Will Google Gigabit be Trumped by Gigabit Squared’s $200 Million Bet on Broadband?

Well, things sure got interesting around here at the SHLB Coalition conference. Blair Levin of Gig.U told the lunch crowd yesterday that Gigabit Squared (a consulting, hands-on project management company) has raise $200 million to fund six gigabit-network projects that are originated and supported by colleges and college communities in the Gig.U program.

That’s kinda like a mighty BOOM! dropped on Google’s effort to bring gigabit broadband to Kansas City. “Yeah, we’ll see your one-city funding bet, and raise you five cities. Now whataya got?”

Given that media coverage of Google/Kansas City these days is often laced with threads of doubts regarding how well this project is going to work out, Gigabit Squared might start to cast a shadow over KC. I’m not sure how much KC wants to let this kind of a shadow hang over their project because the local constituency might start to lose faith. Few things short circuit broadband marketing like doubt among potential subscribers.

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Can’t Afford Broadband for Your Community? Think again.

I spent Monday and Tuesday this week at the Freedom to Connect (F2C) conference in DC, which was a great event on many levels. One truly cool aspect was hanging out with a bunch of advocates and doers who believe in the power of communities finding their best broadband solutions (from a myriad of public, private and nonprofit options) to address the dismal state of broadband in the US.

With this as a backdrop, I launched my latest Community Broadband Snapshot Report, “Getting Off the Dime: Finding Alternative Sources to Fund Community Broadband Networks.” It is what the title suggests, a document to get people moving to find new ways of funding broadband buildouts.

This excerpt from the Introduction cuts to the chase as to why you, your project team, community stakeholders and everyone else who cares about the quality of broadband in your area need to read this document today.

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Is There Hope for Broadband Maps That Suck?

Recently I’ve sat in a couple of gatherings of local government IT, economic development and other department managers who are planning broadband strategy for their respective towns or regions. One theme pops up frequently, and it’s about those broadband maps.

Connected Nation recently announced an upgrade to their mapping application that’s being used in S. Carolina. There’s another story, though. One state resident saw on the map that his home had AT&T DSL service. But when Joe Roget called the company, “They said they had no idea what I was talking about and that whatever map data I was looking at was totally wrong,” Roget reports to Stop the Cap! “The operator was frank with me, saying it was highly unlikely I would ever receive DSL from AT&T and the company was really not expanding DSL access any longer.”

Joe isn’t alone. I spend a lot of time at conferences, in meetings and on the phone with stakeholders from a variety of rural and urban communities across the country. Read a lot of articles about this map issue too. I’m convinced this problem exists in more places than the powers that be let on.

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