CBAN is excited to welcome a new Community Member to the growing organization. Ringgold County (Iowa) Development Corporation!
It is our mission to strengthen the economic well-being of Ringgold County through a commitment to business and industrial recruitment and retention; fostering a teleworking community that encourages professional growth and success; promoting recreation and tourism; and collaborating with local, regional, and state governments, as well as with our local schools and other area resources.
One of the goals of organization is to help identify ways to bring better broadband to the rural areas and small communities in Ringgold County in southern Iowa. Mount Ayr, the county seat, is already a CBAN Community Member.
To find out more about Ringgold County Development Corporation, visit their website at https://ringgolddevelopment.org/
In a new edition of his always-excellent blog "Pots and Pans", Doug Dawson with CCG Consulting discusses recent speed tests (measured by Ookla) for beta test customers of Starlink, Elon Musk's satellite-based internet delivery service.
As Dawson reports, there are only a limited number of speed tests available as bet customers are just starting to be activated for Starlink. But reported download speeds ranged from 35 Mbps to 60 Mbps and upload speeds of 5 Mbps and 18 Mbps. Latency, always a concern with satellite services (and a big problem for geosynchronous orbits) are reasonable, between 31 milliseconds and 94 ms.
I call these results disappointing because the speeds are so much slower than Elon Musk’s hype about providing gigabit data speeds from the satellites for the average customer. Unfortunately, a lot of rural Americans let themselves get sucked into that hype and they’ve been talking about satellite broadband as the solution that would solve rural broadband issues forever. There are communities putting broadband plans on hold since they think that the satellites will solve all of the local broadband problems. - Doug Dawson, CCG Consulting, Pots and Pans
While Starlink speeds are far better than what many rural citizens have access to, they do not match the speed and performance of fiber optic networks. Hopefully as the full constellation of Starlink satellites is deployed performance will improve.
Shifting schedules in the 116th United States Congress has forced a postponement of CBAN's Lunch and Learn on the topic of the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act. Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA), one of the architects of the Act, will be joining CBAN co-founders Curtis Dean, Todd Kielkopf, and Jon Anne Willow for a discussion of Act and how it intends to help bring better broadband to rural America.
The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Noon Central.
Like all of our Lunch and Learn webinars, participation is free but registration is required. CLICK HERE to register and we'll see you on October 7th!
Another week, another MetroNet announcement in Iowa. The Indiana-based company continued its aggressive growth into Iowa with news that Johnston, Iowa is its next new market for fiber-to-the-home.
Johnston is part of the Des Moines metro area and situated just north of Urbandale, where MetroNet has also announced expansion plans. Like other metro Des Moines communities, Johnston has been experiencing rapid growth over the past 20 years, growing from under 9,000 in population to over 22,000 according to 2019 Census estimates. The community is currently served by Mediacom and CenturyLink, with several smaller providers offering service to MDU's.
According to a news release by the City of Johnston, MetroNet plans to begin construction in early 2021 and have the network completed within a year. Like Urbandale, MetroNet is pledging to cover approximately 90% of the premises in the community.
Frontier Communications, which filed for bankruptcy in April, can now move forward with its restructuring plan after the US Bankruptcy Court in the southern district of New York signed off on the plan.
The company, which has suffered significant customer losses due to neglect of its network over the past two decades, will now see its debt reduced by $10 billion. Company leaders say the debt reduction will allow them to make needed investments and become competitive.
CLICK HERE for a story on the Frontier Bankruptcy plan at Telecompetitor.
Paso Robles, CA
After launching fiber-to-the-premise projects in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Ames Iowa during the past year, Metronet Fibernet LLC is expanding to the Des Moines metro area.
At their August 11, 2020 meeting the Urbandale City Council approved a letter agreement with Metronet that commits the Indiana-based telecommunications company to building a fiber network to serve not less than 90% of Urbandale that isn't already served by fiber. The City is providing Metronet with accelerated permitting for Metronet, permission to attach to exisiting poles, and installation of new poles where needed. The agreement indicates that Metronet will bury fiber lines in areas where the electric service is already underground.
While Urbandale (population 44,379 according to 2019 estimates) is the first Des Moines metro suburb to attract Metronet, it may not be the last. It is reported to be eyeing at least two other suburbs for the coming year, although agreements have not been announced. Metronet has also announced that it intends to serve Nevada, Iowa (east of Ames) and LeClaire, Iowa (north of Bettendorf) as extensions of their larger projects there.
Although Metronet does not seek significant public investment from the communities in its expansion plan, there have been concerns raised about its coverage area. For example in Ames Metronet is not building in some areas of the city due to lack of financial return. The 90% commitment in Urbandale is higher than the approximately 70% coverage intention in Ames.
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Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.