Google’s fiber rollout in Kansas City prompted kudos, specualtion, wonder, and analysis. While Google has the ability to invest in such an expensive and huge undertaking. Municipal networks have been bringing next-generation broadband to the public for years.
Local communities all over the country know first hand the economic benefits and improved quality of life that come with publicly owned networks.
In his official statement on the Google rollout, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski acknolwdged the value of community networks to America and its Broadband Plan. The official announcement:
For the United States to remain globally competitive, we need to keep pushing the boundaries of broadband capabilities and foster testbeds of broadband innovation. Abundance in broadband speeds and capacity – moving from megabits to gigabits – will unleash breakthrough innovations in healthcare, education, business services, and more.
Today’s announcement by Google, the Gig.U projects across the country, and similar continued advances by providers and municipalities are important and welcome developments that are pushing frontiers in speed and bandwidth, while also enhancing consumer choice. As outlined in the National Broadband Plan, it’s vital both that we connect every corner in America to broadband and that we spur next-generation innovation through next-generation broadband networks. (Emphasis added by us.)