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City Broadband in Provo UT and Beyond.

Fiber Optic cables

Municipal broadband refers to using fiber optics to provide high speed internet service within a single municipality.

The United States has the largest number of cities with roughly 130 communities connected via fiber (and several dozen others that use wireless).

A partial list of communities with municipal fiber include:

  • Burbank CA
  • Clarksville TN
  • Cedar Falls IA
  • Evanston IL|
  • Powell WY
  • Springfield MO
  • Chattanooga TN
  • Chicago IL
  • Glenwood Springs CO
  • Provo UT
  • Lafayette LA
  • Reedsburg WI
  • Seattle WA
  • Taunton MA
  • Utopia (various cities in Utah)

One of the primary advantages of laying fiber to an urban area is that it allows for a certain economy of scale when it comes to delivering service. Similar to the concept of the carrier hotel urban areas allow a fiber provider to deliver service to a large population in a fairly small area.

The other advantage is speed. Fiber optics allows for internet speeds that are 10 to 150 times faster than those generally offered by internet service providers. Hate buffering on Youtube? This kinda speed allows you to not only stream high definition video, it also allows you to upload your entire hard drive to an online backup service in only a few hours.

Municipal fiber is also commonly seen as a means of attracting high income earners as residents as well as tech companies looking for well connected communities. The younger demographic that grew up around internet access increasingly views high speed internet access as a major contributing factor towards where they decide to live.

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