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Wednesday, July 19, 2006
A Minor Broadband Update

Here's what little I can add to the American Fork municipal broadband picture this week. Just to prove it really is a slow news day, I also express my hope that a certain city councilman will show up at a future meeting in a kilt.

As I noted previously, proposals for purchase or lease of American Fork's municipal broadband system, AFCNet, and/or related fiber assets, were due last week. If I lacked information about how things are proceeding, I would guess the following:

  • City officials are studying the proposals.
  • They'll want clarification in some cases, perhaps even additional information in some.
  • Things are going a little more slowly than they might otherwise, because it's summer and because the City has been busy with Steel Days.
  • City officials are not yet willing to go on the record with any details.

Off-the-record conversations with multiple officials suggest that all of that is true, which is no great surprise, since it is all quite predictable.

I really have only three things to add at this point.

First, one of AFCNet's partisans, Councilman Shirl LeBaron, is reportedly on vacation in Scotland. I hope he'll go for broke and wear a kilt to his first City Council meeting after his return. I suppose a matching thick Scottish brogue is too much to hope for. But I digress.

Second, and more to the point, so far I get the impression that the City does not have a fire sale mentality, which would have them trying to get whatever we can for the system, even if it's not a fair price, just as long as they can get rid of it. I'm somewhat relieved.

Third, I talked to the guys at the ComCast booth at Art Dye Park on the last evening of Steel Days. I hope I never have to switch my Internet access to ComCast. I had trouble getting straight and correct answers on several basic points, and neither knew what I was talking about when I asked if it's possible to get a static IP address with one of their residential packages. (The answer, based on a phone call to ComCast, is that it's not.) Maybe you don't know what an IP address is either, or why I would want or need a static one -- but that's okay, because you're not trying to sell me broadband Internet access.

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