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Mayor Hamilton Continues to Support Citywide Fiber Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2016

For more information, please contact:
Mary Catherine Carmichael, Communications Director, carmichm@bloomington.in.gov, 812-349-2489.

Mayor Hamilton Continues to Support Citywide Fiber Network

Bloomington, Ind. -
"It's a positive step that an existing traditional cable provider has recognized that Bloomington is a market long overdue for better internet service," said Mayor John Hamilton in response to news that Comcast plans to make faster services available to some in Bloomington. "Since we announced our intention to bring citywide fiber service to Bloomington, the private market has reacted. Several weeks ago Smithville Fiber responded with plans to offer faster service to select neighborhoods in town if enough people pre-paid deposits. This week Comcast responded by announcing new technology to improve the performance of their existing network.

"One of my major initiatives has been to bring 21st century fiber broadband to all of Bloomington. I believe our efforts are already prompting greater private investment here. Comcast appears to have accelerated its schedule for this upgrade so Bloomington will be one of the very first markets - out of only a couple dozen or so nationwide - to receive the upgrade, which would offer a benefit to some of our residents.

"Unfortunately, neither of the plans announced so far offers citywide Gigabit speed fiber, or open access. They either offer an upgrade of current technology, leaving out the fiber investment, or don't cover the entire city, leaving some neighborhoods behind. And as of yet there is no mention of price points in the Comcast announcement.

"I don't discount the value of private investments from existing providers that are helping Bloomington catch up from a lagging position in digital infrastructure. I'm glad competition is responding by investing in our outstanding city. Indeed, it would not be surprising if another existing provider announced plans for improvements in the near future. I continue to believe, however, that additional, better options await that will serve our community's widest, long-term interests," Hamilton concluded.

Mayor Hamilton's administration continues to negotiate with providers to bring a citywide Gigabit speed fiber network to Bloomington in 2017, and anticipates an announcement by the end of 2016.

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