Wilson already has what other cities are begging for

Hats off to Topeka, Kansas, a.k.a. Google, Kansas. The city believes so strongly in faster broadband speeds that they have unofficially changed their name to attract Google. Google Fiber for the Communities hopes to: “test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country.” Fiber brings speeds that blow away the old copper stuff.

Before I say anything else, I need to remind you that Wilson already has what Topeka wants; fiber to the home. Wilson’s slowest residential speed is 10M down and 10M up. You can go all the way up to 100M, if you choose. And, Greenlight is owned by the community.

Now, back to Topeka. Here’s an excerpt from a story at CNN:

The company has said U.S. Internet speeds are falling behind the global standard, and it wants to fix things itself by installing new broadband cable. (Mayor) Bunten hopes the proclamation, which he read at a special City Council meeting on Monday, will catch Google’s attention and make the Internet company decide to use Topeka as its guinea pig. The document renames Topeka as “Google, Kansas — the capital city of fiber optics.”

Good luck, Topeka. Fiber optics are a wonderful thing. If you ever want to try out some true broadband speeds, we’d be happy to show you in Wilson.

Another place where community broadband is working

The Economist did a great story recently about  our friends in Bristol, Virginia. Bristol, like Wilson, ran its first fiber a few years ago to connect City facilities, then made it available to everyone after people in town asked for it.

In fact, when Wilson was building its fiber ring several years ago, several local businesses asked the guys stringing up the fiber if they could connect, too.

Here’s a segment of the article: “The Federal Communications Commission will have to take up this matter when it sends its broadband plan to Congress in March. Since 1995, at the urging of telecoms companies, 18 states have erected barriers to entry for municipal utilities.”

The private cable monopolies in NC continue their efforts to prevent cities and towns from making their own decisions regarding next-generation communication. The NC Legislature returns to Raleigh for the short session in a couple of months.

“Does anyone even NEED 100Mbps?”

That’s a paraphrase of a statement a cable company rep. told a reporter in this area not long ago when referring to Wilson’s municipal fiber optic network. After all, most people in the US are lucky to get 6Mbps download (and a fraction of that upload).

Wilson offers 100Mbps residential service today through Greenlight. Will there ever be mainstream demand for it, like the cable guy says? Check out what’s happening in South Korea where five MILLION residents have 100Mbps service in their homes. From Telecoms Korea:

The number of 100 Mbps Internet subscribers in Korea passed 5 million as of April, according to industry statistics.

Among 12.7 million Internet subscribers, 5.1 million (about 40 percent) subscribers are using high-speed Internet. The portion of 100 Mbps Internet subscribers rose from 20 percent in 2006 to 29 percent in 2007, and then 39 percent in 2008.

Some would have you believe that Americans don’t NEED triple-digit speeds. I think our friends in Korea would suggest otherwise.

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