Broadband Advisory Workgroup

The Broadband Advisory Workgroup will advise the City on policy considerations regarding municipal broadband. Workgroup members are selected by Mayor Fleetwood and confirmed by the Bellingham City Council. The Workgroup meets monthly.

In August 2020, the Bellingham City Council passed Resolution 2020-31 to create the Broadband Advisory Workgroup to develop recommendations to advise the City on policy considerations regarding municipal broadband. The Workgroup will:

  • Evaluate the possibility of municipally owned broadband infrastructure as one way to further the goals of greater availability, affordability, equitability and quality of broadband access across the community;
  • Address policy considerations and financial costs and benefits;
  • Assess existing conditions related to broadband access, equity and affordability as well as options and ways to use the City of Bellingham fiber optic network, as it exists today, or as may be expanded or improved, to enhance the access, equity and affordability of quality broadband; and
  • Report findings and recommendations to the City so that the City Council can hold public discussions on a broadband infrastructure policy.

Please view the Broadband Advisory Workgroup Purpose and Mission developed by the Workgroup at the March 2, 2021 meeting.

The Bellingham City Council directed the Mayor to appoint a volunteer ad hoc Workgroup consisting of not less than 5 and not more than 9 community members and industry professionals comprised of the following:

  • General: At least 3 local residents with general backgrounds or experience with education, small business, manufacturing, organized labor, contractor associations, non-profit entities, and other interests representing diverse public interests.
  • Fiber Network Industry: At least 1 but not more than 3 individuals with professional technology experience and training in fiber optic networks, internet provider industry, fiber optic installation, telecommunication utility providers, information technology or similar fields. Individuals currently employed by telecommunications service providers, fiber optic installers or similar are encouraged to apply, provided that there is no direct benefit to a current employer or business interest.
  • Financial: At least 1 but not more than 3 individuals with professional experience and training in business, finance, economics, municipal operations or similar field.  Individuals in this area shall not represent the views of their employer.
  • In the event of a resignation or vacancy, the position will be filled by Mayoral appointment. Unexcused absences of more than 2 consecutive meetings shall be considered a resignation from the Workgroup. Substitutes or alternates shall not be allowed for any member.

The Workgroup is not currently accepting new members. First review of applications began September 18, 2020.

If positions become available, people interested in being considered for the Workgroup should apply by submitting a letter of interest along with the standard City Boards and Commissions application form.

Meetings

Per Washington State Proclamation 20-28, in-person attendance at meetings is prohibited at this time. All meetings are currently online only through Zoom. You can access the Zoom meetings by visiting cob.org/broadbandworkgroup at the specified meeting date and time.

Use the following link for meetings dates, agendas, and meeting materials.

Upcoming Meetings

Resources

Broadband Advisory Workgroup Resources page

Contacts

Email: g.proj.broadbandadvisoryworkgroup@cob.org

Members