On Boston: “Boston is home to world-renowned academic and medical institutions and important technology companies that rely on broadband internet to educate, heal and innovate. We see continued improvement in broadband speed and affordability as an essential element to driving growth and creating economic opportunity for the people of Boston.”
On Next Century Cities: “We are joining Next Century Cities to share knowledge and help develop tools that can advance the state of broadband in Boston and cities around the country.”
What Boston is working on: The City of Boston, incorporated as a town in 1630 and as a city in 1822, is the largest city in Massachusetts and the capital of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Boston is home to about 620,000 residents and as the economic hub of New England, Boston is a center for professional, financial, higher educational and medical services, and the focal point of tourist and convention travel in New England. These industry sectors demand access to broadband to grow and succeed in their respective fields and their customers expect nothing less. Affordable broadband is critical to economic development, quality of life, and opportunity for the residents and small businesses in our City.
The City of Boston actively advocates for broadband investment and video competition throughout our city and particularly in under-served and lower-income neighborhoods. We encourage the introduction of new technologies and competition through innovative policies and investments. For example:
- The City invests over $9 million annually in the city’s fiber network to support broadband for use by constituent services and our public schools and plans to invest an additional $10 million over the next five years in fiber expansion to connect even more of the city’s public buildings including its schools.
- The City developed informal and expedited franchising processes. In Boston, we renew, transfer, amend and dissolve franchises, quickly, as the situation(s) warrant, in order to be responsive to changes in law, regulation and/or market conditions.
- Boston has taken the lead in piloting an affordable wireless solution for our residents through the Boston Wicked Wi-Fi Project. Public Wi-Fi has been rolled out in many of Boston’s parks, schools, and downtown locations. The city’s fiber network is supporting the internet connection in public areas.
- The City streamlined access for broadband and wireless telecommunications businesses seeking to provide services to Boston’s residents and businesses, establishing a single point of entry for telecommunications services applicants.
- Boston has negotiated agreements with providers such as Comcast, RCN, Crown Castle, American Tower and Extenet in order to introduce some measure of competition and new technologies in wired and wireless communications.
- Boston engaged in aggressive Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) initiatives through programs including Technology Goes Home Readiness (OLLR) to reach schoolchildren and families in need of technical skills and training. TGH also provides online training to small businesses in under-served neighborhoods and new immigrants.
Collectively, all of these efforts are designed to provide our citizens, neighborhoods and businesses with the broadband and training resources necessary to succeed in a digital economy.