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Seeking Broadband for Long Term Relationship

Excerpt from Justin's August Newsletter

Last month, the City took a significant step forward in our efforts to bring new broadband options to Alexandria. As I wrote about in May, the Council had supported the idea of issuing an RFI (Request for Information) to solicit concepts from the private sector for partnership with the City in expanding broadband options, availability and capabilities.

Late last month, the RFI was issued and we are now actively soliciting partnerships. The deadline for responses is September 3rd and I am hopeful we will have several good options to pursue.

A little over a year ago, I proposed that the City develop a broadband plan to bring true competition to Alexandria's broadband market.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a community of 170,000, a public electricity utility used hundreds of millions of dollars to build thousands of miles of underground fiber. In doing so, the utility enabled the residents and businesses of Chattanooga to receive the fastest Internet connectivity in our nation.

For years, Alexandria has sought new private investment in broadband infrastructure. For most of our residents, we have one company providing Internet connectivity, television and telephone service. Regardless of the performance of that company, technological innovation and reliability thrives on competition.

This is an issue that affects not only residents, but also our businesses and the ability of our community to attract commerce.

In 2009, the City made great strides in bringing Verizon FIOS to our City. Unfortunately, Verizon made the decision to cease any new deployments of FIOS nationally, and Alexandria was left out.

This is an exciting project, and one that gives the City the best chance to leverage its unique assets to bring new broadband services to our residents and businesses.

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