Thursday, September 23, 2004

Danville's broadband highlighted in USA Today

The Danville paper reports here ("River City goes national," 9/23/04) that the city's broadband network was the subject of this report in USA Today.

The USA Today article says, in part:

"Danville is on the leading edge of what is quickly becoming a broadband revolution. Frustrated by the slow speed of broadband rollouts in their towns, local governments across the USA are building their own networks. Their common goal: to secure a bright future by building a business-quality network now. . . .

By taking control of their broadband destinies, communities say, they no longer are at the mercy of the big providers. Regional phone company Verizon finally began offering DSL service in Danville in 2003, several years after the town first asked for it. Harry Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman, says the company can't be everywhere at once.

Beyond availability, the quality of service is a major driver. Residential high-speed services currently top out at about 3 megabits per second, with 7-megabit services just beginning to pop up. Download speeds are typically a lot slower.

That's not enough juice for businesses. Absent a high-quality network, their only option is to lease a costly T1 data line from the phone company. That works for big businesses and big users, but it is beyond the budgets of most midsize and small operations.

By designing and building municipal networks, communities say they can make technology choices that suit their needs — and aspirations."

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