A Critical Council Meeting



I emailed our open letter to the new County Council on Sunday January 3rd. At that time we had 177 signatures. I followed up with a brief statement at their first meeting on Tuesday January 5th.

The County Council will discuss priorities for 2021 at their meeting on Tuesday January 12th.

Letters to the Council,, before that meeting will be particularly effective. I recommend explaining how better Los Alamos broadband would improve life in the County, eg, professional productivity, effectiveness of education, and social/family cohesion. As you write, remember the platitude about honey and vinegar. However, given social distancing rules, Ogden Nash’s thoughts on candy and liquor are not appropriate now.

Since some Councilors may suggest waiting years to address broadband until after CenturyLink strings a second fiber link across the Rio Grande for LANL, I recommend you tell the Council you want them to act now.

I will attend the meeting via zoom. I’ve attended such meetings in person in other years. It’s a good chance to see the Councilors talk about what they think is important.

Here is the statement that I made to the Council at their meeting January 5th:

Hello, My name is Andrew Fraser. I live at 197 Taos Street in Los Alamos.

On Sunday, I sent an open letter to the Council that has been signed by 175 residents of Los Alamos County asking you for help with broadband. Here are 3 key points in that letter:

1. We find both that our broadband connections are inadequate and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) available in the County offer various combinations of high prices, hostile customer service and low data rates.

2. We have poor ISP options because of failures at the federal
level. However, because Los Alamos County owns the poles and conduits that Century-Link, Xfinity, etc. use to deliver TV, telephone and Internet, we have an advantage over other communities in circumventing failures at the national level.

3. Council will be setting priorities at its Jan 12, 2021 meeting. At that meeting we ask that you establish broadband access in the County as a priority.

Now, as you investigate options, I suggest that you keep in mind that the error we’ve made in America is to treat broadband differently from other utilities and natural monopolies. It is neither regulated as a utility nor owned by the State (or in our case the County as the other utilities are here.) To address that failure, the Council should make sure that the County owns any infrastructure that would confer monopoly power over broadband communication in Los Alamos.

Thank you for your attention.

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