Communities taking back their broadband destiny from big telecoms

by
in internet on (#22SQ5)
Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and others have created very favorable conditions for themselves, but in the fight for better broadband, more cities, towns, counties, and municipalities are building their own high speed networks. And many have been hugely successful. Sandy, Oregon became one of the first towns to start offering fiber internet without the help of a local power utility, and Madison, Wisconsin may become one of the first cities to build its own network and lease it to other operators.

There are startup internet service providers such as Ting and Brooklyn Fiber competing with incumbents. Rural power co-ops have found themselves well positioned to build fiber networks into sparsely populated areas without losing money, which was deemed impossible by big telecom companies who refused to invest in places without high population density. Even cities in states with legal barriers: Nebraska prevents cities laying their own fiber, so Lincoln built a conduit system—the tubes that actually hold the fiber—and is leasing that space to Allo Communications. Increasingly, these networks are being paid for with loans rather than federal government grants or taxpayer money, meaning the lenders see them as financially viable, long-term investments.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/communities-are-taking-back-their-broadband-destiny-from-big-telecom

Lots of cities (Score: 2, Insightful)

by fishybell@pipedot.org on 2016-11-25 17:59 (#22YQ2)

Lots of cities go down this path to offer their own broadband. My hometown even provided basic cable access. They f'ed that up pretty badly, losing millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

Years later they decided to try again with fiber. Once again, they f'ed that up pretty badly, losing millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

They eventually gave up and handed the whole thing over to Google. That went fairly well. Comcast (cable) and CenturyLink (dsl) both started offering higher speeds for less. Everyone won.

Merely offering an alternative isn't any good. Offering an alternative that is at least as good, and preferably better, is required to actually cause the existing powers that be to compete.
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