Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu
The digital divide issue in Bristol is real. There are several families that do not have Internet access at home. This prevents these households from being part of the new digital society. This presents an inequity in our community and our hope is to deal with that inequity with this fiber project.
What Bristol is working on
The City of Bristol has had a city-owned fiber network connecting all the city and school facilities for about 10 years now. Last year, City leaders approved a request by the Information Technology Department to start exploring whether the community would be open to building a community-owned fiber network to all properties and then allowing multiple ISPs to offer services using that infrastructure. We feel that this type of network should be considered an essential utility going forward. Our hope is to be able to design and build a community owned fiber network that would connect all homes and businesses in the City. As we have seen in other cities, these types of networks can provide more bandwidth at lower costs. We are also excited to see the economic development advantages this type of network would bring.