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Re: Request for the council to look into Municipal High-Speed Fiber Internet

From: domainremoved <Jocelyn>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:49:40 -0800

Hello Again,

Related to my earlier email, it looks like Google is making some inroads in
this area, and they're working with the city of San Jose on a similar
project. Here are a couple of recent posts from their blog:
- I hope to see this on a city counsel agenda soon. I would suspect
someone in the Menlo Park planning office is on top of this trend. That
second link has some practical steps, etc.

Thank you again,

Jocelyn Stilwell-Tong

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM, Jocelyn <jocelynds_at_(domainremoved)

> Hello Menlo Park City Council,
> As I was driving to work a few days ago, listening to NPR, a guest talked
> about super high-speed internet and how in the United States, we're falling
> behind the curve, very few people have access to it. Because major
> corporations like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon have built networks for
> high-speed internet, but haven't had any reason to improve those networks,
> there is very little competition in the cable/fiber internet business, and
> no reason to improve their infrastructure. Why spend the money when their
> consumers have no other options? Other countries (and some cities in the
> USA) have built municipal fiber internet networks that are much faster and
> cheaper for their citizens. And the thing that made me worry for Silicon
> Valley as a whole: "Crawford says that American Internet service is
> falling behind other nations because cable companies have such dominance in
> many markets, and that will undermine our ability to compete in a global
> economy. She warns: "Unless somebody in the system has industrial policy in
> mind, a long-term picture of where the United States needs to be and has
> the political power to act on it, we'll be a Third World country when it
> comes to communications."" - NPR Story Link<http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/02/06/272480919/when-it-comes-to-high-speed-internet-u-s-falling-way-behind>
> Where would Menlo Park be if all the businesses that depend on the
> internet pick up and move? It's not out of the realm of possibility.
> This is a good point to say that I have Comcast home internet, and I find
> it horribly slow.
> I'm also a professional law librarian, and until recently, I worked for a
> firm that specialized in public-private infrastructure (I don't work there
> anymore, I'm with the State of CA now, so there's no conflict of interest).
> I know these kinds of things are slow and time-consuming to set up, but
> they are possible.
> If the city issued a bond to build high-speed wired internet service, and
> then either leased the network to competitive companies (as they do in
> Switzerland) or simply ran it itself like a municipal power corporation, it
> would have those bonds paid off very fast, even if they charged a fraction
> of what Comcast does. The faster service would help retain the tech giants
> that "live" here.
> Please investigate the possibility of a municipal fiber internet in Menlo
> Park (possibly in conjunction with other cities on the Peninsula).
> Here are some additional articles on the subject:
> - From The Atlantic<http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2013/03/why-are-there-no-big-cities-municipal-broadband-networks/4857/>
> - From Wired<http://gigabitsquared.com/wired-why-is-google-fiber-the-countrys-only-super-speed-internet/>,
> discussing why major cities in the US aren't doing this yet (though Chicago
> is making a move in this direction).
> - NPR Interviewee's Blog<http://scrawford.net/stockholm-and-leverett-case-studies-in-fiber-deployment/>,
> includes a link to her book which examines this issue on an international
> scale.
> I'll be happy to help or volunteer in any way. I was planning to
> volunteer for your library board when my husband and I move into our
> property in Menlo Park, later this year. My contact information is below
> if I can help before then.
> Thank you,
> Jocelyn Stilwell-Tong
> jocelynds_at_(domainremoved)
> 408-494-2529 (work number)
Received on Wed Feb 19 2014 - 11:49:35 PST

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