Success in public-owned broadband: It’s about Main St., not Wall St.


Comcast just doubled its broadband speeds in the entire state of Colorado — but without raising rates. Longmont, Colorado’s network take rate after one week of signing up subscribers exceeded its projections for the first year. Thomasville, Georgia’s municipal network, started in 1999, generates so much money that it helped eliminate constituents’ taxes.

As surely as there are death and Kim Kardashian memes, incumbent-led critics will claim all public-owned broadband networks are failures that put taxpayer dollars at risk. From a similar bottle of fine whine, they’ll protest that public networks are overwhelmingly unfair competition. Promoting these contradicting myths has led to 20 states with laws restricting these networks.

The market (community constituents) determines success

Public network failures are greatly exaggerated by critics who misinterpret what exactly community broadband success is. Giant providers want us to believe that the only measures of success are huge profit margins, quick payback for…

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