If there is one thing we have tried to make abundantly clear, it’s that municipalities can take it upon themselves to fight for affordable fibre broadband.
A perfect example in Southwestern Ontario is Grey County’s efforts to connect their residents. A workshop series called Connected County has been underway to discuss broadband solutions for the region. Local leaders, service providers, and other interested citizens have participated in the meetings because they understand how important access to affordable high-speed Internet is to the future of their families and businesses. In order for Southwestern Ontario to get the attention it needs to receive funding from the government and Internet Service Providers (ISP) for an extensive fibre network, the counties need to band together and make their voices heard. It’s what the SWIFT project is all about!
A great example of how cities are coming together to fight for fibre is the Next Century Cities group in the United States. Now that Medina County, Ohio has joined the group, there are now 50 cities and their mayors teaming up to get fibre infrastructure built.
One of Next Century Cities’ main priorities is making it clear that cities need more than one or two options for ISPs. This is also a SWIFT priority because open access means there is more competition between ISPs, which will produce competitive rates and affordable access.
Next Century Cities is also pitching the need for fibre broadband as a nonpartisan issue, which makes total sense. It makes so much sense that most people probably don’t even consider next generation Internet services as being weighed heavily on a certain area of the political spectrum. Whether you’re a democrat, republican, conservative, or liberal, you use the Internet to function in the world nearly every single day.
This leads to the group’s third priority, which is to make everyone realize that fibre connectivity is a necessary infrastructure as important as roads and bridges. A recent commenter on the SWIFT Facebook page put it best when she explained fibre broadband by saying, “It’s the road metaphor, the road is just how you get there, the people travelling is the focus: safe, accessible and open” (Francesca O Francesca).
Next Century Cities has 50 mayors on board. We believe that every county in Southwestern Ontario deserves affordable high-speed Internet, so contact your county office today and let them know that you believe too!