broadbandNews this week of five new municipal gigabit networks is a reminder that the recent municipal appeals court decision will have little or no impact in some states or for certain municipal network operators.

A recent decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was bad news in states that had passed legislation limiting publicly-owned municipal broadband networks because it upheld the states’ authority to make such laws. Some pundits worried that the court ruling may slow down municipal broadband investment and launches, but specifics vary by state.

New Municipal Gigabit Networks
Five new municipal gigabit networks are now underway or operational in Colorado, Iowa, and Tennessee, according to an announcement from Calix, whose equipment will be used in all of the deployments:

  • A Rio Blanco County, Colorado fiber network will use an open access model with multiple retail service providers. More rural areas will get service via a wireless solution.
  • Independence Light and Power, Telecommunications in Independence, Iowa is upgrading an existing HFC network, which in addition to supporting voice, video and data services will also support managed Wi-Fi.
  • A Bellevue, Iowa deployment will support high-speed broadband and video services.
  • In Osage, Iowa, Osage Municipal Utilities is replacing an HFC network with GPON to support high-speed broadband and voice.
  • Columbia Power and Water Systems in Columbia and Spring Hill, Tennessee is migrating from a DOCSIS network to a fiber network that will support triple-play services.

The appeals court decision likely upheld a Tennessee law saying municipal power companies could not expand beyond the territory they serve for power – something power company EPB wanted to do outside Chattanooga. But Columbia Power and Water Systems apparently is building in its municipal service footprint or may have been grandfathered in because of its legacy DOCSIS network.

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