A recent guest column by the executive director of the cable industry’s Broadband Communications Association of Washington raises some vital points about Seattle’s Internet infrastructure [“Why Seattle does not need to build a broadband network,” Opinion, Feb. 5].
While the opinion was mainly accurate, not all neighborhoods in Seattle have good Internet service options. Neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill and the Central District suffer from critically poor access, due to the City of Seattle’s inaction over the past five years in revising rules governing the use of public right of way and usage of utility poles. Sadly, these overly-restrictive rules have forced CenturyLink to divert funding for more than 60 Seattle projects impacting more than 21,000 homes,
Fortunately, the new administration is beginning to take some positive steps toward a remedy. A process guided by the Seattle Department of Transportation is under way to address these issues and we urge Mayor Ed Murray to continue working with the agency to move swiftly on rules revisions that will encourage private investment.
CenturyLink believes Seattle must first deal with the immediate problems in our underserved areas by fixing these rules before it can engage in meaningful discussions about high-end gigabit Internet service citywide. Let’s not widen the broadband gap by leaving our most underserved residents behind.
Sue Anderson, vice president and general manager of Puget Sound CenturyLink