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Future Of Municipal Broadband Discussed As Mayor’s Summit Concludes

At a two-day summit in Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter (President of the US Conference of Mayors), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith answer questions from the floor from other Mayors. (Credit: Steve Tawa)

At a two-day summit in Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter (President of the US Conference of Mayors), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith answer questions from the floor from other Mayors. (Credit: Steve Tawa)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The U.S. Conference of Mayors has wrapped up a two-day summit in Philadelphia on technology and innovation.

One of the discussions in the last breakout session centered on the potential of municipal broadband service. No large metro areas have it, but cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco have flirted with the idea of building out fiber-optic or cable networks with access to the Internet.

Playing host to more than 30 Mayors across the country, and their technical staffs, Mayor Nutter emphasized it would only be done here under some sort of public-private partnership:

“Part of that is, what’s the partnership, and in some instances, how do we get out of the way, but push it and drive it?”

San Francisco is about to undergo a major renovation of that city’s antiquated sewer system, so mayoral aide Jason Elliott says they’re considering the possibilities:

“We’re currently exploring what we’re calling a ‘dig once policy’.”

If they’re already opening up streets, the city wants the right to drop conduit, either fiber or empty.

“Hey, it makes sense to actually lay some of that hard infrastructure there,” Elliott said.

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