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Bandwithing Together: Municipalities as Service Providers in a Policy Environment

  • Andrea H. Tapia
  • Julio Angel Ortiz
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 267)

Abstract

In this paper we have highlighted three things. First, that public organizations are engaged in a technologically driven servitization of their traditional service products. Second, that public organizations must approach this servitization differently because of the decision-making role of citizens in the process. Third, it is essential to study the influence citizens have on this process through studying the public policy process around decisions concerning the delivery of technology and technologically driven services. In this paper we provide an overview of four constituencies and their relationships involved in municipal wireless broadband policy. The idea that the growth of information technology-dependent services and activities (education, healthcare, and Web 2.0, for instance) are dependent on wide-scale availability of broadband access, and that local governments are jumping into this market to establish the necessary infrastructures for such services, makes this a very hotly contested space. While national and international political issues are debated on the Internet daily, new avenues for very local, political speech and action on the Internet seem to go hand-in-hand with municipal wireless broadband issues. The creation of public policy, while normally seen as a top-down process, has always drawn varying input from the outside through avenues such as lobbying, town meetings, referendums, and public action. We claim that in the case of municipal wireless broadband policy, policy efforts have been turned upside-down, with the majority of policy making now happens at the local level.

Keywords

Municipal wireless servitization public policy broadband access 

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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea H. Tapia
    • 1
  • Julio Angel Ortiz
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Information Sciences & TechnologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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