What should Shreveport’s first 21st century neighborhood infrastructure look like? One important part of infrastruture for business competitivesness is fiber optic internet speed. Today if you subscribe to Comcast the speed is advertised as fast at 15 mbps and AT&T somewhere between 1.5 and 3 mbps. So how is that working for us? If that is the best that big coporate interests can provide at a high cost perhaps we should look for other strategies to obtain a better 21st century broadband infrastructure for Shreveport. To the south Lafayette is providing 100 mbps to its business and residents at much lower costs. Here is a digital divide committee report from Lafayette that describes the challenges and the strategies they pursued in improving the connectivity of their community.
Beyond Lafayette, let’s look to Chattanooga for even greater inspiration. EPB, a municipal electric power company, not a non-resident owned corporate utility, has installed fiber optic cabling to serve residents and business in a 600 square mile area with one gigabit per second internet speed. That is 600 times faster than the AT&T fastest speed currently available in Shreveport. Check out Chattanooga’s Innovation Culture to see how investing in connectivity is growing prosperity for this 170,000 population city.