Broadband Properties '08: Ft. Wayne leverages fiber

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 09:55

Graham Richards, the former Mayor of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, spoke at the Broadband Properties Summit about why Ft. Wayne pushed fiber to the home. Some of the services and benefits included:

A green affordable housing initiative cut monthly energy costs for lower income families, and the broadband network was used to monitor energy use.

The network enabled live video monitoring of latchkey children whose parents had to work. Parents could have high quality video chats with their children as soon as they arrived home in the afternoon.

Local schools were able to offer enhanced distance learning opportunities to their students, including afternoon and weekend mentoring with tutors (enabled by the fiber network).

Their vision was fiber everywhere: a community broadband network dedicated to equality of opportunity and universal access.

They began a pilot initiative to have the city use hybrid plug in vehicles to reduce fuel and transportation costs for city workers.

They set a goal of saving 5% of the city budget through IT/broadband and green strategies--helping to conserve taxpayers dollars.

While Richards was mayor, he was able to turn the economic growth of the city from a deep loss of jobs to a dramatic turnaround in jobs creation and new businesses, and he attributed it to setting a vision, sticking to it, and broadband.

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