Present to help break that ground along with Mayor Justin Wilson were Councilwoman Amy Jackson, Councilman John Taylor Chapman, Councilman Canek Aguirre, and the project team.
Councilwoman Jackson says, “This has been an ultimate goal of a very progressive Alexandria and so we are very excited to have that here today and start the ball rolling for something that we have been trying to implement for a while now.”
As part of a four-year, city-wide build, this new municipal broadband construction will replace the city’s current I-Net supported by Comcast, with an overbuilding infrastructure that will connect all city facilities, schools, and will be leasable to private providers.
“This is supporting the city’s infrastructure needs, as well as providing the opportunity for private partnership,” says Mayor Justin Wilson.
Broadband is now a basic necessity in daily life across the world; the pandemic forcing people to work from home and students to study from home, only underscored that necessity.
“I know personally how [broadband] has been a challenge,” states Councilwoman Jackson. “For the past eighteen months, we have been working from home; our kids on the iPads and computers, my husband downstairs, and then me. This will be beneficial to [the students] and, as we look at telecommuting options, people who might not be going back into the office.”
The construction will occur across the city, starting on Eisenhower Avenue. Throughout the four years it will take to finish this project, the city will be able to get individual sections online as they are completed.
Mayor Wilson concludes, “This is something that has been a long time coming. This is just basic infrastructure now, which is why it is so important. It will be a great step forward for the city, will help facilitate city purposes, will save money, and provide opportunity.”