A public ownership of fiber is the starting point to ensure that the economic development goals of a fiber project for any city are achieved. The optimal way to ensure complete open access is for local government to own and control the local infrastructure, not large corporations. The duty of a local government is to ensure that public goods are accessible and well-maintained for citizens and in this day in age, high-capacity data services happen to be the highest priority for many cities.
With public ownership, issues regarding the digital divide can be ultimately addressed and solved while also enabling universal access to broadband. All cities already have an obligation to provide construction and maintenance of other infrastructure, fiber access is simply another infrastructure a city should construct and maintain. Unlike most modern technology that typically has a useful life between three and five years, fiber has a useful life of at least 40 years. Fiber strands do not decay, corrode, rot or expire and can continue transmitting data without any major maintenance or upgrades. The minimal maintenance of fiber makes this infrastructure the perfect asset for local governments to invest in. Fiber can also be financed and even provide a revenue stream to repay debt, unlike other infrastructure projects.
Ultimately, an accessible fiber network is becoming increasingly more essential for cities across the country and fiber is by far the most worthwhile and beneficial infrastructure to invest in. Little to no maintenance, potential for ROI, less risk and higher quality and affordability for residents.