Outgoing City Councilmember Rasmussen Announces Opposition to Municipal Broadband Plan

Photo by Geralt.CC0/Public Domain.
Photo by Geralt.
CC0/Public Domain.

Mayor Murray’s proposal to increase Seattle’s broadband capacity by 2017 met with some resistance yesterday. In a somewhat unexpected reaction to Mayor Murray’s new broadband plan, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen voiced a firm protest. The plan, as proposed, would create an expansive fiber-optic system to bring speeds of up to 50 gigabytes per second to Seattle consumers, an attempt to be at least half as advanced as Santa Monica, CA.

Councilmember Rasmussen objected to the plan on moral grounds. The plan as written would serve every neighborhood except the Central District because no one could find the Central District on a recent map, despite Councilmember Bruce Harrell insisting that he had been there at least twice.

The problems seems to have been with the alphabet. The neighborhood service map had listed West Seattle below Wallingford on the service map.

“Everyone knows West Seattle comes first,” Mr. Rasmussen insisted. Councilmember Jean Godden had woken up just long enough to hear Mr. Rasmussen’s objection and reassured him that the quality of service across the city would be the same and that alphabetically the letter E did in fact follow the letter A.

“Then fuck it,” said Mr. Rasmussen. “I vote no.”

Fortunately, the network is not likely to be built anyway. Comcast has filed a lawsuit alleging that any competition to them is unfair, whether from the city or another company. The case is likely to be decided in their favor by the judge, to whom Comcast donated $100,000 in the last election, plus bonuses for performance.

Nick Licata was fishing at the time and could not be reached for gossip about Sally Bagshaw’s karaoke rendition of “My Humps.”

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