Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sandy leading the internet way

Portland's farthest suburb to the east, Sandy, is going to offer its citizen the fastest internet speeds and the lowest price possible.

Check out this story from last summer in Portland's daily newspaper.

The city leaders have the foresight to make 100 mbps internet available to all citizens for $40 a month beginning later this year. You'll be able to download a high-definition movie in 4 minutes.

Plus, the city of Sandy is making it mandatory for new construction to be wired to the city's fiber-optic  system.

By contrast, BendBroadband, which has exclusive franchise rights in the city of Bend and elsewhere in Central Oregon, offers 8 mbps speed for $49.49 a month. It would take more than 70 minutes to download an HD movie.

Of course, BendBroadband does offer 60 mbps, but you'd have to pay $99.99 a month for that privilege.

Yes, you can get those services a little cheaper on BendBroadband, but you'd have to sign up for cable TV  and/or cable phone at additional costs.

The internet is evolving into the portal for all television. Instead of 50 or 500 channels, which you can't choose, you'll have access to untold number of channels that you choose.

What the city of Sandy is doing is showing how citywide high-speed internet, at an affordable price, will attract new businesses and citizens.

The internet is becoming as crucial to the economy as our roads are.

Plus, truly high-speed internet is a way to make telecommuting more cost-effective, which, in turn, could mean less vehicles using our roadways.

Highways are at least 100 times more expensive than high-speed internet.

The city of Sandy conducted a survey to see if residents wanted this service. According to the paper, one resident wrote, "I am so proud to be part of a city that is this forward thinking."

That's not something any citizen of Bend will be able to say about our fair city for quite some time.

I've long championed WiMax, which is widespread wireless high-speed internet, for Bend. The city already uses WiMax for communications. They paid for this when they sold property, which was confiscated during drug busts. So, that WiMax belongs to everyone in Bend.

It is up to Bend citizens to demand greater affordable access to the internet. It would benefit everyone who lives here and all those tourists who visit throughout the year.

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