Redding Councilman Adam McElvain kept one of his campaign promises and floated the idea of bringing a fiber internet utility to Redding. NSPR's Kelly Frost has more.
McElvain wants to create a public internet utility that would bring speeds of up to 10 gigabites to the downtown core of Redding, where he says Google already has a high speed fiber conduit running along the railroad tracks. He explains that this is something that only the public sector, like the Redding Electric Utility can do.
"We own the utility poles, we own the right of way,” he said. “We have a lot of advantages from a public perspective to provide this at a much lower cost, we don't have to answer to shareholders. This is infrastructure and this is something the government has always done.”
McElvain envisions high-tech companies, hospitals and government being among those who would benefit, but councilmembers Francie Sullivan and Kristen Shreder raised concerns about what it would cost the city to build the system. They requested the McElvain do more research and come back in six months with a more detailed report, leaving supporters clamoring for higher internet speeds to wait a while longer.