Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Unpaid bill signals end of Seattle high-speed internet deal

About all that’s left of Mayor Mike McGinn’s promise to bring high-speed internet to Seattle neighborhoods in partnership with Gigabit Squared is the small company’s unpaid bill for $52,250.

Erin Devoto, Seattle’s chief technology officer, said that as of mid-November, the company’s phones were turned off and the city was unable to reach its officers. She turned over the bill for city staff’s preliminary engineering work on a broadband network to the City Attorney’s Office for collection.

McGinn made bringing high-speed internet to Seattle one of the priorities of his 2009 campaign for mayor. In 2012, he announced a deal with Gigabit Squared to lease the city’s unused dark fiber-optic cable and connect 14 Seattle neighborhoods to high-speed internet. Seattle was one of two cities, along with Chicago, where the company promised to invest $200 million.

Both GeekWire and the Puget Sound Business Journal reported in the past week that Seattle’s deal with Gigabit Squared was dead.

Devoto said that in her final conference call with company officials in November, they said they hadn’t been able to raise the needed capital. She said she plans to brief Mayor Ed Murray on the city’s options when he’s had a chance to settle in. Murray’s office did not return a request for comment.

Devoto said the outstanding bill is a small cost for investing in what was essentially an ambitious start-up effort.

“It’s not an easy lift. Very few places have made it work,” Devoto said.

Comments | Topics: Gigabit Squared


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►