Vint Cerf supports municipal broadband networks | Nancy Gohring | IDG News Service 5/12/08
Municipal broadband networks could help boost the availability of high-speed Internet access and even help to ensure Net neutrality in the U.S., said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google.
Some operators also talk about the capacity of the Internet backbone itself. "As for running out of capacity, we've barely touched the surface of the fiber capacity. We are far from having exhausted this capacity," he said.
Operators may simply not want to invest in their networks to bring higher bandwidth to users, he said. "That comes back to the municipal argument. Citizens that want the capacity should be able to decide among themselves to put the resources in place to get that kind of capacity," he said.
Some operators contend that municipal networks create competition between the government and private companies. "That's nonsense," Cerf said. Governments would contract with the private sector to build the network and maybe even operate it, he said, so the two would be partners. In Tacoma the city maintains the network, but other companies serve as ISPs (Internet service providers), selling access to end-users.