Right now, the way you access the internet is sourced directly from the provider - at least in our area.  In other words - when you choose from one of the few high speed internet providers that service the Twin Ports, they connect your home or business to their proprietary network via a wired line or satellite link.  It's those connections - and that network - that create barriers to selection and price for many customers.

Locally, the City of Superior is exploring ways to change that.

The Communications and Information Technology Committee was recently formed to investigate an alternative approach to internet service - one that would make the connections a municipal utility.  Using a model similar to one that is currently in use for residents in Amman,  Idaho, the city would develop and build a fiber optic network that would connect every home in the municipality.  Then, would-be internet providers would use that network to supply the service to their customers.

Having a municipal fiber optic network accomplishes two things that improve services for customers:  (1) the municipal network would be designed to offer high speed internet connections for everyone - leveling the potential field.  (2) the established network would eliminate the need for providers to charge for maintenance and upkeep on their system (i.e. the wired connections would already be in place).

Proponents of a municipally-owned network cite the growing need for high speed internet - both personally and in business.  As our economy drifts towards commerce that depends on a high speed connection, it has become less of a "want" and more of a "necessity".