With Municipal Broadband, Cities Are Taking Back the Internet—and Making It Faster and Cheaper. Can Portland Do the Same?

What If Portlanders—Not Corporations—Owned Our Internet?

Comments

1

"Fontes and Senior peg a ballpark figure of fiber installation at about $3,000 per house, and suggest funding the endeavor by selling bonds would shield taxpayers from risk."

Quiz: without looking it up, define "bond" and explain how on earth this statement even remotely makes sense.

2

Muni bonds offer low-interest loans to the government for utility projects. They don't shield taxpayers from risk, it's not like the City would default on the bonds. It just saves the gov money to use muni bonds to finance the projects.

3

Point is, taxpayers are on the hook to pay the debt service on the bonds regardless of whether the system succeeds or fails. It's not some magical tool that "shields taxpayers from risk."

4

I have two residences in PDX, one in Sellwo

5

I have two residences in PDX, one in Sellwood, where only Comcast provides internet, and downtown, where I have Century Link. For both, I have internet-only for $39 a month, and the prices are for life. I stream Netflix and Amazon Prime at both, with no problems re quality. And I despise Comcast, like any red-blooded American.

Ok, so "net neutrality" is gone, which I guess is a bad thing. But I haven't noticed any limitation on content or source of content. So if you think I am going to be a big fan of paying DOUBLE what I pay now, for municipality-supplied 1-gig internet, for which I have zero need, then someone needs to schedule a few therapy sessions.

6

I have no problem with municipal internet systems in theory. I would never support one in Portland though.

To start, can you name a city department that is currently performing well? I suspect most of us cannot. What makes you think this would be any different?

Furthermore, Portland would find a way to turn internet service into a vehicle for racism and wealth redistribution. Do you imagine that everyone would pay the same for this service in Portland, or would we propose a different solution? Do you imagine that all people would have an equal chance to work for this system, or would we propose qualifications? We call them "preferences" when we're giving out subsidized housing.

All this talk about net neutrality, but we (Portland) have abandoned neutrality in everything we do. Think about it. How many days would go by before someone in govt proposed banning access to something, or prioritizing the traffic of some people over others. In the name of equity, of course.

7

^ Holy shit. I think you're looking for OLive, dude.

8

Just as Smart Cities utilize thousands of sensors to manage city resources, Smart Neighborhoods enable each community to take charge, share tools, track pets or bikes, communicate, improve neighborhood health and welfare.

http://www.hayden-island.com/smart-neighborhoods/

5G wireless, on the (free) 3.5 GHz band, is expected to save the $1000 cost per home of installing fiber, save the cost of buying spectrum, and reduce infrastructure costs by enabling one (inexpensive) radio to deliver LTE mobile broadband for multiple carriers, as well as municipalities and businesses.

http://www.hayden-island.com/gigabit/