Baltimore Broadband Coalition

964 In the Crowd · Campaign by Baltimore Broadband

Zones will be successfully funded if they reach their goal by June 30, 2015.

Baltimorelogo

About this campaign

Baltimore, MD

Read Baltimore Sun Op-Ed Click Here submitted by members of the campaign.  This explains in more detail our campaign and our partnership with the city.

Background: This campaign is in response to a survey and community meeting indicating resident dissatisfaction throughout Baltimore with currently available choices for broadband (how you connect to the Internet) and their associated prices. The campaign started in a church basement at a community meeting in Roland Park, it soon spread to multiple communities in north Baltimore and now is citywide. We desire broad participation. This is a grassroots campaign open to all living or working in Baltimore.

Motivating this Campaign

  • In Baltimore, compared to surrounding counties where effective competition for Internet services exist, we pay more (as much as $1000 over two years) and the quality of services available is less
  • We face a monopoly for fast Internet services in Baltimore leaving us with little choice in the broadband market
  • Digital injustice - 20-40% of city residents do not connect to the Internet when connectivity is now essential for effective participation
  • Poor fiber optic infrastructure impairs the growth of Baltimore (as Mayor Rawlings-Blake has said, "You can't grow jobs with slow Internet")

 

Campaign Goals 

  • Deploy fiber optic lines to homes, businesses and anchor institutions throughout Baltimore
  • Establish an open fiber infrastructure promoting competition by Internet service providers
  • Provide low cost connectivity options for those with low incomes
  • Build grassroots effort in partnership with elected officials, anchor institutions and commercial stakeholders

 

Campaign Strategy

  • Fiber optic investment comes to those cities showing sufficient market demand.  We believe this will be true in Baltimore
  • Use CrowdFiber as a platform to sign up campaign backers and as a means to organize our broadband advocacy and funding
  • Use the strength and pattern of campaign support to attract potential fiber providers (within the U.S., there are 858 providers of fiber optic) and to demonstrate the importance of this issue to elected officials

 

How Can You Participate

  • Back the campaign through this crowdfunding site. In doing so, you are only agreeing to consider purchasing such services if they were available at competitive rates. We are asking for a small $10 donation to help fund campaign costs. You will be asked to create an account either on Crowdfiber or with Facebook and then to pay using Amazon. Your backing location will be mapped to the Community Statistical Area (CSA) in which you live and work. 
  • Encourage others to join you. Work to achieve the campaign goal for the CSA in which you live or work. The campaign goal for each CSA is 20% of the number of owner occupied housing units and 5% of rental occupied units. We believe these goals represent the "tipping point" to motivate interest by fiber investors.
  • Invite a presentation about the campaign at community meetings, schools, business organization, etc. - anywhere there is a good size group of interested parties.  Help to create opportunities to explain the campaign.
  • We look for campaign champions to volunteer to lead in their community.  Write to us at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com if you are interested.

 

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband 

Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

For More Background and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer to join by mail, you can do so by writing a check for $10 made out to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and sending the check along with your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

This campaign's top zones

1. Poplar Hill: 160% to goal

2. Roland Park: 128% to goal

3. Keswick: 123% to goal

1. Poplar Hill: 160% to goal

Goal: 25 backers · Pledged: 40 backers

2. Roland Park: 128% to goal

Goal: 238 backers · Pledged: 306 backers

3. Keswick: 123% to goal

Goal: 21 backers · Pledged: 26 backers

4. Roland Springs: 116% to goal

Goal: 18 backers · Pledged: 21 backers

5. Guilford: 72% to goal

Goal: 158 backers · Pledged: 115 backers

6. Evergreen: 69% to goal

Goal: 26 backers · Pledged: 18 backers

7. Wyndhurst: 66% to goal

Goal: 36 backers · Pledged: 24 backers

8. Homeland: 61% to goal

Goal: 192 backers · Pledged: 118 backers

9. North Roland Park: 60% to goal

Goal: 30 backers · Pledged: 18 backers

10. Orchards Kemper Chatham: 48% to goal

Goal: 33 backers · Pledged: 16 backers

11. Mt. Washington: 28% to goal

Goal: 260 backers · Pledged: 75 backers

12. Tuscany Canterbury: 26% to goal

Goal: 153 backers · Pledged: 41 backers

13. Cross Keys: 15% to goal

Goal: 99 backers · Pledged: 15 backers

14. Hoes Heights: 9% to goal

Goal: 54 backers · Pledged: 5 backers

15. Midtown: 8% to goal

Goal: 350 backers · Pledged: 30 backers

16. The Waverlies: 5% to goal

Goal: 20 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

17. Greater Charles Village/Barclay: 5% to goal

Goal: 390 backers · Pledged: 21 backers

18. Inner Harbor/Federal Hill: 2% to goal

Goal: 851 backers · Pledged: 20 backers

19. Medfield/Hampden/Woodberry/Remington: 1% to goal

Goal: 1,023 backers · Pledged: 14 backers

20. Downtown/Seton Hill: 1% to goal

Goal: 71 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

21. Chinquapin Park/Belvedere: 1% to goal

Goal: 432 backers · Pledged: 5 backers

22. Canton: 0% to goal

Goal: 616 backers · Pledged: 3 backers

23. Clifton Berea: 0% to goal

Goal: 374 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

24. Dickeyville/Franklintown: 0% to goal

Goal: 51 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

25. Dorchester/Ashburton: 0% to goal

Goal: 531 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

26. Cherry Hill: 0% to goal

Goal: 126 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

27. Edmondson Village: 0% to goal

Goal: 433 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

28. Fells Point: 0% to goal

Goal: 522 backers · Pledged: 5 backers

29. Forest Park/Walbrook: 0% to goal

Goal: 395 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

30. Glen Fallstaff: 0% to goal

Goal: 615 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

31. Cedonia/Frankford: 0% to goal

Goal: 1,055 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

32. Greater Govans: 0% to goal

Goal: 523 backers · Pledged: 3 backers

33. Greater Mondawmin: 0% to goal

Goal: 410 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

34. Greater Rosemont: 0% to goal

Goal: 781 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

35. Hamilton: 0% to goal

Goal: 760 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

36. Harford/Echodale: 0% to goal

Goal: 895 backers · Pledged: 2 backers

37. Highlandtown: 0% to goal

Goal: 447 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

38. Howard Park/West Arlington: 0% to goal

Goal: 518 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

39. Claremont/Armistead: 0% to goal

Goal: 120 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

40. Lauraville: 0% to goal

Goal: 750 backers · Pledged: 7 backers

41. Loch Raven: 0% to goal

Goal: 727 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

42. Madison/East End: 0% to goal

Goal: 216 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

43. Brooklyn/Curtis Bay/Hawkins Point: 0% to goal

Goal: 518 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

44. Midway/Coldstream: 0% to goal

Goal: 388 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

45. Morrell Park/Violetville: 0% to goal

Goal: 516 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

46. Northwood: 0% to goal

Goal: 822 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

47. Orangeville/East Highlandtown: 0% to goal

Goal: 469 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

48. Patterson Park North & East: 0% to goal

Goal: 740 backers · Pledged: 2 backers

49. Penn North/Reservoir Hill: 0% to goal

Goal: 271 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

50. Pimlico/Arlington/Hilltop: 0% to goal

Goal: 464 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

51. Poppleton/The Terraces/Hollins Market: 0% to goal

Goal: 111 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

52. Sandtown Winchester/Harlem Park: 0% to goal

Goal: 417 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

53. South Baltimore: 0% to goal

Goal: 513 backers · Pledged: 2 backers

54. Westport/Mount Winans/Lakeland: 0% to goal

Goal: 264 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

55. Belair Edison: 0% to goal

Goal: 936 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

56. Washington Village/Pigtown: 0% to goal

Goal: 301 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

57. Beechfield/Ten Hills/West Hills: 0% to goal

Goal: 617 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

58. Allendale/Irvington/S. Hilton: 0% to goal

Goal: 794 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

59. Southwest Baltimore: 0% to goal

Goal: 580 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

60. Oldtown/Middle East: 0% to goal

Goal: 95 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

61. Southern Park Heights: 0% to goal

Goal: 407 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

62. Southeastern: 0% to goal

Goal: 282 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

63. Harbor East/Little Italy: 0% to goal

Goal: 177 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

64. Greenmount East: 0% to goal

Goal: 240 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

65. Upton/Druid Heights: 0% to goal

Goal: 139 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

66. North Baltimore: 0% to goal

Goal: 419 backers · Pledged: 3 backers

67. Blythewood/Notre Dame/Loyola: 0% to goal

Goal: 209 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

68. Cross Country/Cheswolde: 0% to goal

Goal: 514 backers · Pledged: 1 backers

69. Coldspring: 0% to goal

Goal: 200 backers · Pledged: 0 backers

About Baltimore Broadband

..

Backer of Baltimore Broadband Campaign ($10)

Help bring fiber to your Baltimore neighborhood! Encourage your neighbors to support as well for if you reach your neighborhood goal of 20%, your neighborhood will receive priority in the request for proposal to vendors to create fiber instructure.  You will get a big thank you from our team, and your name will be listed as a backer on our website.

$10

Megabit Residential Supporter ($100)

I pledged at that level because I feel strongly about the BBC and am happy to help push the effort!

$100

Gigabit Supporter ($1000)

Join at the "Gigabit" supporter level and you will be helping to fund bringing high speed internet to parts of the city that may not have the resources to fund their own neighborhood contribution to this campaign.  You will receive special recognition when we reach our campaign goal.

$1,000

Commercial Backer ($100)

Cheaper faster Internet is not a luxury for businesses, it is a necessity.

$100

About this Campaign

Read Baltimore Sun Op-Ed Click Here submitted by members of the campaign.  This explains in more detail our campaign and our partnership with the city.

Background: This campaign is in response to a survey and community meeting indicating resident dissatisfaction throughout Baltimore with currently available choices for broadband (how you connect to the Internet) and their associated prices. The campaign started in a church basement at a community meeting in Roland Park, it soon spread to multiple communities in north Baltimore and now is citywide. We desire broad participation. This is a grassroots campaign open to all living or working in Baltimore.

Motivating this Campaign

  • In Baltimore, compared to surrounding counties where effective competition for Internet services exist, we pay more (as much as $1000 over two years) and the quality of services available is less
  • We face a monopoly for fast Internet services in Baltimore leaving us with little choice in the broadband market
  • Digital injustice - 20-40% of city residents do not connect to the Internet when connectivity is now essential for effective participation
  • Poor fiber optic infrastructure impairs the growth of Baltimore (as Mayor Rawlings-Blake has said, "You can't grow jobs with slow Internet")

 

Campaign Goals 

  • Deploy fiber optic lines to homes, businesses and anchor institutions throughout Baltimore
  • Establish an open fiber infrastructure promoting competition by Internet service providers
  • Provide low cost connectivity options for those with low incomes
  • Build grassroots effort in partnership with elected officials, anchor institutions and commercial stakeholders

 

Campaign Strategy

  • Fiber optic investment comes to those cities showing sufficient market demand.  We believe this will be true in Baltimore
  • Use CrowdFiber as a platform to sign up campaign backers and as a means to organize our broadband advocacy and funding
  • Use the strength and pattern of campaign support to attract potential fiber providers (within the U.S., there are 858 providers of fiber optic) and to demonstrate the importance of this issue to elected officials

 

How Can You Participate

  • Back the campaign through this crowdfunding site. In doing so, you are only agreeing to consider purchasing such services if they were available at competitive rates. We are asking for a small $10 donation to help fund campaign costs. You will be asked to create an account either on Crowdfiber or with Facebook and then to pay using Amazon. Your backing location will be mapped to the Community Statistical Area (CSA) in which you live and work. 
  • Encourage others to join you. Work to achieve the campaign goal for the CSA in which you live or work. The campaign goal for each CSA is 20% of the number of owner occupied housing units and 5% of rental occupied units. We believe these goals represent the "tipping point" to motivate interest by fiber investors.
  • Invite a presentation about the campaign at community meetings, schools, business organization, etc. - anywhere there is a good size group of interested parties.  Help to create opportunities to explain the campaign.
  • We look for campaign champions to volunteer to lead in their community.  Write to us at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com if you are interested.

 

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband 

Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

For More Background and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer to join by mail, you can do so by writing a check for $10 made out to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and sending the check along with your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

Here's a list of everyone who has backed this campaign.


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Amos Moecker

Midtown
31d30ca37d3c8fc6d382017e9e8de1ef

Michael Booth

Midtown
650f515f1194c817c5196b9e7cadee0d

Leigh Hibler

Midtown
60d9ba1fbd94f1eb9a69fff787c16431

Eric Harley

Medfield/Hampden/Woodberry/Remington
00000000000000000000000000000000

Anonymous

Tuscany Canterbury
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Anonymous

Midtown

Mount Royal Improvement Association Meeting Invites BBC - Spread the Word

8:15am October 6, 2014

The Baltimore Broadband Coalition is visiting the Mount Royal Improvement Association Meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday Oct 7 at 8pm (Memorial Episcopal Church 1401 Bolton Street).

All are welcome.

Spread the word to friends and colleagues.  This is a good way for folks to hear our plan to bring competition for Internet servces to Balitmore.  We need to stop paying more and getting less for Internet services in Baltimore.

Learn more at http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition Follow us @BaltBroadband and friend at https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreBroadband

Please ask your neighborhood association to invite us to present our ideas.

Digital Divide, Digital Literacy and Digital Injustice

11:52pm September 1, 2014

Campaign Update. Over the past three Friday evenings, campaign volunteers attended the Belvedere Market Summer Sounds at the Square Festival. Last Friday two of our campaign leaders, Rosie Smith and Stan Wilson, answered questions and signed up new backers.  On September 16 at 7 PM our leaders will attend the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association meeting and we have invitations to attend four other community meetings in the next month.  We are eager to spread the word at any good size gathering whether it is a business association, a school parent association, a community or faith based gathering.  Write to BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com to arrange.

We continue to address other frequently asked questions.

What is the digital divide? 30% of Americans do not connect to the Internet at home. The term digital divide refers to  inequalities in digital access; as reported by the Pew Research Center, broadband use at home varies markedly by income (88% (≥ $75K) versus 54%  (≤$30K)), education (89% (college graduates) versus 57% (high school graduates)), and race (74% (white non-Hispanic) versus 64% (Black non-Hispanic) versus 53% (Hispanic)). 

How is the digital divide relevant to Baltimore?  We already know the answer in light of the economic challenges our city faces.  Still an example shows this is not an abstract issue.  The Campaign was contacted by an organization doing workforce training on Monroe Street to see how they might participate in the campaign.  In this community, the unemployment rate is 24% and for this organization, we heard that inadequate connectivity limits their ability to train. This is as important to Monroe Street as it is to Roland Avenue.  Internet access is essential in the job market, for education and in remaining connected with friends. We use the Internet to find jobs, to apply for jobs and to train for jobs.  Of the Fortune 500 companies, over 80% post jobs and accept job applications only on line. 

How is the Campaign addressing the digital divide?  First, we are elevating the importance of broadband issue.  Baltimore has been left behind in comparison to surrounding regions. Second, reflecting the inclusiveness of the campaign, fiber deployment should occur throughout Baltimore because a neutral fiber network will allow competition for Internet services likely resulting in more choices and lower prices.  Third, for those with low incomes, there should be low cost connectivity options. In another study  by Pew among those who have not connected, 1/3 said the price would have to fall for them to consider doing so. Fourth, high priority for fiber deployment to anchor institutions including schools and libraries will address digital illiteracy. While digital access is essential, so is digital literacy, the understanding of why Internet access is important and how one actually connects.  Only then, we as a city will succeed in facing the digital injustice that is currently present and about which we all care.

Volunteers needed with skills sets of graphic and web site design or willing to help staff our information table at community events.  Contact us at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

Please continue to spread the message that this campaign is important to join.  Please forward this update to friends throughout the city. Join the Campaign at http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband  or Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

If you prefer to join by mail, you can do so by writing a check for $10 made out to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and sending the check along with your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210. If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

Speed and Performance

11:37pm August 24, 2014

Getting the Campaign Word Out

We’ve been asked by the leaders of the Federal Hill organization to present at their community meeting on September 16. We welcome invitations from other organizations with good size meetings. Please spread the word. New backers can join at this link.

Other frequently asked questions about “Speed and Performance”

What speed do I have?  Go to “Test Your Broadband Speed” at the Maryland Broadband Map and click on “Begin your Test”. Your speed will be measured both in bringing data down and in sending data up to the Internet. Speed is measured as Mbps or how many millions of bits that travel (down or up) per second. It would be smart to check see if your performance matches the speed for which you are paying.

What speed do I need?  What you need varies by application, by how many applications are running and by the number of users or family members at the location. The information below is from the New America Open Technology Institute and the CTC Technology and Energy and provides reasonable estimates (The Art of the Possible: An Overview of Public Broadband Options) The table below shows the speeds in Mbps to achieve OK, good and best performance

 

OK

Good

Best

Download MP3 music

0.8

1-10

>20

500 MB software

10

20-100

1000

HD Movie download

20

50-100

1000

Video call

0.8

1

>10

Stream HD Video

1

10

>20

Online higher education course

10

20

>50

Video Conference with several users

10

20

>50

Telehealth

 

50-100

1000

 

What can DSL, cable and fiber achieve? Below are speeds achieved by DSL and cable in Baltimore and in a city with fiber. Note the big differences particularly in upload speeds.

 

Upload

Download

Verizon DSL

0.384 -0.77 Mbps

0.5 – 7 Mbps

Comcast Cable

Not quoted but likely 2-20Mbps

6 – 105 Mbps

Fiber (E.g. Chattanooga)

100-1000 Mbps

100-1000 Mbps

 

The speed influences how long a task takes. Downloading a HD Movie takes 12-15 hours with DSL, 7-34 minutes with cable and 40 seconds with gigabit fiber.  Anyone uploading large amounts of data like photos would notice even greater differences.  

 

We need fiber both to support the needs now and the larger expected needs in the future but we also need a neutral fiber network to allow competition to result in price pressure.  Stop paying more for less - spread the word about our campaign.

 

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband 

Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

For More Background and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer to join by mail, you can do so by writing a check for $10 made out to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and sending the check along with your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

 

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

 

Shedding Light on Fiber and What that Means to Our Campaign

10:35pm August 17, 2014

Campaign support continues to build with backers from new neighborhoods joining.  Please continue to spread the word.

With many new backers we will continue to answer commonly asked questions.

How is fiber different from cable (Comcast) or DSL (Verizon) and why is fiber deployment critical to our campaign? Fiber optic cables contain small flexible glass strands over which data travels as light. Fiber can be deployed above or below ground. Comcast uses coaxial cable, which you see connecting to your television. DSL uses standard copper phone lines. Both coaxial and copper send data as radiofrequency signals rather than light. Currently, fiber carries data between 20-50 times faster than coaxial cable and typically greater than 100 times faster than DSL. Imagine you wanted to rapidly fill a pool and could choose a fire hose (analogous to fiber), a garden hose (cable) or an eye dropper (DSL).  As data transmission requirements continue to increase, fiber is the future. Fiber deployment also increases competition for high speed Internet services. Comcast owns their cable, but fiber will open the market to new Internet providers.

How, where and when will we see fiber deployment occurring? Our campaign is citywide and inclusive; we believe fiber should be deployed to all Baltimore neighborhoods and should occur with every city utility and work project along major corridors. Currently 20-40% of Baltimore residents do not connect to the Internet and we believe that Internet access is a necessity in today’s world.

How does this campaign influence the type of fiber deployment?  Fiber deployment is not one-plan-fits-all, however. We understand that fiber is expensive and use our Crowdfunding campaign to demonstrate the size and patterns of potential market demand. Where demand is sufficiently strong, we favor immediate fiber deployment; where market demand is less strong, fiber could extend along corridors (so-called middle mile) and then connect to individual homes and businesses (so-called last mile) with other technologies like high-speed wireless.  Connectivity is critical even in neighborhoods where demand does not drive the need for fiber connections to all homes. 

Who owns the fiber and manages the fiber and what difference does it make?  Fiber is organized in cities in multiple models of ownership and management. There are very important tradeoffs. Municipal ownership of fiber offers cities most control (Chattanooga). Private ownership (the Google model) releases control but a city could by so doing reduce its risk and upfront cost. It may also be releasing important revenue streams which is critical. Then there are public-private partnerships. Also important is whether the fiber ownership model allows and facilitates more than one ISP to use it. This article http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/fast-Internet-speed-wifi-municipal-broadband describes what many cities are doing. Our campaign will help to motivate and influence this discussion.

 

Public Meetings to Explain the Campaign

We are looking for opportunities to explain and answer questions about the campaign.  These can be neighborhood association meetings or gatherings in schools, faith based organizations, business meetings or clubs – really any good size meeting (at least ~50 people).  Please help us to find such opportunities and share that information with us at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com.

 

Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband 

Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

1:07pm July 20, 2014

This week: Baltimore Broadband Campaign (BBC) backer numbers increased to nearly 800; another neighborhood, Keswick, reached its goal; commercial stakeholders now joining the campaign. 

With a number of new backers joining the BBC, we thought it useful to review answers to common questions.

Why ask backers to pay $10?  To cover the low-budget marketing costs of our all-volunteer campaign. Paying even a small amount shows commitment to potential fiber investors whom we wish to attract.  We do pay Amazon, who we use to collect donations, 55 cents for the $10 transaction.

What do I get for my $10?  Immediately nothing except becoming another red dot on our map of backers. The campaign strategy is based on what has been true in multiple other cities.  Investment comes to those cities showing sufficient market demand.  We believe that will be true in Baltimore.  So far, three fiber providers have contacted the campaign (two directly and one indirectly through an intermediary). We make no promises to backers but putting in $10 is a good bet unless one is satisfied with the status quo. Our backer numbers also attract interest from our political leaders and this is already happening. Our partnership with elected officials is essential in bringing changes to public policy related to Internet services.

What is CrowdFiber’s role? We use the web site CrowdFiber as a platform to sign up campaign backers and as a means to organize our broadband advocacy and funding. BBC is the campaign owner and has been entirely responsible for the community organizing aspects of the project. CrowdFiber is not using the platform to determine demand in any area of the country – only to support its campaign owners’ efforts to improve broadband in their areas.

Are campaign funds being used to pay CrowdFiber (or its parent, Civitium) for use of the platform, consulting or other services? No. As an early beta customer for CrowdFiber, BBC has had use of the platform at no cost. Neither CrowdFiber nor Civitium has been paid any fees for the use of the platform or for consulting or other services. CrowdFiber has provided extensive advice, guidance and support to BBC as part of its product development and beta efforts.  We thank them.

What can I do to help? Campaign backers remain our best way to spread the word. Talk up the campaign in the neighborhood, at work and wherever you get together with friends. 

We welcome any questions and will answer common or important issues on these updates.

 

When important national issues relevant to the BBC occur, we will alert backers.  This week Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) secured an amendment to the Financial Services Appropriation Bill that would prevent the FCC from using its authority to facilitate community owned broadband.  Read about the issue from the International Business Times and from a press release from Congresswoman Blackburn.  Chattanooga, in the Congresswoman’s home state, has a community owned fiber utility, Chattanoogagig, an example of a municipal broadband utility. The amendment has not yet been considered by the Senate.

 
Please tell friends to join the campaign at http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition/
 
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband
 
 
The message is “Bring Competition for Internet Services to Baltimore – Stop Paying More for Less”
 
If you prefer to join by mail please send a check to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and along with your check, provide your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210.  A minimum contribution of $10 is required to back the campaign but additional contributions are appreciated.
 

 

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

Campaign Numbers Have Doubled

10:47pm July 13, 2014

It’s been a good week.  Backer numbers increased to over 700; the campaign is now citywide.  Welcome to backers from Charles Village, Inner Harbor, Federal Hill, Medfield, Hampden, South Baltimore and a number of others.

Last Sunday, the Baltimore Sun published an Op-Ed written by some of our campaign leadership. If you have not already read the commentary, please do (click here).  You should also read the response by Tom Coughlin, senior vice president for Comcast in which he claims “Comcast operates in a highly competitive environment”.  A number of residents responded to Mr. Coughlin. Please read one from a neighbor in Canton.

 

We need your active involvement.  This past week, one member of a garden club in Mt. Washington brought along campaign information and many club members signed up. A board member of the Village at Home, an organization helping seniors safely remain in their homes, brought the issue to her board and all board members joined. These results speak to the effectiveness of individual action and the importance of this issue.

This week, we ask you to look for opportunities like this and send this update to friends and neighbors telling them why you backed the campaign and why you encourage them to do so.  Pass on this message widely throughout the city.  Below is the key information:

Join the campaign at http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition/

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband

Friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

The message is “Bring Competition for Internet Services to Baltimore – Stop Paying More for Less”

 If you prefer to join by mail please send a check to the Baltimore Broadband Campaign and along with your check, provide your name, address, email, phone number to: RPCL Office, 5115B Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210.  A minimum contribution of $10 is required to back the campaign but additional contributions are appreciated.

 

 

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

July 4 - Independence Day

12:18am July 4, 2014

There is symbolism in that today, the Baltimore Broadband Campaign goes citywide.  Our new zones generally follow the Community Statistical Area (CSA) boundaries developed by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance. Using CSAs allows our campaign more effective use of rich Census data and facilitates our ability to demonstrate that Baltimore is ripe for deployment of fiber optic technology.

 

Our campaign is inclusive.  It is grassroots.  Any individual living or working in Baltimore may join.

 

We have grown to nearly 700 backers over the past few weeks. We ask each of you to be our messenger.  Through email, social media and word of mouth please spread the word.  We hope champions will emerge throughout the city to lead recruitment efforts in their zones.   Volunteers can write to us at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

 

Our message is simple: Bring Competition for Internet Services to Baltimore - Stop Paying More for Less"

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Join the campaign on line at http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition/

 

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband

 

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

 

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

 

Baltimore Sun Publishes Op-Ed Concerning Our Baltimore Broadband Campaign

9:38pm July 1, 2014

 

The Sun Op-Ed explains the rationale and strategy of our campaign.  Click here.
 
Please follow the campaign on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband
 

 

 

Baltimore Broadband Campaign Successful in Phase 1 – Soon to be Going Citywide

5:42am June 30, 2014

The message is clear; residents want competition for their Internet services and are tired of paying more and getting less than those living in surrounding counties where competition exists. 

 

Your support allowed this initial campaign phase to be successful with over 600 campaign backers. Thank you. Communities including Roland Park, Poplar Hill and Roland Springs have exceeded their neighborhood goal.  In Roland Park alone, 255 have joined so far. Other neighborhoods are close to their goal and we intend to help those neighborhoods reach their goal over the next few weeks.   

 

Those who have already supported the campaign ask us, what will happen now?  We do not want to promise what cannot be achieved.  Tomorrow, your Internet services will likely be the same as yesterday; the only change is that you will represent one of many dots on a map of interested residents.  Our campaign strategy is based on what has been successful in other cities. Infrastructure improvement in fiber comes to those cities showing sufficient market demand.  We believe this will be true in Baltimore and with the success of phase 1, now is the time to open the campaign to the entire city allowing these added communities time to participate. We expect all participating communities to build support internally with the assistance of the leadership of the Baltimore Broadband Campaign.  Our Crowdfiber.com web site requires some changes to allow citywide participation so we expect to open the campaign citywide later this week. 

 

Change will depend on working with our political leaders, which we are doing, and convincing them of the importance of this issue.  Please write to your Councilmember and to the Mayor and express your support for the objectives of the Baltimore Broadband Campaign.

 

We are also reaching out to commercial stakeholders and encouraging them to back the campaign.  Slow and expensive Internet, whether at home or at work, is painful.

 

All of these actions are consistent with the strategy of this campaign; demonstrating potential market interest to fiber providers and working towards an open fiber infrastructure. 

 

Please suggest to those who have not yet joined to do so by going to

http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition

 

If any trouble enrolling, ask for help at BaltimoreBroadband@gmail.com

 

Follow the campaign on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BaltBroadband

 

Or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/BaltimoreBroadband/

 

The message is “Bring Competition for Internet Services to Baltimore – Stop Paying More for Less”

Crunch Time: Roland Park Needs 18 More to Reach Its Goal by July 1

6:54am June 28, 2014

 

You are one of the 220 in RP who has backed the campaign. Thank you.  Phase 1 of campaign closes tomorrow night.

 

 

Please reach out to friends in RP today and ask them to back the campaign.

 

Join by going to http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition

 

Many of our other neighborhoods are very close to their goal.  More neighborhoods will be joining us.

 

Please send this message to all on your distribution lists by email or other social media.

 

You can provide the case for the campaign by using this link http://www.rolandpark.org/Broadband/BBC_Statement.pdf

 

A link you can print out and provide is: http://www.rolandpark.org/Broadband/BBC_Statement_Print.pdf

 

We will have an update next week as we proceed to the next stage in our campaign to bring cheaper faster Internet to Baltimore.  The news is good.

Interest in the Baltimore Broadband Campaign Continues to Grow

3:52pm April 10, 2014

 

  • Thank you for backing the Baltimore Broadband Campaign.  Interest continues to build with more than 400 households from all across north Baltimore, backing this effort to demonstrate to fiber providers that they should come to Baltimore and invest.   Please pass on this information to all your friends and email contacts.  Friends can get more information or back the campaign by going to http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition.  For those wishing to join by check, write to BetterBroadbandBaltimore@rolandpark.org for instructions.

 

  • The good news is that so far two fiber providers have contacted our campaign or have asked the City about our effort.  This is a very good sign.  However, the bad news is that Baltimore was passed by again just this past month when Google selected 34 cities other than Baltimore to consider for fiber investment.  This is further evidence of the necessity to demonstrate that market demand exists in Baltimore.

 

  • Some recent items of interest:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Please suggest that your friends contribute $10 and back the campaign.  They are not committing to buying any product or services, they are saying they want competition and choice and the ability to purchase cheaper faster Internet.

Competition Matters When it Comes to the Internet

12:29pm November 3, 2013

Here is some information to share with neighbors to convince them to back the Campaign.

Cheaper and faster Internet by bringing fiber optic cable to our homes is the goal of our multi-community north Baltimore effort.

  •  If you are unhappy with existing prices or Internet speed or service, back this campaign.  You are saying you want a change.
  • Your support along with other neighbors can convince alternative providers that there is sufficient market demand in Baltimore to consider providing service.
  •  Legal barriers do not prevent other providers from entering Baltimore.  We must demonstrate sufficient potential demand.
  • Competition brings lower prices.

 

On November 3 if you purchased new service in Roland Park for Internet, telephone and television, you would pay $159.99 per month but if you lived in Annapolis, where there is competition, you would pay $99 per month.  Add up your bills and see what you pay.

The above prices are for Internet speeds of 50 Mbps (megabits per second download) which are likely faster than what most in Baltimore actually achieve.  Test your speed and see if you are getting what you are promised by going to www.speakeasy.net/speedtest 

To better understand what competition can accomplish, check out the recent report from the New America Foundation, The Cost of Connectivity, 2013 http://gigaom.com/2013/10/28/more-proof-that-without-competition-u-s-broadband-costs-more-and-delivers-less/ 

254 have backed the campaign so far.   Learn more and join the campaign by going to: 
http://www.crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition

Please address any questions or concerns about the campaign to BetterBroadbandBaltimore@rolandpark.org

Faster and Cheaper Internet - Baltimore Broadband Campaign

7:01am October 14, 2013

Some updates related to our efforts to bringer faster and cheaper internet to Baltimore with fiber to our homes.

 

Kevin Litten, Staff Reporter from the Baltimore Business Journal, summarizes recent news in Baltimore.  He references our own campaign and interest by Baltimore City in fiber infrastructure.  

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/print-edition/2013/08/30/baltimore-city-pushes-to-bolster-its.html?page=all

 

 

What’s happening in Austin Texas speaks to the importance of market demand in motivating providers to lay fiber to neighborhoods.  Thomas Gryta of the Wall Street Journal reports that ATT will go head to head in competition with Google but will focus their build of high-speed fiber in those neighborhoods demonstrating the most demand.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303643304579107773367666110

 

 

We have not yet reached our campaign goal to demonstrate sufficient market demand.  Please continue to inform neighbors and friends in your communities about the importance of this campaign.   Spread the word --- faster and cheaper internet – back the Baltimore Broadband Campaign!

Message from CrowdFiber

11:25pm September 18, 2013

Hello everyone.

My name is Greg Richardson and I am a co-founder of CrowdFiber. Last night, you received an email from our website indicating that the Baltimore Broadband Coalition (BBC) campaign you backed had ended “on December 31, 2013”. As you might have surmised from the reference to a future date, you should not have received this email. It was sent because of a bug in the notification feature of our public beta software. We are very sorry for any confusion this has caused and would like to clarify the status of the campaign and your backer contribution.

First, we want to assure you that the Baltimore campaign you backed has not ended. While yesterday (9/18/2013) was established as the original campaign end-date, your campaign manager (BBC) has elected to extend this date until 12/31/2013. New backers will still be able to come onboard and show their support up until the end of the year.

Second, the email also stated that your credit card would not be charged for the amount of your contribution due to the fact that your campaign’s zone (neighborhood), had not reach its goal. This is also incorrect. Your campaign was set up to collect all contributions from backers, regardless of whether a zone reached its stated goal, and these funds will be used by BBC for campaign promotion. For all backers who came onboard prior to the campaign’s original end-date (midnight last night, September 18th), your credit cards will be charged early next week.

Finally, we are taking steps to correct the bug that caused this email to be sent, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this beta perdiod. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at greg@crowdfiber.com or your campaign manager, Phil Spevak at pjspevak@gmail.com.

Greg Richardson
Co-Founder, CrowdFiber
www.crowdfiber.com 
Twitter @crowdfiber

 

Campaign to Improve Broadband in Baltimore Continues!

7:13am September 18, 2013

Like probably all of our other backers, I too received a confusing announcement this morning from our partner, Crowdfiber, that our Baltimore Broadband Campaign has ended.

 

The campaign has not ended and I have contacted Crowdfiber to determine why their erroneous announcement came out.  I apologize for the confusion. We now understand how Truman felt when he read he lost to Dewey.

 

Our campaign originally was to have ended September 19 but all of the organizers decided last month to extend the campaign through December as it is taking more time to explain our message. Many did not know what broadband, fiber, bandwidth, DSL, cable, dish and other such terms meant.  Once folks understand the message they have joined.

 

The good news is that the support is building.  We are now up to 25-30% of the way in the larger zones.  Also, we have actually had one fiber provider contact the campaign with questions as to the potential for their business involvement.  That is huge and a very good sign of what this campaign will eventually accomplish (we told them that we will be in touch as the campaign proceeds).

 

We do very much need your help since we are still short of our goal and without your help, the campaign may not succeed.  If every one of us convinced 3 of our neighbors to back the campaign we would achieve our goal in most zones.  Please help.  The message is very simple - Back the campaign if you are dissatisfied with existing choices and prices and you want what is available in many communities across the country, fiber optic cable to the home to allow improved performance, pricing, and competition.  Baltimore City is surrounded by counties that already have this.  Make it clear that by backing the campaign, your friends and neighbors are not obligating themselves to purchase services now or in the future but simply saying they would wish to have the option to consider improved services brought by fiber if they were offfered at competitive prices.

Remember this campaign's success is the first step for releasing a request to fiber providers to asssess their interest in extending fiber to our homes.  We need the strength of this campaign to show there is a reason for them to respond.

Use word of mouth, email, facebook, listservs.  If you can spread the word in our schools please do as well.  Kids doing homework on slow internet especially as bandwidth requirements increase are as affected like those who work from home or those who want better bandwidth for entertainment.  We all likely pay more without effective competition.

Again, sorry for the confusion and please help to build campaign support.  We all succeed or not on this together.

If anyone has any questions or needs any help in supporting the campaign, they can write to BetterBroadbandBaltimore@rolandpark.org

Best wishes,

Phil Spevak

Campaign to Improve Broadband in Baltimore

10:36pm September 2, 2013

Only a few weeks to go in the North Baltimore Broadband Campaign.  Thank you for your support but we need your help!

While nearly 200 like you have supported the campaign, we are still short of our goal of achieving 20% of households in each neighborhood as backers.  Without reaching that goal, you might loose out on the opportunity for improved service if your neighborhood does not achieve the 20% mark.

Please encouraging your neighbors to back the campaign like you have.

Emphasize that in Baltimore, there is currently but one vendor for the faster service options and this impacts the price we all pay and the available options we have to choose.  Explain that faster service is available in areas surrounding Baltimore but is unavailable in our neighborhoods.

Explain that by supporting the campaign, residents are only agreeing to consider purchasing improved services in the future if they became available at competitive prices.

Please email and speak with friends and neighbors and encourage them to act by going to http://www.crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition

IMPROVING BROADBAND IN BALTIMORE - HELP SPREAD THE WORD

9:54am June 20, 2013

We have had an excellent start!  Thanks to all of you for blazing the trail.

Roland Springs is the lead so far followed by North RP and then Roland Park.  Good work.  Please contact neighbors in your neighborhood and others in the campagin zones. Encourage them to back our campaign.  Provide the link to http://www.crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition 

Use Facebook, Twitter, Email, and yes, even, face to face.    Get info onto listservs.

We need to get to goal.  We need your help.

You must be logged in to comment


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Bryan Martin

7:11pm November 12, 2014

Bryan Martin

Thank you for starting this campaign. The city needs more options for internet. Comcast is ripping off people and it needs to stop.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

11:40pm June 26, 2014

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

As phase 1 of our campaign draws towards its close over the next few days, we really need your help by finding a few friends and influencing them to join you in backing the campaign. They can enroll by going to http://crowdfiber.com/campaigns/baltimore-broadband-coalition Over 500 have joined so far and many of our neighborhoods are very close to their goal. Other neighborhoods are interested to join us. Also please send this message to all on your distribution lists by email or other social media. You can provide the case for the campaign by using this link http://www.rolandpark.org/Broadband/BBC_Statement.pdf A link you can print out and provide is: http://www.rolandpark.org/Broadband/BBC_Statement_Print.pdf We will have an update next week as we proceed to the next stage in our campaign to bring cheaper faster Internet to Baltimore. The news is good.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

10:53am March 29, 2014

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

Emil, We hoped from the beginning that interest in the broadband campaign would spread to other communities who saw the importance of this issue. In fact, other communities have come on board since we started. If Charles Village or other communities wish to join, we do require the backing of the neighborhood organization for that community and we need a small group of committed volunteers within the community to lead their effort. Please write to BetterBroadbandBaltimore@rolandpark.org if those conditions are present or you need more information. We welcome your interest and agree Charles Village with the density of housing would be a good source of campaign backers.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Emil Volcheck

11:33pm March 24, 2014

Emil Volcheck

Could Charles Village be added as a zone of the campaign? I think you might find supporters. I wish you success in your neighborhoods!


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

8:53pm February 27, 2014

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

Joe, our campaign also believes there is a "tipping point" at which fiber providers may wish to invest in Baltimore. As you read over our BCC material on Crowdfiber you can see we see that tipping point at around 20% of homes in our neighborhoods and in fact, this is the goal for each of our neighborhoods. Roland Springs has reached their goal and Roland Park and Guilford are at over half way. So far, one fiber provider has already contacted the campaign and we know of another that has inquired about investing. Showing sufficient aggregate market demand is critical. We can use all current backers to "call a friend' in their neighborhood and encourage them to come on board. Thanks for your support.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Joe Webster

6:19pm February 27, 2014

Joe Webster

I'm new to this site and it is certainly a worthy cause, but I have 1 suggestion/comment. Google Fiber and C Spire's FTTH projects in Mississippi both rely on achieving a certain percentage of homes in a neighborhood ("fiberhood in Google Fiber parlance) to sign up and commit in advance. These "pre-subscription" thresholds are usually in the 30% - 45% of homes passed range. It would seem that any serious potential provider of a new FTTH network in these areas of Baltimore would require something fairly close to the same 30%- 45% thresholds to be met. It does not appear that the current BBC campaign is measuring the same type of percentage thresholds. There would probably also be a certain minimal critical mass of homes "committed" that would need to be achieved to make a project of this type financially feasible, perhaps in the multiple tens of thousands of homes range. Am I missing something? Thanks.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

3:43pm January 5, 2014

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

Raul, yes, we would very much welcome the ideas and the involvement of students from Poly and from the other schools in the campaign area. You or interested students can write to BetterBroadbandBaltimore@rolandpark.org and we can coordinate. Students and our existing campaign backers may be interested to look at the link below. The US Chamber of Commerce spoke to the transformative potential of broadband on education. http://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/about/US_Chamber_Paper_on_Broadband_and_Education.pdf Phil Spevak


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Raul Rivera

10:51am January 4, 2014

Raul Rivera

Has there been any thoughts about involving Polytechnic students in this effort? These young men are out future technical leaders. They may have innovative ideas and surely will learn something, too,


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Brendan Burke

10:26am September 3, 2013

Brendan Burke

Hello, I want to voice my support for broadband installation. Our household will sign up for BB if it becomes available.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Greg Richardson

8:17am July 8, 2013

Greg Richardson

Stan Wilson, the campaign now shows the correct $ amount raised. We have also decided to make a change to display the $ amount raised broken down for each zone. Previously, $ amount raised for zones was only displayed for zones that had a goal-type of "$ amount raised." I agree with you that it would be helpful to also view this for campaigns (like Baltimore) where zone goals are defined by people-count. Thank you for your feedback on this issue.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

12:21pm July 7, 2013

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

John Moy, in response to your other two questions: 1. $10 covers some campaign costs and it demonstrates the interest of a neighborhood. I get that. Why charge at all when there's no promise of improved service? Our multi-community effort is all volunteer but we do have small costs to cover in the RFP development and execution. We hope this tiny $10 backing charge will not influence those who are interested. 2. Is there any likelihood Verizon will install FIOS in Balt City? Is this part of the goal? Is having Comcast change to fiber a possibility? Is this part of the goal? Both are technically possible but at our community meeting, both Verizon and Comcast representatives participated and neither spoke of plans to lay fiber. The goal of our campaign is fiber to the home and is not directed towards any single provider. If Verizon or Comcast shows interest that’s good but is not essential. We wish for competition. Most residents probably do now know that there are over 800 companies nationally that can place fiber and in this area, we are fortunate to have multiple potential providers. John, please join our campaign as we work towards 20%.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

12:14pm July 7, 2013

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

John Moy, in response to your first two questions: 1. What happens once the 20% campaign goal for a neighborhood is reached? A request for proposals will be released to fiber service providers Participating neighborhoods reaching their 20% goal will receive priority in the RFP. 2. Is there any guarantee of upgraded service to that neighborhood at that point? No but experts have advised our campaign that if at least 20% of households demonstrate interest in fiber that that can be the tipping point in attracting provider interest to lay the fiber. Once the fiber is in place, ISPs then have the opportunity to compete for provision of services which we believe is critical. The consumer doesn’t pay until the new services are offered. While we make no guarantee of success, you have to ask yourself if the status quo is sufficient for you. We believe backing this campaign is your best option Will answer your other two questions in a separate reply.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - stan wilson

6:19pm July 5, 2013

stan wilson

It would be helpful if the Crowdfiber web site had an up-to-date summary of the funds pledged. For example, the BBC summary shows only $19 pledged, and the details for Homeland (where I live) show zero pledges (I pledged $100) for the 5 folks who have signed up. If this were done, it would be helpful to be able to measure our performance as we proceed toward through the campaign. Is there any way I can get the email addresses of the other four who have signed up in Homeland: Michael Newman, Kerri Kerr, Dave Neumyer and Valerie Hood? I think that - if the 5 of us worked together - we might be able to reinforce each other's efforts in Homeland and proceed more effectively. Thanks, Stan wswilson@jhu.edu


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - John  Moy

9:47am July 1, 2013

John Moy

I'm missing something here, hence the following blunt questions. What happens once the 20% campaign goal for a neighborhood is reached? Is there any guarantee of upgraded service to that neighborhood at that point? $10 covers some campaign costs and it demonstrates the intent of a neighborhood. I get that. Why charge at all when there's no promise of improved service? Why should I pay to show interest? Paying to show intent doesn't strengthen my interest. It feels a little greedy. Internet providers already charge a great deal. Why not ask neighborhoods if they want improved service, and take a list of signatures to market? Show signatures, not $. Folk may be willing to pay some amount if they were told something like "You showed your interest by signing petition. We spoke to providers and have intent from XYZ fiber companies to install improved service in your n'hood. We recommend the following provider for these reasons, and to further show our support, suggest paying a refundable $10 fee." Finally, is there any likelihood Verizon will install FIOS in Balt City? Is this part of the goal? Is having Comcast change to fiber a possibility? Both have seriously looked at this market and made their choices. Comcast and Verizon folk (home installers, linesmen, utility repairs) are not friendly to each other. Why would a another company's lines on the utility poles be welcomed by these two bickering foes? Mostly curious about the fee.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

6:12am June 25, 2013

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

Bill, to your point, fiber has the potential to change the competitive landscape which should benefit all. Second, our RFP will be mindful of participating communities who don’t necessarily see the need for the fastest gigabit speeds by incorporating with fiber, the application of associated technologies including wide area WiFi, which improve broadband services at slower speeds and at lower costs. Finally, we need to set this goal of fiber now since data requirements continue to increase, and it takes time to implement fiber technology. Starting now will best position our City for the future. There are already more than 100 communities with fiber to the home and more join every week. More than 800 providers supply fiber to the premises nationally Thanks for your comment and your support. Spread the word to neighbors to join the campaign and to other communities that may wish to ask to join. We want the campaign to spread but we have been careful to wait for communities to ask to be included before so doing


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Bill Geenen

10:00pm June 24, 2013

Bill Geenen

I agree with Matthew Riesner, I don't need the fastest network in the world, just decent speed (better than 3mb) at a reasonable price.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - BBC Manager

11:42am June 18, 2013

BBC Manager
Campaign Owner

Matthew, the campaign started with these neighborhood because they participated in the community meeting and came to our organizing meetings. We started here, that's it, but as we say our material on CrowdFiber, we very much want the campaign to spread. On CF-Baltimore look at FAQs and select "How Can Other Communities Join?" for instructions. Look forward to seeing the campaign spread.


Baltimore Broadband Coalition - Matthew Riesner

10:13am June 18, 2013

Matthew Riesner

It seems kind of backwards that this campaign excludes Charles Village, Hampden, and Remington. For the most part there are very few choices for broadband in these parts of town as well plus there is a younger population (than Homeland or Roland Park) that demands faster service. We don't exactly need FIOS but for Verizon to update it's existing DSL lines (which they completely abandoned 10 years ago when they brought out FIOS), so that they can run at a consistant high speed (10-15mbs+), would be a good start.


964 in the crowd

4 of 69 zones at goal

$17,711 pledged so far

7 months left

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