Case Western Reserve University is stepping to the head of the line in research on the effect super-speed internet will have on communities. This project has been in the works long before Google dangled “Google fiber” out there and Dayton responded with the www.averageandawesome.com website (where if you haven’t registered- please do).
From the Cleveland.com site:
Case has been working on its project for years, Gonick said. Plans were finalized early this year, when Case applied for $26 million in stimulus grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The request for federal funds was turned down, but Gonick said the university decided to go ahead with corporate and foundation funding as well as in-kind support from technology companies, such as Cisco Systems and Corning Cable Systems.
The fiber-optic network connections will be offered through OneCommunity, the Cleveland-based non-profit broadband provider that already provides gigabit speed connections to hundreds of government offices, non-profit organizations, and hospitals across the region.
In the federal proposal, Case said it wanted to bring fiber connections to 25,000 people. But without federal support, the project will take things one neighborhood block at a time and secure funding as it goes along, Gonick said. The initiative still aims to reach several thousand in coming months and years, he said.
If local government is really interested in “economic development” and doing it fairly, projects like this that would make a lot more sense than pouring money into the pockets of one company- picking and choosing favorites and giving an unfair advantage to one company over another (like handing over $125K to BGH studios– or a no-bid contract to Real Art for Get Midwest or the Average and Awesome site).
If you need to see how a community that builds infrastructure to attract entrepreneurs you need to look at the tiny city of Bandon Oregon, which has put fiber into every home and business back in 2006.
Instead, we’re building tax subsidized office space (bricks and mortar) in a virtual world, while we’re incredibly overbuilt already (Tech Town). We’re providing subsidies for huge companies like Teradata and Cintas, that pay their executives millions, and limping along with slow internet for the rest of us.
Dayton has a fiber network in place running our traffic signals- it’s time to tap into what we have, to get what we need- for everyone.