Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband

Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband

Roland J. Cole (Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, USA), Isabel A. Cole (Independent Analyst, USA) and Jennifer A. Kurtz (Independent Analyst, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-282-4.ch031
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Abstract

The key reason for including this chapter in this book is that the development of more advanced forms of e-government requires that residences have high-speed broadband. Without such connectivity, the advanced forms of service provision and exchange are simply not feasible. The potential benefit of delivering e-government services to entities outside government–in particular, individuals, households, or small organizations–is at least equal to the benefits that can be realized by performing governmentto- government processes electronically. Meeting citizen and small business expectations for efficiently performing electronic transactions over the Internet, however, depends on the design of the e-government application (which government can control), as well as the speed and throughput capacity of the digital communications connection (which government may influence but does not control). This chapter discusses issues surrounding municipal promotion of residential broadband, and the authors’ proposed resolution of such issues, along with suggestions for further research.
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Introduction

This book is about local e-government, and specifically about strategies for its adoption and implementation. So why would we include a chapter about residential broadband? In this context, “residential” includes households and small firms or organizations. “Broadband” means a high-speed connection between one or more residential computers and the network of computer networks called the Internet. Although some consider 200 kilobits per second (Kbps) in one direction “high-speed”, we discuss below why we think major opportunities start to occur when either download or upload speeds are in the millions of bits per second (Mbps). Additional further changes occur when the minimum speed in either direction is above 10 Mbps.

Of course much local e-government is internally directed: local government offices using computer technology to do their own work and to communicate with other local, state, or federal government offices. This is also referred to commonly as Government to Government (G2G). But e-government can also be external -- using computer technology to interact with nongovernmental organizations and individuals (Government to Business – G2B and Government to Consumers/Citizens – G2C).Federal and state governments have been practicing this G2B and G2C for years. Taxing authorities, for instance, have long accepted or even required electronic filing of reports from sufficiently large organizations. [Indiana Department of Revenue (2005)].

However, to use computer technology to deal with parties outside government requires that both the government agency and the outside parties involved have such technology, but many do not. Discussions about the digital divide highlight the lack of technology for lower-income individuals [Digital Communities (retrieved 2008)], and discussions of how the U.S. is falling behind in broadband tell us about the rest [Prestowitz (2006)]. In general the computer technology necessary to participate in e-government, (the computer, the connectivity, and the computer skill,) started in larger organizations and slowly migrated to smaller organizations and then to individuals.

So what, if anything, can local government do to help others obtain the computer connectivity needed to engage in local e-government exchanges? This chapter discusses potential strategies that a local government might use and provides some initial, exploratory data about the strategies actually used.

Note that this approach provides a somewhat different perspective from other studies of residential broadband. The other studies, for the most part, assume that the computer connectivity is primarily used for economic activities, such as telecommuting, or for extending choices available for video or audio entertainment. The idea is that developments in computer technology enable and are required for “faster, better, cheaper” choices in those areas. Along those lines, several studies show that houses with broadband connections often sell for several thousand dollars more than houses without such connections [Kohler (2007), Meis (2007)].

Another group of studies expresses the hope that “a thousand flowers will bloom” in the sense that there will be a significant amount of small-office and home-based economic activity that would not exist in the absence of computer connectivity [Crandall et al. 8 (2007); Horrigan 19 (2006); Public Knowledge 2 (2005); Telecommunications Industry Association 6 (2003)]. The proponents envision residences and small offices as both consumers of such new activity and producers of it.

Only secondarily do these studies begin to suggest the local e-government activities (and other social, rather than economic, activities) that expanded connectivity might facilitate. The two mentioned most often are education and health care. As with radio and TV before, at least some commentators hope that computer connectivity will vastly improve the education of children and adults, and others hope that it will vastly improve health and health care [Shapiro 22-25 (2006)].

The proponents of municipal wireless connectivity have been most vocal about these added social benefits. Along with proposing wireless as an alternative to signals sent into homes via copper wire or coaxial cable (or even strands of optical fiber), they have touted it as an aid to first-responders and other front-line workers such as building inspectors. They even mention, although less often, uses such as remote monitoring and smart metering [Shapiro 19 (2006), Lehr et al. 24 (2004)].

Key Terms in this Chapter

Broadband: High-speed computer connectivity between a given point and the Internet, which is the network of networks that connects computers all over the world. The FCC has defined “high-speed” as 200 Kbps in any one direction, but we suggest one really needs at least 10 Mbps in both directions. (See discussion of Mbps below.)

Open vs Closed Network: An open network allows a variety of entities to provide service on a reasonably equal basis versus each other and the network operator. A closed network is one that sets aside a great deal of the network capacity for a limited set of providers, usually but not always limited to the network provider. Cable networks, for instance, use the vast majority for video services that they provide, and only a small portion for data services that may operate with little or no involvement by the cable operator.

Active vs Passive Network: Active networks are those that have enough electronics in the field, either at the end-user end of the connection or in the middle to support the Ethernet protocol with equal upload and download speeds for transmitting signals. Passive networks have far fewer electronics in the field and usually have far lower upload than download speeds.

Bundled vs Separate Services: Services sold in groups, or with a lower price if grouped are said to be bundled. Those sold alone are said to be separate. A common bundle is the “triple-play” of voice services, video services, and data exchange. Voice services themselves may be bundled, as when local and long distance are combined, or local service is combined with a variety of “features” such as voicemail and caller identification.

Residential: In the context of this chapter, residential refers to places where individuals and households live and also to places where small entities, such as small firms and small churches, operate. The chapter has a particular interest in places where lower-income individuals and households live.

External E-Government: The term e-government can refer to all uses of information and computer technology by a government or it can refer to the use of computer technology to communicate and conduct transactions with individuals and entities outside the government. To make clear we are using the second, narrower definition, we call it external e-government.

Mbps: The term means megabits per second (similar to Kbps for kilobits per second) and is a measure of how much data can be transmitted from one computer to another in a given period of time. Upload Mbps are from the residential site (see below) to the next node in the system; download Mbps are from the node to the residential site.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
G. David Garson
Preface
Christopher G. Reddick
Acknowledgment
Christopher G. Reddick
Chapter 1
Vishanth Weerakkody, Gurjit Dhillon
Most public services are overly complex, and separate where citizens have no choice in the service that they receive. All too often, Information and... Sample PDF
Moving from E-Government to T-Government: A Study of Process Reengineering Challenges in a UK Local Authority Context
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Chapter 2
Tino Schuppan
This chapter addresses the link between e-government, organizational networks related to it, and the possibilities for structural reform of... Sample PDF
Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany
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Chapter 3
Stephen King
This chapter describes a journey through e-enabled local public services. We start with the familiar local government Web site and contact centre... Sample PDF
Innovation and Citizen-Centric Local E-Government
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Chapter 4
Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira
This chapter shares experience on aspects related to the methodology and modeling of a framework of City E-Governance Readiness. We discuss Europe’s... Sample PDF
Assessing Local Readiness for City E-Governance in Europe
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Chapter 5
Mark Deakin
The chapter examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization’s e-Learning platform, knowledge... Sample PDF
The IntelCities Community of Practice: The eGov Services Model for Socially Inclusive and Participatory Urban Regeneration Programs
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Chapter 6
Sarah Cotterill
In the United Kingdom and throughout the world there is increasing emphasis on public sector organizations working together in local partnerships.... Sample PDF
Local E-Government Partnerships
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Chapter 7
Ian McLoughlin
In the United Kingdom, major investments have been made in e-government in order to modernize government and improve the efficiency and quality of... Sample PDF
Towards Digital Governance in UK Local Public Services?
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Chapter 8
Bryan Reece, Kim Andreasson
There has been considerable attention given to the issue of unrepresentative access; however, research to date has focused on individual level... Sample PDF
Institutional E-Government Development
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Chapter 9
Tina Jukic, Mateja Kunstelj, Mitja Decman, Mirko Vintar
In this chapter, 3 main aspects of municipal e-government in Slovenia are investigated thoroughly: supply, demand, and the view of municipal... Sample PDF
E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects
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Chapter 10
Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, Basilio Acerete, Sonia Royo
This work tries to assess to what extent e-government enables transparency, openness and, hence, accountability in public administrations. For this... Sample PDF
E-Government and Accountability in EU Local Governments
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Chapter 11
Stephen K. Aikins
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation Sample PDF
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation
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Chapter 12
Janita Stuart, Val Hooper
The uptake of Internet voting for local government elections is still in its infancy worldwide. While it holds many potential benefits, there are... Sample PDF
Sociological Factors Influencing Internet Voting
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Chapter 13
Sonja Knapp, Yun Chen, Andy Hamilton, Volker Coors
Urban Planning is a multi-disciplinary process. Social-economic, environmental and natural resources issues need to be considered to ensure urban... Sample PDF
An ePlanning Case Study in Stuttgart Using OPPA 3D
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Chapter 14
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Maria Manta Conroy
Municipalities often struggle to provide citizen participation opportunities that are informative and engaging. E-government tools hold the... Sample PDF
Local Government Experiences with ICT for Participation
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Chapter 15
Michael J. Jensen
This chapter analyzes the “impact” of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on local government officials’ policy decision-making.... Sample PDF
Electronic Democracy and Citizen Influence in Government
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Chapter 16
Yu-Che Chen, Ashley Dorsey
To meet the current and future senior citizens’ demand for e-government, local governments will need to have a better understanding of their needs.... Sample PDF
E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens
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Chapter 17
Don-yun Chen, Tong-yi Huang, Naiyi Hsiao, Tze-Luen Lin, Chung-Pin Lee
This chapter introduces a case of e-deliberation in Taiwan. Democratic deepening can be achieved by the application of information and communication... Sample PDF
Experimental E-Deliberation in Taiwan: A Comparison of Online and Face-to-Face Citizens' Conferences in Beitou, Taipei
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Chapter 18
Greg Streib, Ignacio Navarro
The development of e-government has attracted considerable scholarly interest in recent years, but relatively little has been written about the... Sample PDF
City Managers and E-Government Development: Assessing Technology Literacy and Leadership Needs
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Chapter 19
Zhenyu Huang
This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of the 3,099 U.S. counties’ adoption and diffusion of e-government and the functions provided by... Sample PDF
U.S. Counties' Efforts and Results: An Empirical Research on Local Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government
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Chapter 20
Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Erin L. Borry
Government websites are quickly becoming the first point of contact for citizens and visitors seeking information. Local government websites’... Sample PDF
Transparency and Local Government Websites
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Chapter 21
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on the results of an international survey of municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance... Sample PDF
E-Governance and Quality of Life: Associating Municipal E-Governance with Quality of Life Worldwide
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Chapter 22
Mete Yildiz
This chapter presents an analysis of local e-government adoption and implementation in Turkey. To this end, academic articles, various laws, and... Sample PDF
An Overview of Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation in Turkey
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Chapter 23
Bekir Parlak, Zahid Sobaci
This chapter aims to evaluate the e-government practices in metropolitan municipalities in Turkey by determining functionality levels of... Sample PDF
The Functionality of Website-Based Services of Metropolitan Municipalities in Turkey
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Chapter 24
Patrizia Lombardi, Ian Cooper, Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, Mark Deakin
Harnessing ICTs effectively is one of the main vehicles for achieving the EU’s 2010 strategy to become the most competitive digital knowledge-based... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Designing User-Centric E-Services: European Dimensions
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Chapter 25
Raoul J. Freeman
This chapter reviews various strategic frameworks for e-government which include goals and objectives. Among typical goals are the following... Sample PDF
Goals Measurement and Evaluation of E-Gov Projects
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Chapter 26
Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Tommi Inkinen
Finland is among the leading information societies. The national information society strategy aims to make the information society accessible by... Sample PDF
E-Governance and the Information Society in Periphery
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Chapter 27
Sean M. Bossinger
Free, libre, or open source software (FLOSS) offers the promise of cost-free, modifiable, high-quality software, for a multitude of tasks (e.g.... Sample PDF
Open Source Software Use in Local Governments
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Chapter 28
Mark Cassell
This chapter examines empirically, the intended and unintended consequences that occur when a local government chooses to migrate away from a... Sample PDF
When Local Governments Choose Open Source Technology
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Chapter 29
The Wireless City  (pages 554-568)
Sukumar Ganapati, Christian F. Schoepp
In this chapter, we explore the evolution of wireless broadband networks in cities. We examine the technological alternatives for city-wide... Sample PDF
The Wireless City
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Chapter 30
Paul M.A. Baker, Avonne Bell, Nathan W. Moon
This chapter presents the results of an examination of the current state of U.S. municipal wireless network design and policies with regards to... Sample PDF
Accessibility Issues in Municipal Wireless Networks
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Chapter 31
Roland J. Cole, Isabel A. Cole, Jennifer A. Kurtz
The key reason for including this chapter in this book is that the development of more advanced forms of e-government requires that residences have... Sample PDF
Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband
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Chapter 32
Jenni Viitanen, Richard Kingston
This chapter will discuss the implications of the network society paradigm for e-government and the role of ICTs in the regeneration of urban... Sample PDF
The Role of Public Participation GIS in Local Service Delivery
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Chapter 33
Terry Murphy
Geographical Information System (GIS) technology applications for use in the field of economic development are relatively new. Local economic... Sample PDF
GIS: Changing the Economic Development World
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Chapter 34
Paul T. Jaeger
Many residents and local communities rely on public libraries for access to and training to use e-government. Many local governments direct citizens... Sample PDF
Public Libraries and Local E-Government
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Chapter 35
Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, M. Themistocleous
Literature indicates that Local Government Authorities (LGAs) have problems in meeting citizens’ demands. This may be attributed to the limitations... Sample PDF
Investigating Enterprise Application Integration Adoption in the Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 36
Jeffrey Roy
This chapter will compare the emergence of e-government in Denmark and Canada with a particular emphasis on the municipal and inter-governmental... Sample PDF
Enterprise Application Integration; Healthcare Organizations; Information Technology ; Large Organizations; Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 37
Genie N.L. Stowers
This case describes the case of a small California city, San Carlos, a continued early adopter in the e-government areas. The chapter asks the... Sample PDF
The Little City That Could: The Case of San Carlos, California
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Chapter 38
Howard A. Frank
ActiveStrategy’s performance management application deploys the widely utilized Balanced Scorecard framework in a dashboard platform designed to... Sample PDF
Implementing ActiveStrategy in Miami-Dade County
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Chapter 39
Greta Nasi
The purpose of this chapter is to assess the current status and level of technology in providing on line services among larger Italian... Sample PDF
E-Government and Local Service Delivery: The Case of Italian Local Governments
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Chapter 40
Andreas Ask, Mathias Hatakka, Åke Grönlund
This chapter discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving... Sample PDF
The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
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Chapter 41
Ik Jae Chung
As a nationwide e-government project in South Korea, the Information Network Village project was launched in 2001. It was designed to increase... Sample PDF
Toward E-Government Sustainability: The Information Network Village Project in South Korea
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Chapter 42
Samiaji Sarosa, Jenjang Sri Lestari
This chapter examined the state of Jogjakarta’s local governments Web sites (i.e, Bantul, Sleman, Kulon Progo, City of Jogjakarta and The Special... Sample PDF
The Level and Impact of Web Based E-Government Adoption: The Case of Jogjakarta's Local Governments
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Chapter 43
Maniam Kaliannan, Hazman Shah Abdullah, Murali Raman
Despite the many quarrels and complaints about the quality of local government in Malaysia, it continues to be an important part of the overall... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Malaysia: An Empirical Investigation
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Chapter 44
Sam Lubbe, Shawren Singh
This chapter explores the issues of the interface between Information Systems (IS) and society. We investigate IS and users of these systems at a... Sample PDF
From Conception to Demise: Implications for Users of Information Systems in Changing a Local Parastatal Educational Institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Chapter 45
José Rodrigues Filho, João Rodrigues dos Santos Junior
E-government has the potential to enhance democracy and transparency, increasing opportunities for citizen interaction. Literature has given many... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Brazil: Poor Interaction and Local Politics as Usual
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Chapter 46
R. K. Mitra, M. P. Gupta, G. P. Sahu
While Information Technology (IT) is being embraced by various wings of the government, the police in India have however, been slow to adopt IT. The... Sample PDF
Indian Police E-Government System: A Study of Provincial Police
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Chapter 47
Arla Juntunen
There are still only few studies of the cooperation and collaboration of the governmental agencies and local authorities. This chapter presents a... Sample PDF
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