I-Net Working Group Letter
Submitting April 16, 1999 Proposal

To:  Ellsworth Brown, President, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Tom Murphy, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
Dan Cohen, City Council, City of Pittsburgh
Dale Frederick, Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

From: Rick Flanagan, BGC  (I-Net Working Group)

For the members of the I-Net Working Group, the year 2000 brings great hope that Pittsburgh will create a new, high-speed communication infrastructure that will be a model across the nation. We want to develop an infrastructure  that will drive the creation of new collaborations that will benefit all sectors of Pittsburgh.

 For several months, a diverse group of Pittsburgh leadership has been working on the creation of a community access piece to be negotiated as part of the TCI Franchise renewal negotiations. Staff of your organizations has played a major role in the creation of this plan.

The proposal concept is fairly simple. Have TCI, as part of its massive rebuilding of the cable infrastructure, run additional fiber optic lines to city, school, and library sites. This fiber would have a common interconnection point, creating a Pittsburgh Institutional Network (I-Net). The I-Net would be built with the capability to extend to nearby non-profit organizations. TCI would also provide 100 free cable modems to address the immediate needs of Pittsburgh’s community groups and to build demand for future services. The enclosed proposal describes this model in much greater detail.

Whether Pittsburgh succeeds in creating a citywide I-Net rests very much on the level of collaboration that can be established between the City of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie, and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. We need to be united to create the I-Net and to convince TCI to build it as part of the cable redesign.

Representing the I-Net Working Group, it is my task to arrange a meeting of I-Net Working Group and each of you. We could meet as a group at one of your locations or at the Heinz Foundation offices. The I-Net Working Group seeks the opportunity to present this proposal and to gain your valuable input. A key outcome to the meeting would be an understanding of next steps.

We have already begun to roll out the proposal to stakeholder groups all over the City of Pittsburgh. We are asking that these groups send each of you a letter of support for the I-Net concept and to commit to a broad based planning process that will make the richness of the vision a reality. On April 29th, community leadership from all over the City will meet at Hill House, beginning at 6:30 p.m., to discuss the proposal.

I will call each of your offices in the next few days to arrange the meeting.


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This page last updated on 26 June, 2000