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Municipal broadband. Ammon, Idaho leads the way

The small town of Ammon, Idaho needed broadband. Rather than going with big cable or big telco, they did it themselves. They used existing budgets for water, school, fire, and other municipal services to build the grid then – and here’s the really innovative part – they sell excess capacity to locals. It makes a profit. Thus,the city gets badly needed broadband for its departments for no monthly fee, and citizens and businesses get fast, cheap internet.

Everyone wins. And they allow people to sign up for whatever service they want. Anyone can offer service, it’s open. The city virtualizes the internet. This allows users to change service providers in five seconds. It also allows gunshot sensors in schools to instantly notify cameras near the gunshots, which monitor what happens and it notifies police. This happens in seconds.

“We talk with Ammon’s Mayor, local residents, private businesses, and the city’s technology director to understand why a small conservative city decided to build its own network and then open it to the entire community. We explain how they financed it and even scratch the surface of how software-defined networking brought the future of Internet services to Ammon before any larger metro regions.”