Note: comments posted are strictly the opinion of the poster and not necessarily those of Fiber Planners Inc. or any other posters.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Illinois: Chicago's CivicNet deemed vital -- but will it ever get built?
The Chicago Tribune ran an article noting the importance of Chicago's proposed CivicNet project to the local economy:
"'From Broad Shoulders to Broadband,' by the non-profit Metropolitan Planning Council, states that even though Chicago is a worldwide Internet hub, many neighborhoods still cannot access even basic broadband service. The report argues that many neighborhoods will be left behind economically unless the city moves forward with CivicNet, a project designed to save taxpayer money while extending affordable broadband service."
"CivicNet envisioned pooling the city's estimated $30 million annual spending on telecom services to contract with private carriers to connect 1,600 schools, libraries, police and fire stations and other facilities in a high-speed network. In exchange for winning the city's business for 10 years, the carriers would provide an open network stretching to every neighborhood. While serving the city, the network also would provide new access nodes from which to sell private service, making broadband ubiquitous and more affordable."
Portions of the network could be built with local government fiber already deployed along roads and Chicago Transit Authority lines. Unfortunately, to the frustration of local business and civic leaders, the city has done very little with the project since its' conception in the late 1990s.