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The quotable Brian Schweitzer

Brian Schweitzer

The website Roll Call published an entertaining interview with former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today that’s making the rounds online.

Judging by my past experience with Schweitzer on the handful of times I spoke with him, reporter Kyle Trygstad quoted the governor accurately.

The whole interview is worth a read, but I thought I’d exerpt the portion of it that I got the biggest kick out of. Trygstad is trying to get the cagey Schweitzer to say whether he’s going to run for Senate.

Trygstad: So it wouldn’t be accurate to report you’re close to jumping in the race?

Schweitzer: No, that wouldn’t be accurate. But that shouldn’t stop you. You know, it’s yellow journalism. Say whatever you want.

Trygstad: Well, I won’t do that. I want to write what’s actually happening.

Schweitzer: You’re not going to make it in this business, my friend. You gotta get with the program.

University of Montana joins coalition to improve campus-area broadband

The University of Montana is one of about 30 universities that has joined the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project or Gig.U.

Gig.U’s goal is to expand broadband service into the communities surrounding campuses so that modern learning can be extended beyond the university’s walls. The project also emphasizes that increased access to broadband will help these campus communities economically.

…the networks our leading university communities depend on do not provide the necessary advanced connectivity.   Nor does the current market plan to upgrade the networks sufficiently to retain our leadership.  It is not surprising that the mass market will not meet the high bandwidth needs that are specific to our communities.  We cannot, however, accept the current reality, as it would cause us to lose our leadership and forego many opportunities for future leadership and economic growth.

How does Gig.U hope to build out these networks? By telling private ISPs that they want to see it happen and hoping that those private companies will share the Gig.U vision:

Through an RFI process, the Project will work with current and potential network service providers, as well as others, to create a critical mass of next generation test beds by accelerating the offering of ultra high-speed network services to their communities.

I’m sure the universities will offer some measure of support to entice private companies to put out money to build infrastructure, but the nature of that support was not clear in my reading of the Gig.U website.

Gallatin County approves ViaSat dishes west of Bozeman

The Model VA-73-KA 7.3m Ka-Band satellite dish from ViaSat Inc.
The Model VA-73-KA 7.3m Ka-Band satellite dish from ViaSat Inc.

A Carlsbad, Calif.-based communications company won approval from the Gallatin County Commission last week to build a pair of 34-foot-tall satellite dishes along Love Lane west of Bozeman.

The dishes will be connected to fiber-optic landlines and will provide high-speed data for government and civilian use, the company, ViaSat Inc., wrote in a letter filed with the county.

The new dishes will be built at 5330 Love Lane behind an existing commercial building, architect John M. Banks wrote to the county planning department.

Some details:

  • The dishes will be set back 660 feet from Love Lane, 420 feet from the side property line and 505 feet from the rear property line.
  • The dishes will be inside a 100-by-150-foot fenced gravel lot that will also contain a 20-by-36-foot equipment shelter and two backup diesel generators.
  • Access to the site will be controlled by a rolling gate and security keypad that’s monitored 24 hours a day by a security company.
The property where the dishes will be built is owned by Aim Inc. KBZK reported that Aim’s president, Ron Page, told commissioners Tuesday:
“This certainly seemd like an ideal business, creating four to 10 trips a year with no need for water, no need for sewer and providing the vital Internet infrastructure for all of Gallatin County and rural Montana.”
You may remember ViaSat from the deal it announced in September with JetBlue to provide in-air wi-fi service on the airline’s 160 planes, as the New York Times reported.