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Davenport Looks To Become More Digital

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     The city of Davenport could be jumping on the broadband bandwagon. More and more cities are offering Internet capabilities as a utility.  It's something the Davenport already taps into internally.

     Davenport sits right on top of the cross-country fiber optic network carrying the Internet making for very fast web capabilities. A lot of city vehicles already have their own wireless connections for example, but the idea now is to share these capabilities with the public.

     One idea is to provide a low speed of wireless Internet to the whole city for free, then sell higher speeds to people and companies needing more connectivity. It could be new revenue stream for Davenport and some think it would be a draw for people and businesses.

    "Offering a certain level of free Internet access is very important and I think if somebody is going to make money on it it should be the people who set up the infrastructure, the city and taxpayers should benefit that versus a private entity," said Joe Erenberger a business owner and landlord.

     "Davenport back in the day was the center of innovation. With this type of broadband capacity we might be that again," said Alderman Bill Boom.

    The city has been laying miles and miles of its own fiber optic cable any time a street is opened up. It's in the preliminary stages but officials are working with a consultant to draft new digital policies for council to consider. They'll have to study costs and what it's going to take to make all the connections for public access.

     Some city officials and staff will attend a broadband summit in Austin, Texas the first week in April to learn how other cities have been implementing services like this.

 

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