Thursday, July 24, 2014

Open access fiber telecom infrastructure funded in West Virginia over telco's objections

Competition in telecommunications infrastructure isn't really among major telcos and cable companies. They operate in market that due to the high cost barriers to entry functions as a natural monopoly or at best, a duopoly where service is available from just two landline providers: the phone company or the cable company. In much of the United States, the choice is only one of the two or sadly, neither because they have redlined parts of their service territories.

The real competition is between the business models for premise Internet connectivity: open access Internet infrastructure such as employed by the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency that regards it as a public asset like roads and highways or the proprietary, closed access infrastructure model of investor-owned telephone and cable companies.

This week in West Virginia, the debate tipped in favor of open access after the West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council voted 3-2 to provide $690,000 in funding to the West Virginia Network, a state agency that provides Internet service to schools, universities and other public facilities. The deciding factor was the state wanting more control over the infrastructure and not being subject to the whims of a monopoly provider.

“Frontier is the only provider in the region, and there is no open access to that infrastructure,” one of the council members noted. “You can’t really connect any of the dots [communities] together . . . . We can hopefully connect those rings and enable broadband expansion in the area.”

This is a notable development because it signals that public policy is shifting towards viewing Internet infrastructure as essential as public thoroughfares and thus not best controlled and operated as a hodge podge of private toll roads with high tolls and serving only some areas while leaving others disconnected from the Internet.

Click here for the story.


West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council voted 3-2 to award the money to West Virginia Network, or WVNET, a state agency that provides Internet service to schools, universities and other public facilities. WVNET would own the three-segment fiber network that would connect Snowshoe to Cass, Valley Head to Mill Creek, and Durbin to Green Bank. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140723/GZ01/140729675/1419#sthash.ldOg1t7a.dpuf
West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council voted 3-2 to award the money to West Virginia Network, or WVNET, a state agency that provides Internet service to schools, universities and other public facilities. WVNET would own the three-segment fiber network that would connect Snowshoe to Cass, Valley Head to Mill Creek, and Durbin to Green Bank. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140723/GZ01/140729675/1419#sthash.ldOg1t7a.dpuf
West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council voted 3-2 to award the money to West Virginia Network, or WVNET, a state agency that provides Internet service to schools, universities and other public facilities. WVNET would own the three-segment fiber network that would connect Snowshoe to Cass, Valley Head to Mill Creek, and Durbin to Green Bank. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140723/GZ01/140729675/1419#sthash.ldOg1t7a.dpuf
West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council voted 3-2 to award the money to West Virginia Network, or WVNET, a state agency that provides Internet service to schools, universities and other public facilities. WVNET would own the three-segment fiber network that would connect Snowshoe to Cass, Valley Head to Mill Creek, and Durbin to Green Bank. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140723/GZ01/140729675/1419#sthash.ldOg1t7a.dpuf

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