According to a study performed by Columbia Telecommunications Corp., an outside consultant, a proposed government-owned broadband network is Seattle would cost between $480 million and $665 million to build. The report, which cost city taxpayers $180,000 to complete, was released yesterday.
The multi-million estimate is too costly for some Seattle officials, who also argue the city’s decision last fall to reduce regulatory barriers to private investment is already working.
Seattle is at a crossroads. As the Coalition for the New Economy reported previously, a government-commissioned study there revealed building a city-owned broadband network would cost up to $665 million. The report also outlined how difficult it would be for the network to make ends meet, much less make a profit.
In the wake of the report, advocates for government-owned networks have made it clear that cost, and the taxpayer risk and other funding priorities that would be put in jeopardy, is no worry for them.