Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband Networks

March 23, 2011 -

An interesting story on Ars Technica points out that 133 cities in the United States have their own broadband networks. This data comes from a new map developed by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The group compiled the list of 54 fiber networks and 79 cable networks. The objective of these networks is to "maximize value to the community in which they are located rather than to distant stockholders and corporate executives."

Ouch. The advantage to these networks is that they are not driven by profits; for example, a city-owned network would be more apt to extend itself out to even remote residents, while a corporate ISP would determine that based on the number of residents on a stretch of line per mile. 

City-owned networks often offer better speeds. An example cited in the article is Wilson, North Carolina, where 100Mbps symmetrical broadband upload and download speeds are more preferable than anything offered by ISP's. Another is Chattanooga, Tennessee, which runs its own 1Gbps fiber network.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) believes that local communities need to be able to build networks of their own because they are so important to the future. It's also important because the FCC's version of net neutrality has mostly fallen flat and net neutrality is mostly needed because of corporations who may try to introduce things such as usage based billing.

Naturally companies in the business of serving up broadband have objected to government-owned networks because they feel they represent unfair competition but ISP's are not expanding fast enough and are not supporting customers in rural areas.

You know, those areas where people are still using dial-up and AOL still..

Read the whole story here.


Comments

Re: Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband ...

My local phone company is starting on a Fiber network right now. It might take a year or two, but having 100Mps here will be a nice option. Especially since no other company will go past a city limit.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband ...

They'll end up just like the old city owned phone networks. Next budget crunch they'll lease it to an ISP, with provisions in the contract to eventually sell or give it to them.

Or worse, they'll be staffed by contract with an ISP at twice the existing cost because the city payroll is out of control with facilities and services it shouldn't be providing.

There are still people in my area old enough to be angry about needing to memorize seven digit numbers instead of five after the city sold the local phone network to AT&T.

Re: Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband ...

"Naturally companies in the business of serving up broadband have objected to government-owned networks because they feel that they represent competition."

Fixed.  The ISPs love their virtual monopolies.  They would object to any competition, "fair" or not.

Re: Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband ...

I love this part:

"The disadvantageCity-owned networks often offer better speeds."

Seems you are missing a sentence or more...

Re: Report: 133 U.S. Cities Operate Their Own Broadband ...

I noticed that too.  I sent GP a heads up earlier so it should be corrected soon.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
 

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