Our Next Mayor Needs to Be a Municipal Broadband Champion

Comments

1

I totally agree.

I’ve lived in Uptown for 15+ years and the Comcast internet service here, which is the only viable option on my block, gets slower and choppier every year. They have no real competition or regulation - the only other isp in our part of the neighborhood is Qwest dsl at a trickle that makes dialup look good. Some newer buildings are wired for Wave. I wonder if a public option would put a bee in Comcast’s bonnet or make the City care more about the few service options around town.

I’m tired of the service going down in the whole neighborhood midday on an almost monthly basis and screwing the restaurants that rely on online order systems and credit card points of sale. I’m tired of watching my partner panic daily when the internet cuts off and kicks him off work calls at his new job. We’re legit worried he won’t be allowed to work from home much longer if we don’t have stable internet. It’s now 1:30 pm on a Monday and since 8 am it’s cut out 2x... I feel like Randy Marsh in that South Park episode based on Grapes of Wrath that’s really about the internet.

We are planning on moving outside of Seattle so we can both work from home uninterrupted by internet service outages and people screaming under our windows. Mostly the internet thing though.

What happened to Tacoma’s public broadband it started in the 90’s? Tacoma couldn’t keep up with how the internet is now used so widely by everyone. The public system was privatized a year or two ago and it all really fucking sucks.

I guess I’m most interested in hearing how this would happen in a town that can’t solve a state of emergency after 6 years, especially if the idea already failed in a smaller place that had their shit pulled together decades before Seattle did.

2

Long overdue. We definitely need to start treating broadband access as the essential utility it has become.

Comcast's $10/month Internet Essentials plan was a joke before the pandemic, with maximum speeds of 15 Mbps down / 2 Mbps up. They raised the caps last March to 25 down / 3 up.

Now, after a full year of folks losing their jobs and struggling to pay bills, or--if they're lucky enough to keep their jobs and work remotely--trying to share that narrow pipe with working housemates/spouses, kids doing Zoom school, etc., they've finally decided to up their caps to 50 up / 5 down. But there's still no guarantee of having a consistent connection at any speed, much less near the maximum levels.

If incumbent providers had stepped up to give everyone access to reliable and affordable broadband, maybe this wouldn't be necessary--but they haven't stepped up voluntarily to date. It's time for a public option.

3

I am still seriously upset we let you civilians on the Internet in the first place.

Even if we're still keeping you out of the other three Internets you don't know about.

(oh give me that 100 GBPS feed, I love live streaming data-heavy surgeries in 4D)

4

long overdue, great idea. prob won't happen but....

5

Agree with the previous comments.

If this pandemic has taught us anything it's that fast, reliable broadband service providing access the internet is as vital as electricity and running water and should be considered a public utility as well.

6

Yes, it should be a public utility, here and everywhere else. There's no quick and economical way to do this. Buy Starlink and subsidize the cost to low income households. Yeah, the rich get richer and the astronomers get bitchier.

7

The state law needs to change. Out in Eastern WA, the local PUD strings the fiber, hooks up the house and does all the other infrastructure stuff, but you have to contract with a "provider" for actual service. I'm guessing that was some sort of GOP poison pill.

But still, we get incredibly fast internet for only $50 a month.

8

Want to take steps to get Public Broadband for all of WA State -- This rule will make it clear that it is legal for Ports & Public Utility Districts to be retail providers -- and will be decided next by Senators:

Carlyle, Lovelett, Ericksen, Brown, Das, Fortunato, Hobbs, Lilas, Nguyen, Sheldon, Short, Stanford, Wellman
Check out phone numbers and contact info here:
https://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/ENET/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx
Committee Members
Carlyle, Reuven (D) (360) 786-7670
Lovelett, Liz (D) (360) 786-7678
Ericksen, Doug (R) (360) 786-7682
Brown, Sharon (R) (360) 786-7614
Das, Mona (D) (360) 786-7692
Fortunato, Phil (R) (360) 786-7660
Hobbs, Steve (D) (360) 786-7686
Liias, Marko (D) (360) 786-7640
Nguyen, Joe (D) (360) 786-7667
Sheldon, Tim (D) (360) 786-7668
Short, Shelly (R) 360) 786-7612
Stanford, Derek (D) (360) 786-7600
Wellman, Lisa (D) (360) 786-7641

Try to make these calls today or tomorrow!