Chattanooga-owned municipal broadband provider EPB on Thursday applied to become the first of possibly many electric utilities to begin offering gigabit Internet and TV service across the traditional boundaries set up over years of cable TV dominance.

EPB, which also distributes electricity and phone service, submitted a formal petition on Thursday to the Federal Communications Commission to allow it to compete outside the strictly regulated boundaries enforced by Tennessee legislators.

via EPB takes first step toward wider gig, petitions FCC to allow expansion into broader area | Times Free Press.

Chattanooga utility EPB will consider asking the Federal Communications Commission within weeks to allow it to expand gigabit fiber-optic Internet, TV and phone access to the Tennessee communities surrounding the Gig City.

“Communities should have the right, at the local level, to determine their broadband futures,” said Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, on Friday. “At EPB, we believe that Internet access is the critical infrastructure for the 21st century. True broadband infrastructure provides access to information, jobs and education and gives citizens and businesses the opportunity to fully participate in — and to lead — our emerging knowledge economy.”

via EPB eyes gigabit expansion beyond Chattanooga | Times Free Press.

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Federal Communications Commission must rethink its net neutrality rules — a decision with potentially far-reaching implications for the future of high-speed Internet.

Now FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler must work with Congress to modernize outdated laws that don’t address the reality of today’s Internet.

In doing so, he should keep in mind the benefits an open and accessible broadband network has provided to California’s green tech industry and reaffirm his commitment to the restrained regulatory approach that has helped bring forth such a network and encourage private investment.

via Open broadband network has benefitted green tech – ContraCostaTimes.com.

How do you get the smart grid deployed to the most remote, rural parts of the country? One answer could be rural broadband, which has billions of dollars in federal funding support meant to push connectivity to 15 million U.S. residents who live in areas that are too distant and expensive for commercial telecommunications providers to reach.

But to date, the Federal Communications Commission’s big broadband push, known as the Connect America Fund, hasn’t included electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and other rural power players as eligible providers.

via Utilities Want a Piece of the FCC’s $4.5B Rural Broadband Push : Greentech Media.

14. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: News · Tags: , , , ,

An independent study of radio-frequency emissions from Central Maine Power Co.’s new smart meters has found maximum exposure levels that are far below what the Federal Communications Commission considers safe.

The study, reviewed Monday by the Portland Press Herald, concluded that the highest exposure level averaged over time is 4.6 percent of the FCC limit. The agency regulates equipment that broadcasts radio-frequency signals.

via Health risk from CMP’s smart meters low, study finds | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

A new state report concludes that smart meters that utilities give customers to measure power consumption and save energy emit far less potentially harmful material than considered safe by the Federal Communications Commission.

Some environmental groups have raised concerns about the long-term health effects of being exposed to the radio frequency radiation emitted by the meters. And the group Vermonters for a Clean Environment doesn’t trust the study’s findings.

via Report: Smart Meters Are Safe for Vermont | Valley News.

When the Federal Communications Commission identified six concrete goals in the national broadband plan, the one specific application highlighted by the agency was energy consumption: “To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.”

via BroadbandBreakfast.com: Will Consumer-Friendly Smart Meters Pave the Way to Smart Grid Adoption?.