Mayor Mark Farrell, the City Administrator’s Office and the Department of Technology today announced that the City will begin the process of bringing a citywide fiber network to San Francisco that will prioritize net neutrality and privacy protections and deliver fast and affordable internet.
“Trump’s hand-picked FCC and Republicans in Congress have dismantled crucial net neutrality, privacy, and consumer protections,” said Mayor Farrell. “We will provide an alternative that favors the general public and San Francisco values, not corporate interests. Through this project, we will close the digital divide, ensure net neutrality, and create a truly fair and open internet in San Francisco.”
Today, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued seeking teams capable of designing and delivering a citywide fiber network to San Francisco. The fiber network will provide universal internet coverage in San Francisco and is a transformative effort to provide affordable, high-quality internet service for all.
Supervisor Farrell "built momentum for [publicly owned broadband] by forming a coalition of neighborhood groups and a panel of academics to publish reports on the importance of a municipal fiber network. Farrell and Mayor Ed Lee also secured $600,000 in city funding for a consultant, CTC Technology and Energy, to calculate cost estimates."
The city would lay fiber-optic cable underground and contract with private companies to deliver fast, inexpensive service to all residents and businesses. “The sad reality is that San Francisco is the innovation capital of the world, and more than 100,000 San Francisco residents still do not have Internet access at home,” Farrell said, citing...
"The network would be owned by the city but built and managed as a public-private partnership — an arrangement that allows the city to blunt some of the costs and risks of creating a brand-new utility. The city would maintain significant control over the price consumers would pay if they sign up for the service."
"According to the new study by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, community-owned broadband networks provide consumers with significantly lower rates than their private-sector counterparts."
Community-owned internet service providers are cheaper and better.
Here's the full report to the Board of Supervisors - sfbos.org/sites/default/files/...
The internet is an essential tool for our everyday lives. #SF residents deserve equal & affordable internet access.
San Francisco appears to be closer than ever to building a citywide municipal Internet network - an ambitious project that's proved elusive for more than a decade. City officials are poring over the findings of a comprehensive 200-page report that will serve as San Francisco's lodestar as it moves toward creating a proposed...
"Now, more than ever, cities across the country must stand up and fight for equity. For more than two years, we have been working diligently to design and deploy a citywide municipal fiber network that will offer more options than currently available and ensure all of San Francisco is connected to a fast and affordable Internet.
We are working to ensure that robust Internet service is available to children looking to educate themselves, small businesses trying to expand their reach, and seniors seeking to access city services. This project aims to close the digital divide for the 100,000 San Franciscans, including 1 in 7 San Francisco public schoolchildren, who lack Internet access at home. Private industry has been unable to meet this need.
We have been building support by meeting directly with the community about their priorities and values through San Franciscans for Municipal Fiber. We have enlisted the help of the brightest academic, business and privacy experts from around the country to answer key questions as we finalize this undertaking.
While the Trump administration seeks to dismantle the Internet as we know it, we have a plan. Now, it is time to execute. We need your help. Join us in supporting an open Internet."
[...] the November election, the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates Internet service, agreed with this basic premise. Pai and his Republican allies in Congress are moving at record speeds to roll back existing consumer protections and privacy regulations. [...] Congress and the FCC collaborated to repeal broadband privacy...
Great long read from Susan Crawford on why municipal fiber ("dark fiber") is the best solution for cities like SF:
"The only business model for fiber that will work to produce the competition, low prices, and world-class data transport we need — certainly in urban areas — is to get local governments involved in overseeing basic, street grid-like “dark” (passive, unlit with electronics) fiber available at a set, wholesale price to a zillion retail providers of access and services."
The internet access answer won’t come from private markets, but rather from policies that make for competitive networks.
"In the coming months, the San Francisco Municipal Fiber Blue Ribbon Panel will conduct research and provide recommendations on the most efficient and effective ways to blanket the city with broadband, an effort that could cost up to $1 billion.
If it becomes reality, San Francisco would be the largest city in the country to implement citywide high-speed Internet. City officials are currently targeting speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The average Internet speed in the U.S. is 31 megabits per second according to the most recent data published by the Federal Communications Commission, so this could be about 30 times faster."
San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell has assembled a group of business, privacy and academic experts to discuss crucial, early-stage questions surrounding Farrell’s plan to wire the city with high-speed Internet service. Crawford, who teaches courses on municipal uses of technology, Internet law and communications law, worked as an assistant...
Internet access is the lifeblood of our society and economy. It brings opportunity for education, connection, and prosperity. Imagine a life without internet access; this is a reality for 100,000 of San Francisco’s population. That’s right, in the hub of tech innovation, 100,000 residents do not have reliable access to the internet.
Together, we can ensure access for all! That’s where San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell comes in.
Please join Galvanize and San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell for a question and answer session on San Francisco’s efforts to deliver fast and affordable Internet to all residents and businesses in San Francisco. Hear from Supervisor Farrell on his over two years of works on this project, the immediate next steps, and how you can get involved to help make this project a reality.
Bring your questions! We’ll save plenty of time for you to interact with Supervisor Farrell.
6:00pm – Doors open, networking, light refreshments
6:30pm – Presentation from Supervisor Farrell
6:50pm – Open Q&A
8:00pm – Conclusion
Learn more: www.eventbrite.com/e/fast-affo...