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Mayor Hamilton Provides Updates on Desired Citywide Fiber Broadband Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2016

For more information please contact:
Mary Catherine Carmichael, Communications Director, carmichm@bloomington.in.gov, 812-349-3406

Mayor Hamilton Provides Updates on Desired Citywide Fiber Broadband Network

Bloomington, Ind. - A citywide Gigabit speed fiber network for Bloomington is getting close to becoming a reality, according to Mayor John Hamilton. "We've been working on finding the best option for Bloomington that will include reasonably priced access to fiber broadband for every household and business, and that will help address the digital divide in our community. We've narrowed the potential partners down from the original twelve who responded to our request for information, and are in intensive and detailed negotiations with strong potential partners.

"I have been urging the importance of citywide fiber service for Bloomington, because I believe it is the 21st century equivalent of what electricity was 100 years ago. Gigabit broadband is growing in the U.S. and we need it here. It will be a key part of tomorrow's economy, healthcare, education, and entertainment; we will see virtual and augmented reality products and some new options we can't predict. If you can, remember back to dial-up internet service, and how when DSL and cable internet arrived, we could suddenly stream video and have online conversations with loved ones a world apart. Those options were hard to imagine when all we had was dial-up. The world is changing fast, and with fiber speeds 50 times greater than current services, applications and options that haven't even been developed yet will change our lives and the economy. The future will be a different world, and the time to prepare for it is now."

Mayor Hamilton announced on Tuesday that he believes that the City and the right partner are in a position to achieve the following five benchmarks for Bloomington's fiber service:

"Bloomington cannot afford to wait," said Mayor Hamilton. "With citywide fiber, Bloomington will be positioned as a competitive community in the gigabit age."

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Lynn Coyne commented, "High speed broadband access is an essential service if our local employers are to thrive and be competitive in a data- and technology-driven competitive environment."

Mayor Hamilton concluded, "Fiber connectivity has been proven to attract business, improve property values and make the communities that have it more attractive to anyone living there or looking to live there. It increases our quality of life. That's why we have strong local companies investing in fiber, neighborhood by neighborhood, business by business. I look forward in the weeks ahead to share additional information about our bright digital future as we take the next step and go city wide and open up access to additional providers."

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