Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

May 9, 2014

Cambridge City Manager Seeks Members for New Broadband Task Force

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:01 pm

Cambridge City Manager Seeks Members for New Broadband Task Force

City SealMay 09, 2014 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking applicants to serve on a new Task Force which will examine broadband service in Cambridge and evaluate our fiber infrastructure. The Task Force will examine options to increase competition, reduce pricing, and improve speed, reliability and customer service for both residents and businesses. Additionally, the Task Force will investigate scenarios for leveraging the City’s current or future fiber assets to expand access to broadband services, such as service to Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) properties.

The work of the Task Force will help to ensure that Cambridge remains a world-class City in which to live, work, innovate and learn. The final report of the committee will assist the City in planning for the future and setting realistic expectations with the public, as creating alternative solutions can take years to fully implement.

The Task Force will meet on a regular basis and will be charged with:

  • Engaging the broader community, including residents, business and university partners, in understanding their current and future broadband needs;
  • Understanding and documenting existing broadband service in Cambridge – speed, reliability, cost and customer service;
  • Understanding and documenting the existing broadband and fiber infrastructure – both private and public;
  • Examining best practices and models used by other municipalities across the United States to improve access to broadband services;
  • Developing a range of alternatives for improving access to broadband services, including: increased private competition, a mesh network, a municipal fiber network connected to public housing properties, a municipal fiber backbone throughout the city and a complete municipal broadband network;
  • Evaluating each alternative by conducting an analysis of the level of service provided, cost to customers and to the City, customer service, sustainability and flexibility of the system to adapt to improving technologies;
  • Creating business models for providing internet service that includes: funding, cost recovery, governance model, and subscription structure, including options for people with limited ability to pay; and
  • Developing recommendations for leveraging public- private partnerships, including regional initiatives, in achieving alternative access to broadband services.

Residents and interested members of Cambridge’s university, innovation, civic and business communities are encouraged to apply. Prospective members should send a letter via mail, email or fax by Friday, May 30, 2014 briefly describing the applicant’s interest in the committee, relevant background, skills and experience to:

Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge 795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph: 617-349-4300   Fax: 617-349-4307

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