Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Photos: In the broadband trenches

Cities across the United States are installing or looking into building their own broadband networks, to the chagrin of the private sector.

2 min read

Broadband in Philly

Mayor John Street has pushed aggressively for Philadelphia's plan to build its own citywide Wi-Fi network.

Credit: Wireless Philadelphia

Digging for fiber

A backhoe is used to dig trenches to lay fiber for a new high-speed broadband network being built by Jackson Energy Authority in Jackson, Tenn.

Credit: Atlantic Engineering Group

Fiber in the air

Jackson Energy Authority in Jackson, Tenn., used its existing utility poles to string fiber directly to residents for its new high-speed broadband network.

Credit: Atlantic Engineering Group

All eyes on iProvo

Provo, Utah, was one of the first cities to install a fiber-to-the-home network for its residents. In January 2004, the city council approved a $40 million bond issue to extend fiber directly to 27,000 homes and 4,100 businesses. Organizers expect about 30 percent of the city's residents and businesses to sign up for service.

Credit: Atlantic Engineering Group

Joining the dots

An outdoor Wi-Fi cell from equipment maker Tropos Networks. Cities can mount Wi-Fi stations on top of light poles, traffic lights and telephone poles to cover their streets with broadband access.

Credit: Tropos Networks

Project Lightspeed

SBC Communications plans to spend $4 billion upgrading its legacy copper network via its Project Lightspeed fiber-rich initiative. The Baby Bell will boost bandwidth enough to support video delivery.

Credit: SBC Communications

Project Lightspeed

Fiber-optic cable, used in SBC's Project Lightspeed network upgrade, provides download speeds of 15 to 25 megabits per second--much faster than typical broadband speeds, according to the Baby Bell.

Credit: SBC Communications

Against the tide

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg has been a critic of municipal broadband efforts, saying local governments should not compete with the private sector.

Credit: Verizon