The city of San Francisco has released a new report looking at the potential benefits of a proposed municipal broadband network. The report found that the network could benefit planned city projects that amount to $153 million in overall spend. These projects would require the availability of high-speed broadband access or would see an additional benefit from having the technology available.
The report also found that the network could generate $1.2 million in ongoing savings and avoided costs in addition to increasing property values throughout the city.
“Our citywide fiber network will not only eliminate the digital divide, but will also save precious taxpayer dollars and generate new revenue for the city,” said Mayor Mark Farrell in a statement on the report. “I believe the internet should be treated like a utility – which means it should be affordable and ubiquitous for all of San Francisco’s residents and businesses.”
The report notes that by putting a municipal broadband network in place citywide, local government authorities will be able to implement smart city technology faster and cheaper. Many smart cities applications require network access including sensors, cameras, and other data collection devices. Basic upgrades to municipal infrastructure like the ability to transmit mass transit signals can also be enhanced with improved connectivity.
San Francisco is currently considering providing gigabit service citywide – a service level that has already proven successful in other cities throughout the US. As CivSource previously reported, Santa Cruz, California recently started construction on its own gigabit network. Dayton, Oregon has also announced plans to become a 10-gigabit city in an effort to future-proof it’s network ahead of increased bandwidth demand.
San Francisco’s network will be operated using a public-private-partnership model. Full text of the report is available here.