Government agencies from California to Washington, D.C., are taking on ambitious IT initiatives in an effort to provide better services at lower costs. Here are some federal, state, and local efforts that are leading the way.
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Santa Monica's broadband fiber network, deployed in 2010, serves the California city in two fundamental ways. City government now enjoys 10-Gbps networking at 67% of the cost of what it had been paying. Even more important, the new network has become a magnet for local businesses attracted by those same benefits. Santa Monica's City Net combines Wavelength Division Multiplexing equipment (from MRV Communications) and optical fiber into a metropolitan network that's available in 100-Mbps, 1-Gbps, and 10-Gbps increments. The network connects businesses to 160 Internet service providers operating from facilities in Los Angeles, about 15 miles away. Revenue generated from network services helps fund network expansion and two dozen Wi-Fi hotspots in city parks and buildings that are available to the public at no cost.