SEMO Times Writes Article On Open Access Debate

Dec 03, 2011 posted an article about the open access debate on Friday (Dec 2). Below are some excerpts, but you can read the entire article on their web site. Please consider posting their article to your facebook or twitter feed.

“There has never been an issue where 600 people in any ward reached out against their council members,” Becker said. “The people of Poplar Bluff have loudly spoken out to our local government about how dissatisfied they were about ending the open access that they paid for.”

If a long-term agreement with a private ISP is established, Bagby continued in his release, the city would be in jeopardy of losing the tax-exempt status of the bonds, which would cost more than $1 million in interest increases over the remaining nine-year lifespan. “The city has maintained tax-free bonds for 10 years with an open access policy,” Becker pointed out. “Either the city owes the federal government back taxes over the last 10 years, or open access and tax-free bonds can exist together.”

“Poplar Bluff has, in my opinion, one of the best built networks in the country,” Becker said. “If [open access] gets placed on the ballot and passes, we could become the Silicon Valley of Missouri, pioneering a technology-centric community.”

  1. Kaye

    Wonder what impact will happen with the development of 8 Points and the new hospital campus? Surely the “city fathers” will want to have upgraded services to meet new demands on the system! Will we as “forced” city cable subscribers benefit? Come on city government-do you really serve the public?

  2. rodney

    if we have such a great network how come we have the slowest and most expensive internet compared to other towns in the area many half our size

    1. Brian Becker

      I said “Well Built” not “Well Run” nor “Well Maintained” – we are currently running 10 year old networking software. An analogy would be a corporation still running Windows 98 as their Operating System of choice.

      Our citizen-owned network has more than doubled in size in the past five years, but it has not been upgraded. Our network runs DOCSIS 1.1 software to communicate between the modems at the customer home and the modem at the Cable Plant (called a CMTS – cable modem termination system).

      In 2001, DOCSIS 2.0 came out. In 2006, DOCSIS 3.0 came out. It has been estimated that it would cost $100,000 to upgrade, however, in the last couple of years four or five times that amount has been expended to grow the network outside the city limits.

      I’ve often wondered why the cry for DOCSIS 3.0 has gone unheard by our cable administrators, but it could just be a profit issue. It is profitable to grow the network out in the city because that means more customers, more customers = more money. But keeping current customers “happy” when there is no competition means there is no clear-cut profitability from the upgrade.

      Making Customers Happy == EXPENSE
      Making More Customers == PROFITS

      This network was built to “encourage the location of new businesses, and the expansion of existing businesses, thus providing new employment opportunities to city residents, increasing the city’s tax base and enhancing the economic development of the city…” and “enhance and expand the cultural, educational and recreational opportunities of those people residing and working in the City, and thus better the quality of life of said persons” (both statements from the original ordinance to create City Cable).