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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Sweet deal

May 18, 2013

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To the editor:

Lawrence is one of the few communities in Kansas that is served by more than two Internet providers. Unlike Topeka, Wichita, Salina and Manhattan, Lawrence has a local Internet provider that isn’t the phone company or the cable company.

Our homegrown provider, Wicked Broadband, recently announced plans to bring one gigabit service to our community. None of our out-of-town providers have been willing to make this investment. This project will take Lawrence from a community where Internet service is “costlier, slower and more limited than in other comparable communities” and make it a national leader in broadband access.

In the 21st century, Internet infrastructure will be what roads were to the 1900s and rail lines were to the 1800s. Cities with advanced fiber systems are going to have stronger economies, better business environments and more opportunities for their citizens.

In its recent report, the city’s consultant indicated that building a municipal fiber system in Lawrence would cost as much as $66 million. If we can jump-start Wicked Broadband’s effort with a $500,000 grant, we are getting a very sweet deal.

As I understand it, Wicked is also installing excess capacity that will allow competitors to use the system to provide competing services. By promoting competition, the city is ensuring that the citizens of Lawrence are getting the best services possible. Just by announcing its service, Wicked forced WOW to remove its bandwidth caps. Imagine what WOW and AT&T will offer when they have to compete against an operational gigabit fiber service?

Comments

Fred Mertz 1 year, 7 months ago

Can you really say Wicked is making an investment when they want my money to do this?

kuhusker 1 year, 7 months ago

If nothing else ever comes of Wicked's fiber project, they have done a huge public service by at least triggering WOW to get rid of its horrid bandwidth caps.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, even before Knology was sold to WOW, they were continually expanding those caps to reflect actual usage.

When I first had Sunflower internet, the caps were set and I was charged for going over them. After Knology took over, they starting expanding the caps based on customer use, and I got charged much less, if at all for using more bandwidth.

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