Santa Monica’s 10-gigabit fiber optic network, also known as City Net, was selected as one of the top 25 “Innovations in Government” by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The program was selected for this award in the economic development category for the network’s effectiveness in attracting technology companies to the city and supporting existing Santa Monica businesses with a leading edge broadband infrastructure, city officials said.

Santa Monica City Net’s model is being replicated by the cities of Burbank and Long Beach, and is in review by Chicago and Calgary.

The network was originally constructed to support traffic cameras, security cameras, real-time parking advisory systems, a traffic signal synchronization system, and real-time mass transit signs. The network also allows City Hall to lease dark fiber and provide lit services to local businesses for affordable broadband.

Santa Monica’s advanced broadband initiative provides for a reduction in construction costs for new broadband service, an increase in purchasing power of connected local businesses, and a broadband market expansion for Internet service providers that now offer service to small, medium and large commercial buildings, city officials said.

City Hall has also recently received a “Significant Achievement Award” from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) for the fiber optic network program.

The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School is a national nonprofit research and development organization based in Washington, DC, representing local governments.

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