The city of Santa Monica’s fiber optic network, Santa Monica City Net, has been selected as one of the Top 25 Innovations in Government by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The program was selected for the prestigious award in the economic development category, due to the network’s effectiveness in attracting technology companies to the city and supporting existing Santa Monica businesses with a leading edge broadband infrastructure, a city spokesperson said.

Santa Monica City Net’s model is being replicated by the cities of Burbank and Long Beach, and is being reviewed by the cities of Chicago and Calgary in Canada, the spokesperson noted. The program sets a new standard in improving four key elements in the nation’s broadband service: access, affordability, capacity and speed.

The city’s network was originally designed to support traffic cameras, security cameras, real-time parking advisory systems, a traffic signal synchronization system, and real-time mass transit signs, the city spokesperson said. The network also allows the city to lease dark fiber and provide lit services to local businesses for affordable broadband.

The city has also recently received a Significant Achievement Award from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) for its fiber optic network program.

The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School is a national nonprofit research and development organization based in Washington, D.C., representing local governments. The Innovations in Government Awards program is devoted to recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector.

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