Bridging the Digital Divide with Municipal Fiber Networks: Discussion and Recommendations

November 7, 2023
Trevor Odelberg

Municipalities across the U.S. have begun to play a bigger role in providing internet access by implementing their own fiber internet networks. Fiber internet networks offer customers and operators faster speeds, lower costs, and increased reliability compared with other forms of internet service. Municipal fiber networks increase access to the internet for those who currently do not have broadband and can be an effective tool in bridging the digital divide. In what follows, we investigate the benefits of fiber networks and show that fiber access can improve equity, economic, educational, and healthcare outcomes for a community. We conclude with recommendations for communities looking to adopt their own municipal fiber network.

By: Trevor Odelberg, Ph.D. Candidate, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Community Partner: Detroit Office of Digital Equity and Inclusion (DEI)