Join us on April 30 in Austin as CLIC hosts local community officials for a half-day of discussion on “the Vital Role of Local Internet Choice.” One session will offer an in-depth look at how the small Maryland city of Westminster has successfully built and utilized community fiber-to-the-premises.
Westminster has built and owns the fiber network all the way to the home and business. Its private partner, Ting Internet, which is known for its “crazy fast fiber internet” and spectacular customer service, leases the dark fiber and provides Internet service.
Westminster’s leaders consider Internet infrastructure a must-have. “In a world that is increasingly dependent on data every day, if you don’t have good broadband you’re going to be left behind,” said Robert Wack, president of the City Council and a speaker at CLIC’s event. Westminster envisions itself as a place whose residents can live away from the big city but still prosper, by telecommuting to city-based jobs and by using fiber as a platform to start a business.
The City’s role is focused on infrastructure and future-looking investment. “Public sector entities epitomize ‘patient capital,’” he said in a December 2015 Broadband Communities article. Localities “are able to make long-term investments with no pressure to expect fast, high margin returns. Local governments routinely spend millions of dollars on infrastructure with the only expectation of return being the long-term beneficial impact on the local economy… which ultimately allows them to maintain tax revenue without rate increases.”
And the City’s fiber network has become MAGIC for its economic development — the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, that is. A joint effort of the City, Ting Internet, and a local wireless network company, MAGIC is a technology incubator — a “collaboratory” – focused on local high school and college-age students. MAGIC offers students a technology meeting place, “challenge based” tech learning events, classes, and a pathway to internships and employment.
Come learn how your community can replicate the Westminster experience as part of our CLIC half-day event on April 30 in Austin. CLIC members can register here for both our CLIC program and the Broadband Communities Summit conference at our CLIC discount rate of $350 by using the code CLIC2018. If you’re not yet a member, join here (it’s free).