Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: "We Should Explore a Municipal Broadband Solution"


I agree, but I thought this was already "explored". Get it done yesterday!
@1, what was done under McGinn was "explore until we give up on it and chase Gigabit." I hope Murray's meaning is "explore until we figure out how to DO IT."
@1 It was explored by the prior administration, and while municipal broadband was never ruled out, the decision was made that the cheaper and faster way to expand access was to lease out the city's 500 miles of dark fiber. They tried that. It didn't work.
So with better high speed internet access "low income" neighborhoods will suddenly become tech hubs? Is this something only really stupid white people imagine? Or does Ed Murray think the myspace community is ready for a high tech revolution?
The regular Racist Troll is in droll form today. Who knew that black people didn't need the Internet? Thanks, Racist Troll, for as usual completely missing every point about everything.
@1, yes, this was already explored.
@2, we already know how to do it.
@3, the best result they could have hoped for was a digital divide.

McGinn ignored the recommendations of the 2009 report. The City Council ignored the recommendations of the report.
I sent a link to the report to Murray's office last week.
I posted their reply on my personal blog two days ago that they had the reports and were looking into a fiber internet utility, with a link to the report.
You are welcome.
When is The Stranger going to just ban unregistered comments completely?

I have seen more trolling and pulled comments in the last couple weeks than perhaps ever before, and it is not like unregistereds ever add anything to the conversation, since the vast majority of readers do not even have them enabled to begin with.

If you are not a troll, just register. It don't cost nothing.
McGinn's legacy of idiocy lives on.
@8 some of us have been asking that for years. The value of the handful of page views can't be worth the headache, especially as the Stranger is obstinately still refusing modern commenting practices (email notifications, subscribing, threading, etc). If we had those, hell, sure, every racist troll is another couple of page views and a couple of bucks. But they're not right now.

PS: Guys, please add that stuff already. I know Fnarf will complain, but whatever. We still love the old curmudgeon.

And your point was beautifully made by @9.

Kill them with fire.
Unsurprisingly, Murray speaks on this topic like a marketroid. By "broadband," he probably means high-speed Internet access, and by "solution," he probably means service.
You could put an information intensive business anywhere and everywhere in this city.
You could use more teleconference and file exchange/sharing to encourage telecommuting, reducing moving bodies to computers in limited neighborhoods to do the same work. If you can reduce an plan the face to face activity then people could reduce trips, and the infrastructure for those trips.

It would be a competitive advantage for Seattle, for business, education.
SCL could read your meter remotely.

Anybody that wanted broadband without the duopoly of Comcast or Century Link, could order telephone internet ISP, and media (Netflix, hulu, etc) on your own with higher speeds and lower costs.

A utility would be required to cover the entire city.
We could make a transformative step by having ubiquitous internet at fiber speed, throughout this city.
@7, if "knowing how it could be done" were the same as "knowing how to get it done", McGinn would be enjoying his second term.
@8: I think they just don't want to pay for or volunteer for any serious moderation.
For all the hate on the boxes the telecom cabinets that often pop up in neighborhoods to distribute, far fewer complain about the USPS boxes (that are being deployed now rather than individual mail drops). Seems to me that we could find some way to combine that and deploy to neighborhoods incrementally. Maybe put the USPS boxes on the back side of the neighborhood telecom cabinet, if the added expense of burying them is to be avoided.
@15, that was the nutshell.
@17, walk outside, if you see a pole with a power line strung to a home or business then you see Seattle City Light has infrastructure, right if way, and experience getting wire to your home, and every home.

What SCL didn't have is a business case to fully fund this effort on their own.
A public utility ISP could be forced to operate as common carrier and to respect the privacy of users of its service.
Less talk.

Less tunnel.

Fewer studies and discussions.

Get it done. And it damn well better be gigabit. I think it's safe to say for those of us that actually can afford broadband, we are tired of being reamed by Comcast for speeds that can barely do HD Netflix, god forbid during peak time.

@19, hey, I'm for using any right of ways we can by treating it like a utility. However, the fiber should be buried as much as possible before it routes near your power lines to the home. A neighborhood network cabinet is generally a lot larger/heavier than the step-down-transformer you have feeding power to your house.
@10: I am in the minority (probably) that does not want email notifications, threads, etc. For me personally, I think the way commenting is handled here is pretty great, and is just how I like it. The community moderates itself quite well. Except for the unregistered trolls of course.

@16: This is what I don't get: The only comments that really need moderation are the unregistered ones 99% of the time. So eliminate them, and there would be no real need for moderation at all.

@20, the Seattle Public Library already is a public entity that successfully fights to keep your personal information private. You wouldn't have to force them to protect your information.

They could operate as the ISP, expanding what they already have and do
They partially fund the existing fiber,
The operate autonomously.
That have pretty convenient physical locations.
They also provide internet access and computers for citizens.
Then there are them books.
I'm not in seattle but I believe broadband should be a utility and a municipal utility at that. I'm curious how it is that in a relatively dense urban area the market opportunity hasn't already been exploited - I'm surprised there are areas without good coverage (if not cheap high-bandwidth). Is this an issue with wire-pullers (telco, cable) wanting monopoly the city won't grant?
As someone who voted for McGinn, if Murray can get me cheap fast internet by this time next year I will volunteer to work on his reelection campaign. If he gets us cheap fast internet within two years, I'll vote for him. If this gets bogged down in studies and process, I will actively campaign against him.
Internet should be considered a necessary infrastructure item on the same level as public utilities like electricity and water. A city can't thrive with a spotty power grid, and thankfully we have cheap green electricity here. Let's add ubiquitous cheap fast internet and we'll be one hell of a competitive town.
"The regular Racist Troll is in droll form today."

So explain to me how government provided high speed fiber internet will help 'low income' communities?
Murray says many of the right things about this and I am impressed, so far. I would only suggest to go easy on the "competition" rhetoric since natural monopolies have little to no real competition by definition. A public internet utility is what is really needed to protect the interest of the public.
@25: Yes! I've floated a similar idea: That the wireless mesh network Seattle Police erected and offered for multiple agencies to use, along with the surveillance cameras attached to that network, should be administered by the library. Librarians tend to be well-acquainted with matters of personal privacy and of the archiving of public data.
@8 Answer: REVENUE

Page views man. Why do think the writers themselves troll the shit out of SLOG?

Got's to get them page views!
I live in Minneapolis. We have a city-wide WiFi system that the City developed with USI Wireless. There are WiFi stations on the telephone poles throughout the city so the entire city is covered. The police have access to the internet wherever they go. Individual and corporate users pay a low monthly fee which sustains the system and, I believe, winds up that it costs the City nothing. Each user needs either a WiFi receiving station or a USB thingy to attach to the network. But, in city parks, the service not only doesn't need either of these, it's also available to non-subscribers. Something for a Stranger person to tell Seattle about, maybe?
@32: Was your system, like ours, sneaked into place by police using DHS port security grant funding?
@17: "For all the hate on the boxes the telecom cabinets that often pop up in neighborhoods to distribute"

People rant about that? Weird, I've never heard that. Probably the NIMBY idiots who have nothing better to do with their time.
The expense comes in the "last mile". It's a whole lot cheaper to delivery internet service to every four block area than it is to deliver internet service to every address. Let WiFi be the last mile and costs will be significantly reduced.
Seattle already tried municipal wi-fi. The city got rid of it in 2012 because a) people stopped using it once smartphones because ubiquitous and b) "whoops, it actually costs money to maintain this stuff". I think most other attempts at municipal wi-fi around the country met with similar results.
@36 Yep. Their claim that "costs will be significantly reduced" turned out to be garbage in the real world.
Clearly, Murray is just shilling for downtown developers. If only we'd retained McGinn, we'd all be downloading free cheeseburgers in microseconds by now.
@35 and 36, this is Fiber a To The Premises (FTTP) and not near the home with wi-fi.