Or, how limited Internet bandwidth can really mess up your transparency.

a group of people around a meeting table, with other participants on a zoom screen on the wall.

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s how important connectivity is to our community. Streaming local government meetings is still a thing, and bandwidth is key, inside Town Hall, and at home.

Way back in 2013, telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford, titled First steps to Open Gov – getting your ducts in a row. In it, she outlines her stance on the importance of available high-speed Internet access in open government, and how to achieve it.

As Crawford pointed out, “As city leaders focus on making their administrations more innovative, efficient, transparent, open to outside expertise, and better at service delivery, they’re going to need cheaper and continually-higher-capacity, high-speed Internet access. And their communities are going to need the same thing.”

We still agree. Open government is all about the stakeholders’ ability to connect with their government, and it should be as easy as possible. Ms. Crawford’s solution is for local governments to make more high-speed Internet access available to their communities, and she outlines several methods. It’s a great idea, and well worth exploring. We’d love to see access to higher-speed Internet at lower cost, too!

Staying connected. That’s a key part of transparency.