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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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USDA: Farmers Just As Likely To Have Internet As City Dwellers

October 18, 2017

Last week, this blog reported that Internet download speeds are getting faster around the country and that more households are online and have choices when it comes to where they get broadband. In other words: the digital divide is narrowing and competition is growing in all areas of the country.  That’s also the conclusion the …

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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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Broadband Speeding Up Across The United States

October 13, 2017

For the past several years, this blog has regularly tracked new private sector investments in broadband infrastructure. We’ve noted that, over the last two decades these companies have spent more than $1.5 trillion to bring more Americans online. That investment figure comes from US Telecom, the nation’s leading broadband association. That group recently released a …

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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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State Journal: Time For A Timeout On KentuckyWired

October 10, 2017

Last week, this blog wrote about growing state legislator discontent with KentuckyWired, the Bluegrass State’s government-owned broadband network. Now it seems members of the media in Kentucky are also growing impatient with the network and its overseers.  In an editorial, The State Journal, Frankfort, Ky.’s largest newspaper, said, “At minimum, the state needs to call …

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Private Sector Is Advancing Broadband

October 5, 2017

Today more than 285 million Americans use the Internet and 85 percent of families have broadband or a smartphone at home. After investing more than $1.5 trillion into broadband infrastructure over the last 20 years, including $76 billion in 2015 alone, it is clear that the private sector is the primary driver behind this advancement. …

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Government Report: Australia’s National Network Not Curing The Digital Divide

October 4, 2017

Last week, a parliamentary committee released a 210-page study on Australia’s government-owned National Broadband Network (NBN). The report wasn’t good. In fact, Fast Company called it “scathing.” It certainly showed government networks aren’t a cure for the digital divide.  According to a news story in The Australian, “Some of the poorest parts of Australia including …

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Associated Press Digs Into KentuckyWired

October 3, 2017

In August, the Coalition for the New Economy (CNE) asked how much it would cost Kentucky taxpayers to finish their state’s government-owned broadband network, KentuckyWired. Two months later, we’re still not sure. And, if Associated Press reporter Adam Beam is right, it’s not clear when this project will be finished, or if it ever will …

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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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