Plotting Next Steps Towards High Speed Municipal Broadband for Seattle’s Internet-Hungry Masses

Remember when local comedian Brett Hamil fucking nailed it in a video-blog bemoaning his sluggish internet service? He’s back with a follow-up—still waiting, six months later, for Mayor Ed Murray to make up his mind about whether to pursue building a high-speed municipal broadband network in Seattle:

Well, Brett (and everyone who uses the internet), the wait’s unlikely to end anytime soon. For now, the city’s sending mixed signals.

For one, the city’s chief technology officer, Murray appointee Michael Mattmiller, flew down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, last month—the city I’ve been braying about as a role model for how to roll out high-speed internet service—to attend an event called “Envisioning a Gigabit Future” that was largely about extolling the benefits of municipal broadband.

In an e-mail message, Mattmiller called the trip “an opportunity to interact with others exploring how best to bring gigabit internet to their cities, and the benefits cities are deriving from gig service.”

“We also had an opportunity to spend time with the staff of Chattanooga’s municipal utility, EPB,” he says, “to learn about their build-out of a Fiber-to-the-Premise network, the challenges they experienced, and their successes.” He plans to stay in touch with EPB as he moves forward on broadband locally, he adds.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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