Fiber For Our Future supporting Tri-City Broadband for Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles, Illinois

Citizens of Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles Illinois
in support of Municipal Broadband
for our Communities

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Published in the Daily Herald, March 13, 2003

Support Geneva's bid for broadband service
By now, Tri-Cities citizens and businesses are aware of the broadband utility referendums on the April 1 ballot.

These referendums would allow the respective city governments to jointly provide a fiber optic broadband network utility offering telephone, cable television and Internet access services. We are asking our fellow Geneva residents to vote "yes" on all three referendum questions.

Over the last 10 years living in Geneva, we have had to put up with the bad, or lack thereof, service and the many cost increases with SBC (formerly Ameritech and Illinois Bell), Comcast (formally AT&T Broadband, which purchased Jones Cable), and Earthlink and many Internet providers that have come and gone. Costs have gone up and what we receive in return has gone down.

When we moved here, we paid around $22 for expanded basic and two premium channels. Now we pay $40, only have extended basic, no premium channels, and the service is a joke among friends and neighbors.

Expanded basic service in Geneva offers fewer channels than the expanded basic offered in Carol Stream, Glenview and Evanston, yet all three towns have the same cable provider. Cable modem Internet access is not available to Geneva residents, but they have been promised it for many years.

We are passionate on passing these referendum questions for many reasons: (1) this will bring fiber optic connection right to our doorsteps; (2) this new utility initially will be funded by general obligation bonds and later supported by user fees, not increased property taxes; (3) local customer service with real local accountability; (4) Geneva could provide one utility bill each month for all services -need to write only one check each month; (5) residents and businesses can elect to use any or none of the three services.

(6) Existing city staff members have experience in the installation and administration of an existing fiber optic broadband between the city offices and schools - they know what it takes to manage the utility effectively; (7) the Tri-Cities experience in supplying and servicing its residents and businesses with electrical power, which is nationally recognized and praised; (8) we were extremely offended by the two telephone surveys allegedly conducted by one or both of the telecommunication service providers; (9) we don't have to change our existing telephone numbers; (10) the utility could provide and maintain at least 45 new local jobs, which is important due to the current economic situation in Illinois (Illinois has the second-highest technology unemployment rate in the United States next to California).

(11) The addition of this utility will bring competition that might freeze or decrease the current provider fees; (12) the city could create a system to alert its residents and businesses in the event of an emergency or disaster; and (13) there are 50 other municipal-run broadband utilities in the country, and not one has failed.

We are impressed that the Tri-Cities city councils and staff members had the foresight to commit the time and the resources to research the viability of providing this 21st-century utility. We give our full support to the city of Geneva's government and staff. We believe they have done their homework and are looking out for the best interests of their residents and businesses.

Geneva voters, please vote "yes," "yes" and "yes" on April 1.

Bill and Jill Philmlee


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