On Mount Vernon: ”City Hall is the closest and most connected body of governance to the American public, providing services and daily interaction with millions of Americans. Our sole mission is the well-being of our communities. Our modern world has created an essential need for access to the Internet as a basic service which is just as important as roads, utilities, and public safety services.”
On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities is a crucial step in advocating for the best interest of our citizens and ensuring the freedom of broadband based economic development, education, and commerce. We must support access as a fundamental piece of infrastructure, just an many other countries around the world have already accomplished.”
What Mount Vernon is working on: The City of Mount Vernon, Washington invested in a fiber optic infrastructure beginning in 1995 by partnering with local agencies and building an Institutional Network. This initial build out wisely included excess capacity, which provided businesses the chance of getting fiber optic services through licensed providers in 2002. Mount Vernon has designed the Fiber Network to be an Open Service Provider Network (OSPN) system allowing as many service providers as possible and feasible, facilitating fair and open competition.
The City’s fiber infrastructure is connected redundantly to a buried ring that links the entire Puget Sound extending to Vancouver, British Columbia to the north and to Seattle, Washington to the south. The Puget Sound ring is connected to multiple fiber rings in the state. With this capability and redundancy the City currently has nine providers that can offer data and voice solutions up to 1G at rates well below what the bigger urban areas can provide.
The City has also partnered regionally with other municipalities and economic drivers of Skagit County. Through these partnerships the City of Mount Vernon fiber optic infrastructure has allowed cost effective expansion to the neighboring City of Burlington and the highly successful commercial industries of the Port of Skagit County. The City has worked in partnership with Skagit Regional Health by connecting regional hospitals, medical clinics, and a regional “health information exchange.”