“Fiber is the key to assuring Palo Alto's long-term position as the Leading Digital City of the Future"
That was Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff who was giving his State of the City Address at Tesla Motors in February.
Mayor Scharff described 2013 as "the year of the future" for Palo Alto, with technology and infrastructure as two of the city's most pressing priorities. Scharff called for developing a plan to expand and optimize the city's current 33 miles of fiber with the aim to bring that fiber to homes and businesses. Scharff echoed the recent Gigabit City Challenge, offered by FCC Chairman Genachowski, noting that Palo Alto users should be have access to 1 gig, minimum.
Jason Green of the Mercury News reported on Scharff's speech in which he referenced the city's long desire to provide high speed access to residents:
"Ultra-high-speed Internet has been a Palo Alto vision for a long time. Now is the time to fulfill that vision," Scharff said. "Google has recently deployed ultra-high-speed Internet in Kansas City. Palo Alto can do better and has all of the elements that will make this a success."
Scharff also referred to how the city is currently using its fiber and some of the benefits:
“In 1996, our city built a 33-mile optical fiber ring routed within Palo Alto to enable better Internet connections. Since then, we have been licensing use of this fiber to businesses. For the past decade, this activity has shown substantial positive cash flow and is currently making in excess of $2 million a year for the city. We now have that money in the bank earmarked for more fiber investments."
We spoke with Josh Wallace, from Palo Alto's Fiber Optic Development, in episode 26 of the Broadband Bits podcast about how the city uses dark fiber to connect businesses. As we noted in the past, a thorn in the side of Palo Alto's plan to offer lit services is Comcast, which has been willing to engage in dirty tricks in other communities to stop community owned networks....Read more