Monthly Archives: July 2016

Rural broadband needed now and more letters to the editors

Rural broadband needed now

I was very happy to read the Chattanooga Free Press editorial titled “Rural Broadband Needed Now,” concurring with one of my central plans for the 3rd Congressional District and which you referenced in your July 14 endorsement of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann. Thank you for continuing to bring attention to the need for high-speed internet in our rural communities. Hopefully, more candidates will recognize and embrace the importance of this problem and vow, like I have, to bring this vital service into all areas of the district and allow more people to share in the American dream.

Michael Friedman

Black Lives Matter stirs up racism

Chattanooga recently saw the Black Lives Matter movement tie up the streets with yelling and posters, wasting the time of police to make sure members can have their day in the city. If they would put their energy into actually helping the black culture, their movement would be a worthy cause.

There are black youths who need guidance beyond the gangs they are in. The number of black killings is very high. Youth in high schools need encouragement and guidance to further their education and be steered away from drugs. HIV is running rampant in Atlanta. If Black Lives Matter would channel its energy to actual black lives, I would believe and respect the cause. Right now, it is all noise about a few isolated incidents of a white cop and a black person being shot. The group never bothers to get the facts of the case.

Hands-up, don’t-shoot was a lie. The group does a great job of stirring up racism in this country.

Hazel Steel

Cleveland, Tenn.

Democratic lies obscure the truth

It makes me angry when politicians tell lies to influence votes. The Obama Democrats have used these methods for years to control votes of some segments of the public. These same dirty politics are now being used in Hamilton County in a TV commercial directed at Marty Haynes. The fact is Hamilton County government has not raised property taxes since 2007.

In 2007, the tax rate was $3.15, and today it is $2.76. That is actually more than a 12 percent decrease. State law requires the tax rate be adjusted to produce the amount of revenue as the previous year. Some other reasons the tax rate has actually declined: Unemployment in Hamilton County is 3.8 percent, below the state average and well below the 4.7 percent national average for the same period. The 2010-2014 population growth in Hamilton County increased 4.4 percent. Residential building permits rose from 2014 to 2015 by 25 percent, with $367 million of new residential construction in progress. Growth in jobs, wages and population is the reason Hamilton County has continued to prosper.

Please join me in voting for Marty Haynes for our next assessor of property.

Dean Moorhouse


Watchdog plan ‘will improve broadband’

Splitting network provider Openreach from parent company BT could improve UK broadband coverage, says telecoms watchdog Ofcom. Ofcom said making Openreach a legally distinct company with its own board would help make digital communications work for everyone. Under the plan, Openreach would be obliged to consult formally with customers such as Sky and TalkTalk on large-scale investments.

Strategy and control over budget allocation would also be separate. Openreach should have its own brand, distinct from the BT Group, to help embed the organisational culture of a distinct company, said Ofcom. This would provide Openreach with the greatest degree of independence from BT without incurring the costs and disruption associated with separating the companies entirely.

It is designed to ensure that Openreach acts more independently from BT Group, and takes decisions for the good of the wider telecoms industry and its customers. If it cannot achieve this, Ofcom said it would reconsider whether BT and Openreach should be split into two entirely separate companies, under different ownership. Ofcom says its plan would make it possible for competitors to connect their own fibre optic cables directly to homes and businesses.

It says this would deliver more choice for people and businesses over the next decade, while reducing the UK’s reliance on the Openreach network. Ofcom chief exetutive : “We’re pressing ahead with the biggest shake-up of telecoms in a decade, to make sure the market is delivering the best possible services for people and business.”

The plans include making Openreach provide an online database showing the physical location and characteristics of its ducts and poles – a ‘digital map’ of the UK. New rules giving telecoms providers further rights to access physical infrastructure came into force on Sunday (31 July).

These measures are designed to reduce the cost of deploying broadband networks, by sharing access to infrastructure across different sectors.

ACCC opens up superfast broadband to competition

news The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it is opening up the wholesale superfast broadband services to competition with the declaration of a five-year superfast broadband access service (SBAS).

The ACCC can declare a service if it feels that doing so would promote the long-term interests of users. The regulator s declaration ensures all service providers have access to the infrastructure required to supply competitive communications services, the commission said. The SBAS will provide retailers with access to network services outside the NBN with a downstream data rate normally more than 25 Mbps . This includes the fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) network run by AAPT a TPG subsidiary and Telstra s fibre networks in South Brisbane and Velocity estates, according to an ACCC statement.

This is an acknowledgment that all superfast broadband networks, regardless of their size display natural monopoly characteristics, said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. What this access declaration does is provide retailers with the opportunity to enter superfast broadband markets, and in turn increase competition.

This decision will also help to simplify and clarify the existing regulations that apply to superfast broadband services, allowing all retail providers to compete on their relative merits, regardless of the technology used, when the network was constructed, or who operates it, Sims said.

The new service will benefit consumers in the long term because greater competition between retail providers, and more choice, can now occur , he added. According to the ACCC, the announcement of the SBAS declaration has prompted a public inquiry into the price and non-price terms of access that should apply to the SBAS. The ACCC has set interim terms and conditions to apply for the next 12 months while it completes the inquiry.

These have been benchmarked to existing regulated prices for similar superfast broadband services , including the NBN and other networks, it said. In setting interim T&Cs, the ACCC taken into account concerns about the regulatory burden for smaller providers and has exempted any superfast broadband operators supplying less than 20,000 customers. During the inquiry, the ACCC said, it will look closely at the likely compliance costs for these operators, and will consider the price benefits that competition can bring to consumers.

The ACCC added that the TransACT/iiNet VDSL network and the HFC network in regional Victoria all owned by TPG will also be exempt for now in order to allow sufficient time for these networks to be reconfigured to supply an SBAS product .