[LINK] report on municipal networks

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Mar 8 01:05:17 AEDT 2007

Of course you'd expect an organisation called "The Institute for  
Local Self-Reliance" to say something like this.  Doesn't mean it's  
not true or relevant but.


> Institute for Local Self-Reliance

> Publicly owned networks are the key to universal access and healthy  
> competition
> MINNEAPOLIS, JANUARY 8, 2007 – A new report by the Institute for  
> Local Self-Reliance argues that a publicly owned information  
> infrastructure is the key to healthy competition, universal access,  
> and non-discriminatory networks.
> “Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the  
> U.S. Broadband Problem” notes that high speed broadband is becoming  
> ever more widespread.  But, it argues, the way in which that  
> broadband is introduced may be as important as whether it is  
> introduced.
> Many telecommunications companies are offering to build a citywide  
> wireless or even wired network at little or no upfront cost to the  
> city.  That arrangement is especially attractive to local elected  
> officials who fear that government lacks the expertise to manage a  
> high tech network and who worry about the possible impact on their  
> budget.  “This is an excellent time to remember to look that gift  
> horse in the mouth,” maintains Becca Vargo Daggett, the report’s  
> author and the director of the Institute’s Telecommunication as  
> Commons Project.
> “Even deals framed as coming at no cost to the city require the  
> public sector to enter into extended contracts to pay millions for  
> their own services over the new privately owned network. Cities owe  
> it to themselves and their citizens to carefully evaluate the costs  
> and benefits of public ownership.”
> Ms. Vargo Daggett also notes that cities that own infrastructure  
> like roads and water pipelines should not fear owning the physical  
> information network. “Concerns about obsolescence are overstated.  
> Fiber optics is the gold standard, with essentially unlimited  
> capacity and a lifespan measured in decades. Wireless technology is  
> rapidly evolving, but its price is low and the payback period is  
> short.”

hmmm.... decades?  I think infrastructur people think in slightly  
longer terms than that.

> Moreover, unlike investments in traditional infrastructure, an  
> investment in information networks can generate a significant  
> return.  “The investment will not only pay for itself, but can  
> generate revenue that can pay for other important municipal services.”

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
                           -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961

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