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What's Broadband? My Support for Municipal Broadband Initiatives

The Middlesex Second District is home to some of the most technologically innovative companies and individuals in the world. The current broadband infrastructure is not reflective of that innovative community. According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, less than half of our communities have access to fiber optic cable internet.

As Cambridge City Councillor I have been the leading proponent for a municipal broadband. I was responsible for both forming the Broadband Task Force with the goal of improving resident's access to broadband service. This includes developing a municipal fiber backbone throughout the city that can be used to support fiber optic residential cables. These residential cables would include expanding the fibers to public housing, access to fiber should not be restricted to the level of income or geographical location--everyone should have access.

In order to properly implement a broadband network that matches our groundbreaking innovation economy, we need support on the state level. A few years ago I was appointed by then Governor Patrick to the board of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC). The MTC is the state economic development agency responsible for the public fiber network we’ve been building in Western Massachusetts and the Cape Cod area.

In my time on the Collaborative, I've seen the power and positive impact fiber-based network can offer residents. Just recently I observed students video chat with other students from South Africa and China, all due to the power of fiber cables. Prior to fiber, the school's old cable based internet would not have been able to handle multiple video chats with other countries.

If elected, one of my top priorities will be to push for the state to further develop a statewide fiber optic network. As the only candidate for State Senator who not only can code but has also been a part of the innovation economy, I am in a unique position to understand the necessary elements needed to make a fiber-based network possible.

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