Hard deadline for money beats soft promise of broadband investment

19 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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No. You show yours first.

By a four to one vote, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a $1.5 million grant to build a fiber to the home project in Nicasio, a wealthy community in western Marin County. As has become common, commission president Michael Picker cast the only no vote. The grant from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) covers 60% of construction costs; the remaining 40% will be raised locally

The required matching funds plus costs of offering will be obtained by a notes offering, which will be registered with the California Department of Business Oversight under the Securities & Exchange Commission’s standardized process, the Small Company Offering Registration (SCOR) process.


Innovative bond financing proposed for Marin FTTH project

5 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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A fiber to the home project for 216 residences in the Marin County community of Nicasio will be partially funded by a selling bonds to investors, if everything works out as planned. The first step is up to the California Public Utilities Commission, which will be considering a $1.5 million grant from the California Advanced Services Fund to pay for 60% of the cost. The remaining 40% will be raised via a type of simplified private bond offering to financially qualified individuals and organisations that’s allowed by California law.… More

Gigabit Seattle raising FTTH attention but not cash

Adding lift to a trial balloon.

The Gigabit Seattle team is trying to tap into Google Fiber’s buzz by releasing a fiber-to-the-home pricing plan that sounds a lot like what’s on offer in Kansas City, albeit for a few dollars more and with a little less freebie time. Otherwise, there’s been precious little in the way of specific information about the project since it was announced six months ago.

What I wrote then is true today: Gigabit Seattle’s financial vehicle is still a concept car.… More

Winners and head scratchers at LaunchFest pitch night

9 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Party until you invest.

I counted eight start-up companies at tonight's Digital Hollywood Launchfest, held in conjunction with CES.

There might have been more. It was hard to tell exactly how many hopefuls were looking to impress a panel of angel investors. By the time I got there, the event was more party than anything else. But the music and investor pitches made for a good mix at Planet Hollywood.

Raw Porter aims to put money in the pocket of amateur paparazzi.… More

Electric skateboard wins investor pitch crown at CES

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Made in Modesto.

CES's first start-up beauty pageant tiara went to ZBoard this afternoon. The Modesto, California based electric skateboard manufacturer was declared the winner of the inaugural Showstoppers Launch.It competition, which has been designated the official investor pitch event of CES.

Eight companies competed for the blessing of a panel of five experienced early stage investors, led by tech guru Guy Kawasaki.

The four minute presentations ranged from crisp to baffling. My favorite quote of the day came from a guy who struggling to explain exactly what his company did.… More

Not hot in 2013: mobile payments

“Mobile payments is like waiting for Godot,” said Omar Javaid, managing director of BBO Global, speaking at a recent What’s Hot (and What’s Not) in Mobility 2012 forum in Mountain View. “Every year is the year of NFC but it never happens.” The problem, he says, is that processing payments is a system play. It’s a space that’s controlled by a few big players and they’re not very interested.

Quinn Li, managing director of Qualcomm Ventures, agreed.… More

San Leandro beats Google's Kansas City broadband speeds

Press release from the City of San Leandro:

San Leandro, Not Google, Is Writing The Next Chapter Of The Internet

Source: Lit San Leandro
“As Google attempts to grab the headlines with its announcement tomorrow of a fiber initiative for Kansas City that will offer users connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, Mayor Stephen Cassidy of San Leandro announced that San Leandro is staking its claim as the fastest city in the nation.

User-financed FTTP fails in a competitive market

Palo Alto user financed FTTP study

A user-financed, municipal fiber-to-the-premises broadband system would be a financial nightmare if launched into a market with mainstream competition, even if it’s subsidized and supported by a profitable city-owned utility.

That’s the finding of a study presented to the City of Palo Alto’s Utility Advisory Commission last night by Tellus Venture Associates. The report assessed the financial potential of user-financed municipal FTTP options, including upfront payments ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, substantial capital contributions by the City and ongoing subsidies of up to $2,000,000 per year.… More

San Leandro joins elite group of dark fiber cities

Source: Lit San Leandro

Lit San Leandro is putting fiber in the ground. A launch party attracted about a hundred out-of-town development prospects and local business people who heard about the project’s big picture benefits and the specific real estate opportunities it creates. The Hayward Daily Review and San Leandro Patch have good articles on the event. Patrick Kennedy’s Lit San Leandro blog also has good updates and pictures.
Speakers at the event included Sean Tario, the CEO of Open Spectrum Inc.

Confronting the killing ground

Start up companies looking for traditional “A” round financing in the $4 to $8 million dollar range will be left to die over the next 18 months. In fact, the financial killing ground will stretch from the $1 million level up to, and perhaps past, the $10 million range.

That was my take away from yesterday’s small business symposium sponsored by Cisco and the Telecommunications Industry Association. One of the highlights (from an information perspective, anyway) was a panel discussion with three venture capitalists (Ajay Chopra, Trinity Ventures, Michel Wendell, Nexit Ventures, Eric Zimits, Granite Ventures), and moderated by Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat.… More