Mayor Doubles Down on Refusal to Build Municipal Broadband Internet Network

From The Stranger's Ansel Herz:

"What Murray is really saying is that he doesn't consider broadband to be a priority. Last fall, the mayor himself spearheaded the push for the largest-ever property tax levy in the city's history: Move Seattle, with a price tag of $930 million. Voters approved it.

The study that Murray mentioned determined that Seattle could construct a high speed network using a combination of property taxes and user fees for $440 million. The mayor—who received big donations from Comcast and CenturyLink during his last campaign—simply lacks the political will to advocate for building such a network at this time.

The officials who followed Murray on to the stage for a panel on municipal broadband couldn't have been more different: They were mayors and city councillors from around the region who had the foresight and tenacity to create fiber municipal broadband networks in their cities.

"We have a three month waiting list," said Jeremy Pietzold, the city council head from Sandy, Oregon, a town of ten thousand people. "We just cannot get them connected fast enough." His city went into debt and took out revenue bonds to build their fiber Internet network. (That's another economic model that Murray rejected.) The city is already breaking even on the venture; the network's popularity is exceeding expectations."