Bandwithing together: Municipalities as service providers in a policy environment

Andrea H. Tapia, Julio Angel Ortiz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper we have highlighted three things. First, that public organizations are engaged in a technologically driven servitization of their traditional service products. Second, that public organizations must approach this servitization differently because of the decision-making role of citizens in the process. Third, it is essential to study the influence citizens have on this process through studying the public policy process around decisions concerning the delivery of technology and technologically driven services. In this paper we provide an overview of four constituencies and their relationships involved in municipal wireless broadband policy. The idea that the growth of information technology-dependent services and activities (education, healthcare, and Web 2.0, for instance) are dependent on wide-scale availability of broadband access, and that local governments are jumping into this market to establish the necessary infrastructures for such services, makes this a very hotly contested space. While national and international political issues are debated on the Internet daily, new avenues for very local, political speech and action on the Internet seem to go hand-in-hand with municipal wireless broadband issues. The creation of public policy, while normally seen as a top-down process, has always drawn varying input from the outside through avenues such as lobbying, town meetings, referendums, and public action. We claim that in the case of municipal wireless broadband policy, policy efforts have been turned upside-down, with the majority of policy making now happens at the local level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation Technology in the Service Economy
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Possibilities for the 21st Century: IFIP TC8 WG8.2 International Working Conference August 10-13, 2008, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
EditorsMichael Barrett, Elizabeth Davidson, Catherine Middleton, Janice DeGross
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameIFIP International Federation for Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1571-5736

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems and Management


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