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The Issue

The role of governments should be to make certain that Internet services are available to every American – not to create additional choices for few at the expense of all taxpayers.

In places where it has been economically difficult or impossible for private companies to provide services, the government has justly stepped in.

However, just as taxpayers would scratch their heads over a government erecting new electrical transmission lines in the shadow of existing lines, more and more community leaders are wondering why precious public dollars are being spent to install broadband Internet lines next to lines which are already delivering high speed service. The FCC has estimated that it will cost $350 Billion to attain 100% broadband in America! That staggering figure serves as a reminder that the $7 Billion in stimulus funds allocated to broadband deployment must be wisely used and devoted to reaching areas that are currently unserved.

With police and fire departments facing layoffs, teachers, health and other public workers are facing salary freezes or actual reductions, and public transportation and other services are being sharply curtailed or cancelled, public budgets are already being squeezed.

If an area’s broadband access needs are being met by private companies, than a government-owned network is literally pushing scarce, urgently-needed tax dollars into a ditch.

The members of CNE work tirelessly to make certain that every neighborhood, in every city, county, and state has the opportunity to access the Internet for better education, better healthcare, and a better economy.