Seattle's fiber broadband initiative hits a financial snag

Seattle's outgoing mayor Mike McGinn is a big advocate of bringing fiber-based broadband to the city via its relationship with Gigabit Squared, but has revealed that financial issues could stop the network from getting off the ground.

McGinn, whose term expires at the end of the year, said an interview with GeekWire that Gigabit Squared is struggling to get necessary financial backing for the network.

"We're now a year into it and the question is, will it work or not?" McGinn said, adding that he is "very concerned it's not going to work."

Gigabit Squared, which set an ambitious target to wire 14 neighborhoods by the end of 2014 with fiber-based services, did not provide a comment to GeekWire.

Customers would have their choice of three service plans: a 5/1 Mbps plan with no charge for 60 months that includes the option to convert to a symmetrical 10 Mbps service plan for only $10 per month; a symmetrical 100 Mbps plan for $45 per month; and a symmetrical 1 Gbps option for $80 per month.

The outgoing mayor, who will be succeeded by state Sen. Ed Murray in January, suggested that Seattle could use taxes to fund a city-run network.

He said that he would build a municipally-run open access fiber network that would allow any service to leverage the infrastructure to provide services to consumers and businesses.

McGinn initially thought of developing a municipal fiber plan 2010, but said the estimated $600 or $700 million cost to build such a network would not have sat well with the city's taxpayers.

For more:
- GeekWire has this article

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