Access to high-speed, reliable internet is critical in the digital age.
Superior City Councilor Tylor Elm is hoping other councilors agrees it is essential infrastructure in the city.
Elm, co-owner of discoverpc.NET, has introduced a resolution that would declare fiber optic cabling for ultra-high-speed internet as critical infrastructure for the city.
“Fiber is as essential as water, sewer and electricity,” Elm said.
The resolution comes in advance of the first meeting of the Communications & Information Technology Committee later in August.
Working in the technology industry, Elm said he sees that access to affordable, high-speed internet is necessary to keep Superior competitive in a world where technology is changing all the time. He said people in some parts of the country can access 1 gigabyte speed service for about $50 per month, but the same speed locally can cost as much as $500 to $1,000 a month locally, which puts Superior at a disadvantage. He said getting that price point down could give the city an edge.
“Affordable, ultra-high-speed, reliable access to the internet is imperative for the success of the city of Superior businesses, residents, nonprofit organizations and visiting guests,” Elm said. “The internet is ever changing how humans communicate and interact with each other locally and abroad.”
In places that prioritize access to infrastructure like fiber optic as an essential service are surpassing areas that don’t in terms of social, economic and knowledge development and expansion, he said. He said by fiber optic a critical piece of the city’s infrastructure, it could create new opportunities for the city.
“We want to expand access to broadband,” said Mayor Jim Paine, who asked the Council to establish the Communications & Infrastructure Committee to guide not only the city’s broadening use of technology, but to guide policy in the public interest on the use of technology.
“The city of Superior must prioritize and welcome this infrastructure as an essential service, just as we have with water, sewer and electricity in past generations, to ensure our economic prosperity,” Elm said.
The Council considers Elm’s resolution when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, in Room 201 of the Government Center.