Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like

As Seattle wonders its way toward creating a fiber based municipal utility, other places around the country are working on getting similar service.

The Washington Post has a pretty good report today on a competitive broadband market. 
Clearly, this story is not set in Seattle. 

Please note, in their example in Austin, Texas, the commercial provider is making its offer in "seven neighborhoods" and not city-wide.
What we want to avoid is having a digital divide, with some neighborhoods having cheap gigabit speed and others having expensive, spotty, and sub-broadband level service.

From the report:

When Google said it was going to bring its high-speed fiber optic service to Austin, it probably didn't expect to touch off a race to switch on the cheapest, fastest Internet service around. But within a year of announcing the move, AT&T followed suit. And now a third company has beaten them both.

Grande Communications, a 10-year-old provider based a half hour away in San Marcos, Tex., is rolling out full gigabit fiber to seven neighborhoods in west Austin next week. Gigabit service customers will benefit from speeds up to 100 times the national average. The company's service won't require a contract, doesn't impose data caps and vows to obey net neutrality principles. At $65 a month, it'll be more affordable than either Google or AT&T's offerings — and it'll come with fewer strings attached.

Read the rest here:

Washington Post: This is what a competitive broadband market looks like

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Seattle's Tunneling Machine Needs Repair

The tunneling machine needs repair that will take several months. The machine is still under warranty, so, this will cost time. 
Work continues on the entrances, and on the seawall replacement.

In its news release Monday, WSDOT said STP "have not shown any evidence that suggests the state or taxpayers will be responsible for cost overruns associated with these repairs."

Matt Preedy, the state's deputy Highway 99 administrator, said Friday that Hitachi Zosen has a bearing on standby in Europe.

A similar incident happened in the early '90s at the Sarnia rail tunnel, between St. Clair, Ontario, and Port Huron, Mich., where bearing-seal troubles required crews to remove a cutterhead from a machine, made by Lovat of Canada. Insurers wound up paying $29.5 million, reported, an industry website. Despite months of delay, the seals were fixed and the tunnel opened in April 1995.

Read the rest here:

Bertha may be on hold until summer for complicated repairs | Seattle Times Newspaper
By Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times