sealrgb-wires-fixedCreating vibrant and successful urban environments requires infrastructure and access to services. We include access to the Internet as being critical in a 21st Century city.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission concluded a year-long fact-gathering and deliberation process by voting in favor of rules that preserve access to the Internet for all (net-neutrality), and to allow cities to choose to invest in infrastructure that delivers ubiquity in broadband services (municipal broadband).

These historic votes have been met with swift positive reaction from most quarters including City officials in Seattle.

“I applaud the FCC for passing the strongest net neutrality rules in Internet history, a vital decision for not only entrepreneurs, but for the future of our democracy. High-quality, high-speed Internet is essential to an open society and I thank the FCC for allowing municipalities to make local choices about how to increase competition for high-speed Internet that is appropriate for their cities.”

— Mayor Ed Murray


“This is a historic moment in preserving and protecting our right to a fast, inclusive and open Internet. The Internet is now a necessity, giving everyone a voice, access to education, and opportunity in our economy. Today’s ruling ensures a tech startup or a small business are able to compete on equal footing with larger companies by prohibiting paid prioritization and throttling of content and services.”

— Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee


“Although the decision of the FCC directly affects Tennessee and North Carolina, it sends a resounding message nationally that local choice is vital for next-generation Internet adoption. Local government knows the needs of our residents and businesses best and local officials are directly accountable to their constituents, which is why this decision is so important. It’s critical for communities to have the ability to choose the best way to provide high-quality Internet for its public. Competition benefits all members in a community and similar to any other market, high-speed broadband Internet is frequently better and cheaper when communities have choices about how that Internet service is provided. The City of Seattle commissioned a study in November to explore creation of a municipal broadband internet utility in Seattle. We look forward to receiving the results of this study in April.”

— Michael Mattmiller, Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer


There is great interest in the city to see ubiquitous service made available. Groups such as Upgrade Seattle are organizing to move our city in that direction including polling city council candidates on this subject.

Article Author
Charles Cooper

Charles grew up in the Seattle/Tacoma area and after a 15-year stint in Chicago and the Midwest is happy to again make his home in the Seattle area. After experiencing large scale integrated transit systems such as Chicago's CTA, he developed an interest in improving people's lives in cities. Charles is an occasional contributor to blogs such as Seattle Transit Blog and The Urbanist. He serves on the board of the Seattle Subway Foundation.