadband community at large. As a result, we've updated our website to better reflect our mission and to organize resources for our members.
You will also notice our updated motto, "Building Broadband Bridges". We feel this statement best reflects what we do best - bridging gaps in broadband access, equity, and affordability.
We hope that you will help us spread the word about CBAN and help us grow our membership and expand our mission!
Bandwidth will soon become more bountiful in the Utah city of the same name after community leaders have decided to partner with Utopia Fiber to build a fiber-to-the-home network, Bountiful Fiber.
Bountiful is a city of 45,000 and had to overcome opposition from the Utah Taxpayers Association, an anti-municipal broadband group, to get the final greenlight for a $43 million project. The city will issue revenue bonds to finance the project, which will be built and operated by Utopia Fiber. Utopia already operates networks passing over 100,000 homes and businesses in 50 Utah communities.
The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) is now accepting registrations for the 2023 Fall Broadband Forum. This year's event is hosted by IAMU (and CBAN) member Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) and will take place September 28 and 29, 2023 in Muscatine at the Merrill Hotel on the Mississippi River waterfront.
In addition to informational workshops, the Fall Forum will offer tours of the MPW customer service center and headend; "Almost Friday Fest", a community gathering in Riverside Park for fun and networking, and member roundtable discussions. IAMU Utility Members may register for just $50 each and non-Utility members or non-IAMU members registration is $75.
IAMU Associate Members may also sponsor the event and attend, although there are no tabletop exhibits at the event itself.
CLICK HERE to visit the IAMU event registration page, and we hope to see you in Muscatine!
CBAN's Digital Navigator Brianna Dillavou a good portion of July chatting with attendees at two county fairs in the areas that CBAN is offering digital navigator services.
The town of Gibraltar, Wisconsin has selected Bertram Communications, doing business as Door County Broadband, to provide broadband services over a fiber-to-the-premise network the town plans to own.
Gibraltar, a town of 1,021, is located in Door County, WI (a CBAN Community Member) and includes Chambers Island in Green Bay (the body of water, not the city). The Gibraltar Broadband Ad Hoc Committee considered proposals from Bertram, Frontier, Spectrum, and NSight. The town plans to fund the project cost through town funding, contributions from Bertram, and grants.
CLICK HERE to read more at the Door County Pulse website.
The Arkansas State Broadband Office is reaching out to the state's residents to learn more about the need for digital skills among the population. The Digital Skills and Opportunity Survey is designed to help the broadband office better understand the state's digital divide, create a plan to address its digital skills gap and learn more about challenges to achieving digital equity.
“Ensuring that all Arkansans have the digital skills essential for the 21st Century digital economy is critical for our state’s future success,” said Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald. “Understanding – and eliminating – the digital skills gap is an important element in developing the state’s workforce and providing a brighter future for Arkansans." -- quote from article on SouthwestArkansasRadio.com
Other states have been preparing their own digital equity plans for presentation to the federal government later this year. Many have used town meetings, surveys, and other methods to gather public feedback as part of their plan development.
In a recent edition of Broadband Bytes we talked about the State of Iowa's latest round of broadband grants to providers, NOFA 8. The nearly $149 million in funding for the current application window, which closes on August 25th, comes from the Capital Projects Fund portion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Many other states are also putting the Capital Projects Fund to work on broadband. The most recent announcement is or the state of Maine, which will use $112 million for both broadband infrastructure and multi-purpose community facility projects.
A June news release from the US Department of Treasury provides a good summary of some of the other states and their Capital Projects Fund broadband efforts. In addition to traditional infrastructure grants, other state initiatives include grants to non-profits and community groups for education and job training (Delaware) and addressing digital equity, affordability, and adoption (Kansas).
These funding opportunities are all in advance of the "Big Kahuna"...$42 billion for broadband arriving next year from the BEAD program.
Municipal broadband representatives from across Iowa will gather in Muscatine on September 28th and 29th for the IAMU Fall Broadband Forum. This is the second year that the annual fall gathering will be held in a municipal broadband community.
Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) is one of Iowa's first municipal broadband utilities. The MPW team will be helping with arrangements for the two-day event. Details of the Forum will be posted to the IAMU Events page soon and an email will also be sent out. In the meantime, mark your calendars!
CBAN member Allo Communications continues to expand in its home state of Nebraska, filling the strong desire by communities for a better broadband option. The latest town to be announced is Ralston, a community of about 6,500 people near Omaha. Ralson will become the 35th Nebraska community to receive Allo fiber-to-the-home.
Allo also recently completed construction of its fiber network in Milford, NE after less than a year of construction.
Over 10,000 homes and businesses in Ponca City, Oklahoma have a new and better option for broadband service now that the Ponca City Broadband network is complete. Officials say construction wrapped up in March 2023 and service is now available to everyone in the city limits of the northern Oklahoma town of 24,000.
To read more about Ponca City's journey to better broadband, CLICK HERE for an article on Broadband Communities
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.