We, the residents of Tacoma, have an opportunity for a new direction with our own Click network: Let's provide free basic cable Internet service to all Tacoma Public Utilities customers.
We already have the infrastructure, so what's stopping us? We can be the most connected city, the City of Destiny.
Let's return to free TV. Why are Click customers unnecessarily paying retransmission fees to broadcasters like KING, KIRO and KOMO?
Click can install locally produced antennas for customers at no charge if the broadcasters refuse to participate in a new free cable system. Or we can remove broadcasters from our basic package and place them in the next group of channels with paid content. Do they really want a fall-off in viewers?
With everyone connected, new revenue for Click would be earned by selling premium channels and packages, à la carte choice channels, pay-per-view and/or video-on-demand type programming.
Tacoma taxpayers have already financed and built the infrastructure of TPU, including Click. This would be a small return on the many years of public investment in the vast infrastructure of TPU. Free Internet and basic cable would be a fair and equitable way of returning some value on the massive investment generations of Tacoma residents have made in the utility.
Let us keep the public in Tacoma Public Utilities.