Fiber Internet and TV Services, Cord Cutting

Introductions - Urban Issues - Miscellaneous News, Topics, Interests
David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Fiber Internet and TV Services, Cord Cutting

Postby David Greene » March 25th, 2014, 8:41 pm

I just found out today that there is a task force at city hall looking at citywide fiber. Apparently municipally-owned fiber is pretty much out of the question but people are looking at what the city can do to accelerate the buildout of fiber throughout Minneapolis.

We signed up for USI's fiber in the Wedge last year and it has been a godsend. We're getting 5x the bandwidth at a little more than half the cost of what we paid Comcast for internet access. We need this city wide.

It was suggested to me that letters and e-mails to Mayor Hodges as well as city council members would be helpful. Apparently this will stay pretty far down on the priority list until the electeds hear about it from residents and fiber is brought into the wider public conversation in a visible way.

While I don't expect the city to even decide how to approach this for another five years, this is clearly a vitall investment. Fiber will attract talent and businesses. People will choose to live in the city and businesses will choose to locate in the city if they know they have access to affordable broadband they cannot get in the suburbs. Not only is ubiquitous, cheap broadband a requirement for future economic growth, fiber is a key transportation investment. With access to inexpensive broadband, a lot more people have the option to telecommute.

I'm planning to talk to people I know and ask them to e-mail the Mayor and their CMs. If you think citywide fiber is an important investment, I'd ask you to do the same.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1230
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby mister.shoes » March 25th, 2014, 9:14 pm

Awesome! I would loooooooove to ditch Comcast.
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5548
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2014, 9:46 pm

We also have USI's fiber, and I can confirm how awesome it is.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3128
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 25th, 2014, 11:29 pm

How much are we talking for city-wide access?

User avatar
Nathan
Capella Tower
Posts: 3946
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby Nathan » March 26th, 2014, 6:15 am

can we use bits of what you just wrote in our letters?

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 607
Joined: July 10th, 2012, 6:37 pm

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 26th, 2014, 9:32 am

I have the wireless version of USI and it offers really inconsistent internet service. Some evenings streaming video is a frustrating endevour. A while back a USI rep told me that fiber would be coming to my neighborhood soon, so I just called and checked if that happened yet. Nope. It sounds like only southside is blessed with fast and affordable internet. She did say they expect to expand fiber coverage to the whole city in the next several years.

So I guess my (sometimes) crappy internet service is the price I have to pay in order to keep my longtime vows to never write another check to Comcast or Quest/Century Link. Unless there are other options I don't know about...?

User avatar
TommyT
Target Field
Posts: 572
Joined: August 13th, 2013, 9:21 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby TommyT » March 26th, 2014, 9:36 am

What makes me mad is Fiber is offered on Aldrich AND Garfield (either side of us) but not Lyndale :-(

lordmoke
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1338
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:39 pm
Location: Nicollet Island

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby lordmoke » March 26th, 2014, 9:47 am

I live on Grand, we also have fiber, it's amazing, and I'm really not looking forward to losing that when I move.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1230
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby mister.shoes » March 26th, 2014, 9:49 am

The coverage maps on their site are really helpful. They're just far enough from my area that I wasn't too hopeful that we'll be included any time soon. Then I accidentally landed on their signup page which has a nice interactive Google Map showing a future Columbus Ave zone that's close enough to make my mouth water.
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby David Greene » March 26th, 2014, 10:01 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:How much are we talking for city-wide access?
How much to deploy it? I was told a figure of around $150 million. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. It's less than what the city put into the Vikings stadium and the return is infinitely better.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby David Greene » March 26th, 2014, 10:04 am

Viktor Vaughn wrote:II have the wireless version of USI and it offers really inconsistent internet service.
We didn't sign up for wifi because of fears of poor service. Wifi is not at all the right technology for a WAN. I can assure you that the fiber is rock solid.
Viktor Vaughn wrote:It sounds like only southside is blessed with fast and affordable internet. She did say they expect to expand fiber coverage to the whole city in the next several years.
That's interesting. USI wasn't referenced at all in the conversation I had but I suppose they are looking at all options.

I talked to a marketer at USI several months ago and was told that they target fiber investment in places where the wifi is overloaded. So if you can encourage all your neighbors to sign up for USI wifi, maybe USI will go there next for fiber.

Kinda risky, I know. :)

LakeCharles
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 781
Joined: January 16th, 2014, 8:34 am
Location: Kingfield

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby LakeCharles » March 26th, 2014, 10:20 am

I have the USI wireless and I love it. Super cheap, no dealing with Comcast and I can stream shows just fine. Though fiber'd be even better I'm sure.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7557
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby mattaudio » March 26th, 2014, 11:01 am

I can't even get the wifi at my house, despite being a block away from a node. Waiting on USI fiber...

mplser
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 724
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 11:43 pm
Location: Elliot Park

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby mplser » March 26th, 2014, 11:59 am

isn't USI wireless one of those companies that throttles heavy users to slow them down? I was considering using them until I heard this from one of my friends who uses them.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby ECtransplant » March 26th, 2014, 12:59 pm

Just the opposite, they make a point of having no throttling, caps, etc.

eazydp
Metrodome
Posts: 59
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 5:12 pm

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby eazydp » March 26th, 2014, 7:09 pm

I generally had a tough time getting tolerable service levels from USI wireless, streaming, working from home frequently resulted in failures. Their customer service was excellent and they are local, so both good things, but that was a deal breaker. I've been a Comcast (internet only) customer for the past four years, it has been tolerable. I've been anxiously awaiting their fiber service, but I'm in the deep South side and I doubt it's coming anytime soon for us. Those pipes are FAT!

I'd love for an avenue (donation, influence whatever) to get that service at our house. In my mind, it would substantially raise the value of our home as well.

John21
Landmark Center
Posts: 268
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:23 am
Location: 38th Street Station

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby John21 » March 27th, 2014, 4:32 pm

In this MinnPost article they made it sound like there wouldn't be anymore expansion, so I'm glad to hear that they're looking into city wide fiber. I had USI Wireless for a while but the signal wasn't very reliable, even with the outdoor antenna they hooked up. As said above, they have excellent customer service. I would love to be their customer again. My Comcast speeds are all over the map. Century Link was very consistent speed wise, but they really jack price up after the trial period. Well, I suppose Comcast does that as well.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4705
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby David Greene » March 27th, 2014, 9:29 pm

Just to be clear, from what I was told the options for fiber aren't limited to USI. So the fact that USI has said it has no plans for expansion isn't really relevant to this particular effort. It may end up being USI, it may not.
Last edited by David Greene on March 28th, 2014, 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby ECtransplant » March 28th, 2014, 1:09 am

Supposedly Andrew Johnson formed a Fiber Optic Workgroup at City Hall. Also, according to the City's CIO the City "has an exploratory effort underway to see if the City can leverage its resources (i.e. underground conduits, poles, etc.) to quicken the pace of fiber-to-the-home/business build outs."

re: USI
I got the following as part of an auto-reply email when I contacted them a few months ago:
USI email wrote:"If you are inquiring about if fiber optic service to your location, all of our current coverage areas are detailed at http://www.fiber.usinternet.com. If you are not in one of these coverage areas, service is not available to you at this time. We will be looking at expansion plans closer to spring of 2014, and will be updating the website and mailing all residents in those expansion areas once those plans are determined. Please check the website for updates, as there is no further information at this time."
John21 wrote:Century Link was very consistent speed wise, but they really jack price up after the trial period. Well, I suppose Comcast does that as well.
One phone call every 12 months fixes that. Basically call up and get someone from the Customer Retention/Loyalty department on the line.

nickmgray
Union Depot
Posts: 331
Joined: July 3rd, 2012, 10:40 am

Re: Minneapolis Fiber

Postby nickmgray » April 4th, 2014, 1:26 pm

I had no clue USI had laid fiber. I live on the far side of Saint Paul, and there's currently nothing even in the works for us over there.

Honestly, I think the best hope for getting fiber service to all of Minneapolis and Saint Paul would be for Google Fiber to come in. They started things off in Kansas City but has since started expanding in Austin and a few other cities as well. Google sees fiber as an opportunity to boost internet usage which in turn boost's Google's bottom line.

Google has a list of new cities that it's already looking at, but if we can get someone in our local government to contact Google and let them know that they are eager to work to get things rolling, there's a possibility we could be added to the list.

https://fiber.google.com/cities/


Return to “Anything Goes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest