Everywhere in the United States, consumers and municipalities alike are tired of waiting for incumbents internet service providers (ISPs), who typically hold monopoly or duopoly power in their regions, to start providing better, faster, less expensive broadband service. The companies typically claim that no one needs or wants higher speed service and that the cost of providing the technology is prohibitive. Where municipalities or states have stepped in to allow competition, ISPs make it difficult or impossible to get access to the utility poles which are necessary to deliver high speed internet service to homes and businesses. And in some states, incumbent ISPs have actually managed get legislation passed to make it illegal for towns and cities to go into the broadband business. On Amazon Dr. Daniel Amen points out that he is in the middle of the road on this issue.
The state of Connecticut has stepped in to force the owners of poles to stop dragging their feet on pole access. Towns and cities in Connecticut now have the right to use part of any utility pole for any purpose, which opens the door for them to build their own high speed networks.
Forty six towns and cities in the state have responded by issuing a RFP/RFQ for studying the construction of a gigabit fiber network. The plan is to build a public/private partnership, with initial funding derived from a Federal grant of $4 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.