Will Baltimore build and operate its own network?
Will the city build and lease infrastructure to incumbent providers?
A recent report was issued by a Baltimore City Task Force set out to create a strategic plan to make Baltimore a smarter city. In June 2015, Baltimore released a 100 page “Broadband Public Infrastructure Strategies Report” that recommends the following strategies.
- Use existing fiber to create a government owned WAN for 200+ public schools city-wide.
- Lease existing and new dark fiber.
- Validate and leverage the Baltimore Department of Transportation’s conduit for broadband expansion.
- Utilize and lease the city’s towers and rooftops for wireless expansion.
- Establish a governing body to be called the Baltimore Broadband Authority.
The report examines the following business models:
- Policy participation only.
- Infrastructure provider.
- Government services provider.
- Open access provider.
- Retail service provider – business only.
- Retail service provider – business and residential.
The Baltimore Broadband Coalition has raised nearly $20,000 from over 1,000 donors since this blog was posted.
It remains to be seen what Baltimore’s broadband strategy, model and path forward looks like. That being said, Baltimore has taken several coordinated steps towards providing better broadband for its citizens.