Letter to the Board of Alderman about community broadband service

Dear Members of the Board of Aldermen:

You are probably aware of President Obama’s recent initiative to overturn state laws (in 19 states) which prohibit the establishment of community-owned-and-operated, high-speed Internet services. Maryland, fortunately, is not one of those 19 states.

There is probably no government initiative that can provide a greater and more cost-effective boost to local businesses and consumers than gigabit Internet service. Currently, such service is offered in a small number of municipalities, such as the well-known project in Chattanooga, TN.

I would encourage you to consider the opportunity that now presents itself and especially to act before other communities do the same for their businesses and residents.

With just a minimal amount of research, I’ve found that there is an organization which helps foster the development of such plans at the local level. It’s called Next Century Cities.

“High speed broadband is necessary infrastructure.”

Next Century Cities

mayorutzquoteI’ve also found that Westminster, MD, is planning to offer its own community broadband service as early as this spring!

Sincerely,

Steve Bruns
Spring Ridge


Westminster selects fiber network operator
Toronto-based Ting began as mobile service provider, expanding to fiber networks

Carroll County Times
January 12, 2015
By Heather Cobun

EXCERPT: Some areas of Westminster could see high-speed Internet by the spring if the pilot phase of the city’s fiber network stays on schedule.

AND: Westminster’s plan to invest in constructing a fiber optic cable network then partner with a service provider to light the fiber and provide high-speed Internet access is the perfect division of roles between public and private entities, said Tucows Vice President of Marketing Michael Goldstein.

“It’s really just about being on an existing network and offering a better service,” he said.
Ting emerged as a mobile service provider using the Sprint network, Goldstein said. Expanding to provide similar services using fiber optic networks was a natural progression, he said.

Westminster sent a request for proposals for a network operator at the end of the summer and had responses by September, Wack said. Ting began to distinguish itself as a solid partner for the endeavor, he said.

“There are so many communities around the country waiting for fiber,” said Director of Networks Adam Eisner. “It’s great that Westminster is taking the lead.”

Goldstein said Ting is also beginning a project in Charlottesville, Virginia, where it will both lay the fiber cable and provide the service.

Is becoming increasingly popular for towns to stop waiting for an Internet service provider to expand fiber technology to them and move ahead with building and maintaining their own infrastructure, according to Goldstein.

“Westminster is still ahead of most towns,” Goldstein said. There are businesses in Westminster which understand the need for a fiber network capable of speeds 400 times faster than what dial-up or DSL service can provide.

Wack said he hopes the network will bring economic development to Westminster by showing high-tech companies the city is thinking ahead.

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