Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
McGinn simultaneously abandoned years of city planning to build a citywide broadband network and bring fast, affordable service to everyone. Instead, McGinn opted to part out the city’s fiber-optic network assets, offering pieces here and there to telecom companies. That approach basically makes it impossible for anyone to use those assets for a citywide service, reaching everyone. Most likely it will result in cherry-picking of lucrative pockets of the city. The city said it couldn’t afford to build its own broadband network. Then McGinn miraculously found enough financing capacity to fund a new basketball arena.I would add that McGinn seemed more enthusiastic than some of the City Council, notably Bruce Harrell, when it came to a city owned fiber network. Additionally, the city owned electric utility has refused to cooperate beyond basic efforts on expanding access to this essential infrastructure. Brier Dudley finishes with gusto, including this:
McGinn cast himself as the alternative to Comcast broadband four years ago, promising to bring better broadband to everyone. But after taking office, he chose to partner with Comcast and other telecom companies. This ended hopes of using the city fiber-optic network assets as the foundation of a municipal broadband network that truly would have given residents an alternative.The article is more anti-McGinn than I think is warranted given the challenges any big city faces when it comes to broadband, but this is certainly closer to the truth than any simple claims that there is an easy choice for better Internet access. The question for everyone outside Seattle is this - what are you doing to make Internet access a political issue to force candidates to stake out a solid position on the matter? In my Saint Paul, Minnesota, broadband is not even a tiny issue, where our Mayor is the brother of Comcast's top lobbyist in the state and he has killed any efforts that could challenge Comcast's dominance. We need to do better at making this an issue in all elections.