WSRL.ORG / Fiber & The Government - April 2015 - Revised April 2015 - Page 1
Greetings from the third world territory otherwise know as Delta County, Colorado and the Western Slope. It's tough keeping up with changes in government when links are not updated and things get merged for whatever reason. It appears that the State of Colorado I.T. section now has a fairly new main page design and there is now a "Beta" page for "Broadband Collaboration?". It also appears that sections of the Colorado Counties Inc. site has be moved/merged to the Colorado IT site. (Links to the upper right)
County Commissioners 2014-On
I've been at this for approximately 14 years. It's been depressing watching inept so-called community leaders fumble along while the economic state of their respective counties head downhill. Now, all of a sudden, everyone sees the light (no pun intended) and everyone is trying to make up for lost time and money. For the record, communities that adopt this go-fast approach typically don't fair well over the longer term. The county commissioners could have and should have seen this problem coming many, many years ago. County commissioners typically reflect the technical expertise of the area electorate. They certainly don't need to be experts in any technical field but they should accurately recognize coming trends that will have major impacts on their respective county. In my view, this has not happened until very recently.
Educate The Commissioners First? -
In an effort to bring the county commissioners up to speed, Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) generated a PDF entitled "Broadband 101". The information presented is badly out of date and far too limited but at least shows an effort on CCI's part to try and educate the commissioners. Page 9 of the Broadband-101 document shows who was responsible for collecting and generating the document. Please note that Eric Cecil is an attorney. Unless Eric has professional credentials in the field of engineering fiber optic networks. be advised that lawyers typically make for very bad sources of technical information (and sometimes legal information) regarding anything in this field.
LTPT Map, Where's Mesa & Garfield Counties
LTPT stands for Local Technology Planning Team and they have been around for awhile. The current who's who map can be found here. Why aren't Mesa and Garfield Counties represented? For a possible answer go to this page and note the major fiasco Mesa had with Charter Communications. As far as I'm concerned, quite a few heads should have rolled over this mess. I can only imagine the political and technical ineptness that led up to what happened. Again, in my view, we have a series of little political fiefdoms trying to solve highly technical problems and accomplishing nothing except wasting time and money.
It's A Region Wide Problem, People -
So why do we have a bunch of amateur fiefdoms trying to solve a very serious, highly technical, region wide, problem. Except maybe for Cortez, I've see absolutely no one, technically or politically competent that would be able to execute a region wide, Broadband solution. Why CCI and Club-20 are not involved seems strange to me. Why Mesa and Garfield are not listed on the LTPT map page shows, in my view, how fragmented thinking still is regarding the Broadband problem. There is a lot at stake. Failure to successfully execute a region wide solution will end up being very expensive for everyone. Total fiascos such as Mesa managed to pull off with Charter only emboldens the existing incumbents and I bet they are laughing their asses off as a result.
The Growing Scope Of The Problem - Transparency Issues Are Rising
Now that we have established that Mesa County (Charter Communications fiasco) is the Broadband laughing stock of the Western Slope, it will be interesting to see how many counties follow suit. The latest from the DCI (April 2, 2015 PDF) can be found here and here . What is driving this activity, of course, is CenturyLink's total failure to meet the Broadband needs of the local community. In Delta County, where I live, is like living in a third world country. Want to see what CenturyLink is doing in other communities, view this video (HD MP-4 format). Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. CenturyLink couldn't care less about anything in rural Colorado or the U.S. for that matter unless it adds significantly to CenturyLink's bottom line. Why is CenturyLink in Poland? My guess, like Microsoft, Apple Computer, Burger King restaurants and others, it is a tax dodge to shield their high corporate profits. The less they pay in taxes here, the more you are going to pay for sure.
Is the Colorado Legislature going to bail out Western Colorado? You might want to check this listing of the Legislature's "2014 Telecom Reform" experts on Internet providers. I have yet to see a bigger group of total losers anywhere in the entire State. Want to see what CenturyLink is doing in Wyoming, view this video (HD MP-4 format). Infinera is one of the hottest and fastest growing companies in the U,S. A great deal can be learned by simply watching Infinera videos on YouTube. Is there a chance of seeing Infinera technology in the home-grown rural systems currently being worked on in Colorado? I would say the chances are somewhere between zero and none. The Wyoming video says it all, however. The Internet is a utility and should be treated as such. So why is there such opposition to the FCC's efforts to classify the Internet providers as a utility service. I really have no idea outside of pure corporate greed. Are you happy that significant amounts of rural Colorado dollars are ending up in Monroe, Louisiana or Madison, Wisconsin? I'm sure not and I'm very angry at the people that allow this transfer of wealth to continue.
The Other Broadband Now Site - Reputations Are Being Established
If you were a clean and green high paying, high tech company wishing to relocate to beautiful Western Colorado, you would first want to see what very necessary Internet service facilities are available. Today, it only takes a few seconds to determine what areas and/or providers to stay away from by using sites such as Broadband Now. Simply input the zip code of interest and see if you get smiley faces or ugh faces (like above) back as a result. Unfortunately, I haven't seen too many smiley faces for this area. In my view, economic development organizations can flap their wings and crow all they want but until they can offer smiley faces, not a lot is going to happen.
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Colo. State IT Dept.
Modern Networking Presentations
Videos, April 2015
Charter Communications Fiasco