Where will broadband competition take Philadelphia?

For many years, broadband Internet in Philadelphia was only available to large companies and institutions with the budget to literally build connections. But Verizon‘s successful push to bring FiOS to the city has spurred Internet service providers operating in Philadelphia to compete. The result, city officials say, is that residents will pay less for better service.

Read Series: Broadband 2035

Since early 2010, Verizon has been building a fiber-to-the-home network throughout the city with the goal of providing cable TV and high-speed Internet. Verizon representatives say they expect to make millions from customers looking to switch from rival Comcast.

Comcast says it welcomes the competition. But both companies and city representatives agree that city residents will win big from the deal. And in a city where broadband adoption — not physical access, but the use of commercial broadband — is low, increasing competition will be an important part of providing access to low-income individuals.

Forty-one percent of the city uses broadband Internet in the home, according to data commissioned by the Knight Foundation and published in the city’s newly published Philadelphia 2035 comprehensive plan.

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