As the demand for more advanced, reliable and affordable broadband service rises, the City is defining its ongoing role in ensuring access is provided. The City is exploring various broadband options as we hear the current providers are not meeting needs of citizens. In 2015 a project team formed to begin research and outreach to achieve the following goals:
A bit of background on the project, for phase one the City conducted benchmarking and went to the voters regarding SB-152, which allows government organizations to explore the option of providing broadband. With an 83 percent approval rate, Council directed staff to continue working on the project in December of 2015. With that, staff entered phase two working on a risk assessment and market demand study that included a telephone survey completed in March. Feedback indicated residents are interested in high-speed reliable internet with good customer service. For the next phase the City conducted a feasibility analysis digging into the various options and numbers required to offer broadband service.
Currently City Council is considering a municipal-owned retail model or a public private partnership.
Public outreach and education has been conducted, and is ongoing, throughout this project.