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Councilman Nirenberg Seeking Policies To Expedite Private Sector Broadband

Ron Nirenberg for City Council District 8 Facebook Page

The federal government is flexing its muscles to expand broadband access across the country. Locally, city council members are busy working on policies to expedite the broadband options in San Antonio.

Google Fiber and AT&T are two of the private sector options that may put San Antonio on the broadband map to connect residents to super fast internet speeds.

But District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg believes the city should adopt a comprehensive policy that would make an environment conducive to private broadband deployment. City council members voted previously to allow the private sector the ability to place fiber huts -- the distribution centers for the broadband -- at city-owned facilities.

But Nirenberg wants a unified strategy to expand broadband for everyone.

"Access to information is access to opportunity, and access to opportunity is the bedrock of our economy," Nirenberg said.

Nirenberg's office is seeking input from city staff members to make recommendations to make sure the broadband access is secured for the future of San Antonio.

Mobile data is also included in Nirenberg's plan. He said he recognizes the importance cell phones and tablets in business and education.

"[It's] a huge priority for us to become a 21st century economy the way we have always envisioned it," Nirenberg said.

The other connection city council is working is the San Antonio Area Broadband Network (SAABN), the municipally-owned fiber line that would connect hospitals and universities for research and data sharing.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.