Public safety project has to fight Verizon

Submitted by acohill on Thu, 08/17/2006 - 08:46

A consortium of communities in Michigan figured out that building their own fiber network would save them millions in taxpayer funds, but if you read the article, you get the distinct impression that Verizon believes the purpose of government is to ensure that Verizon never has any competition.

Apparently, Verizon believes government should never try to save money and never try to do things differently if there is any impact on Verizon's bottom line.

The clue that something is amiss is the huge costs savings the local governments gain from building an entirely new network--an expensive undertaking. Verizon, in many areas of the country, has chosen not to invest in new infrastructure, effectively forcing communities and businesses to continue to pay high prices for old, 19th century copper technology.

Done right, community fiber systems can not only save taxpayer dollars but also be a huge boon for businesses, who could get access to less expensive voice and data services from competitive providers.

In the studies that Design Nine has been doing for communities, when you look at the forty year expected life of fiber, the multi-million dollar cost of a fiber system is a fraction (typically less than 5%) of what business and government will pay for telecom over that same time period. And it's a lot less expensive than water and sewer projects, which communities build and manage routinely.

Who do you want deciding the economic future of your community? You, or Verizon?

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