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The Debate Over Lake County, Minn.’s Government Broadband Network

July 10, 2017

In late June, this blog reported that Lake County, Minn. had decided to sell its municipal broadband network, Lake Connections. This network cost federal and local taxpayers approximately $85 million. ($17 million came from local coffers.) In a column later that month, Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Lee Schafer argued that “county officials won’t see much …

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Bluegrass Institute Says Secrecy Surrounds KentuckyWired Network

July 3, 2017

According to a recent article on the organization’s website, the Bluegrass Institute has been asking some serious questions about oversight of the statewide broadband network, KentuckyWired. The institute has so far come up short … but not for lack of trying. As Amye Bensenhaver, director of the Bluegrass Institute’s Center for Open Government, explains, a …

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U of Pennsylvania Study: Local Leaders Need To Understand Muni Broadband Risks

May 29, 2017

Last week, Christopher Yoo, founding director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law’s Timothy Pfenninger released a report examining the financial performance of municipal broadband networks in the United States. The report found more than half of these networks operate with negative cash …

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Broadband Consultants Go For One-Two Punch

May 19, 2017

According Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation investigative reporter Johnny Kampis, taxpayers in Rock Falls, Ill., Mont Belvieu, Tex., and Newport, Tenn. have been sucker punched by a consultancy called Magellan Advisors. And not once, but twice. Kampis explains that, first, these cities paid Magellan, which is based in Denver, Colo., to conduct studies to determine whether …

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Hagerstown May Cut Municipal Broadband Project

May 11, 2017

Hagerstown, Md. is facing a $2.4 million budget gap. The city council is considering an increase in property taxes to help fill it. Originally the five member board wanted a 5.5-cent take hike, but after taking a look at the spending side of its ledger, the council thinks they might be able to get by …

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Google Fiber Runs Into Reality—Then Begs For Taxpayer Support

May 4, 2017

Last October, Google Fiber announced that it would to cut nine percent of its staff and reduce the number of cities in which it would build high-speed internet systems. The company acknowledged that it simply had found that it’s very expensive to build gigabit Internet Service Providers (ISPs), even in densely populated areas.  Then-CEO Crag …

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Newport, Tenn. Consultant Would Benefit From Government Network

April 25, 2017

East Tennessee native and Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) Senior Scholar Drew Johnson says that the city of Newport, in east Tennessee, is about to make “a very big mistake” and the force driving the city toward that error is the only one that stands to benefit. The mistake Johnson is referring to would be using …

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Sun Prairie Sale A Win-Win-Win

April 24, 2017

The Sun Prairie, Wis. City Council recently voted to sell its government-owned broadband system to TDS Telecom for $2.88 million. The deal appears to be a win for city taxpayers, local broadband consumers, and the city itself.  First, the deal will allow the city to completely relieve itself from the debt associated with the network, …

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Rochester, Minn. Still Has Cold Feet

April 19, 2017

For at least a year, the Rochester, Minn. City Council has been considering whether to move forward with a plan to study whether to build a government-owned, citywide broadband network. This week, the council rejected the idea again. According to KAAL TV in Rochester, council members on Monday voted to table a motion that would …

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Massachusetts Agency Loses Grantmaking Ability, But Still In Charge Of Failed Government-Run Network

April 14, 2017

In a handful of blog posts over the last few months, the Coalition for the New Economy has explored the failure of Massachusetts’ statewide, government-owned network, MassBroadband123. This network has consumed nearly $90 million in taxpayer funds, $45.4 million from federal taxpayers and $44.3 million in “matching” funds from Massachusetts. Now, according to a report …

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