(Photo by Flickr user Gavin St. Ours, used under a Creative Commons license)
There’s been a lot of talk about ensuring access to faster internet in Baltimore. Now, according to a group of community leaders in a Baltimore Sun op-ed, it’s time to do something about it.
From the Monday op-ed:
We should begin by creating an independent Broadband Authority to make real the goals articulated in these important reports. This means drafting a workable plan, budget and timeline for wiring the entire city. This means devising and hitting short-term, mid-term and long-range goals, with continuous transparency about how these goals will be financed. This means, most importantly, being responsive and accountable to the people of Baltimore.
The opinion piece, written by Robert W. Deutsch Foundation President Jane Brown, Abell Foundation President Robert Embry and Betamore CEO Jen Meyer, is a follow-up on the work of city government’s Smarter Baltimore task force.
The 27-member task force drafted two reports that outline recommendations for how Baltimore should improve access to technology, and identifies specific ways to improve the city’s existing broadband infrastructure.
The op-ed is a sign that leaders are beginning to get organized on this issue. Creating a Broadband Authority like the one advocated in the op-ed is one of the task force’s main recommendations. The op-ed acknowledges the investment will be “substantial” (though it does not lay out a dollar figure), but warns that the city’s infrastructure will decline if the technological improvements are not made.-30-
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