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Champaign, Urbana Plans Open Access 1 Gbps Network
by Karl Bode 02:42PM Thursday Jun 05 2014
The cities of Urbana and Champaign, Illinois have formed a non-profit venture that will expand the regional network and eventually offer 1 Gbps to locals. After a public bidding process, non-profit UC2B (Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband) has formed a partnership with private ISP iTV-3 to build and operate the broadband network, with TV services potentially down the line.

In contrast to most of the 1 Gbps offerings we've seen popping up around the nation (including Google Fiber), the project backers state (pdf) this particular effort will be open access -- meaning other ISPs can come in over the top and compete on the network for your broadband dollar.

Illinois towns and cities have a very long and ugly history of incumbent ISPs in the state using every trick in the book to shut these kinds of networks down.

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acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
Lakeland, FL
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Bloomington/Normal, IL has one, but they don't offer it to residents

B/N (C/U's next door neighbor) built a high speed 1 Gbps fiber ring and offered it to businesses only: »www.cirbn.org/service-area/ and »www.cirbn.org/services/

Unfortunately, I haven't seen any plans to offer it to residential users.

Good thing C/U is planning on offering it to residentials.
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

Re: Bloomington/Normal, IL has one, but they don't offer it to residents

»illinois.net/about/About.pdf

there is the icn part of the network. The network here at isu has the pop for this area

Matt

@138.87.59.x
CIRBN was never planned nor intended for use by residential customers. It was designed to give small and start-up companies access to fast, high-speed internet at a lower price while providing better customer service than other, corporate companies could provide. I work at ISU, the group that supports it, so I know the original purpose and have taken a few call to provide smaller businesses support in this regard.

Your argument is like complaining that commercial banks don't offer you personal loans.

acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
Lakeland, FL
kudos:2

Re: Bloomington/Normal, IL has one, but they don't offer it to residents

said by Matt :

CIRBN was never planned nor intended for use by residential customers. It was designed to give small and start-up companies access to fast, high-speed internet at a lower price while providing better customer service than other, corporate companies could provide. I work at ISU, the group that supports it, so I know the original purpose and have taken a few call to provide smaller businesses support in this regard.

Your argument is like complaining that commercial banks don't offer you personal loans.

Hi Matt -

Yes, I know the original part of it was BTOP (schools, businesses, libraries, and the possibilities of residents to "bridge the digital divide".)

Please read what I wrote; I never said that it was going to be offered to residential users at the outset; I said I hadn't seen any /plans/ to offer it to residential users. There's a big difference there. Even your own company states this on your site: "CIRBN does not plan to offer service directly to residential customers. However existing service providers may take advantage of the CIRBN network to offer service to residential customers."

Being that your company now has a large fiber ring where just about everyone in B/N is within probably 200 feet from a node or a node splice (I'm probably exaggerating, but I believe you are within very reasonable distances from many residences), I don't think you can rule out /ever/ providing residential service. Or having a company offer it using your taps. I'd love to have an alternative to Frontier or Comcast.

Or better yet, I'd love to propose that (one day) the network should turn into a full fledged fiber network such as Lafayette Utility Systems' fiber network in Lafayette, LA. Not too far of a stretch here. LUS started by providing fiber only to businesses. I believe LUS actually had fiber running to all the traffic lights when they started. They expanded to businesses, then they expanded and went to residential users. I have a friend who owns a company who was one of the first to get fiber a long time ago.

Just saying, the core backbone infrastructure is there. It's not that far of a stretch to desire about expanding it for residential use. You have many large businesses here in town with thousands of employees who would drool at the prospect of having 1 Gbps Internet.

Probita

@206.248.154.x

1 recommendation

+ 1 for the consumer

This is good news. The industry needs more of these success stories to betray the standard shill BS.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: + 1 for the consumer

Looks like a nice idea.
Can't actually find a timeline to tell how far away "eventually" is, or how much it will cost.
iTV-3's site is incredibly slow, and offers little info.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Here we go again...

How many years has "Big Broadband" been failing?

How many more massive taxpayer cash infusions will be required to keep it afloat, while the vast majority of taxpayers find themselves unable to access the network, and ignored by potential overbuilders who now seek greener pastures?
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Here we go again...

If this was truly able to support itself, the private company hired would have built the network without the cities even needing the "non-profit" which by being cities they're given non-profit muni status with no problem- hint- tax payer money at use- hint

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

Re: Here we go again...

That's not how corporate America works. A company needs to see profits in line with its peers. Just being profitable is not enough.

On the other hand, citizens will be more than happy to just break even on such a project.
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Here we go again...

said by dnoyeB:

That's not how corporate America works. A company needs to see profits in line with its peers. Just being profitable is not enough.

On the other hand, citizens will be more than happy to just break even on such a project.

That's nice, but muni projects like Big Broadband don't "break even". They construct the network and operate at a loss, which is papered over with a variety of (defaulted!) bond moneys, account transfers, internal loans, and in the case of municipal utilities, cross-subsidy in the form of higher electric, gas or water rates.

Even if that was somehow morally and fiscally acceptable, and somehow, in a perverse newspeak translation, considered "breaking even", it still results in the average taxpayer losing the opportunity for private competition, while getting stuck with the bill for the government option, whether they want or can get the service.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Here we go again...

Private competition has proven itself a failure. Like the great public works projects to bring electricity to the masses such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, it appears public dollars are in fact a necessity to bring the people what they want. Otherwise the whole country would have been wired with FTTH prior to now.
--
isheavenforreal.com
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Here we go again...

Private competition works just fine.

If wiring FTTH isn't going to be profitable, because folks aren't willing to pay for it, private firms aren't going to risk their capital, and the taxpayers win.

When we adopt the government model, like Big Broadband, the taxpayer gets the shaft - not only getting the bill for the service, not only not getting the service, but being red-lined by the presence of the tax-subsidized service.

We have a muni in my town - over a dozen years old, and yet, no one but the elites are wired to it. Its presence, however, assures that there will never be any new players, as the city skims the cream from the marketplace.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
private companies are hardly a failure. If it wasn't for private companies you wouldn't have much of what you have- including your computer. You can thank private companies for building those.

TVA is only one example. Should we cite how many of these projects actually resorted in them being shut down or sold?? Or even the Munis that have been sold to FOR PROFIT companies? Even iProvo is being sold out a for profit company out of the US.
posthaste

join:2001-05-20
Champaign, IL

4 edits

1 recommendation

We locals of Champaign-Urbana didn't pay for it; you did.

By that I mean, the fiber ring was constructed around Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy and paid for by an Obama Administration federal grant. That money was only enough to connect gov't budilings and local institutions (police, fire, city building, schools, etc.) and a token amount of money from the grant left over to connect a few residents living in select underserved neighborhoods (i.e, poor areas).

That left 95% of the rest of the public high and dry.

I've looked at this iTV3 thing, and it appears to be contingent upon at least 50% of the residents in a given neighborhood making the commitment to signup in advance. In fact, if you go there, they require a credit card to sign up. It's not made clear, but I suspect you're then on the hook for some minimum service agreement (1 year? 2 years? It's not explicitly stated).

So there's no guarantee that ANYONE is going to get fiber to home unless more than 50% of your neighbors sign up.

Also, there's probably a hefty ETF for leaving the service early lurking in the fine print.

»www.itv-3.com/downloads/LightUpC ··· bana.pdf

Below is the list of services available in Champaign and Urbana

Service Rate
50/10Mbps Internet $49.95
50/10Mbps Internet + Unlimited US and Canada Voice $64.90
100/20Mbps Internet $59.95
100/20 Mbps Internet + Unlimited US and Canada Voice $74.90
1000/200 Mbps Internet $79.95 (--- ding ding ding, the sweet spot!)
1000/200 Mbps Internet + Unlimited US and Canada Voice $94.90

»www.theperfectupgrade.com/

So it's Internet only for now, no TV available yet, and no symmetrical 1Gbps like Google Fiber. If nothing else, I hope it keeps Comcast on their toes... and keeps the usage cap bogeyman away.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·ooma
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Here we go again...

If Time Warner can offer 300mbit in NYC.. these tiers need some tweaking... namely a 300 - 600 mbit tier somewhere in the middle for $60. 50mbit should be somewhere btw $25 - $35. and 100mbit around $50. The upstream should be faster.. because it barely matches upstream by cable companies..
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
Specifically, which muni projects do as you say? What percentage of these projects don't break even? You keep saying this, but I don't see the numbers. So, I don't know what to believe is the truth, so I don't believe anything you say on the topic. I mean, I believe there is one or two projects that fit your description that you have just extrapolated out to every project because your interested is for an alternate outcome involving the lining of your pocket, rest of society be damned.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
you mean they will lost the private competition that is running so rampant in the broadband space throughout the country and the cities that start these?

Yeah.... sad to see that go.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Here we go again...

In the case where a private overbuilder has not chosen to compete, it means that the local market does not support a second or third player; the people aren't willing to pay for it.

Adding a muni only raises the total cost for all concerned, and the nature of the muni (government accounting, corruption and inefficiency, hiding costs) means everyone who pays the actual bill (taxpayers) pays more.

If a market is non-competitive, that is, a natural monopoly, then it is reasonable, and most cost-effective, to consider re-establishing a regulated monopoly status for the MSO's broadband, which would assure the capital necessary to maintain service in an otherwise unprofitable franchise. But don't whine when the regulators decide you need to pay more.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Here we go again...

Your very first paragraph is riddled with YOUR speculation and twist on things. I would argue it is the extremely high barriers to entry, the sue happy incumbents and the flat out ridiculous idea of running multiple networks to multiple homes thy stops a "competitor".
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Here we go again...

The incumbents are well within their rights to protect their franchise against unlawful takings by government.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Here we go again...

You are right and the best way to do that is to provide the services that their consumers want and expect without acting as a noncompetitive monopolistic entity.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Here we go again...

In the case of a non-competitive market, that is absolutely the case. One regulated private firm is certainly going to provide better service at lower cost than two, especially when one is run by the government.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
Not all citizens are happy to fund these projects. If that was the case nobody would vote against them.

Napsterbater
Meh
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-28
Milledgeville, GA

Re: Here we go again...

But apparently enough are, otherwise Cable and Telephone wouldn't be working so hard to block them.
--
IPv6 Sage - ipv6.he.net/certification/scoresheet.php?pass_name=Napsterbater
www.napshome.net
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

1 edit

1 recommendation

there is the site for pricing

if it ask for zip code put in 61821

»theperfectupgrade.com
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: there is the site for pricing

I only see DSL and no 1gig options at all.
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

Re: there is the site for pricing

i will edit it

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
Thanks for the link
I did get to that page before.
center of screen it says
"Unfortunately iTV-3 does not currently plan on bringing our network to zip code "
No zipcode or find service box is present.

Edit: found it
»www.itv-3.com/downloads/LightUpC ··· bana.pdf
in link from this page
»www.itv-3.com/
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

press release

heres the press release that says more about it

»uc2b.net/wordpress/wp-content/up ··· cket.pdf
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

2 edits

ITV-3 already offers fiber service to Pekin, Morton, and East Peoria, IL

SO, YES, private for-profit capitalist businesses can compete in the fiber internet business!!!

ITV-3 is a privately held, for-profit company, operating out of Peoria, Illinois.
ITV-3 is owned by Family Video, the largest retail video rental chain in the US, with 775 stores. Located in central US, from Texas, mostly in the Midwest, over to NY state. Predominately in smaller towns and cities.
»www.familyvideo.com/about_us.php

Family Video started out in Springfield, IL, in the early days of video rental. They are now HQ'd in Glenview, IL, a Chicago suburb. Their owner says that their rental business has never been better, but that they want to be prepared for the future by expanding into being a fiber ISP in smaller cities/towns. Sort of a Walmart philosophy on fiber internet.

ITV-3 is trying to also expand to Dunlap, Tremont, and Bartonville in the Peoria IL area. Bloomington and Normal(total population of over 120K) have also talked to ITV-3 about expanding to their metro, but as a private for-profit business.

In Champaign-Urbana, ITV-3/UC2B would compete against a few neighborhoods with AT&T U-Verse.

Central Illinois has been ignored for years by all of the Cablecos and Telcos, as far as providing fiber internet. Ironic, since Verizon's FiOS has 1 of their 2 national satellite farms on the west side of Bloomington, Illinois. ITV-3 and MTCO are 2 smaller companies now installing fiber in the Peoria Illinois area, with expansion plans on the board. Both are outliers, competing against providers like Comcast, Frontier, Mediacom, and CenturyLink. I have never had Comcast salesmen visit my home in 10 years, except twice in the last month. That is because MTCO has dug fiber down my block(with underground vaults!!!), and Comcast is starting to feel some competition for the first time. I have an MTCO inside install scheduled at mid-month, so will review in a few weeks.
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

Re: ITV-3 already offers fiber service to Pekin, Morton, and East Peoria, IL

you do realize that most of C-U is wired for u-verse right? not just a few Neighborhoods. There are lawn fridges all over the place.
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit

Re: ITV-3 already offers fiber service to Pekin, Morton, and East Peoria, IL

GLIMMER, thanks for your update. I don't get to C-U as often as I used to.
So, this must mean that U-Verse has not found much success in the C-U Twin Cities then, correct? Is Comcast still the leader in cable and broadband internet there?

How much of Decatur, Danville, and Springfield are also wired up for U-Verse? I understood that it was only some areas there also. Interesting that Peoria is one of the larger AT&T cities in Central Illinois, but AT&T has never uttered a peep about installing U-Verse there.

In Washington, MTCO is installing fiber FTTH by using underground vaults. I will be providing photos within a month or so, once they have installed service to my house.
Not sure how ITV-3 is operating, but they certainly have not installed large, obnoxious lawn fridges that I have noticed in any of their above 3 towns.
tabernak

join:2013-08-10
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·AT&T DSL Service

University of Illinois

It helps when you have the U of I with a great engineering program in your city, you get a lot more forward thinking people and a lot more need. Plus that area of Illinois is flat and has easy ground to work, making it much easier to build.

In my lifetime (I'm 33) I can't think of any parallel for how long it takes to see infrastructure implemented in cities and affluent areas to get rolled out nationally. DSL and cable just built on top of existing infrastructure, who knows how long it'll be until you start seeing fiber replace copper nationally, if ever.

I'm always happy to see more progress though. Hopefully wireless profit stagnates for phone companies eventually and they start pushing fiber to compete with cable and wireless.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Way to do FTTP

If I understand their business model any ISP can ride over the network. I am not susre if the outside ISP also does the end work at the customer or UC2B even does the work inside the house. Whatever the case this a step in the right direction with some competition.

If it will pay for itself I would offer the network as dark fiber and let the ISP and TV content companies do the work on the ends of the fiber. That way a customer is not stuck with the decision of one company.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

This a how is should be done...

This is how muni networks should operate. They should be in the business of fostering business not squashing it.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
vanfanel

join:2012-12-06
Mahomet, IL

1Gbps...too slow how about 10Gbps in CU :D

Should be getting here in the fall

»apartments.jsmliving.com/news?ne ··· s_id=227