City considering public broad band network

The City of Spokane is thinking about getting into the internet business, and it could mean a drop in your bill, or even faster internet service.

Right now, planning is in the very early stages, so the City isn’t sure how many people would be affected or how much an internet bill would cost.

But city lawmakers approved a group to explore what it would take to help many residents cut the cord with private internet companies, by using fiber optic cables that already exist and are owned by the City and offering those up for private providers to use.

City Councilman Breean Beggs says similar moves in cities in Idaho with public investments in fiber lines have led to price savings for consumers.

But critics say the City has enough to do already.

“The time it would take to build it out, you might be rolling out technology that is already outdated,” said Michael Cathcart, Executive Director of Better Spokane.

Everyone agrees, though, that promoting more low cost internet options should be a city goal.