Beyond Big Cable

Lowell, Massachusetts to look into building municipal broadband:

LOWELL — How often do you shake your head as you look down at another rate hike from Comcast Xfinity?

City councilors would like to give residents another option, in the hopes of lowering prices and providing fast internet service.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, City Councilor Karen Cirillo proposed that the city manager have the proper department develop a plan to design and build Lowell’s own municipal broadband network.

She called it a very important infrastructure project.

“Now everyone relies on internet access — for work, for contacting people, for your TV, for everything,” Cirillo said.

Some municipalities have set up their own fiber networks, including Chattanooga, Tenn., said resident Ruth Potwin.

Cirillo encouraged the City Council and administration to follow that southern city’s lead.

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