Communities taking back their broadband destiny from big telecoms

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.

Re: Lots of cities (Score: 1)

by on 2016-12-01 19:52 (#23NQA)

When I first got the city-provided power, it was fast-ish, but extremely flaky. Turns out the installer didn't understand how to polish the fiber.

After months of complaining - apparently by everyone - the city stopped hiring contractors and had their own people come out to each house and redo the connectors. It was pretty good after that.
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