This Thursday, there will be another opportunity Thursday to tell the Northampton City Council and the mayor that you want a community network!
On February 21, the city council approved in concept the mayor’s capital plan which includes funding for a study of a community network. This Thursday at their 7 PM meeting in the City Council Chamber they will vote to actually approve it.
You can make your voice heard by arriving early and asking to speak to the City Council on this matter. Do it by signing up on the sign up board. Each speaker has up to three minutes. We intend to be there, but the more different faces, the better!
Does approval of the capital plan mean that a study will commence promptly when the fiscal year starts on July 1? Unfortunately, no. The plan indicates to the City Council what the major wants to spend money on for capital improvement (long term) projects. When the mayor is actually ready to start a study, he will ask the City Council for approval to spend money on what is likely to be the first stage of the study: determining the support within Northampton for this measure, probably using a reputable polling firm. There must be enough potential subscribers to a community network to justify a technical study of the cost and means for building this network.
As we said, this is a journey of many steps. Arguably these first steps are the hardest steps, but your continued activism and support will be essential to bring this to fruition. We intend to advocate to the mayor to start this study as early as possible. Perhaps both phases can be done at once to save time.
The goal, should be at a minimum, a city-owned passive dark fiber to every reasonable location. The open access models create community networks that are economic development platform.
Here are articles discussing the Dark vs. Lit Open Access Models and why the city should NOT be the Internet Service Provider.
Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org