Help Us Bring Gigabit Fiber to Lawrence

Fiber Networks Are Community Infrastructure

The fiber-optic networks being built right now will be the railroads, super-highways, electrical grids and water systems of the future.

Like these other critical infrastructure systems, building state of the art fiber infrastructure is going to require involvement from the municipality. There is no way to build this type of infrastructure project without active support from the City.

We need your support to make this system a reality and to bring real broadband competition to Lawrence. Please consider emailing your city commissioners and asking them to support our proposal. The City Commission represents you, so let them know you support our proposal. Support from the City is key to making this project successful.

Helpful Facts

Other Cities are Moving Forward

While Lawrence has been evaluating Wicked Broadband's proposal, dozens of cities including Louisville Kentucky, College Station Texas and Longmont Colorado have moved forward with publicly subsidized broadband networks.

Other communities like Chatanooga Tennessee and Layfayette Louisiana have already built city wide networks at the taxpayer's expense.

Right here in Douglas County, even Baldwin City is looking at subsidizing a local fiber network with $5,000,000 in Industrial Revenue Bonds.

Google Recieved Subsidies for Google Fiber

When Google Fiber agreed to build a network in Kansas City they received free office space, cost guarantees on pole attachments, free co-location at city facilities and a number of other public incentives. In Provo Utah Google received $50 Million in public incentives in the form of a complete municipal fiber network.

Needless to say, we don't have the financial resources that Google has. In order to proceed here in Lawrence, we are going to need some similar concessions from the City of Lawrence.

We've asked the City of Lawrence for several items that will make it possible for us to build this gigabit network here in Lawrence. We aren't asking for $4,000,000 in subsidies like the Marriot hotel project at 9th & New Hampshire, $1.3 in new infrastructure like the Poehler Lofts at 8th & Delaware or $6,000,000 to build a parking garage like the Oread Inn at 12th & Oread.

What we are asking for is to keep the first $20,000 in franchise fees each year and for a one time $500,000 infrastructure grant to help get the ball rolling on the financial side of the project. Kris and I are matching these funds one-to-one to bring the total pilot project budget to $1 Million. We are also asking that the City clear up some regulatory issues we've had with our existing fiber lease(s), access to some existing unused (dark) fiber and some capacity on any new dark fiber the city installs in the next few years.

Additional Facts

1. The City recently commissioned a report from ctc technology & energy to study the local broadband market. The consultant's report came back with the conclusion that broadband offerings in Lawrence as "costlier, slower and more limited than in other comparable communities."

2. According to the City's consultant, "A number of studies show a significant positive effect on economic growth by the increase of broadband speeds". The City's consultant goes on to point out that in one study, GDP increased 0.3 % when broadband speeds double; and the effect is repeatable.

What does that mean? By bringing Internet speeds to the community that are 100x faster than the current product, there is the potential to increase the GDP of the target community by as much as 1.8%. Assuming a city wide roll-out, in Lawrence that would mean adding $61 Million to the local economy annually.

3. The pricing for this product has been set at a disruptive level, which will bring the cost-per-megabit down to a level that is in-line with international standards and with other communities in the United States that have built gigabit FTTP systems.

Did you know Wicked Broadband offered to give its network to the City?

Before Wicked Broadband submitted its Economic Development request, the company offered to gift the network to the City of Lawrence to be run in the interests of the public.

How to Help

Click Here to email your commissioners

Call Your Commissioners

Michael Dever (785) 550-4909
Mike Amyx (785) 843-3089
Jeremy Farmer (785) 691-9100
Terry Riordan (785) 842-1900
Bob Schumm (785) 842-6729

Send a Letter

City Commission
City of Lawrence
6 E 6th St
Lawrence, KS 66044

Dear Commissioners,