Political lobbying is why many parts of the U.S. lack substantive #broadband speeds
Recently, Motherboard wrote a fantastic piece on Internet Service Providers fighting back against cities who want to wire themselves due to a lack of satisfaction with current broadband speeds. Included in the piece are stories about Comcast agreeing to wire the Washington DC government in exchange for a monopoly on the DC area (including residential areas that Comcast wouldn’t wire) and San Francisco wiring the city schools, police and government buildings yet are not ranked in the top 100 for municipalities in the country due to other parts of the city lack substantive broadband speeds.
Thankfully, #googlefiber has brought attention to this problem through their entrance into areas around the country where there is little to no competition outside of the local monopoly provider. Unfortunately, incumbent internet providers continue to make it as hard as possible for others to enter their markets. Source url
The companies’ main claim was that municipal broadband was a dangerous gamble. This assertion was based on the Heartland Institute making the claim that most municipal broadband networks “operate at a loss.” Mother Jones interviewed Heartland’s president, Joe Bast, where he admitted that he never studied enough cases to show this was true.
Comcast and SBC defeated both referendums by winning between 53 and 60 percent of the vote. Following this victory, Comcast would raise basic cable rates more than 30 percent.
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