In the Des Moines Register: West Des Moines Broadband Plan Shows Innovation

Date: 2 Sep 2020 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the News: Christopher Mitchell

August 31, 2020

Media Outlet: Des Moines Register

The leaders of West Des Moines, Iowa, recently decided to lay conduit underground throughout the city to make it easier for private Internet companies to expand access and connect facilities more rapidly. Google Fiber brokered a contract with the city in which Google will cover a portion of the cost of installation and in exchange will be the first provider to bring broadband connectivity to the community. It will also gain a period of exclusive access to work out the kinks, an agreement that has been somewhat controversial.

In the Des Moines Register, ILSR’s Christopher Mitchell discusses how Iowa has always been a leader in terms of keeping communities connected.

Iowans are used to forging their own path when it comes to broadband. The state is already home to more municipal broadband networks than nearly any other state, and four more are under construction. When the private sector has failed to provide high-quality Internet service at an affordable price, time and again, Iowa’s local cities have stepped up to build their own networks.

He goes on to discuss the benefits of West Des Moines’ innovative model and makes a strong argument for why this model should be supported, despite the opposition.

If we want investment in higher-quality broadband networks and real choices in providers, we must support the efforts of West Des Moines and encourage our local leaders to investigate them. There will always be groups funded by the powerful monopolies to loudly argue against competition, but our communities have to do their research and embrace the smart investments that built the world’s strongest economy.

Read the article here.

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Follow Christopher Mitchell:
Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with ILSR. He is a leading national expert on community networks, Internet access, and local broadband policies. Christopher built, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about local government policies to improve Internet access. Its interactive community broadband network map tracks more than 600 such networks. He also hosts audio and video shows online, including Community Broadband Bits and Connect This! 

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Follow Jordan Ashby:
Jordan Ashby

Jordan Ashby is the Advocacy and Communications Lead for the Composting for Community Initiative, where she applies her passion for education, equity, and sustainable futures to assist with the development and execution of the communications strategy.