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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

High-speed Internet: If it’s a public service, require public programming

As The Times editorial on high-speed Internet emphasizes, “As efforts to develop publicly owned networks have failed, competition between multiple providers seems the best way to improve service. Service boxes are really no different from old fashioned utility poles. If they are the price of cutting-edge service, then full speed ahead.” [“Full speed ahead for high-speed Internet in Seattle,” Opinion, Sept. 15]

Question: What is the cost of services using the public rights-of-ways to a broadband provider? Cable TV companies pay franchise fees, offer channels of communication used by educational institutions like the University of Washington, Washington State University, the Seattle School District and others across the state. Local governments have direct connection into citizens’ homes. Public voices representing youths, seniors, religion and nonprofit agencies are advantaged using public access channels across the state.

Companies like CenturyLink using the public rights-of-ways do not carry or offer this connectivity to a broader realm of educational offerings, public political process, essential public information resources and local community voices. Why not?

If The Seattle Times urges Seattle City Council members to usher in faster internet, please also include comparable services, like those mentioned here, so that utilization of the public rights-of-ways can benefit all in a expanded broadband arena.

Marc Pease, Vashon

Comments | More in Internet | Topics: CenturyLink, high-speed Internet, Marc Pease

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