We are citizens comprising Citizens for Heights Municipal Broadband (CHMB). Together with many residents and business owners, we envision Cleveland Heights constructing a new utility, a publicly owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) connecting fiber Internet to 100% of Cleveland Heights residents, businesses, and municipal services.
By introducing competition into local monopolies and duopolies currently held by for-profit ISPs, we support a utility that builds equity for our city. Therefore, we believe in an operation that is cost competitive, accessible, and revenue neutral – including prohibition for use of revenues to fund other city initiatives.
We are disturbed by the constant erosion of electronic freedom. For this reason and by foundation, we reject organizational designs that adopt anti-privacy and anti-net neutrality tools, methodologies, and management philosophies.
6/4/2018: CHMB presents Draft Legislation (PDF) to Cleveland Heights City Council (6/4/2018), along with a request to consider funding a needs assessment and feasibility study. With the support of City Council, the cost estimate of $50,000-$85,000 will be funded in full or in part using the city’s Local Programming Fund. This is exciting news to us, as it means Cleveland Heights citizens’ tax revenue could potentially be partly, or even fully shielded from use of funding the study.
8/2/2019: CHMB and city designees craft and publish the following RFP.
1/22/2020: CHMB and City Manager agree upon top 3 vendors.
5/28/2020: City Manager halts project due to city’s COVID-19 response strategy.
12/20/2020: CHMB and city resume discussions.
What Will Be In The Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study?
Who will determine feasibility?
The goal of the study it to inform citizens by providing data about demand, and technical, operational, and fiscal impact. The report does not decide feasibility in and of itself, as it intends to be a data tool for citizens. These data will help citizens decide feasibility of implementing a municipal broadband ISP utility.
CHMB intends the act of implementing Municipal Broadband as a decision by voters at the ballot box.
Why Revenue Neutral?
By removing non-utility related profit motive, a revenue neutral municipal broadband service:
- May result in lowering ISP subscription fees for customers. For instance, excess revenue, after operating costs, offset by lowering subscription prices.
- Prioritizes maintenance of the utility’s architecture. Furthermore, prohibits funding and bail-out of other municipal costs.
- Provides equitable internet access for everyone in our community in support of the following:
- Distance leaning.
- Telecommuting jobs.
- Public Wi-Fi.
- As a result of removing profit motivations, helps safeguard privacy and internet neutrality.
These benefits may indirectly support:
- Attracting new businesses and strengthening existing ones.
- Attracting and retaining residents.
- Supporting principles of a free and democratic society.
- Use by public services, such as the school system, the library system, and police and fire departments.
Who Else is Doing This?
Similarly, there are many successful examples in other municipalities that attract support from residents and businesses:
- Fairlawn, OH (2017)
- Hudson, OH (2016)
- Cedar Falls, IA (1996)
- Danville, VA (2004)
- Chattanooga, TN (2010)
How Can I Help?
- Learn more about similar studies, such as the studies conducted by Shaker Heights and Hudson.
- Consider sending a friendly email to Cleveland Heights City Council in support of this initiative: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share this website with friends and neighbors.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Contact us by using the form below, expressing your opinions and ideas about this project.