In recent weeks, members of the U.S. Congress have announced a number of broadband-related bills that aim to ensure that local communities have a better chance of delivering high-speed Internet to their residents. But would these acts, if passed, lead to meaningful results? Government Technology spoke to a number of leaders and experts about the implications of three particular pieces of legislation. Their differing opinions highlight the great complexity of the broadband issue.
A partnership between the telecommunications company and technology company NEC is looking at whether the fiber-optic networks coursing through cities can be used to glean real-world intelligence. Vehicle counts, traffic slow-downs and other pieces of data central to traffic management may one day be gleaned from a city’s fiber-optic communications network.
Rural communities must often get creative if they want to bring broadband to their residents, and sometimes their hands are tied due to state restrictions or a lack of favorable legislation. Smaller municipalities in New Hampshire, however, may soon have the option of forming a multi-town district for the purpose of establishing a broadband system. State Sen.
Recently, the Waterloo (IA) City Council voted unanimously to use $84,500 in general obligation bond money for a broadband feasibility study conducted by Magellan Advisors. The study’s goal is to help Waterloo determine the practicality of a city-owned broadband system versus other options, such as a service based on a public-private partnership model. As this and other arguments over how best to make broadband available in Waterloo continues, there may be lessons emerging from the situation for connectivity efforts in communities nationwide.