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Massachusetts Taxpayers To Spend $45 Million More On State Broadband Network

November 16, 2017

According to the Berkshire Eagle, Massachusetts state legislators are getting ready to spend another $45 million to bring high-speed broadband to rural areas of the state. As readers of this blog know, the Bay State is home to a $90 million statewide, government-owned broadband network that is operated by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). Peter …

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Does Lenoir City, Tenn. Need A Broadband Study?

November 16, 2017

According to WBIR 10 News, the Lenoir City Utilities Board in Tennessee has contracted with Magellan Advisors, to study the need and demand for a municipal broadband network. Coalition for the New Economy blog readers will remember that Magellan, which is based in Denver, Colo., was the focus of a May 2017 investigative report by …

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Little Shop Of Horrors: $1.9 Billion Proposal For San Francisco Municipal Network

October 31, 2017

Taxpayers in San Francisco should be spooked. According to a consultants’ report released earlier this month, it potentially would cost the city $1.9 billion to build a municipal broadband network that would connect every home and business to the internet. Columbia Telecommunications Corporation, a firm in Maryland that is the driving force behind many municipal …

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Municipal Broadband: “A Long And Hazardous Journey”

October 31, 2017

The news site Law360 recently examined state and local efforts to spur rural broadband development, including the proliferation of taxpayer-financed municipal broadband networks. Reporter Kelcee Griffis found that, in general, city broadband projects are struggling. She cited Greenfield, Mass.’s government network, which became subject to “a corruption probe just months after it began offering internet …

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Another Vote Against Fort Collins Municipal Broadband

October 24, 2017

As Coalition for the New Economy readers are aware, in two weeks voters in Fort Collins, Colo. will consider a ballot measure that authorizes the city to build a municipal broadband system. Heartland Institute writer Brandi Wielgopolski already has advised residents to vote no on the question. So has Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce …

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It’s Groundhog Day In Seattle

October 19, 2017

TheStranger.Com reported earlier this month that the Seattle, Wash. city council will once again consider a measure that would allow local officials to explore the possibility of building a municipal broadband network.  According to the website, council member Rob Johnson “plans to introduce an amendment to the 2018 budget to hire a city staffer focused …

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Heartland Institute Scholar: Time To Sell Burlington Telecom

October 17, 2017

The Coalition for the New Economy has discussed the failure of Burlington, Vt.’s municipal broadband network, Burlington Telecom (BT), several times over the past few years. In 2013, we noted the system “borrowed” (perhaps illegally) $17 million from city taxpayers. We’ve reported that, at one point, the system was carrying at least $50 million in …

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Newport, Tenn. Takes Municipal Broadband Risk Despite Comptroller’s Warning

October 11, 2017

Watchdog.org investigative reporter Johnny Kampis recently revealed that Newport, Tenn. is now ready to spend $24.7 million—or $6,861 per “expected customer”—on a municipal broadband system. (Kampis’ figure is higher than the $21.9 million estimate for the project that the Coalition for the New Economy (CNE) discussed this past April.)  The Newport system will be financed …

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Scholar: Go Private To Reduce Digital Divide

September 29, 2017

Brent Skorup, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has released a new paper outlining recommendations for broadband deployment in the United States. Coalition for the New Economy readers will recall that Skorup’s colleagues at the Mercatus Center issued a study in 2014 that found municipal broadband networks generate “underwhelming economic …

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Iowa Town Told Muni Network Would Be Too Expensive

September 28, 2017

A consultant for a city in Iowa has concluded that local taxpayers cannot afford to build and operate a municipal broadband network.  Decorah, a town of about 9,000 in the northeast part of the state, engaged Uptown Services, a telecommunications firm based in Boulder, Colo., “to conduct a feasibility study of a municipal telecommunications and …

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