This Is our Village

Thursday, June 23, 2016


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Benefits of Municipal Broadband Service

Andy Berke, the Mayor of Chattanooga (Tennessee) recently shared the benefits his city enjoys from municipal broadband services. The Tennessean reported:
"A pioneer in municipal broadband, Chattanooga developed its fiber network in 2010 with a combination of Federal funds and bond issues. The high-speed access led to direct and indirect economic gains and has been profitable."
Municipal broadband, a/k/a community broadband, is an affordable high-speed Internet Service Provider (ISP) built by the city, town, or municipality. It paid the cost to install fiber-optic cables to every home, not only to luxury buildings or select high-rise offices. A public-private partnership or third party may operate the network. Every resident and business that wants municipal broadband can sign up and easily get it; just like water, electricity, and gas services. Residents use municipal broadband for entertainment, education and online classes, remote work and tele-commuting, video conferencing, home-based businesses, new business startups, and more.
Mayor Berke listed the benefits Chattanooga enjoys:
"In the past three years, the city’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent from 7.8 percent and the wage rate has also been climbing. Volkswagen’s presence has boosted the manufacturing sector and 10-gigabit speed internet has fueled wage growth, Berke said, speaking at Fiber to the Home Council Americas conference at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center... “It changed our conceptions of who we are and what is possible,” Berke said... Downtown has doubled its residents and landlords often advertise gigabit speeds that are included in monthly rents... "
Other towns in Tennessee have installed municipal broadband services, including Tullahoma and Clarksville. How fast is 10 gigabits? It is the fastest service currently available.
The bottom line: 10-gigabits is a far, far faster than the 25-, 50-, or 100 MB broadband speed you're probably getting from your current Internet Service provider (ISP). Electric Power Board (EPB) provides the municipal broadband service in Chattanooga. Besides the blazing 10 gigabit speed, it also offers slower speeds.
If this can be done in Tennessee, why not here in Century Village. Improved property value, improved communication, putting Century Village on track to a new and improved future!

Thanks to Les Rivkin for reference to the article.
Dave Israel

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