Santa Monica City Net, the city’s 10-gigabit fiber optic network, was recently honored with a Government IT Innovator Award at the 2011 InformationWeek 500 Conference.

The conference recognizes local, state, and federal agencies for their innovative use of information technology.

“Technology-driven innovation is happening in surprising places in government,” said John Foley, editor of InformationWeek Government. “Agencies are applying cloud computing, mobile applications, electronic documents, and other technologies to provide new and better public services. We’ve identified these government agencies as being great examples of how that’s happening.”

Santa Monica’s broadband initiative was nominated for the network’s ability to provide speeds of 10 gigabits per second, achieve a 67-percent cost reduction, and its economic and technological growth opportunities, city officials said.

Santa Monica’s broadband model has resulted in a reduction of construction costs for new broadband service, an increase in purchasing power of connected local businesses, and a broadband market expansion for Internet service providers, officials noted.

The city was also recently honored as one of the Top 25 Innovators in Government by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and with a Significant Achievement Award from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) for the broadband initiative.