San Leandro is a model for the country, says FCC chair Genachowski


“It’s a wonderful thing that San Leandro is doing here, and OSIsoft and Lit San Leandro,” said Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski. “You join a small but important number of communities that share your vision.”

He was delivering a keynote speech at an event last Wednesday celebrating Lit San Leandro and the partnership with the City of San Leandro that made it possible. The video from that event has been posted. You can watch the entire program here. His speech is right here:.

Fiber optic infrastructure and wireless spectrum is the way to win “the global bandwidth race” that Genachowski thinks will determine the economic winners and losers of the future. He said there’s been a big change in the percentage of the country that has access to networks that offer service of at least 100 Mbps, growing from 20% to 80% in the past four years.

“We need the U.S. to have a critical mass of business and residential subscribers for super fast Internet, one gigabit Internet,” he said. “One gig or multi-gig networks will lead to innovation that we can’t even imagine. If we build fast networks innovation will come.”

He urged local communities to adopt best broadband practices, such as “dig once” policies, where fiber optic lines are installed any time a trench is dug, for water or electric lines or any other reason. No surprise, San Leandro is already on track to do that.

“This is a model for the country,” Genachowski told San Leandro leaders. “It’s so rewarding to me personally to see what we saw here today.”

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.