Chicago CIO calls for telecom-gov't broadband cooperation

Ir wasn't so long ago that major cities around the country were pursuing their own plans for municipal broadband, with ideas to use tools such as Wi-Fi or fiber to make broader broadband coverage a reality. Those plans put cities in competition with traditional broadband service providers, and many of them didn't pan out in the end because of business model shortcomings.

At one point Chicago was planning a big muni-Wi-Fi network, but now Chicago CIO Hardik Bhatt is hoping the city and its service providers can cooperate to make broadband more available and more affordable to all citizens. Bhatt said in a speech at the Telephony LIVE Telecom Summit in Chicago today, "We cannot expect a $700 million bailout for infrastructure. That is not something seen as a huge crisis today like the financial industry. The first step is for the public and private sector to understand how important this is. The second is, if it is that important, why don't we work together to find areas of funding and fund it and build it?"

For more:
- see this story at Telephony

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