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Preston Fiber

Own Your Internet

Community Owned Fiber Optic Infrastructure

A Message from Councilman Chris Larsen

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The world is more interconnected than ever before! There is a digital divide between those who have access to fast, reliable fiber optic internet, and those who do not. As a community we want to be on the correct side of this digital divide, but we have some ground to make up. The internet is a necessary part of our daily lives, ranging from education, communicating across the world, paying bills, entertainment, and working from home among many other things. In order to close this gap, the City has applied for and received a broadband planning grant to explore the possibility of creating its own fiber optic network. This has potential to provide a new competitive option for our residents, and in the process dramatically improve access to the internet throughout the city. 

 

Working together with local community leaders and business owners we have spent the last several weeks performing a preliminary review of what would be required, and today we’re ready to take the concept to the next step. That means engaging the community to measure interest in a City-operated fiber optic network.

 

I have spoken with many residents about internet options within the City, and more pointedly, the lack thereof. ​This has potential to be our answer, but we can only move forward if there is a critical mass of residents willing to participate.

 

​Reliable Internet is critical infrastructure – no different than electricity or water.  Creating a City owned and operated fiber optic network would treat it as such.  We are in the beginning stages of this process, but the potential benefits driving the concept and our work include:

 

  1. ​Substantially lowering the cost of Internet access for residents and businesses.

  2. Significantly increasing the speed and reliability of Internet access.

  3. Providing competition and giving residents multiple options for Internet Service Providers on demand and in real time.

  4. The creation of a state-of-the-art network that will improve economic development and foster innovation.

 

In the coming months, the City will develop a full feasibility study and business plan for the creation of the fiber optic network. We’ll be sharing more information and answering your questions via this website, community meetings, and a series of other outreach efforts.

 

I look forward to engaging with the community to see where this process leads us in conquering the digital divide for the City of Preston!

Chris Larsen
Preston City Council