Archive for the ‘Independent’ Category

Rural telco bankruptcy rumors emerge

A recent headline from the ViodiView e-newsletter asks whether the National Broadband Plan could trigger rural telco bankruptcies. The author said several people who work for rural operators have told him that we could see bankruptcies as early as 2012 if “the National Broadband Plan continues its current direction.” The author adds that smaller carriers also may face significant layoffs. (more…)

FCC Universal Service workshop to feature 4G and satellite demos–but what about fiber?

A workshop organized by the FCC for this Wednesday, April 27, about modernizing Universal Service looks like it should be worth logging in for. The commission held a similar event on April 7 that gave a range of stakeholders the opportunity to offer their take on a range of issues related to inter-carrier compensation reform. This week’s event will use a similar approach, tapping representatives from organizations as diverse as CableLabs, the Chicakasaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Consumer Federation of America, Verizon, ViaSat and the Rural Utilities Service. Unlike with the previous event, several manufacturers—including Adtran and Juniper Networks—are also on tap. (more…)

Acceller interactive sales platform could help build telco-utility bridge

There’s been a lot of talk over the years about telcos converging with companies in various other industries, especially cable companies. But more recently, we’ve been hearing more about convergence with a new type of player—the local power company. (more…)

Frontier FiOS fee finally raises ire; Regulator says buy Comcast instead

Frontier Communications has gotten very little complaint from regulators in Oregon since it initiated a $500 sign-up fee for FiOS broadband that seems designed to drive away former Verizon fiber customer that the independent telco no long wants to support. One agency, however, finally has spoken up. The Metropolitan Area Communications Commission tried to get Frontier to explain itself, and when that failed, began to publicly tell consumers they should get broadband service from Comcast instead. (more…)

Better red than dead: Post-bankruptcy FairPoint still living with loss

FairPoint_logoFairPoint Communications is less than three months removed from bankruptcy, but is again getting attention for being on the losing side of the ledger. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, FairPoint lost $282 million in 2010, a year whose entirety it spent under bankruptcy protection. The loss comes as the company is trying to regain lost time, revenue and customers. (more…)

FCC’s Mignon: Legislative roadblocks to municipal broadband threaten NBP’s goals

 

As the North Carolina legislature considers a bill limiting the ability of municipalities to build and run their own broadband networks, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is speaking out against that legislation, saying it poses a significant barrier to broadband deployment in some communities, and works against the goals of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. (more…)

Otelco’s Shoreham Telephone purchase: Low price may reflect regulatory uncertainty

Otelco’s announcement today that it has agreed to purchase Shoreham Telephone Company for $4.5 million in cash could be viewed as a stark example of the negative impact that regulatory uncertainty is having on the rural telco market. (more…)

Telecom regulatory luminaries to participate in FCC access charge reform workshop

The Federal Communications Commission has lined up some heavy hitters for its April 6 workshop on intercarrier compensation reform. (more…)

Kansas City, here we come: Google makes good on first fiber pledge

google_smGoogle has announced that Kansas City, Kan., (not Mo. Sorry, Mo.) will be the first city to get a 1 Gb/s fiber network on the Internet giant’s tab under a plan announced last year. The announcement came a few months later than expected, and comes after a process that saw more than 1,100 U.S. cities apply. Google plans to start offering broadband service at competitive prices over the Kansas City network in 2012. Google also said more cities will be chosen for fiber projects in the months ahead, though judging from reactions across the Web, not getting dibs was a huge letdown to some applicants.

Milo Medin, vice president of access at Google, has more in this blog post:

“We’ve heard from some communities that they’re disappointed not to have been selected for our initial build. So just to reiterate what I’ve said many times in interviews: We’re so thrilled by the interest we’ve generated—today is the start, not the end the project. And over the coming months, we’ll be talking to other interested cities about the possibility of us bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities.”

Duluth, Minn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Wichita, Kan., were just a few of the cities that appeared to be deeply disappointed at not being chosen. That shows how much these markets really want an alternative, and Google’s decision, albeit later than planned, is an important next step in showing that it is committed to doing what it said it would do.

A lot of us thought the 1 Gb/s community network plan was nothing more than a PR and regulatory gambit by Google. Until the Kansas City network is up and running, and until Google lines up more cities for deployment, questions about its commitment and intentions may linger. However, for now, it appears there will be some new broadband competition in Kansas City, Kan., next year. We’ll be interested to see how well Google pulls this off and how incumbent service providers respond to the challenge.

Minnesota fiber networks on the rise–and telcos continue to fight them

Few telecom topics today can generate more heated debate than municipal fiber networks, as a report by Minnesota Public Radio last week illustrates. The story highlights municipal projects in the state, including two that are up and running (WindomNet in Windom and FiberNet in Monticello), as well as several that are still emerging, including one in Lac qui Parle county, one in Sibley county and one in Lake county. (more…)