Some of the fastest broadband networks are being built by local governments, according to a recent report titled "Broadband at the Speed of Light" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Benton Foundation. A community run network is a useful tool for several reasons. First, it can provide much faster speeds and higher levels of service to city departments, local businesses, and residents. These networks lower the prices for everyone by creating real competition and often lead to efficiencies in the operation of a variety of city services, including public safety, education, healthcare and transportation. In that way, municipal networks are not just a business opportunity for cities, but they are also a way to impact the way they provide services.
“Broadband at the Speed of Light” highlights Chattanooga, Tenn., Bristol, Va. and Lafayette, La and their successful implementation of municipal networks. While their example might not be replicable for all cities, the lessons learned here can encourage all local governments to strategically think about what is feasible as a long-term solution with regard to broadband access given existing limitations such as state regulations and industry monopolies.
The Public Technology Institute and the National League of Cities will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, September 13 at 2:00 pm ET for where participants will hear more about the report from Chris Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and city officials and staff who have examined how a municipal network can benefit them and have successfully implemented it.
- Kyle Hollified, VP Sales/Marketing, Bristol Virginia Utilities, Bristol,
- Mary Beth Henry, Manager, Office for Community Technology/Mt Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, Portland, OR
- Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Minneapolis, MN
- Colman Keane, Director of Fiber Technology, EPB, Chattanooga, TN
The schedule for this event is not yet available.
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