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COMMENTARY - Municipal broadband: Using today’s technology to support your community’s future

  • 5 mths ago

Amidst the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that remains constant is your community’s need to stay connected. But stay-at-home, work-from-home and learn-from-home measures have highlighted a glaring gap in the availability and distribution of reliable, high-speed internet networks, and many citizens and businesses are still unable to access the online resources needed to maintain a sense of normalcy. 

As we move into the third year of the pandemic, addressing that gap in resources is critical for local governments and communities to prosper. Fiber and wireless broadband investment and ownership by municipalities, utilities, electrical co-ops and tribal governments is the solution. With access to fiber broadband, everyone from residents and visitors/tourists to government entities can benefit from the ability to telework, access online education, offer and access online services, use telehealth, take advantage of economic opportunities and stay connected.   

Municipal broadband is internet provided to residents and businesses by their local government, instead of by for-profit companies. With internet access now being a necessity for everything from hybrid work to school to entertainment, many see it as a basic utility like water, and therefore, something their local government should provide. In doing so, governments can increase the number of people and businesses with affordable access to the internet. 

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