Mayor: A local network could reduce Internet costs | News, Sports, Jobs
If you could increase your internet speed and pay less, would you be interested?
Obviously, everyone would love faster internet speeds while paying less, but is it possible?
That’s according to a Municipal Broadband Feasibility Study done by the City of Jamestown.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the study indicates the average internet cost in the city for 100 megabits per second is $75 to $100 per month without promotions. He said that with a municipal broadband structure, city residents could receive one gigabit per second for $30 to $40 a month. That would mean internet speeds are 10x faster for half the cost.
“Having low-cost internet service – when there is such a need for the internet – would be an amazing thing,” he said.
Sundquist said city officials plan to present the findings of the municipal broadband feasibility study to the public this month, but no date has been set.
“We try to work through the process of finalizing the plan with the consultant,” he said. “We’re looking to put together a public presentation to get community feedback and then create a broadband commission.”
Sundquist said the commission will be made up of people from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities as well as Jamestown City Council. He said the commission will also include officials from local foundations, which helped fund the study. He added that there will be community members who work remotely in other states and manufacturers’ managers who rely on a strong internet connection.
The commission will be formed by April or May, Sundquist said. He said the commission will then decide if municipal broadband internet is feasible for Jamestown.
“The commission will help us make a decision within two months of its creation,” he said.
Sundquist said there was federal and state funding to help build a municipal broadband network. He said if Jamestown created its broadband network, it would be the first municipality in the state to do so.
“There is federal and state funding available that could significantly reduce costs,” he said.
What would a municipal broadband network look like?
Sundquist said there are two models city officials are considering that have been done elsewhere in the United States. He added that this is how Chattanooga, Tennessee operates its municipal broadband network.
Sundquist said the other model would be similar to Ammon, Idaho, where the city created the infrastructure while private internet companies compete to provide support and internet to residents.
“Those are the two models we are looking at,” he said. “We’re excited to be at the forefront of bringing the city into the 21st century.”