San Francisco has proposed a $1.9-billion project to build its own high-speed network to provide Internet access to more than 100,000 residents who lack home connectivity.
The plan would grant poorer San Franciscans free or discounted network access, while affluent residents could buy up to gigabit speeds at competitive prices.
The effort hinges on whether local policymakers can classify high-speed Internet as an essential service instead of a luxury.
Advocates believe universally reduced broadband costs benefit everyone by stoking competition and helping low-income residents access job opportunities, education, and city services.
Internet service providers and some city officials think more pressing projects, such as sheltering the homeless, deserve more priority. However, supporters such as the Brookings Institution's Adie Tomer contend a dearth of Internet connectivity is a common problem for tens of millions of urban dwellers, as well as for rural Americans.
From The Washington Post
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