A resolution submitted by Legislator Patrick B. Burke, representing Cheektowaga and Buffalo, was passed unanimously last Thursday by the Erie County Legislature. The resolution addressed many of the access and high price issues faced by families all across Erie County from rural to urban communities caused by the lack of competition in the broadband internet industry.
Citing the success of a large scale municipal broadband system that was created in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the resolution proposes that the Economic Development Committee take steps toward the implementation of such a system in Erie County. The broadband system in Tennessee was cited by many of that area’s manufacturers as a reason to invest in Chattanooga.
A broadband system in Erie County could act as a spur to internet price competition in the region. By reduce the operating costs of schools and other major institutions, allowing a cheaper alternative for start-up businesses, a County wide broadband system could serve as another regional asset for job growth. Revenue generated by the broadband system could also go toward reducing Erie County’s dependence on sales tax revenue.
Experts will be called to speak on the issue at future meetings of the Economic Development Committee when the Erie County Legislature comes back from recess in September.