JAMESTOWN – A survey gauging the public’s opinion regarding a city owned broadband network is now live.
The broadband network concept, first brought forward by Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist during his bid for office, would establish a municipally-owned fiber network in the city.
Over the past year, Sundquist says it has been difficult to get kids, and their parents alike, connected to the internet, a resource that he says is vital to the ever-growing digital world.
“We started to see parents, moms, who had one cell phone and that is how their kids got on Zoom,” said Sundquist. “Kids couldn’t go to class that day if they had more than one, because only one could use it.”
He says the push, which would be a first in the state system, would build out an infrastructure to provide fast and affordable internet plans to city residents.
“We’re looking at different models, one in which the city takes it all on, and another which the city takes on the infrastructure portion, continues to keep it running, gets the pipeline going, but lets private providers come in, bid and compete for the actual internet connection,” explained Sundquist.
That’s where Sundquist says the questionnaire comes in, to gauge what the public would want.
“It is very, very quick,” said Sundquist. “We are using that to help us finalize a feasibility study to determine, can we do this here, in the City of Jamestown.”
The survey, which contains eight questions, is posted online at jamestownfiber.com.
Prices and plans could, the Mayor says, range from a free lifeline service to high speed fiber internet connections for businesses like tech driven companies.