Cleveland Council Hears Reports on Digital Inclusion
When it comes to home Internet access, Cleveland ranks third worst among large cities, according to a report from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.
Cleveland council members heard from about a dozen experts, at a joint committee meeting on digital inclusion.
Still the city faces special obstacles when it comes to bringing high-speed networks to its residents. A 2007 state law prevents municipalities from negotiating franchise agreements with telecomm companies. That means Cleveland can’t pressure major Internet providers to increase broadband speeds in the city.
Ward 14 councilmember Brian Cummins says Cleveland is looking at alternatives. One includes Chattanooga, Tenn., where a city-owned network transfers data as fast as 1 gigabit per second.
“In Chattanooga, they utilized their electric utility, which bonded money based on a revenue model where some of the higher users are able to subsidize the lower basic speed users. So like I said, there’s a lot of models out there,"
According to the Digital Inclusion Alliance report, which used statistics from the census, 31% of Cleveland’s households have no home Internet of any kind.