SUPERVISOR MARK FARRELL RELEASES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND REPORT ABOUT LOW-COST CITYWIDE GIGABIT-SPEED INTERNET

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell released a Budget and Legislative Analyst report that recommends a public-private partnership to provide low-cost, Gigabit-speed Internet to everybody in San Francisco. Farrell also laid the foundation for a “Municipal Fiber Advisory Panel” by appointing co-chairs Miguel Gamino, current head of the San Francisco government’s Department of Technology, and Jay Nath, head of the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, to lead the panel. The panel will advise San Francisco policymakers on future municipal fiber network expansion.

SUPERVISOR MARK FARRELL RELEASEs FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND REPORT ABOUT LOW-COST CITYWIDE GIGABIT-SPEED INTERNET

 Farrell Also Announces Co-Chairs Of ‘Municipal Fiber Advisory Panel’

 SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Supervisor Mark Farrell released a Budget and Legislative Analyst report that recommends a public-private partnership to provide low-cost, Gigabit-speed Internet to everybody in San Francisco. Farrell also laid the foundation for a “Municipal Fiber Advisory Panel” by appointing co-chairs Miguel Gamino, current head of the San Francisco government’s Department of Technology, and Jay Nath, head of the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, to lead the panel. The panel will advise San Francisco policymakers on future municipal fiber network expansion.

“When you turn on the faucet, clean water comes out. When you turn on the light switch, the lights come on. And when you open your laptop, everyone should have access to a fast Internet connection – whether you live in Pacific Heights or the Bayview,” said Supervisor Farrell noting that over 100,000 San Francisco residents, including 14% of public school students, lack Internet access at home. “Low-cost, high-speed Internet is the utility of the 21st century, and as the innovation capital of the world, San Francisco’s leadership on this issue should be a no-brainer.”

In addition to the 100,000 residents without Internet access at home, over 50,000 residents have sluggish dial-up speeds. Speeds of at least one Gigabit per second, the standard in next-generation broadband, are currently available to just 2.6% of San Franciscans. Farrell ultimately aims to bring low-cost, Gigabit speed Internet access to everybody in San Francisco.

The analyst’s report, requested by Farrell and released by him today, looks at the costs of constructing, owning, and operating a citywide municipal fiber network that would deliver at least a Gigabit per second.

The report examines two approaches: a demand-driven approach, and a utility-based approach. The report finds that a demand-driven approach would be less costly. But it also notes that a demand-driven model would not close the digital divide, nor provide Gigabit-speed Internet access to everybody in San Francisco. The report finds that although a utility-based approach would cost more, it would succeed in reducing the digital divide and providing affordable Gigabit-speed Internet access to everybody in the city.

The report also examines three models: the public, private, and a public-private model. Ultimately, the report concludes that a public-private partnership is the best model. Under this model, any providers would be allowed to use the fiber network, and more competition would drive prices down. Additionally, the public-private partnership model would reduce costs and risks associated to the City with creating and successfully operating a complex new business enterprise.

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