Boulder set to start construction on broadband fiber network core with council approval of $20M debt
The City of Pella, Iowa has hired a South Dakota man to lead its efforts to build a fiber-to-the-home network.
Doy Ousley will begin duties in Pella in early September. Ousley comes to Pella with a deep background in engineering, design, and operation of telecommunications networks, including fiber. Most recently Ousley has served as the Supervisor of Regional Operations for CenturyLink in the Rapid City, SD area. He's been employed in the telecom field since age 18, when he started working at his hometown telephone company in Alabama.
Earlier this summer, Pella hired NewCom Technologies of Des Moines to design and engineer the fiber-to-the-home network. Design is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with construction bids to be issued over the winter. If all goes according to plan, construction would begin in spring 2020 and be completed a year later.
The August and September editions of the CBAN Lunch and Learn webinars have been set. As with all CBAN Lunch and Learn webinars, these sessions are free and open to all, but pre-registration is required.
August 20, 2019 Noon The Future of Home Data Usage
Joining us for this webinar will be Lenny Hui, Cloud & Smart Home Business Sales with Calix (a CBAN Vendor Member). Lenny and host Curtis Dean of CBAN will talk about some of the trends in home internet data usage that are making fiber networks more and more essential in today's world. Lenny will talk about new gaming platforms, streaming video options, and other factors that will impact how much data you consume and how much bandwidth (speed) you need.
To register for The Future of Home Data Usage, CLICK HERE.
September 19, 2019 Noon The Promises (and Pitfalls) of Open Access Fiber Networks
One option that communities can explore when considering a municipally-owned fiber network is an open access model. Under this type of network, multiple ISP's and other service providers can use the public network to serve end users. While open access networks have a lot of appeal, they aren't always easy to implement or develop.
Joining us for this webinar is Doug Dawson of CCG Consulting. Doug is author of a daily blog called Pots and Pans and is one of the nation's most respected broadband experts. He'll share his own experiences working with communities that have sought to implement an open access model.
To register for The Promises (and Pitfalls) of Open Access Fiber Networks, CLICK HERE.
After years of advocacy and studies, residents of Vinton, Iowa are finally getting a community-owned fiber network.
Construction is now underway on the approximately $9 million fiber-to-the-home network in Vinton, a community of approximately 5,200 people south of Cedar Falls. Crews from Central Cable Contractors began work in the core network during the 3rd week of July, with plans to complete major construction by the end of the year.
There's lots to accomplish in Vinton, thanks to tremendous demand from citizens who've been longing for better broadband. In fact, over 1,400 Vinton homes and businesses have signed up to get site surveys and service drops. That's over 65% of all Vinton premises.
The next major milestone for the Vinton project is rate setting, which the Vinton Communications Utility Board is expected to accomplish by mid-month.
One of the biggest sore spots in America's technology landscape is the lack of accurate broadband mapping. Past FCC efforts to identify which areas of the country have access to broadband and which ones don't been widely criticized as inadequate. Well, things are about to change.
At their August 1st meeting, the FCC ordered a significant change to how ISP's will report their service areas moving forward. Under the previous mapping regime, ISP's would report which census blocks they offered service. Even if only one premise in a large census block had service available, the entire block would be considered "served" by the FCC. This means that many areas without broadband access are then ineligible to receive buildout funding.
Under the new mapping plan, ISP's must report their service areas not in terms of census blocks but by drawing geospatial polygons that more clearly define where service is currently available or could be provided within 10 business days of a request. The result of this change is that have-nots should no longer be identified as have's on the FCC's broadband maps, making those areas potentially eligible for funding.
A special 1.5 day workshop in Kansas City next month will focus on role that electric utilities can play in bringing better broadband to more Americans.
The 2019 UTC Broadband Workshop is sponsored by the Utilities Technology Council. It will take place August 21st and 22nd at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Kansas City.
Since the rural electrification push of the 1930s and the interstate highway system of the 1950s, the United States has never seen such a need for great infrastructure deployment. Higher capacity and more resilient, pervasive broadband must be brought to all corners of the country if we are to ensure that all of our citizens remain integrated into the global economy. And it is not only the demand for basic broadband but the push towards 5G and further wireless densification that is driving the need for more fiber. How are we to meet this challenge? Electric utilities are uniquely situated to deliver on this demand. From large investor-owned distribution systems supplying essential backbone and middle mile services to the municipally owned and electric cooperative utilities serving smaller, oftentimes more rural, communities –all electric utilities have a role to play in rewiring our country for the future.
This special 1.5-day workshop August 21st – 22nd in Kansas City will focus on these roles, how each complements the other and the challenges faced by each party in deploying broadband infrastructure to their customers and their communities.
The UTC is extending a special offer to municipal utilities that allows them to attend the conference at the reduced, member rate of just $295.00. To take advantage of the special rate, please contact Karnel Thomas at email@example.com or by calling 202-833-6816.
The next edition of CBAN's Lunch and Learn Webinar Series will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at Noon.
Public Libraries - A Bridge Over the Digital Divide will feature a discussion with Jay Peterson, District Consultant for the State of Iowa Library. Jay will talk about the ways in which America's public libraries play a positive role in bringing broadband to small towns and rural communities. He'll cover the following topics and more:
CBAN's Lunch and Learn is FREE and open to everyone. You can register for the webinar by clicking the link below:
New Member: HBK Engineering
CBAN would like to welcome our newest Vendor Member, HBK Engineering! A full-service engineering firm, HBK Engineering has extensive experience in fiber optic and electric transmission route development and feasibility studies in urban, suburban and rural areas.
ImOn Bringing Fiber to Iowa City, Dubuque
ImOn Communications, a CBAN Provider Member, is expanding operations to two more eastern Iowa cities. Earlier this year ImOn announced plans to build fiber-to-the-home in Iowa City and Coralville, Iowa. In June, the company announced that it will be expanding its fiber network in Dubuque into residential neighborhoods. Congratulations to ImOn for playing a role in bringing better broadband to more communities!
Vinton Municipal Communications Utility (VMCU) has chosen key operational partners as it moves forward with plans to build a fiber-to-the-home network beginning this summer.
The VMCU Board of Trustees directed staff to proceed with Vinton becoming part of the joint municipal IPTV headend at Cedar Falls for video. They also directed staff to finalize an agreement with ImOn Communications in Cedar Rapids for wholesale telephone switching, internet bandwidth and transport, and wholesale billing services.
Vinton will also be working with ImOn in another areas that is unique between an Iowa municipal telecom system and a private company. Under the planned agreement, VMCU will hire ImOn to handle the utility's technical operations for the first five years after the project is substantially completed. ImOn technicians will take care of day-to-day operations, including service calls and installations, as well as data center operations and engineering. At the end of the agreement, those technical operations would transition to VMCU using their own technicians.
Once they've signed the 28E agreement, Vinton will become the fifth co-owner of the IPTV headend that resides at Cedar Falls. Besides Cedar Falls Utilities, other owners include Waverly Utilities, the City of Bellevue, and Indianola Municipal Utilities.
VMCU will also be working with WIN Technologies (Wisconsin Independent Networks) for wholesale internet bandwidth to serve as redundancy for the bandwidth from ImOn.
Meteorologists and other scientists are sounding the alarm: the rush to deploy 5G wireless networks could set the clock back on weather forecasting by decades.
As this article at Wired details, the problem is that some of the frequencies the FCC is considering auctioning off for 5G spectrum is very close to frequencies used by important satellite-based tools that measure rain and snow, temperature, and the presence of clouds and ice in the atmosphere. That data is used in weather forecasting models that have become increasingly sophisticated and accurate over the years.
Dr. Neil Jacobs, acting chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), testified before a Congressional committee on the potential impact. As quoted in Digital Trends:
“If you look back in time to see when our forecast skill was roughly 30% less than it was today, it’s somewhere around 1980,” he said. In terms of practical impact, “this would result in the reduction of hurricane track forecast lead time by roughly two to three days.” -- Dr. Neil Jacobs, NOAA
The FCC and NOAA are trying to work out a compromise that would allow for expansion of 5G without reducing the effectiveness of weather forecasting tools.
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.