Inspired by the recent retrograde action at the FCC and the continued inaction at the City of Portland, numerous spontaneous eruptions of outrage have broken the surface in and around the area. One of the more public will occur this Sunday afternoon, January 14, 2018 in downtown Portland.
After a period of hiatus, and given the recent news about Google Fiber not actually riding to our rescue, it is time again to think about how to make our telecommunications landscape in Portland more favorable to to the user. If you want to help, please contact us.
The LUS Fiber system, a municipally-owned fiber project started taking customers in early 2009. Over the last three months, the books have tipped to cash-positive. That is, revenue exceeds bond payments and operating expenses. That means they can either lower prices, or accelerate bond payments. It is a validation of the model of public ownership of communications infrastructure that incumbent carriers, such as the cable and phone franchisees, would rather you never, ever heard about. It is well past time for Portlanders to seriously consider how we get there as well. Ask your candidates where they stand on the issue. Point them at the model we prefer.
At 2 p.m. on September 14, the Portland City Council will consider adoption of a Broadband Strategic Plan (Resolution 974). The plan has been prepared over the last year by the Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management. Wednesday will be an opportunity for people to testify to City Council about the plan prior to the vote on adoption. If you care about the poor state of Broadband availability, capacity and pricing in Portland, if you hope someday to be rescued from the mire of mediocrity and monopoly abuse, please consider taking action, by attending this session and letting City Council know how vital it is to solve these problems. Testimony can be 3 minutes, there is a sign up sheet by the door to Council Chambers before the session (see the official rules).
So far, Sandy residents seem solidly behind the project. In a survey the city conducted to gauge interest in building the network, one resident wrote, “I am so proud to be part of a city that is this forward thinking.”
The Oregonian is reporting that the City of Sandy, Oregon is moving ahead with a municipal fiber network, as other communities have in various ways around the country and around the world. You know, living here in Portland, I sorely wish I could be proud too.
The Mississippi Street Fair is tomorrow (July 9, 2011), and once again Personal Telco Project is going to have a booth. This year, we are planning to use the opportunity to talk to the 30 thousand visitors about what an open-access fiber network could look like in Portland. We could use some help! If you’ve been reading this blog or have seen me talk at Ignite Portland 5, or PDX11 or OpenSourceBridge, please consider taking this golden opportunity to volunteer a few hours to help spread this message to the general public where it can do some good.