This site is just getting started, so stay tuned, but it’s the new home for information and conversations about broadband Internet services in Dublin, Ohio.
Whether it’s a fiber or copper cable or a wireless base station on a tower, the residents of Dublin need fast, reliable, and reasonably-priced Internet connectivity in homes and businesses citywide. Internet connectivity today hooks into every corner of our community: micro and macro economic development, education and lifelong learning, government operations, our daily communications, and yes, entertainment.
Resident conversations, initiated on Nextdoor in October 2015, were picked up by the City of Dublin, and over the course of several months turned into three different public events: two informal discussions in January and February 2016, a resident request to the City Council to allow City staff to pursue organization of additional conversations, and a larger public meeting in late April. Additional work has been proposed by the City in the coming weeks and months, potentially including a community-wide survey and conversations with the Department of Commerce at the State of Ohio.
While that’s all positive, the only resident-driven “organization” of discussion around this broadband topic has been the original 150+ comment message thread on Nextdoor, and a few private conversations following the City’s events.
City staff have made it clear any action around broadband must be driven by residents, not by the City’s professional staff. While staff have listened closely to residents, to date they’ve only had input from the relatively few people attending the two informal events and one promoted event. So what’s needed now is more organization and conversation within the resident community, especially outside the high walls of the Nextdoor social network.
Publishing this site and launching a focused email list are some proposed next steps for resident organization. What we need next are volunteers willing to spend a little time facilitating email conversations, blogging, gathering information, sharing ideas, and directly participating with the City of Dublin in future meetings.
Who Posted This?
While several people participated in conversations at the three public events and on the source Nextdoor posting, there’s not been a facilitator to pull these conversations together on a consistent basis.
That’s where I come in.
My name is John Proffitt, and I’m the resident that stood up at the February 8, 2016 meeting of the City Council and asked Council to allow the professional staff (most notably CIO Doug McCollough) to proceed with more formal information-gathering and community research. (I have to thank Council member Chris Amorose Groomes for the advice on how to approach Council with the request.)
I’ll share more about myself in future web site updates, but for now you should know I live and work in Dublin, I’m a graduate of Dublin High School (back when there was just one!), and I want Dublin to acquire or develop Internet service that’s fast, reliable, expandable, and available at a reasonable price for both residents and businesses. And I believe Dublin — more than any other city in Ohio — is uniquely positioned to achieve this goal.
Call for Facilitators
To push this conversation further, I’ve bought domain names, setup this web site, secured a Twitter handle, and I’m ready to launch a email/web conversation space once we have some more facilitators. I’m getting the ball rolling, but I will need help to keep it rolling. Can you help?
I’ve reached out privately to a few people I’ve seen on Nextdoor or at the broadband conversation events, asking them to participate further. At this point (the week of May 2) I’m seeking folks interested in talking about the following:
- How do we find residents willing to volunteer time and expertise to the cause of improving broadband in material ways across the City of Dublin?
- What information should be published on this site?
- In matters of ethics, who should participate in these community conversations? (e.g. can residents employed by Internet carriers participate?) Similarly, do we need to take precautions with the email groups to ensure people are Dublin residents and are who they say they are?
- What can we do to prepare for the City’s proposed survey-development meeting? How can we ensure that meeting is more productive than the open-ended meetings held so far?
- How do we promote this conversation beyond this web site? Who needs to know about this?
Please contact me if you would like to actively participate in the conversation, or if you have questions or suggestions. When you reach out, please confirm your Dublin residency in some fashion.
Thanks, and here’s hoping this web site downloaded in record time for you. 😉