|By Business Wire||
|June 20, 2014 01:12 PM EDT||
Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz and Utah Taxpayers Association Vice President Royce Van Tassell published an opinion piece titled “Municipal Broadband Is No Utopia,” which was highlighted in both The Wall Street Journal’s print and online editions. The op ed reads as follows:
“Like most utopian dreams, the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, or Utopia, hasn't panned out. Utopia, a consortium of 11 municipalities to build a fiber-optic network, was initially financed in 2004 with a $185 million bond; it was supposed to be completed in three years and have a positive cash flow in five. The project is a prime example of why governments should not be in the business of building or operating broadband networks—and why the federal government should not be in the business of cheerleading for them.
“In 2006, Utopia received an additional $66 million loan from the Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Service. Two years later all but $21 million of the loan was suspended, when the agency determined that the project needed to improve its financial situation and develop a new business plan.
“Today Utopia has about 11,000 subscribers, less than one quarter of the 49,350 projected to be on board by September 2007. Its failure to attract the anticipated number of customers has caused a spectacular financial failure. Utopia has lost at least $3 million and as much as $13 million annually. As of July 1, 2013, Utopia had negative net assets of $146 million. And last November voters in Orem, part of the Utopia network, decisively rejected a hike in local property taxes to pay some of the city's costs for participating in the network.
“There is a bailout plan, under which Macquarie Capital, a private investment firm based in Australia, would complete the network. But it means new debt obligations for Utopia cities and residents as high as $1.83 billion over the next 30 years, excluding the $355 million in debt already incurred by Utopia.
“All households in those cities would have to pay a new mandatory utility fee of $20 a month, whether or not they subscribe to the network or can afford to pay. And the cities will have the power to cut off water service to those who do not pay in full or on time every month.
“By rejecting higher taxes to pay for this white elephant, the good citizens of Oren, Utah, were pointing out the obvious: Those services are already being provided in a competitive manner by private businesses.
“Nevertheless, in April, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said he believes that the FCC can pre-empt state laws that prevent municipalities from building broadband networks—even if the locality already has them. He gave no statutory basis for this power but claimed that the ‘competition’ municipal broadband could provide is being stymied by the states.
“This is an astonishing assertion of federal power. States, in Mr. Wheeler's view, cannot prevent their legal subdivisions—including counties, cities and towns—from imposing unnecessary and burdensome costs on taxpayers.
“In 2001, there were only 16 government-owned networks in nine states. By 2011, largely due to post financial crisis "stimulus" spending, that number had increased to 108 projects in 33 states. Today, there are nearly 400 communities nationwide that used taxpayer dollars to build government-owned networks.
“The record of these projects is decidedly mixed. In a 2012 study of government-owned broadband networks, Widener University's Joseph Fuhr Jr. concluded that ‘Many cities and municipalities have entered into the broadband market with disastrous results.’ The failed networks, he said, ‘have neither the resources nor the expertise necessary to provide consumers with reliable state-of-the-art broadband connections.’
“No wonder, 21 states have taken action to prevent much of this wasteful spending by restricting municipal broadband build out. Their laws range from requiring a taxpayer referendum or mandate and evidence the system can be self-sustaining, to complete prohibitions on telecommunications services if a private company or companies already provides such services.
“Mr. Wheeler would have the FCC overturn these laws and stop the other 29 states from adopting similar restrictions. He should reconsider. Otherwise, taxpayers will all be living in states of dystopia.”
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 8, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 129
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 8, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 165
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 573
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 341
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 377
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 207
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 8, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 173
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 356
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 235
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 142
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 158
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 8, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 383
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Feb. 8, 2016 10:15 AM EST Reads: 365
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Feb. 8, 2016 09:45 AM EST Reads: 170