"Some causes are worth fighting for and Net neutrality is one of them. Last week, a bill was introduced in Congress that would require Internet service providers to "not block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade the ability of any person to use an Internet access service to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer any lawful content, application, or service through the Internet." Congress has shot down similar measures twice before. This time we should make it stick."
Municipal power has a 100+ year history in this country. It has consistently provided higher quality, lower prices, and better coverage than private utilities. All the reason for establishing municipal power apply to municipal broadband. There are also economies of scale for a municipality that offers both power and broadband service.
Clearwire is teaming up with Comcast and Time Warner Cable and others---who purchased 25% of Clearwire---to offer Wimax wireless Internet access as a supplemental service to their cable customers. Clearwire advertises 4Mbs service at $30/mo. Customers may access their account from any city served by Clearwire. Read the full article here
As I researched municipal broadband over the past year, I noticed that most of the communities pursuing municipal broadband had already established municipal power. Apparently, their success with one led them naturally to pursue the other. There are significant potential efficiencies in pursuing both. The following quote captures the idea nicely:
I'm quite concerned about the future broadband playing field. To me, it's no longer a question of, "stay as we are, or go muni"; it is more like, "incur increasing nickel&diming, manipulation of service quality, restriction of use, and less privacy, or go muni". The situation is not static. This I think should be communicated more.
I was surprised to see Verizon outside my house, last week. They were installing fiber for FIOS service. I knew some suburbs were getting wired. But I didn't expect we would get wired for approximately another year. Whats more, I was told Syracuse is mostly wired up, already.
Thinking about how Verizon FIOS might affect the business and political landscape for a municipal broadband network, I posed myself the following questions:
By leveraging existing investments in IT infrastructure made by the City of Syracuse School District, the Syracuse Police Department has been able to gain wireless access to its own network from the field without having to install a costly, redundant infrastructure. The IBM website has a nice case study article on the project. This is a good example of consolidation that municipal broadband could provide.