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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.

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